Linebacker Reggie Ragland
August 15, 2021
Q: How did you think things went last night?
A: I thought it went pretty well last night for a preseason game. A lot of guys getting the nerves out and it’s been a year and some chances to have a preseason game. I think it went well, a lot of things to clean up, but I think we’re moving in the right direction to become a great team. We got young guys and including myself, being behind a couple of weeks by not practicing the last couple of weeks. I think we’re moving in the right direction.
Q: Were you recruited at University of Alabama by (Head Coach) Joe (Judge)? Did you know him at the time?
A: I’m not going to lie. At the time, I did not know Coach Judge was there until he told me. I didn’t know that.
Q: Could you take us back and tell us what led you to pick the Giants when you were a free agent this season?
A: I knew it was a great scheme and a great pick for me for my size being a bigger linebacker. I knew I could put in by moving around. Also having some of my old coaches like (Running Backs) Coach (Burton) Burns, (Linebackers) Coach (Kevin) Sherrer, (Senior Defensive Assistant) Coach (Jeremy) Pruitt and then a lot of other guys like (Offensive Quality Control) Nick Williams, who I played with at Alabama, he’s a coach on the coaching staff now and I knew I’d be comfortable here. A lot of the guys I knew on the team that I knew before I got here, like (Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard) Shep, so I knew it would be a great fit for me and being here with guys like (Linebacker) Blake (Martinez) and then (Linebacker) Devante (Downs) and all the other guys. I knew this defense was pretty good last year and I just wanted to come in and keep making it better and just do whatever the coaches need me to do to help the team in the best way possible.
Q: You were pretty active last night, but what held you back the first week of training camp when you were on the non-football injury list and how quickly have you adjusted to getting back into the flow of things?
A: I adjusted pretty well coming back. Just something a little minor, nothing too serious, so I’m back now. I’m happy to be here playing with everybody on the team and my day now is just to keep getting better going forward and helping the team out as best as possible.
Q: What is this defense like in regard to verbiage and you being able to call plays in the middle and where are you at in that progression?
A: A lot of the verbiage I’ve known since college with the scheme and it’s all a big tree because (Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham) P.G. was with (New England Patriots Head Coach Bill) Belichick and then (University of Alabama Head Coach Nick) Saban was with Belichick and then Pruitt and Coach Sherrer were with Coach Saban and Coach Joe was with Saban. A lot of it is the same thing, but anything you haven’t done in a while, you always got to keep refreshing your memory and getting better. I think I’m getting better each and every day and that’s what I’m going to keep doing day in and day out and keep putting myself in the best position as possible and keep helping my teammates too in the process.
Q: Joe said one of the reasons he likes you is because you’re a bigger linebacker. What weight is your ideal playing weight?
A: Mid 50’s, about 250 to 255 and just going out there and just playing ball like I always have since college. Naturally, I’m a thicker person, body wise I feel good playing. For me, I feel like I can always fit in this game because you’re always going to need somebody that can always play the run and then drop in coverage also. The smaller the linebackers get, it seems like the bigger the running backs get like (Tennessee Titans Running Back) Derrick (Henry) and then (Seattle Seahawks Chris) Carson up there in Seattle. Those are some big sized running backs, so it’s always good for a guy like me that can run and play the pass and play the run also.
Q: How’s it been working with (Linebacker) Blake (Martinez) and how do you guys complement each other?
A: It’s been awesome, man. Blake is a great teammate, he’s smart, he’s been with (Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham) PG for a while now since Green Bay, so he really knows his stuff with him. I’m always asking him questions and trying to put myself in the best position possible. Some guys, me and Blake came out the same year coming into the league, so some guys on certain teams might not try to help you because they’ve got egos or something, but in this locker room it’s been nothing but love and great with my teammates. I’m excited working with Blake and (LB) Tae (Crowder) and everybody else, so I’m excited about what the future holds for this team.
Q: You’ve done a lot of winning in your career. This team you’re on now is a young team that hasn’t done a lot of winning in the last five, six years. Is that something you can teach them or is that something they have to experience on their own?
A: You can teach it, but you’ve got to experience it also. But we’ve got a lot of great players here and a few of the guys here who have won also, like (LB) Ryan Anderson who played with me at Alabama and a couple other guys, (TE) Kyle Rudolph, he’s done a lot of winning also. But with this team, everybody is good and smart, so we’ve just got to go out there and just play. We can’t shoot ourselves in the foot because the last few years the only thing that’s beating us is us, but I think this year it’s got a good chance of being different. We’ve just got to keep staying together, keep working hard and keep believing in (Head) Coach (Joe) Judge because he has a great plan. The process, you’ve got to believe in it for it to work, so I think everybody is doing it right now.
Q: How does Coach Judge’s training camp compare to Coach Patricia’s training camp?
A: Both of them are tough and physical, so I just have to have a good, strong mindset. It’s fun playing ball for Coach Patricia and him because both of them are great coaches and great dudes outside of football, so I’m excited.