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Transcript: Tackle Evan Neal

Eric from BBI : Admin : 7/28/2023 7:08 pm
Tackle Evan Neal

Q: What did it mean for you to see (tackle) Andrew's (Thomas) extension? What can you tell us about him coming into work that day?

A: I saw him walk in with a three-piece suit so I kind of knew what time it was. Just extremely happy for him, he's came a long way through all the adversity, all the hard work he's put in. I can't think of anyone that is more deserving than him, so I am extremely happy for him.

Q: You talk so much about your stance and all of that throughout the offseason. Are you settled with that now and how much more comfortable are you being at right tackle now two years in a row?

A: I feel very comfortable. I felt great out there the past two days. Just going to use the rest of camp to continue to hone in on those skills, just make small improvements every single day. I feel like I am never going to be a finished product, I am just going to take each day to get better and better.

Q. Obviously, Andrew is a couple years ahead of you, right? Another first round pick. As good as he is and as good of a teammate as he is to you, is it sometimes difficult to always hear, 'Well Andrew did this in his second year, so we are expecting Evan to do this in his second year,' you know you are not the same person or the same player. How does that manifest itself with you? Is it really good but is there a little bit of a pressure that comes with it as well?

A: I don't think about that at all. Andrew Thomas is himself and I am Evan Neal. I'm just going to focus on being the best Evan Neal that I can be. Andrew is a great player and he's a great role model for me as well. I'm just going to continue to get better every single day and control what I can control.

Q. Does the fact that there is evidence from him of what can happen in year two, does that help you, motivate you, like there is a path there? Rookies are supposed to get better like he did.

A: Just to see somebody in your room make the improvements that he's made, especially in the same position group, it's just good to be around for sure, but I am confident in myself to make the jump that I need to because I know the work that I put in day in and day out. I'm just excited.

Q. What about the fact that he cashed in with a big contract, as a 24-year-old? That's a nice thing out there for a young player like you, right?

A: That's an extreme blessing for him (tackle Andrew Thomas) and his family. He's put the work in, he's put in the hours. He deserves every penny of it so I'm happy for him.

Q. I know camp's only a few days old and there is a long way to go, but as an offensive lineman do you start to get a feel for what this offense can be and particularly how explosive? If that line holds up for them, you've got some really explosive players on that offense this year.

A: Like you said, it still is early. We are only going on day three. We haven't even been in pads yet but as an offense we have been functioning really well from the way I see it as an offensive line. We have been practicing well so I feel like it's just us continuing to get better every single day and to make the small improvements. Those are going to add up and going to pay us off huge dividends in the long haul. I feel like the sky is the limit for our offense and our team.

Q. For you in particular, with some of the offseason work that you clearly did, do you just come into this camp with maybe a little more confidence?

A: The confidence has always been there. It's just a matter of the repetitions. This is year two. I've seen everything, I've been in the building for a while. I'm just going out there and doing what I have been doing my entire life which is playing football.

Q. Where did you improve the most last year in your opinion?

A: Like I said, it's still early man. We are still in training camp, but I definitely can say I am in a lot better shape, I feel a lot healthier. I'm a lot more comfortable in the offense as well for sure.

Q. What about your goals for improving? Where would you like to continue to excel?

A: In every facet of the game. Whether it's pass protections, run blocking, I want to be the absolute best that I can be and it's going to take one day at a time. Putting the work in one day at a time, that's what training camp is for and it's going to lead into the season.

Q. You just mentioned you're a lot healthier. People often forget that when a guy has an injury that they come back and play but they are not necessarily entirely healthy. How did you feel like you were playing? Did you feel like you were making a lot of progress last year before that MCL injury? Did that linger at all during the course of the season?

A: Last year was last year, man. I'm really focused on the 2023 season. I did feel like it made it more challenging for me because I had never got hurt during the season and had to play through it. So, I definitely feel like that was a factor but I'm not going to make any excuses. That's the past, we are in the present now.

Q. You put in all this offseason work; the pads are going on Tuesday. How eager are you to get that point of training camp?

A: I am extremely eager, but that day is going to get here when it gets here – so I'm just going to focus on practice today and just getting better today.

Q. Did you cut weight? How much weight did you cut getting in shape this offseason?

A: Probably about 10 or 15 pounds. I definitely put on more muscle and got more lean. I weighed in whenever we got here for training camp, I was 345. My final weight was 353, so I shed a few pounds, but I put on a lot more muscle for sure.

Q. What do you think you did differently in your regiment this offseason from a training standpoint to do that? Or did you just do more of what you already had been doing?

A: Pretty much just been doing more of what I've always been doing. I've always worked out hard, I've always trained extremely hard but one thing I can say is I was a lot more conscious about my diet. I hired a chef, and it was really helpful in terms of just what I was putting in my body. Just having meals there for me so that way I didn't have to think about eating, it was already there ready to go for me so that was a big help.
SFGFNCGiantsFan : 7/28/2023 7:11 pm : link
Per the beats, he had a solid practice this evening.
I'll cook for him  
Bill in UT : 7/28/2023 7:23 pm : link
if he's willing to eat Vietnamese and Mexican
I love our Tackles  
PatersonPlank : 7/28/2023 9:31 pm : link
Professional, dedicated, mature.

They are not these guys skimping on workouts, worrying more about their rap music (I'm looking at Toney here), etc. These guys come to work each day with a lunch box like the rest of us.
Shredding weight  
islander1 : 7/29/2023 10:21 am : link
Also, weighs nearly 350.

What an absolute unit.
Good kid  
Optimus-NY : 7/29/2023 1:29 pm : link
Proud of him. Now let's see performance on the field.
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