WESTFIELD, Ind. - As a seventh-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, right guard Will Fries was not expected to see much playing time his rookie year.
However, when speaking with the hosts of Training Camp Daily after Sunday's practice, Fries said that he still gained valuable experience during that time.
"I think the starts are what people see," Fries said. "But what people don't see is what goes into that, spending a lot of time rookie year learning from those other guys on the o-line, [learning] how to conduct myself as a pro and how to prepare every week. So, when you get your opportunity, it doesn't come too fast and you're ready for it. When you're in that room, whether you're starting or not, you have to be ready to play."
His time to shine came in 2022, when he started nine games.
Since then, Fries has worked diligently to make sure he keeps his place in the starting lineup.
Listen to Will Fries' full interview and hear which wide receivers Matt Taylor and JJ Stankevitz believe are stepping up on the Training Camp Daily Podcast, which you can listen to on:
Whether that be by spending extra time in the film room or getting extra reps after practice ends, Fries knows that going the extra mile is what will help him stand out.
"I believe that if you are doing the same things as everyone else, you're not gonna get ahead," Fries said. "So, spending time doing extra stuff to get ahead or refine something that you worked on, it doesn't have to be a whole lot, just one or two things you want to focus on the rest of the day or going into the next day is really important."
As unrelenting as Fries' work ethic may seem, it is a testament to the 25-year-old's commitment to his craft.
Knowing the years of work it took to get to this point, Fries has made it clear that he has no plans of slowing down now.
"I've always been hungry. Waiting for my time, I am here to take full advantage of it," Fries said. "I want to be a great player for this team and this offensive line. I want the guys next to me to trust me. I want the quarterback to trust me, I want all the guys to trust me. I want to play to the best of my ability. I want the team and the offensive line to have a great year. That requires me to be mentally sharp every day, to be tough and not feel sorry for yourself no matter what happens. If you get beat, the next play is a great challenge. It's exciting."