Tight End Daniel Bellinger
June 14, 2023
Q. What did you do this off-season?
DANIEL BELLINGER: Yeah, I mean, this off-season compared to last, I'm not focusing on the combine and stuff like that. I was able to focus on more weightlifting, just getting better. Of course, there's a picture out there, that’s why I had to hide them today (laughs). But just really focused on getting better.
Q. Did you change the weight, or did you put on weight or what?
DANIEL BELLINGER: It was a mix of obviously working out. But nutrition, focusing more on that. Everybody's like, ‘Oh, did you gain weight?’ Realistically I'm the same weight if not a little bit lighter. Just more muscle and less fat. It's a good thing.
Q. What was your reaction when they got Darren (Waller)?
DANIEL BELLINGER: Actually, I was initially excited about it. He's one of the best tight ends in this league. In my personal opinion, he’s top three, and not three. He's not just a great overall player, he's a great guy. I'm excited to learn from him. When we first got him, I was already watching film on him before we got him. Then (Tight Ends Andy Bischoff) Coach Bisch had a relationship with him before that. I had a good talk with him before, got to connect with him, just learning a lot from him.
Q. What have you learned so far?
DANIEL BELLINGER: A lot of different things I can see on film, how he attacks guys leverage-wise on defense, stuff like that. Things I could see off film, but now I could actually pick his brain, really talk and sit down, what were you thinking on this play, things like, that where I could see his thought process on a play.
Q. Do you expect your targets to go down this year given he is such a prolific receiver?
DANIEL BELLINGER: Honestly, I'm not even worried about it. I'm going to do what I can to help the team win. He's a unicorn of a player. Whatever it takes to help us win, whether that’s if I get more or less, doesn't matter to me, whatever helps.
Q. You mentioned more muscle and less fat. Do you know what percentage of increase?
DANIEL BELLINGER: You have to ask the strength guys on that. I don't know what it is. Definitely more muscle.
Q. Do you feel different?
DANIEL BELLINGER: I feel better. I feel better running. Altogether I feel healthier.
Q. Do larger biceps help in any football capacity?
DANIEL BELLINGER: I wouldn't say so, besides just cameras (laughs). Not really. Just the strength side of it.
Q. What was your first reaction when you saw that picture?
DANIEL BELLINGER: I was like that's some really good lighting (laughter). The camera guy got me right on that one.
Q. It wasn't a purposeful flex or anything like that?
DANIEL BELLINGER: No, not at all.
Q. Did you have to do anything with your eye in the off-season?
DANIEL BELLINGER: I had to check in with the doctor here and there, just make sure everything is good. Things that aren't easy to tell, like inside the eye and everything. Everything's been good thankfully. Definitely blessed with that part of it. Just still periodically checking in with the doctor, but it's been good.
Q. There’s no…
DANIEL BELLINGER: No worries, yeah. Just keep checking up to make sure. So far, no worries.
Q. Did you go to Tight End University this year?
DANIEL BELLINGER: It's coming up this next week. Excited for that. Get with those guys, (49ers tight end) George (Kittle) and those boys. Excited for it.
Q. When you go there, do you have a plan of what you want to accomplish there?
DANIEL BELLINGER: Yeah. Really, it's the same thing I do with Darren. Just sit down with those guys and, again, pick their brain. I can watch their film all day, kind of try to mimic what they do on the field. At the same time, I have to kind of create my own way of doing it. Really just trying to think about how they think and their process when they're on the field before play.
Q. With Darren, do you find in conversations with him, even about football, that he puts in some life lessons?
DANIEL BELLINGER: Absolutely. He's a spiritual guy. I see myself as a spiritual guy. It's kind of cool connecting him in that way. He's a big relationship guy, too. He definitely works to get to know you as well as learn football.
Q. After you got hurt, you wore a shield. Are you going to continue to wear the shield? Have you looked into different shields?
DANIEL BELLINGER: Yeah, at the end of last year, I kind of played around with it, the darker visor, the clear visor. I think I'm definitely going to go with the shield this year, just to take another safety precaution. Definitely don't want another one of those. Yeah, I'll probably wear the shield. I'll play around with it, see how it goes. I like the darker one because it helps the eye a little bit, especially with brighter settings and stuff. We'll see how it goes throughout the year.