Is it tough to avoid boredom and to stay active in this type of environment? (David Ginsburg)
Chuck Clark: "I'll go first. No, not really. I'm just doing my home workouts. I have my little baby girl to keep me active, honestly. So, there's nothing really [boring] about that. [I'm] just staying active in the house, too – cleaning, cooking, playing card games."
Mark Andrews: "Right now, the only thing different for our lives in the offseason is just that we can't really go out and be going to gyms and working out. So, just staying active, going to work out by yourself or lifting weights by yourself at home and just enjoying family. Obviously, right now is a crazy, crazy time with this pandemic. [I'm] just finding time to work [on] our craft and realize that the football season will still come. Eventually, there's going to be football played, so [I'm] just staying ready."
Just wondering, what's your reaction to the TE Hayden Hurst trade? Obviously, you guys are close. What was your initial reaction? And what are your thoughts on potentially having an even bigger role in this offense? (Ryan Mink)
Andrews: "I think, first of all, it was kind of a shock for me. And selfishly, Hayden [Hurst] being one of my best friends and being someone that I talk to every day and I'm super close with, I'm sad. I'm sad that I won't be able to have him next year, I won't be able to talk to him next year as much, but I'm also excited for him. I'm excited for him to get more of an opportunity with Atlanta. I know that he's going to thrive there. He's a great player. I love him to death, but it's exciting for him as well. But, firstly, I'm sad. I know Nick [Boyle] is sad. The three-headed monster kind of got broken up a little bit, but again, we're going to be just fine. Nick and I, we'll do our jobs, and then, obviously, we're going to find someone else to help us out."
Are there any extra precautions or things you have to do as a Type-1 diabetic to ensure your safety? (Kyle Barber)
Andrews: "Yes, initially when all of this came out, my first question was, 'Are Type-1 diabetics more susceptible? Or does it affect them any differently?' And the word right now is that there's not too much more of a danger for me than [for] anybody else. So, just like everybody else, I'm staying smart, I'm staying inside, I'm social distancing myself from other people. That's all you can do. Everyone has to do their jobs and stay smart and listen to their health officials during this time, and I think we're going to be alright if we do that."
What do you think of the offseason moves that have been made on the defensive side? Obviously, getting DE Calais Campbell through a trade, and then DE Derek Wolfe yesterday? (Garrett Downing)
Clark: "Yes, I like them a lot. You hate to see guys go just because of the relationships you build with guys, but that's the nature of our game and the nature of the business. So, it looks like we're working to stop the run up front. We brought some big guys in, so I like it a lot."
Without TE Hayden Hurst in the fold, I'm not going to say, 'How much pressure does it put on you?' … But how does your line of thinking change going into the 2020 season as far as [having] one less tight end? (Shawn Stepner)
Andrews: "I'm someone that ... I don't think I'll ever change. I always have a big chip on my shoulder. I've always been someone to want to take the next step and be great each and every year and get better each and every year. I think I had a good year last year. It's all about improving on that. I don't feel extra pressure because Hayden [Hurst] is gone. Obviously, Hayden helped that group out a ton, but I feel like with the pieces that we have and everything that we're going to do moving forward, the coaches put me in great situations, and work ethic and mentality, I'll be just fine."
How do you feel about the possibility of the expansion of the playoffs and the regular season? (Jerry Coleman)
Clark: "For a lot of guys, looking at the extra game, guys don't want to play that – just speaking in general. And then you look at the expansion of the playoffs, you want teams in there that are actually – that [are] deserving of it. You look at the expansion of an extra team into the playoffs: Are they really deserving of it for their win and loss history throughout the season? It's kind of tough for both sides, but that's what it's going to be now. That's what we have to go in and rock with, so that's how it's going to be."
For you, as an athlete, what is the single biggest challenge you face with offseason conditioning during the quarantine? (Gerry Sandusky)
Andrews: "Well, I think the biggest thing right now for most everybody is finding a space to work out and not being around a trainer or around a bunch of other people that are working out. So, just realizing that you kind of have to do it on your own. You have to get back to the basics. I have, basically, a prison workout back in my back yard with a bench and weights, and then I go to the field by myself and run. So, I do things like that, but I'm just trying to limit the spread as much as possible, doing our part. But it takes a little bit different types of working out than what we're all used to."
When you think back to when you were preparing for the draft, and then you think about the current situation, how difficult would it be to be preparing for the draft under the current circumstances? (Childs Walker)
Clark: "I feel like it could be tough for a lot of guys right now just because it's a lot of unknowns. And, especially, I've seen how they're recording pro days now, and then they're sending it in to scouts. That could be tough as well, because you're not getting that in-person contact and interaction with the scouts to get feedback on how you're doing or where you could potentially land or anything like that. And then with the uncertainty of, 'Am I going to be able to fly in with this team and have a visit and meet those guys in their city and see what their team is about?' It can be tough for guys right now, honestly."
Andrews: "There's no doubt. I mean you see all these guys and what they're going through, and then when they get drafted, depending on where they go, they don't have as much information on all these people and all these kids that are going to get drafted. But, they're also put in a big disadvantage for ... They may not be able to do OTAs and things like that, so we'll see what's going to happen going forward."
I know you can't get together with your teammates like in years past. But have you been able to FaceTime any of your teammates and make sure you're on the same page when you are actually ready to get together? (Kirk McEwen)
Clark: "Yes, guys on, I'm sure, a bunch of different position groups have group text messages, and they're always talking here and there throughout the different times. But, right now, this has been tough. We don't know how long this will last or how far this will go through offseason workouts. We were just talking about it; [when] we'd be able to get our tools to study the playbook and watch different cutups of film. So, we just have to see how it goes as we move forward."
How big of a challenge do you think it would be to be ready for the regular season if you didn't have any OTAs or training camp? What are the challenges of that to get ready for a season? Do you feel like – and this would be league wide – that everybody just wouldn't be quite as sharp? (Ryan Mink)
Andrews: "Everyone, at the same time, is playing on the same playing field, so to speak. So, it may be different from years past, but I don't think anybody really knows what's going to happen. There's a ton of uncertainty right now with timelines and when people are going to report and when things are going to start up, so we're not sure at the moment. But at the end of the day, we're all going to be on the same playing field. We're all in this together, so there's no leg up in that sense. It may just be a little bit different in what happens going forward with training."
Have either of you really thought about the possibility that there could not be a season? Has that been in your mind at all? (Childs Walker)
Clark: "Yes, it crosses your mind, but at the end of the day, being a professional athlete, at some point this will all clear up and it will get better. When it's over, you're a professional athlete, and that's what you're asked to do. So, you have to be in tip-top shape to be ready to play. Given the situation and the circumstances that we're put in right now, like Mark [Andrews] just said, your opponent is in the same situation that you are, so we're all out there on the same playing field. We've all been through the same thing, so it's all up to you to train to get your work in and make sure you're ready."
Andrews: "Yes, I was just going to say, to piggyback off that, there's so much – again, like I said – there's so much uncertainty during this time. You look ahead and you ask yourself, 'Is there going to be football this season?' I don't think anybody knows. So, for a lot of the guys on the team – I'm sure Chuck [Clark] as well – it's about focusing on family right now and then just listening to all your health officials. Knowing that everybody is in this together, everyone's going to help fight this virus together, so that's where our minds are going to be at right now. We're not sure what's going to happen, but we have to focus on the things that matter. That's family and social distancing and being smart."
Do you feel like you guys could have somewhat of a leg up on other teams around the NFL because both coordinators are returning? And it's not like you have some kind of system overhaul? (Ryan Mink)
Andrews: "Yes, I think having coaches return is definitely important. Obviously, there are a ton of guys on the team that already know the system, the schemes and whatnot. It definitely helps, but we're all professionals and even the guys that have new coaches and things like that, those guys are going to get that playbook down as fast as they can. That's our job."
Mark, you come from a medical family. You have a couple of doctors in your family and a dentist. How much are you leaning on them for any insight as far as what this is, how long the coronavirus is going to last and [what] impact it could have on your life and career? (Gerry Sandusky)
Andrews: "The thing about it is those doctors, nurses, dentists – those people are on the front lines, and they're having to deal with this virus every day. They're going in there, and they have their families that they have to worry about, and they're helping people. So, I just want to first say thank you to all of them. I know that's not an easy thing to do, but like you said, my dad being a doctor, my brother, I've been able to ask them some questions. But again, there's a lot of uncertainty about what's going on, and that's the scary part about it. That's why we have to listen to our health officials and do that sort of thing. But I just want to say thank you to all those people, because those people are fighting for us."
With all of these restrictions, are you using teleconferences for doctor visits? How are you handling your diabetes and talking to your doctor? (Ximena Lugo Latorre)
Andrews: "Right now, luckily I had one [doctor's appointment] right before I left Baltimore, I saw a doctor, but I've been in contact through text with my doctor just to make sure everything's good. So, nothing's changed too much in that sense just yet. We'll see when I have to take a doctor's visit and see what I do, but right now it's just been texting back and forth, normal stuff. It's all been good in that sense."
Are you doing anything to prepare for the upcoming opponents? (Ximena Lugo Latorre)
Andrews: "Yes, I think just doing what we do every offseason, [which] is working out. Sticking to the grind, trying to get better. It's all about improving each and every year, and taking that next step, and having that in the back of your mind while you're working out. Knowing the things that you need to work on and improve on and then get better at the things you're already good at. That's what it's all about, and that's what we're doing right now. It's no different than any other offseason in that aspect."
Do you have any ideas for what kind of exercise or activities we can do from home? (Ximena Lugo Latorre)
Andrews: "Yes, you know, living in Arizona I'm blessed with great weather. You see people all the time taking runs, going for a walk, bike riding, just getting outdoors. That's the main thing, experience the outdoors [and] enjoying it. We've been dealt with these cards where we have to stay home and self-isolate, but that doesn't mean you can't go outside and be active."
Chuck, how much have you sunk your teeth into fatherhood now that it's offseason? (Bobby Trosset)
Clark: "Man, I'm deep in it now. I'm watching my little girl and she's getting older; she's getting more advanced. She's just rolling around on the floor. At one [moment] she'll be somewhere, and the next time you look up she'll be on the other side of the room, just rolling and getting into everything. It's amazing though, just being able to have this time right now to be able to be home with her and my family as well, and just to be able to cherish these moments right now."
Chuck, what are the conversations you're having with your family? (Ximena Lugo Latorre)
Clark: "The main thing right now is making sure me and my wife we both stay safe. We go out and get the things we need as far as groceries, but that's about it. We try to do as little contact with other people right now, just because we do have a child and you don't want to spread it to her. And then ultimately you don't know – when you see these past cases – some [people] don't even show symptoms, so you never know. We're just trying to limit our exposure, do the things that we need to do if we do have to leave the house, and that's it."
What activities are you doing personally? Are you reading books, watching TV? (Ximena Lugo Latorre)
Clark: "Yes, recently we've been doing a lot of cleaning up around the house. I've been playing cards a lot, getting in my garage workouts. Just staying active in the house, not just sitting around. I feel like any professional athlete, they won't allow themselves to just sit around and chill like that. I feel like I've got to get up and do some kind of workout, even if you just start making up stuff. On my Facebook profile, on my account the other day, I posted a video and I was just showing different workouts from different people. Regardless of your expertise at it, different modifications for different people, so I posted that out there and people can go check that out as well."
There is a lot of fear out there for the pandemic, so what is the best thing you can say to people who are afraid of this situation right now? (Ximena Lugo Latorre)
Clark: "I feel like the best thing right now is stay informed, but don't stay on social media all day, constantly looking at different negative things that can stunt your mind all day and make you more fearful about what's going on and everything. I guess the best thing to say is inform yourself about what is going on and know that people out here are being impacted, are losing loved ones from this. And to be mindful and be respectful, follow the guidelines that are being put in place by your state, and let's just all get over this together."
Do you guys feel fortunate in the respect that unlike the other sports leagues your season hasn't begun yet and hasn't been disrupted? But on the other end, what type of assurances would you need to feel comfortable returning to a stadium with fans? (Jerry Coleman)
Clark: "Yes, that would be tough to start a season and then midway through be cut or end, and not knowing the possibility of when you're possibly going to come back. That could definitely be tough. But as far as moving forward and playing games, nobody knows what's going to go on, what's going to come from this. I would love to be able to play in a stadium again where fans are in there. That's what we all live for – whether it's basketball, baseball, football or hockey – playing in front of a crowd. And then even for the fans, for their enjoyment and having fun. So, I would definitely love that, but as far as things moving forward, you never know."
Andrews: "Chuck definitely hit that right on the head. No one knows at this point. It's all to be determined, but those other sports that are dealing with this, it's super tough. I can't imagine being in that position. It's not a normal time – nothing is really normal right now. That's just what is going to happen, and hopefully those seasons can pick back up soon."
On that note, being that there is no March Madness, no NBA, no NHL, golf tournaments, etc. What are you missing the most? (Bobby Trosset)
Andrews: "I love watching NBA basketball, watching obviously when the playoffs come around. That's my favorite time to be able to watch that and watch those competitors go at it in a seven-game series. But just being able to miss sports … I miss it, I miss watching it, watching those competitors go at it. Obviously, when you're not playing, you've got to find that somewhere and obviously it's not going on right now. So, for me, that's probably the toughest part."
Clark: "Yes, I would say the same, basketball as well. But then also, we haven't gotten into it yet, the spring and summer, but hopefully we'll be able to get back outside and enjoy the spring and summer as well."
There are a lot of players that are playing Madden. Are you playing Madden? (Ximena Lugo Latorre)
Clark: "Yes, I'll be on Madden every now and then. If anybody wants to run it, we can run it." (laughter)
Andrews: "I'm going to let Chuck take that one. I'm on Call of Duty right now. Still playing some video games."
Are you planning to do any videos that we can look at you when you're playing Madden? (Ximena Lugo Latorre)
Clark: "I don't have all that set up right now, but I can get that stuff, figure out who I'm going to play and get up there and bust somebody on the game." (laughter)
The offseason workout program would have started three weeks from today, so sort of a two-part question: Have you been told what is going to be possible in terms of your communication with coaches and strength coaches? And how can you guys maybe help new players to the team, rookies or free agents, since they likely won't get a normal offseason with the team? (Aaron Kasinitz)
Andrews: "Nothing specific about talking with coaches or strength coaches just yet. I don't know the rules on that, or what's going to happen with that. So, I'm not sure with that, but when guys get in and start drafting guys, obviously the people that know the playbook and know the system, or what's going on, it's going to be our jobs if we're not there to help these guys out and help bring them along. At the end of the day, we've got to expect the season to go on, and we've got to get our guys up to speed. That's what it's all about, is getting everyone on the same page."