LB BLAKE MARTINEZ
Q: How is your knee feeling?
A: It feels good. Kind of working with the training staff every day, taking it a day at a time. It felt good today. Getting the rust off.
Q: Was there ever a doubt that you would be in this position or did you have concerns that maybe they would start you out on PUP?
A: I just kind of went through the offseason, the last ten months working on my knee every day and just listening to the training staff. I got the news yesterday that I was good to go and basically went out there and felt good today.
Q: What's the plan? We didn't see you, I don't think, at all in the live drills. Is that the plan moving forward? How long? What are your expectations in that regard?
A: I think for me it's just listening to the trainers. They will slowly ramp me up as we go. Being cautious with it, and then we will talk back and forth after each practice to see if I can add some stuff in as we keep moving through training camp.
Q: There is no doubt in your mind that you are going to be ready when the season comes, right?
A: For me, it's just – I have no doubt for myself. Again, taking it one day at a time and then obviously today, everyone asked me, 'Hey, are you pumped? You pumped? You pumped?' I'm like yeah, just got to take it as the first practice. I don't know, this was my first practice in 10 months now. It felt good, though.
Q: You're a guy who wants to know everything about the defense's plan, which you probably felt you did the last couple of years and now you got a new defense. Where are you with that and can is it going to be frustrating to not have all the answers to the test yet?
A: I think it's just another challenge. Going into my seventh year, I think this is my fifth defensive coordinator or something like that. I've gotten used to going through those procedures. I know how they kind of attack it and just taking it one day at a time, same thing as my knee.
Q: Wink's [Martindale] defense is a lot different than the last couple of years, what's good about it for you?
A: I think it's aggressive. He allows the players to be in positions that they can thrive at and just once again, he trusts his guys to go out there and he gives a lot of freedom to maneuver around and communicate as a defense.
Q: More freedom than you've had the past couple of years, would you say?
A: I feel like both are different in their own ways. Both gave freedom but just different concepts, different ways of doing it.
Q: Is there any question in your mind whether you can be the same Blake Martinez before the injury as coming back off it?
A: It's always one of those things that you think about, but throughout my training and everything, every aspect has been better than I was than when I wasn't hurt. That's been a very positive thing for me moving forward and just kept getting me more and more excited to get out there on the field.
Q: Did you notice wearing the Guardian helmets?
A: Only when I can see myself in glasses and stuff. Overall, you don't really notice it until someone makes fun of you.
Q: What did they tell you about it?
A: It's one of those things. It's scientifically proven that it helps reduce concussions by I think they said 20 percent if two people are wearing it and they hit each other. Anything that can protect your brain, especially for me, I want to prolong this thing as long as possible, so I'm down.
Q: It sounds like you don't like the way it looks?
A: Oh yeah, no. Everyone wants to be swagged out nowadays, and when you have this big airbag on top of your helmet, you're a little noticeable.
Q: What was the toughest part for you mentally going through that injury and not being able to be on the field?
A: I think it was just watching other people doing what you love to do and just wanting to be out there and help your team win. I think that was the toughest point. I tried to do little things whether it was just coach up guys on the sideline and do whatever I could in the meetings, but it's still not the same.
Q: I know today is just a small sample, but with the new regime and new coaching staff is there a good sense of the atmosphere and the mindset? Something that is different about this camp?
A: For us, it's just – I don't know it just feels, it's hard to compare the other years. It feels like everybody has such a high sense of urgency. Once we step on the field, no matter what we're doing; whether it's stretch lines, individuals, team periods – every single aspect it just makes you excited to see.
Q: Does it feel a little bit more like a training camp with some fans here?
A: Oh yeah. I tell guys all the time – I came from Green Bay to here and you're just used to that type of environment in both places. To be able to have that again was special.