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Transcript: Offensive tackle Evan Neal

Eric from BBI : Admin : 7/30/2022 3:53 pm
Offensive tackle Evan Neal

Q: Why didn't you fight?

A: Why didn't I fight? I was focused on the next play. I honestly didn't even notice it until I heard the fans oohing and aahing. I looked behind me and there was a pile, I wasn't going to jump in there.

Q: What's been the biggest adjustment for you so far? I know it's early and you haven't even put on pads yet but what's the biggest difference?

A: It's been good. Just adjusting to the playbook, the speed of the game, of course. It's only day four, everyday I feel myself getting better and better. I'm just excited, I'm just excited for the next day.

Q: How much are you excited for Monday? It's actually training camp start for you guys where you get to put on pads and actually do more in the run game, do more in aggressive pass sets.

A: I'm extremely excited I get the chance to get better because when you don't have pads on, you get better from a sense in pass protection and stuff like that, but it's not the same. We really can't fit our combo blocks or really lean on guys in the run game. I'm definitely excited for that standpoint of it, for sure.

Q: Anything about this first training camp surprise you? Anything that just feels different to you?

A: Not to say anything is surprising me but like I've said, our fall camp at Alabama was pretty much run like a professional training camp. The coaches are running it fantastic. I feel like everybody out there is getting better and I'm just excited to see how far we go.

Q: How harshly do you evaluate yourself when you watch film of yourself after a camp practice even without pads on?

A: I like to say I'm my biggest critic. Nobody can criticize me harder than myself. I focus on the bad stuff, but I've also got to acknowledge the good as well because there is good that I do. I just watch the film and I take away from it what I can and just focus on getting better, not making the same mistakes and building off the positive things.

Q: What have you been able to take away from (Tackle) Andrew's (Thomas) path as a first-round draft pick over these last couple of years?

A: Drew, he's a great guy. Definitely a great resource to lean on because he's been through it. He's been a top-10 pick, a lot of expectations coming in, and I feel like he's handled himself very well. I'm extremely grateful to have an asset and a resource like that for sure. As our relationship continues to grow and evolve, I'm sure that I'll learn even more from him.

Q: Even through you are on different sides of the ball, do you feel that you and (Linebacker) Kayvon Thibodeaux relate in some way or another?

A: I'm not sure. It's crazy that through high school, and through recruitment, and every major camp that was the matchup that everybody wanted to see. Me versus Kayvon. It's just so ironic that we ended up on the same NFL team. I'm just excited to go against him every day, get each other better. I believe that iron sharpens iron.

Q: What do you think of those matchups so far?

A: We are getting each other better. He beats me some reps, I get him some reps. That's what it's all about, that's the name of the game – getting better, getting each other better, and iron sharpening iron.

Q. Do you guys talk about it on the field? I'm sure he is a bigger talker than you.

A: Quite honestly, he hasn't been chirping like that. We've just been putting our head down and we've been working.

Q. Off the field in your down time, do you guys talk about the reps to try to get each other better? You know, what did you do here or what did you do there?

A: I know he doesn't want to give me any of his secrets, so I am not going to give him any of mine either. I'm sure he watches me just like I watch him on film. Like I said, I'm just excited to continue to go against him and get better.

Q. Is Monday the first time you get a crack at him really in pads? Even when you went up against him at camp, I assume it's been in shorts.

A: Right, Monday is the first day of pads, so I am just excited to see what that's like. I'm ready to get after it.

Q. You never got after him in a game though, right?

A: I never played him at Oregon. Yeah, I never played him.

Q. How did you spend the past month?

A: The past month, I took some time to spend with family for the Fourth of July. Went back home to Florida, spent the weekend with them but primarily I was in Dallas, training and just getting prepared.

Q. Do you get a sense of how much this team is expecting of you in the sense that you and Kayvon are five and seventh picks overall? Is there a sense of what is expected and what you are expecting of yourself?

A: The team expects me to go out there and do my job and I expect myself to do my best every day. In preparation, in the film room, and out there on the practice field. I expect a lot out of myself more than anybody else would expect out of me, that's for sure. There is a reason why they drafted us, so we are just going to take it day-by-day. At the end of the day, we are still young, we're rookies, we are still getting the hang of this process. I feel like so far, we've been doing a pretty good job.

Q. Right now where do you feel you are as far as the process of getting the hang of everything and getting in the mix of things and so on?

A: I'm just taking it day-by-day. I like to say I'm never going to be a finished product I just want to make sure I'm better than yesterday. At Alabama, Coach (Nick) Saban liked to say, "Out work yesterday." That's where I'm at really.

Q: What have you noticed from (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) over the period through OTA's and minicamps and now the beginning of camp?

A: Daniel is a great dude, a great teammate, a great guy to be around. He is a hard worker. Always in the weight room, a lot of times doing different mobility, core and stuff on his own. Flexing his shoulders and stretching his shoulders and stuff like that. On the field, he commands the huddle, and he does his best for the team. I'm extremely proud of him and grateful for him.

Q: A day like today when you look at the weather, in Alabama this is considered what?

A: California (laughs).

Q: You probably came outside today, and some guys think it's hot and you don't.

A: That's the thing about Tuscaloosa. August in Tuscaloosa, it is brutal. The heat index gets to 102, 103 degrees and the humidity for sure. I'm definitely grateful that I had the chance to go through Coach Saban's camp. That definitely hardened my steel.

Q: Do you think (Offensive Line Coach) Bobby Johnson would wear a sweatshirt down in Tuscaloosa?

A: Hey, not too many people are wearing sweatshirts in Tuscaloosa around this time of the summer. Unless they are trying to lose weight or something.
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