Most fun thing I did during the summer – I took a midnight trip to Cedar Point, and it was my first time in an amusement park in forever. It was fun to ride rides and get scared for the moment. I got most of the rides in. I almost passed out on Millennium Force. That drop took it out of me. I exerted too much effort screaming for my life that when we hit the bottom, I was almost out.
Teammate I expect to have a great camp and why –
Song(s) and artist(s) I listened to the most this summer – I read, ‘The Millionaire Next Door,’ ‘Training Camp,’ and ‘Outliers.’
What I want to accomplish in camp – I want to come out of camp the best technician at the tight end position in the NFL. That’s a goal I can set. I can work every day at the little things – hand and hat placement, pad leverage, run after the catch, catching the ball in traffic. The little things that if I do right and come out of camp as the best technician, it will put me in the position to be one of the best tight ends in the league.
Toughest thing about training camp – The hardest thing would be the physical recovery. It’s hard to repair your body. Some guys are used to going to massage therapists and things like that. There are ways to get a massage, but you have to plan ahead. That requires a lot. That’s probably the hardest thing. The grind isn’t like it used to be, definitely not like college. It’s taking care of your body while you’re at work.
What you know now about training camp that you didn’t as a rookie – How to pace myself, not necessarily pace myself in practice but what I am doing off the field. Am I downstairs playing around with the guys, or am I up the room stretching? Am I in the training room after practice, or am I hurrying off to get lunch? Little things like that have helped me have a better training camp than last year. It helps keep me fresh.
How to beat the heat – The best thing you can do is hydrate. The coaches stress it. They’re going to do a good job of keeping you out of the heat at the hottest point of the day.
The perfect meal is – Baked pork chops, macaroni and cheese, broccoli and spaghetti. Spaghetti is for dessert. That’s a meal I remember growing up. The broccoli, not so much, but I’ve come to like it and understand I need the veggies, fruits and nutrients. I’ve come to incorporate that in my meals.
Who are the teammates you eat most often with in training camp and why – (Laughs)
What is the most challenging drill for you in camp and why – One-on-ones against the outside linebackers. It’s a drill I feel like the offensive players are set up to fail. They put you in the worst-case scenario, which is good. If that’s the worst-case scenario and you can sometimes handle it, then you should be able to handle every scenario.
Who was the NFL player you wanted to meet the most before you made the league and why – It was Jerry Rice (click here for video). I wanted to see what greatness was like up close. I wanted to shake his hand. I wanted to look into his eyes and ask what drove him, just so I could be inspired to hopefully be called one of the great ones someday. Using the word, ‘greatness,’ about him is not embellishing at all.