Transcripts: Monday Podium Transcripts

OLB Tyus Bowser

On if he feels different this year: “Yes, I feel different with the opportunity coming through and having the chance to go out there and show what I can do. This year has definitely been exciting for me to go out there and show what I can do.”

On if he feels he has solidified his spot on the roster: “There is always work to be done. I’m never satisfied, and that’s always been my mindset. My mindset is just to go out there each and every day and continue to work to get to that spot. I don’t think I’m there, yet, but it’s always good to have stuff to work on. That’s been my mindset.”

On what he had to work on, specifically, coming into training camp: “Just being able to set a good edge, being stronger, working as far as my pass rush. That’s been the main thing, getting to the passer and really going out there and playing fast. In my opinion, I’ve been out there a couple of times being timid, but it’s good to go out there and have the plays out there to make yourself comfortable. That’s been really big for me.”

On the key to not playing timid: “I feel like it’s just reps, getting a feel for the game. Last year, not having as many plays as I did … Well, as I had beforehand, especially with preseason, just playing a lot more … Guys being able to get the feel for the game a lot more, being out there, seeing how guys set and the pace of the game … When you’re going out there for one or two plays, you don’t really get a solid feel for it. Preseason has really been big for me, as far as getting that pace of the game right and getting a feel for it so I can go out there and not be timid, and just go out there and play my game.”

On what is difficult about setting the edge: “Mainly, it’s just technique and being able to have the strength to be able to hold the edge. You’re going against guys like Orlando Brown. Those are big guys that you have to really hold and anchor down to keep the edge tight. So, [it’s about] just really working on my technique, attacking that block and being able to keep my eyes outside and make sure nothing comes outside of me.”

*On if he has confidence in the pass rush production despite the loss of defensive veterans this offseason: *“Of course. With me, Tim [Williams], Shane Ray out there, [Matthew] Judon coming off a really good season, especially ‘Phee’ [Pernell McPhee] and where he’s come from and what he’s done, putting himself in this position, I definitely feel like it’s a reloading type of year – just going out there and having guys who are hungry to go out there and get to the quarterback. I’m definitely confident in our pass rushing group, along with our D-line. So, I feel like it’s going to be a really good year.”

On if hearing questions and criticism about the pass rush is a motivator: “Yes, of course. You always want to prove others wrong when they feel like they’re not confident in what you can do or within the group. It’s always something that you … It’s like a chip on your shoulder to go out there and show those guys wrong, and also, show yourself right and prove yourself right and those who believe in you that you can go out there and rush the passer.”

*On what he meant when he previously told media how he looks back on hard times from various points in his life to motivate himself: *“Just the times where it was kind of hard for me to get myself going or when I had a bad game, or I wasn’t as sure or as confident as I was before, just using those times to motivate you and understand that you’re going to have those times. All you have to do is go out there and play your game. That’s kind of what I’m trying to get back to. It’s really just going out there, playing fast and knowing that you’ve been through worse times, and you can really go out there and know what they expect. When you do see it, when it does come around, it’s not going to faze you. You just move that past and you just keep playing, keep moving forward.”

*On if he feels like he underperformed during his first few years in the NFL: *“No, I don’t feel like I underperformed. I go out each and every day playing as hard as I can. All I can do is control what I can control. The plays that I did play, I went out there and tried to do the best that I could. Of course, I’m going to make mistakes. I’m going to go out there, and not everybody is perfect, so you’re going to have those times. For me, I definitely know each and every time I did go out there, I went out and played as fast as I could, worked as hard as I could to help that defense do what was needed to win the game.”

WR Miles Boykin

*On what has surprised him the most about the NFL game: *“How good everybody is. They tell you that before you get here, but it’s one thing to see it for yourself. Every time you step out on that field, you realize you’re playing with the best of the best. There’s really no such thing as ‘off days’ for people out there on that field. Every time you step on that field, everyone is going 100 percent. Everyone is trying to win a job or keep a job. It’s been awesome from that standpoint.”

*On if he has noticed the differences in speed and intensity going from practice to preseason games: *“Yes, and it’s been kind of weird to see even with the first week of training camp versus the second week versus the third week. The first week, the vets are kind of just getting into it, working their bodies into it. Second week, same thing. Third week, they’re full force, hitting everything like that. It’s cool to see from that standpoint, too. They know how to manage their bodies and manage the game the right way.”

*On being able to see game action with WR Marquise Brown: *“Yes, it was cool. At one point, it was Trace [McSorley], me, Justice [Hill] and ‘Hollywood’ [Marquise Brown] in the huddle. We looked at each other like, ‘Shoot, hopefully five, six years from now, we’re going to say this is the first game that we all played together.’ It was cool from that standpoint. Obviously, you came in with that draft class, so you know those guys pretty well. We have great friendships, so anytime you have that type of chemistry that steps onto the field, it’s going to work for everybody.”

*On what WR Marquise Brown has been like waiting for his return to the field: *“I think he’s just been anxious, as anybody else would be in that situation, [when] they tell you that you have to take a couple months off from your job, from your love. He’s been anxious to get back on the field, and now that he’s back on the field, he’s been doing his thing.”

*On if his dropped passes concern him: *“No, because this is new to me. At the same time, I understand that I have to get better each and every day. Drops happen, I understand that. But for me, that’s unacceptable, especially for the way that I’ve played my whole career. The biggest thing for me is just getting back to the fundamentals, and that’s what I plan on doing. We have almost two weeks before we play Miami, so just until then, [I’m] just kind of harping on my fundamentals, my mechanics, and just doing what I know how to do and just going out there and just playing.”

*On if he can build on big preseason plays going into the regular season: *“Not as much as I want to, because once again, it’s preseason. It’s a whole other thing once the actual games start. For me, the biggest thing is watching film, working my technique, still continuing to learn the playbook and just getting more comfortable every time I step onto the field.”

*On if he will continue to be physical after the catch like he did on his catch against the Eagles, or if he will step out of bounds more: *“No. Of course, ‘Hollywood [Marquise Brown] asked me, ‘Why didn’t you just shake him or something like that?’ (laughter) I’m like, ‘Hollywood, I’m not 5-9! I’m not your size.’ (laughter) I just have to put my shoulder into them. I’m not his size. So, I had to go out there and just put my shoulder down. That’s been my mentality ever since I was at Notre Dame – just finish the play. No matter what it is, I’m not going to step out of bounds.”

*On if there is reassurance when his natural play measures up to the talent in the NFL: *“Absolutely, just going out, joint practices as well and preseason games, you’re playing against people who have obviously played games in the NFL. From that standpoint, when you watch the film, I’ve been getting open. Some plays I haven’t made, some plays I have. The biggest thing is that I know I can get open in this league, I know I can catch the ball in this league, I know I can play in this league now.”

*On how much the secondary tells him about how he can improve: *“Yes, all the time. Brandon Carr and Jimmy Smith always pull me aside and say, ‘Listen, you should do this,’ or, ‘That was a good move. I thought you were going to do this, and you did something else.’ That’s been cool to see with the vets, obviously, and that’s something that you don’t see a lot. I’m playing with people who have been in the league for a long time, and they tell me what’s working, what they’ve seen. From that standpoint, I try to take knowledge from everybody that’s out on that field.”

*On his expectation for the season after taking reps with the first team: *“Just to play whatever role they need me to play. I want to go in there and do great things for the team, but no matter what role I’m in, I’m going to help the team win.”

*On if his aim is to be a starter as a rookie: *“Not for me. My aim is to help the team any way I can. If it’s a starter, then that’s great. If it’s a backup, that’s great, too. Whatever role, like I said, I’m put in, I’m going to be successful in.”

*On how beneficial it has been to get reps with the first team to build chemistry with QB Lamar Jackson: *“It’s been huge, just for, like you said, building that chemistry with everybody out on that field, even when I’m in there with the other receivers. I can be like,‘OK, you have this,’ or if someone has a question, sometimes I can help them out. Even when we go out there, sometimes ‘Hollywood’ [Marquise Brown] will ask me, ‘What do I have on this,’ and just being able to help him speed along his progression, as well, just because obviously, he hasn’t had as many reps. Just from that standpoint, just working with the team is what has been great, working with the ‘ones.’”

*On what has impressed him in the preseason from QB Trace McSorley: *“His poise, his poise. Trace is one of those quarterbacks that no matter what he does, he’s going to be the same person every time he gets under center, and I think that’s huge in the quarterback position.”

*On how it has been for him playing special teams: *“It’s been good. I think that a lot of things that I do on the field translate to special teams anyways. I’m big, I’m physical, I can run, so I think those things are great tools in special teams. I didn’t play much in college, but now that you’re in the league, everybody plays it. I think I’ve done a good job so far on special teams.”

*On if the team has emphasized run blocking more than he expected: *“Not really, because we did a lot of run blocking at Notre Dame, because we were kind of run-heavy there. For me, it’s always been the same thing: give your guys a chance to score. Whether that’s the quarterback or that’s the running back, that doesn’t really matter to us. They do their jobs when they have to pass protect. We have to do our jobs in the run game.”

C/G Bradley Bozeman

On how camp is going: “Camp has been really good. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to get a lot of reps. I came into the camp with the mindset to come out and compete – just working every day and just keep stacking them every day. I think the O-line, as a unit, has grown over the course of the camp, and I’m really excited to see what’s to come.”

On not dwelling on mistakes: “You have to go into the next rep. I had a few yesterday myself. I just have to go back, watch film and just correct them and go forward.”

On how the players deal with roster cutdown week: “Everybody just goes out every game and plays hard. That’s the goal – to go out and showcase what you can do. I don’t really think it’s a lot of nerves. I think it’s everybody is just ready to go and compete and show what they can do.”

On killing time on Friday and Saturday while waiting to hear about making the roster: “I think we’re here for a good little while for practice and stuff, but last year we were done by 12:00 or so, I believe. It was just sitting around and waiting, pretty much – just a waiting game.”

On having concerns about making the team: “Hey, everybody is on the chopping block. You just never know, so I’m just going to continue to compete and showcase what I can do.”

On getting time at guard: “I ran a lot last year at guard. I’ve always been an interior guy. I played a little bit of tackle at college. But it’s been kind of a round robin for me, just bouncing [around] and being available to showcase what I can do and to be in that role if I’m called upon.”

On his versatility being a strength: “That helps anybody at any position – just the more you can do. If you can play guard, center and tackle, that adds more value than just being able to play two positions.”

*On what he learned from playing important snaps last year, including in the playoffs: *“Everybody in the league is really good. There are no games off. You have to bring your best every single game, and there’s no letup.”

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