1. First of all, how much does going to Delaware help you get targets from Joe Flacco?
“Ummmm, maybe one percent. [laughs] He’s a good enough quarterback to know that if you’re open, you’re going to get the ball. If you’re not, you’re not. So I don’t know that me going to Delaware helps with that.”
2. You’re often referred to as a blocking tight end. How much pride do you take in doing the dirty work?
“As long as I do it well, I think it’s satisfying. Football is not a fun sport if you’re not playing well and you’re getting kicked around out there. But if you’re dominating the opponent, it’s a satisfying feeling.”
What’s the hardest assignment you’ve ever gotten?
“It’s a hard question. I can’t really think of one off the top of my head. They’re all different assignments and it really differs week to week. I don’t think any of them are a particularly easy assignment."
3. Do you sometimes look at yourself as a sixth offensive lineman?
“If I’m thought of that that way in the run game, that’s a positive. In the pass game, it’s also great. I take it as a complement to be spoken about that way.”
4. How has your job changed with Lamar Jackson under center?
“It’s changed in different ways where there’s a little more moving in the offense for us. There’s a little more motioning and wrinkles to the offense. It’s not just straight-up plays. We’re reading guys, looking around guys, having more second-level blocks. I just think there’s more things to do with Lamar in there. As long as you play more, you like it. I’ve been playing a decent amount, so I like it.”
5. Do you think his style and more run-pass option plays make a tight end like you more valuable?
“I think it gives me more things to do, but I don’t think it makes me more valuable. I think I’m valuable in any offense; I like to think that kind of way. But, sure, it gives you more to do on the field in certain situations.”
6. Would you rather a 20-yard catch or pancaking a guy?
“It would probably be pancaking a guy. It’s more satisfying overpowering someone else. Catching is cool, but it’s not like you dominated anyone. Maybe you beat a guy on a route when he was trying to cover you, but I don’t know that you physically dominated the other guy.”
7. How much does the fact that you don’t have an NFL touchdown yet bother you?
“I don’t think it bothers me. I wouldn’t say that. I would say people around me saying it bothers me bothers me more. [laughs] As long as I’m out there playing well on the plays that are called, I think I’m satisfied as a player. Scoring a touchdown would be cool, and whenever it comes, it comes. But it’s not something I really think about. But, yeah, I had one called back against Buffalo. I had one on the 1-yard line. It’s like a curse or something.”
8. What’s the hardest part of your job that people may not understand?
“I would say the amount of studying and time you spend not at work preparing for an opponent. I do a lot of that. A lot of people see you out on the field and know you go to practice, but they don’t see all the meeting times, they don’t see all the preparation you do at home. If you miss a certain detail, it’s critical and then the coaches will get on you. People don’t see that. They think you’re just out there playing football for fun. It’s a fun sport and obviously we’re lucky to do it, but I would say it’s the preparation that goes on behind the scenes.”
9. You’ve shown a knack for jumping over guys after catches. Did you ever do any hurdling?
“No. [laughs] The first time I did it was my junior year in college versus Navy and I fumbled, actually. I cleared the guy and someone else came out of nowhere and hit me. I attribute it to skateboarding back when I was little. To hurdle somebody, you have to jump high enough, but you really have to bring your legs up with you. I think that’s the key to it. All the tricks I used to do, it’s really a pretty close resemblance. You’re not necessarily jumping up that high, but you pick your feet up with you. I was a pretty good skateboarder when I was younger.”
10. Skateboarder as a kid … so what do you like to do off the field now?
“I like to hang out with my wife. I love to walk my dogs and hang out with my two dogs, fish, and play videos games.”
Do you enjoy walking your dogs even when it’s this cold out?
“Yeah, I love my dogs so much. I feel like it’s unfair to not walk them. I love those dogs."