A: Yeah, that’s crazy, because a lot of great players come through here. Me having the speed advantage, “so-called,” over them just makes me wonder how my career will turn out.
Q: Is that the part of your game you enjoy the most? Is that the strength of your game? Is it the speed?
A: Yeah, it sounds weird to say, but when I get to use my speed, when I get into open space, that’s what I like the most.
Q: What was day one like for you?
A: Good, went to practice, and it was smooth for me, and hot. Everybody says that. Other than that I had a pretty good day of practice.
Q: Was it nerve wracking as a back because everybody else gets reps before you because you’re the new guy?
A: Nope, it’s good because I get to watch them. Make sure I do it right. I’m the new guy, and that’s the way it was everywhere I started. You’re not going to just come up and be placed in front of the guys that have been there and done it.
Q: What’s the pressure like being a first-round draft pick? Coming in, a lot of people are already
raving about your speed, what is that like?
A: It’s not even like people or outsiders’ expectations of me; it’s my expectation of myself. I put a lot of pressure on myself and am very competitive. So I would like to have a successful rookie season and career.That’s where it starts. Learn this playbook and adjust to the speed of the NFL.
Q: You said you want to have a successful rookie season. What would constitute a successful rookie season?
A: Well I make a goal sheet every year before my season starts, so once I find out my exact role I make the goal sheet. Probably after the first preseason game, I’ll start it out. The goals on there will be not easy to obtain.
Q: What were your goals last year?
A: 100 yards per game. Score or have a touchdown every game. All-ACC, All-American.
Q: Did you hit most of them?
A: Yeah. Over 70% of my goals on the sheet.
Q: Was being a first-round draft pick a goal?
A: (Laughs) Yeah. It was. To have one of the top performances at the combine was a goal. To be taken in the first round was a goal. I obtained those goals. I expect a lot of them for myself.
Q: Coach Coughlin was saying yesterday, running back by committee, not the phrase he used, but that being able to get guys a lot of reps. Does it make you feel good knowing that everybody is going to be able to get their opportunity to run the football?
A: Yeah definitely. You never want to be that guy that felt like he didn’t get his fair chance. Everywhere I’ve been the coaches give you a shot. Whether it’s two chances or twelve chances, you have to take advantage of every one.
Q: Between the coaches and players, they said they have no concern about your speed and
athleticism. It’s more about doing the little things. How far along are you progressing with the rest of that?
A: Yeah well we haven’t started contact yet. That stuff will come along. I just take it one day at a time, and try to get better everyday.
Q: Do you feel like you have a confident understanding of the schemes and responsibilities?
A: Oh yeah. Learning the playbook is first and foremost. After that you can start learning your rhythm and moving forward.
Q: Being at your first training camp, so far, has your reality met your expectation?
A: Going through practice…Yesterday was my first practice, so there’s not a lot I can say about it. Just trying to get better each day is my goal. You never want to take a step back or come in and feel like you didn’t get better.
Q: Kevin Gilbride was the first to say in the spring that you were one of the more explosive players they have. Eli has said that recently, could you tell your speed and quickness were making that type of impression?
A: Not for them to make those kinds of comments. I didn’t know it stood out that much. It’s just me and I just go out there and use my God-given ability.
Q: So when you hear that, does it give you confidence to know you’re already making that kind of impression?
A: No. I haven’t played a game, I haven’t done any NFL competition other than practice. You can be a star in practice, but until you step on the game field and make an impact on the game. I’m just waiting for that opportunity.
Q: How much do you look forward to the first pre-season game?
A: I’m definitely looking forward to that. Playing against another defense full contact anytime. I know we have scrimmages but…I’m just looking to go through for a full speed contact motion.
Q: Were you surprised you were able to haul in that pass yesterday, the short one that was over your head?
A: No, it was thrown in my area so I figured it was my ball. I didn’t want to be the guy to watch it float over and hit the ground. I just went up and grabbed it. Just one of those things.
Q: First catch for you?
A: Yeah it was. After I caught it I looked back to see what was behind me.