Weston Richburg is moving back to his natural center position for the New York Giants this season after spending his rookie year at left guard. Richburg joined Pat Traina (Bleacher report/Inside Football) and myself for a training camp interview that is a prominent part of this week's 'Big Blue Chat' podcast.
Richburg admitted that he has "a little 'boss' in me" and that he enjoys the leadership aspect of playing center. Here is part of our session with Richburg, which you can hear in its entirety by listening to the podcast. The questions are paraphrased somewhat, the answers are not.
Q: Pat Flaherty said you've got a little "Boss man" in you. How do you react to that?
Richburg: "I love playing the position. First off it's a leadership role and I think I can be a leader for the team. That gives me more of an opportunity to have kind of a vocal role. I do think I have a little ‘boss' in me. I enjoy kind of directing things, getting things started, communicating with Eli and kind of being in control."
Q: How difficult was it as a rookie to hold back?
Richburg: "It was difficult. Sometimes you feel like you couldn't speak up because you are a rookie and in this league you've gotta earn your stripes. That's why I said being a center kind of gives me a head start in a leadership role. It's a central position where people really have to listen to me. I'm kinda using that control tempo, get guys going, motivate ‘em, just be an overall leader."
Q: What do you see in Ereck Flowers and how has he handled the situation?
Richburg: "I think he's handled it well. He's been thrown into the fire just like I was, just like Pugh was. He probably got thrown in earlier than either of us. I think he's a tremendous athlete, real strong. I think we're gonna see some great things from him. We've just gotta get our communication right, make sure he knows what he's doing every play so we can depend on him to get the job done, which he will."
Q: Do you rely on the 2008 guys at all? They are around a lot.
"I've talked to everybody but Kareem McKenzie I think. When you think offensive line you think of guys like that. They played like that and that was really cool when you were watching them just to see how they play. Sometimes it wasn't always pretty, but they were goin' hunting somebody down trying to hit somebody keep ‘em off the quarterback or spring the running back. That's the attitude we're trying to emulate. If we can become anything close to what they were that's the goal.
"It's cool to have guys like that around so you can bounce things off of ‘em. They're all really willing to share stuff with us, too."
Q: Is attitude really what is going to separate the good from the best?
Richburg: "I would rather have guys with me who have the attitude than guys who have really good talent and no attitude at all. I think that's a huge part of it. Once we get full pads we're gonna work on having that attitude and really work on taking it upon ourselves up front to really get the offense going. That's something I don't know if we had that much last year. That's something we definitely want to work on this next season."
Q: When you see Odell and Victor on the field does that get you excited about the offense for the coming season?
Richburg: "Oh definitely. Odell is one of the best athletes I've ever see in my life. Victor's obviously a tremendous receiver and you've got Eli, who's one of the best, so having those guys that's so valuable for us. Now it's our job to protect Eli and get the run game going so we can have a well-oiled machine going."
Q: What kind of scouting report can you give us on the defense?
Richburg: "They're swarming the ball, I can tell that. I feel like it's more excitement from those guys from their standpoint. I hear a lot of communication from them, which is great. They do move around a lot, we're making adjustments, that kinda can throw a kink in things sometimes. I'm excited. coach Spags had a lot of success in the past with the Gants. I'm excited to see those guys come out and play some ball.
Q: You have high expectations? How much difference do you want to see in yourself by the end of this training camp?
Richburg: "I want to see some tremendous growth. It's already been so much better than last year. I don't want to get complacent. I want to continue to get better, continue to learn, continue to improve myself, my craft. That's gonna be my goal from this point forward. It's always getting better, never getting complacent."
Pat and I also discussed our impressions on both sides of the ball after the first three days of training camp. Be sure to give the show a listen and, as always, let us know what you think.