Q: …when you first heard Steve was going elsewhere?A: I heard about it yesterday, literally five minutes after it happened. I'm happy for him. Obviously he's going to one of our rival teams that we have a big rivalry with. At the end of the day, he found a job and he's working this year and I'm happy for him.
Q: Kevin Gilbride called him the best inside receiver in the league. Who fills that role now?A: I feel like we have a few people that can fill that role. Hixon, Mario and I will probably get some time there as well. I feel like we have some guys that we're going to see throughout the course of the season and we're going to see who fits that role the best.
Q: How big of an opportunity is this for you?A: This is a huge opportunity. You have to step up, be prepared and be ready to go and understand that your time is now. You have to be prepared and focused. This first preseason game is going to be a testament to that. Personally, I'll be prepared.
Q: Does having success against NFL caliber players last year at training camp make you confident going into this year?A: A little bit. Just knowing that you're going against some top tier guys and you're doing fairly well and you're holding your own and those guys respect you out there. It's a good feeling to go out there and to put it against somebody else for a change this camp. It's going to feel good come Saturday.
Q: How are you better in terms of what you can do and your experience?A: I feel like I'm better in a lot of ways. I feel like I'm more comfortable with the offense, which makes me not think as much while I'm running routes, lining up and things like that. It gets me to play a little more freely. I feel like that's good, especially this year where it's a lot more riding and a lot of positions opened up. I feel like I'm a lot more comfortable this year.
Q: In the preseason last year, you were playing the X right?A: Actually, I was playing the Z predominately last year.
Q: How comfortable are you inside?A: I'm really comfortable inside. In college I played inside, so I'm comfortable there. I understand the reads that come with the inside slot position. I think that that's where I can excel.
Q: Did the Steve Smith situation create opportunities for you and up your chances?A: Like I said before, I was happy for him. But in turn I was like alright, there's a spot open now and there's a position that we have to fill as a core. Not just me, not just individual guys, but as a core we have to come together and help each other out and come together as a unit and just do the best that we can.
Q: Does last year seem a little bit like a dream, what happened in training camp last year? Or is it still something you can look back on and go "I can do this, I can make this happen'?
A: Yeah, I kind of still think back and look at it and feel like I can do this. I can play here, I can play at this level. Coming off last year, I think about it, but I kind of just forget about it and think about this year and focus. It's another year, it's a new year. None of that stuff matters anymore and I want to move forward and get ready to compete for this position.
Q: Are you ready to seize the moment?A: Definitely. I definitely plan on getting better with every rep. Come Saturday, I feel like being out there against some other opponents, I'll get to show what I can do against the opposition. Hopefully I get a chance to make some plays.
Q: How much do you think you can build on last year with what you did and combined with Steve leaving? It kind of all equals a good thing for you, based on last year and then this year with Steve.
A: I think I can build a lot. Like I said before, I'm a lot more comfortable now so it just takes time to run some reps against some other opponent that doesn't know what's coming. I feel like I can do a lot in this offense. I'm really comfortable, I know my stuff and I'm ready.