Q: How disappointed were you to hear about Terrell (Thomas) and the news there?
A: I actually heard from a couple teammates, but very disappointed. He was always doing extra work maintenance on his leg. Just to see something happen like that is kind of discouraging. The team is still with him, and he always fully supports the team in going through his rehab. It’s just a very bad situation.
Q: We talked to you the other day about what you need to do in your second year, needing to make that progression. How much more does the urgency go up, given that news now?
A: My goal in playing is still the same. It’s just to come in and compete for a starting spot. I know nothing is going to be given to me, it’s just something that I need to earn.
Q: When Jerry Reese says "He needs to play like a first-round draft pick," what’s your reaction?
A: I just take it as an encouragement. That’s something that he told me to my face last year, just going on through games. I always have high expectations for myself, so it’s nothing new, I just take it as encouragement.
Q: What leads you to believe you’re ready for the role it looks you are going to have to take with this team?
A: My goals in playing are still the same. Still to come in and compete for a starting spot. My mentality was to do everything I can, 100 percent, and build that trust for the coaches in me. Nothing changes.
Q: You practiced with the 1’s (first-team) on Monday, How did you think things went? Seems like you were playing well out there.
A: Yeah, I did go with the 1’s. Made a couple of plays. There’s still a lot that I need to work on. You just go back into the film room and correct it.
Q: Have you talked to Terrell at all since the news came out?
A: No, he came in after he went into the doctor, but not a lot was said.
Q: What’s a priority for you to work on knowing that you may have a bigger role coming?
A: I guess just continue to do what I’m doing, and that’s making plays on the ball. Showing the coaches that I know what I’m doing out there.
Q: When Jerry says what he says, can that be a motivation, be a challenge, how would you describe it?
A: I just take it as an encouragement. It’s always great to hear someone in your organization saying encouraging stuff like that. That’s how I took it. I didn’t take it an as insult or anything. He’s been telling me that to my face since games last year, and it’s definitely just encouraging.
Q: Does your mentality change when a guy gets injured, do you have to keep the same mentality?
A: No, not my mentality. My mentality has always been the same. That’s just to come in and do everything I can to set myself up with a great opportunity to start for this team. I think I’m doing that so far, just by what I’m doing on the field, and showing it in film room.