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Mark Herzlich Transcript, 07.29.12

Q: Can you talk about the play you made yesterday?

A: Yes, I matched the tight end to the corner. It was kind of my man, so I went out there and Justin Tryon was with me. We made a play on the ball and then the ball kind of bounced around a little bit and I was able to pull it in and get my feet in bounds, so it was a good play. It was kind of one of those things when the ball has to bounce the right way and you have to make a play at the time.

Q: If that was Victor Cruz the crowd would’ve gone crazy and started chanting his name, but no chants for you?

A: You know what, that’s all right. I chant for Cruz too when he makes good plays.

Q: But does his chant for you when you make good plays?

A: Yes, we’re all a big team, a big family. I don’t think there’s a lot of Herz chants going on but he’ll give me a high five or something when I get off the field.

Q: You’ve got to get that BC crowd down here?

A: Yes I know. We’ve got to get those guys. They know how to chant my name.

Q: What did those two games that you started last year do for you? What did that do for your confidence and knowing what you could do while you were out there?

A: It definitely let me know that I’m able to play at this level, and that I’m able to succeed and play well at this level. I think that playing in those two games was a great experience and confidence builder for me because everybody tells you that game speed is a lot faster than practice speed. Just going out there and knowing what it was like to play in a big game and on a big stage, you get confidence that builds up for the next year.

Q: The competition at linebacker is intense. There’s so many of you guys out there, do you guys talk about that? Do you guys feel like there’s a chance that one of us may not be here at the end of camp?

A: Again it’s a numbers game and we have ten linebackers right now, and not too many teams take ten linebackers; so it’s really about doing everything we can on the field to get better and then doing the best we can in the preseason games to get good film out there. That way if someone does leave the team then hopefully they will get picked up by someone else.

Q: How closely do you monitor the competition for the linebacker job? You’ve got Chase, it seems like that’s a pretty tight group, and you were both starters at one point?

A: It’s something that just kind of falls into place. We try to do the best we can, we encourage each other and learn from each other, I think that’s how the whole linebacker room works really. Chips will fall where they may and we root for the best for each other.

Q: There’s a possibility that if you didn’t get hurt than Chase would’ve never come back and you would be slated in as the starting linebacker for this camp, right?

A: It’s all hypothetical, but yes that could be possible.

Q: Is it a little strange for you to think about this team, which was 7-7 and then had this great run while you weren’t playing. It must have been frustrating. You see this team going this way and you’re watching?

A: Yes, well you never want to watch a Super Bowl and be on the sideline, so that definitely motivated me to come back and be stronger and faster than I was the previous year. Watching the Super Bowl was an amazing feeling; I think watching the rest of the playoff games were tough for me because you want to be out there, you want to be playing in those big games. The Super Bowl is the Super Bowl, so you’re there and you’re loving it no matter what. Still, being on that field is a goal for me, and I think it’s a goal for the team to get there again.

Q: Do you let yourself play in your head, situations like if I didn’t get hurt then I would’ve been in the middle of this whole great run –?

A: No, I don’t do what ifs. There are too many instances in my life when I could go back and say what if, what if. What if I didn’t get sick? What if I didn’t get hurt? That’s not how you move forward, so I don’t do that at all.

Q: You talked about getting quicker, did you slim down a little bit?

A: I’m about the same weight but I think I’ve lost some body fat, so I’m feeling a lot faster and quicker out there.

Q: Did you do anything special in the offseason?

A: I changed my diet. I started doing a modified paleo diet, which is kind of just a caveman diet; so I started eating a lot of nuts and berries and cut a lot of dairy out of my diet. I incorporated some crossfit workouts with my powerlifting, so it builds your endurance and builds your explosion a little bit.