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Hakeem Nicks Transcript, 07.29.12

RE: Being on the sideline due to injury and not being able to practice…

A: I’m just trying to see what I can do to help the other guys get the job done out there, until I’m ready to get back out there.

Q: Is frustrated maybe a better word? Or antsy?

A: You could say antsy. I’m ready to get back at it, and I feel like I need to be out there with the guys. I’m just following the instructions of the team doctors and the team trainers.

Q: Is everything going the way you hoped it would so far?
A: Yeah, definitely. There are definitely no setbacks. Everything is going the way we planned, so we’re just sticking to the things that the doctors and trainers told us.

Q: Have you started running, or anything?
A: Yes. I started running already.

Q: On grass? Or on the field?
A: On the field.

Q: How did it feel?
A: It felt pretty good. There weren’t any setbacks. I did more gradually as the weeks go on, days go on. So, I just want to keep doing what I’m doing.

Q: You haven’t started cutting or anything, have you?
A: I haven’t started cutting yet. In the next couple of days, we’ll see what the trainers decide.

Q: But they have a pretty good grasp on if you’re doing too much? I mean, you see these guys out there, and it gets a little tempting.
A: Yeah, it definitely gets tempting. There’s no question about it. But, I’m just sticking to the script like they said. I definitely want to be out there, but we gotta do the right thing and be smart about it.

Q: Their timetable said you could be back about mid-August. When you look at the date, does that sound about right to you?
A: Yeah. That sounds about right. That’s what they’re saying. I’m seeing a doctor today about it. Everything looks good, so we’re just going to keep taking it day-to-day and hope for the best.

Q: Are there any concerns about when you come back, that you’ll have to miss some pre-season games and getting your timing right with Eli?
A: I don’t think that there will be any concerns. I know Eli and he knows me. It’s just a matter of making sure that I’m in game shape, so I don’t come back and have any other little nagging injuries.

Q: You haven’t been able to run as much as you normally would. Is off-season conditioning something that you’re worried about?
A: I don’t think that it’s anything to worry about. But to get back in football shape, you gotta be playing football and getting all of these reps. So when I get back out there, the first week back, I might be a little breath taken. It’s nothing I can’t handle.

Q: Hakeem, how does the foot feel? Is there any pain, or anything?
A: There’s no pain right now. I ran on it before. It’s responded very well. There’s no pain, it’s just a matter about being smart about it.

Q: Hakeem, you mentioned helping out the younger guys. What do you think of this wide receiving group as a whole?
A: I think we’re a very talented group. We can go out there, and do the same things, if not better than last season. Guys are focused, guys are determined. The guys are ready to take on a new role this year. Whether it be a leader, or coming in to make big time catches in clutch situations. Guys are looking forward to making a step.

Q: Hakeem, what kind of receiver do you think Randle is going to be?
A: I think he’s going to be a playmaker. I see flashes of great things. He has strong hands, he runs good routes, and he’s ready to go out there and play. You can see it in his eyes.

Q: You got a lot of national attention last year, especially in the playoffs, Hakeem. What do you expect out of yourself for this season?
A: Nothing less. I want to pick up where I left off. Contribute to the team in the best way possible. Just do the best that I can do.

Q: How about the start of the camp for Jernigan? It seems like he’s kind of showing, maybe what some people thought he would show last year?
A: Yeah, definitely. He’s definitely showing flashes, doing what he needs to do. Being open on routes, and getting timing down with Eli. He’s definitely showing some good flashes.

Q: Since you’re on the sidelines watching, do you join in the Cruz chants when he makes that catch?
A: Cruz definitely is doing his job. There’s great confidence in our offense, as a pair of wide receivers who go out there and make plays. We just have to keep on doing that, and keep focus.

Q: How does he look to you so far this training camp, compared to last year? Do you think he’s made even more strides in his game?
A: Definitely. He works hard. He makes sure his time is down with Eli. He likes to be out there on the practice field every day. He’s determined to get better.

Q: Were you surprised with what you’ve seen from him?
A: I wouldn’t say surprised, because I’ve been in touch with him throughout the break. I came back a little earlier, and started running with him. So I had an idea. I just wanted to take it a little slower. So I wasn’t surprised. It’s just what I had to do, and it’s pretty much day-to-day.

Q: Does the (Muhammed) Ali hat have any special significance?
A: It’s one of my favorite hats. He’s the champ. We’re the champs.