OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
Q: Have you been able to process all that’s happened? Have you come to grips with all that’s transpired in the last few weeks?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “Yeah, I think I’m starting to get a good grasp on all the material. For sure it’s quite different than what I’m used to. But I’m smart enough, I think I’m going to be able to learn that.”
Q: What about the speed of the game that you’re seeing from your fellow rookies, especially like yesterday when you lined up against Dee Ford?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “Well of course it’s different. But especially the alignment where I’m not used to having a rusher that far on the edge. So I think I just need to get used to guys that are more vertical and I think I’m going to be able to catch that.”
Q: Where are you at on your kick step and your ability to get out to block those edge rush guys?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “Yeah I think I need to work on that. Coach gave me a few coaching points yesterday and I’m going to work on it. Over the last two weeks I was practicing as a guard. Yesterday I went as a tackle, I don’t know exactly why, but today I’m going back as a guard. So you’ll see me as a guard today.”
Q: Did you play left tackle at McGill?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “I played a mix of everything.”
Q: So are you pretty comfortable on the right side then?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “I think I’m more comfortable on the left and at guard.”
Q: They weigh you guys when you come in. What did you guys check in at when you got here?
Q: Is that where you want to be or do you want to be at 320?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “We’ll see. I think I’m able to put weight [on] pretty easily. Over the last couple months with the combine and everything I was trying to get a bit cleaner. But I think I can put a couple pounds on easily. If coach wants me at 315 I will go at 315, 320 without any problem I think.”
Q: How long have you been playing organized football now?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “O-line, two years. Before that I was playing d-line. I played d-line for like seven years and o-line for two years. So like nine years.”
Q: Did football ever negatively impact your studies because of practices or games?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “Yeah, for sure. Sometime there is a lot of sacrifice you do. But I was trying to make the sacrifice more on the social aspect – my social life – than on football and medicine because those are my two real passions. And when you have passion you just don’t count the hours and you try to make it happen.”
Q: Did it happen the other way where your studies got in the way of your football?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “I mean for sure sometimes, especially over the last year I was in the hospital full-time doing rotations. So when you are working the night shift, sometime you’re not able to go to the morning meeting, but coach would understand that. Every week with the coaches I was making my own schedule with them. Let’s say I had a night shift on like a Wednesday for sure, the Thursday morning I won’t be there, but I’m going to be there at practice at night. So we [had] a special schedule.”
Q: And you were helping deliver babies the first two days of the draft?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “Yeah, I was in my NICU rotation, which stands for neonatal intensive care unit. So basically I was taking care of emergency c-sections, taking care of delivering premature babies. The fun story is the Friday night of the draft at like 5:30 in the evening I got a call for an emergency c-section with two twins that one had the cord over the head. So we had to operate really fast and it ends up being I miss the complete draft on Friday, so I’m trying to get my cell phone on me.”
Q: If you had been drafted that day the Chiefs would have had to wait?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “Yeah, that would be really funny.”
Q: How hard is it to have the mindset where you want to help people, but then on the field you want to hurt them?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “I don’t want to hurt people when I play. I just want to be really aggressive and do my job. I mean, for sure it’s two different aspects of life. I enjoy it. I love taking care of people. I love communicating with people, trying to find solutions. I also love working with my teammates as a team and trying to get the job done on the field.”
Q: Considering all the juggling that you’ve had to do in your life, you’ve learned to compartmentalize. Does it make this easier because all you’re focusing on is football?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “I wouldn’t say easy because I have a lot to learn on the technique side and my learning curve is pretty big. But at the same time to know that now I’m going to have the focus only on football for the next couple weeks, it’s going to be 100 percent football, I think I’m going to be able to learn a lot more and progress a lot more in the system.”
Q: You’re now around all these guys who are used to American football. Do you feel like you are behind where these guys are as far as technique and knowing the game?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “For sure. I think I’m a bit behind in term of technique, but I think I’m athletic and I go after it when I play. Those two aspects of the game are harder to coach and the technique aspect is maybe a bit easier. So I think I’m going to be able to learn that over the next couple weeks.”
Q: They’ve been working you out a little bit, they find out where you’re strong at as far as training. What’s the biggest area you need to improve in strength-wise that they told you?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “Strength-wise, I would say maybe like rolling the hips. So just working on power clean, get up as fast as you can on pass protection.”
Q: You think that will help you in pass protection then?
DUVERNAY-TARDIF: “Yeah, for sure, for sure, especially on two-step drop when you want to be really aggressive on the line.”
G Zach Fulton
Q: What can you get out of this camp?
FULTON: “It is pretty physical despite popular belief. It does get pretty physical down in the trenches. I’m still working on my hand placement and my footwork and things like that. It’s the fundamentals.”
Q: It’s hard to stop those linemen when they get going, isn’t it?
FULTON: “It’s hard. It’s harder this time.”
Q: What do you do when you don’t have pads on?
FULTON: “You try to keep the same targets. It’s just a little bit slipperier. That’s all.”
Q: There has been a little work on the running game.
FULTON: “Yeah, we had a pretty good period of straight running plays and mixed it in throughout the whole practice.”
Q: Like getting to the second level and working on combination blocks. Where do you think you are with that?
FULTON: “I think I’m OK in that aspect, but I think I can be a lot better.”
Q: Has anything surprised you about this camp so far?
FULTON: “Not really. It’s kind of what I expected it to be – a lot of guys working hard trying to prove themselves.”
Q: No surprises with the physicality?
FULTON: “No. Pretty much what I thought.”
Q: What benefit do you think an NFL weight program would mean to you?
FULTON: “We’ve lifted for about two weeks now since we’ve been here. I think it’s helping out a lot. They have a lot of different things than college that will improve us as persons and on the field as well.”
Q: What one area in particular do they want you to get better at?
FULTON: “They want me to be more flexible. That’s what they want.”
Q: How’s that going to help you?
FULTON: “It will help me move a lot better, move a lot faster.”
Q: Do they feel it’s a high ceiling for you to do that?
FULTON: “Yeah, exactly.”
CB Phillip Gaines
Q: How’s it going so far?
GAINES: “It’s going really well, getting back into the swing of things and getting back into football shape and everything. We’re all having fun out here.”
Q: Was it helpful mentally to be around here before minicamp started?
GAINES: “Absolutely. We got into the playbook about two weeks earlier than everybody got here, so it definitely sped the game up for the people that were here and it’s made it a lot easier.”
Q: How hard are Al Harris and Emmitt Thomas coaching you so far?
GAINES: “They can coach me as hard as they want because they know a lot more than me. Anything they tell me, I’ll do. I’m loving it for sure.”
Q: Are you just trying to come in here and show that you’re ready to be a hard worker?
GAINES: “Absolutely. Like I said they have way more knowledge than me, so I’ll never talk back or anything like that. Anything they tell me to do, I’m going to do 100 percent.”
Q: What are you working on in your game?
GAINES: “I’m really working on hand placement, feet movement and staying in front of the receiver because we don’t have pads on so we can’t get into them too much. You just want to stay in front of them, have good technique and run with them up the field.”
Q: What happened with the interception yesterday?
GAINES: “It was a tight split, an outside fade, and the quarterback kind of led him outside. I got some good hands on him, wide on him, so they probably just got their timing messed up. I just looked back and made a play on the ball.”
Q: What about guys getting vertical on you? Weston Dressler got behind you yesterday one time and you’re probably not used to that.
GAINES: “Any receiver here is good, so I love going against everybody. Every day is a challenge, so I want to better myself and I want them to get better as well. I think I did alright. I still have to get back into the groove of things, because from a pressing standpoint, you always have to be in the groove. Like I said, we just got back out here, so I just need to get back in it.”
Q: How similar is the press man coverage you did at Rice to the one here?
GAINES: “It’s very similar. A lot of the time we press man and it kind of takes away thinking for corners. When you don’t have to think, you can play as fast as you want. Like you said, at Rice and here there is a lot of press man, so it’s all good.”
Q: How much did you weigh when you got here?
GAINES: “I was 183.”
Q: How much do you think you can get to? Can you get stronger?
GAINES: “Oh yeah. I honestly don’t know how big I can get, but I’m sure once I start eating right and lifting right, I could definitely get to the 190s consistently.”
Q: What kind of benefit do you think an NFL weight training program will have for you?
GAINES: “Especially being in press a lot of the time, being strong with the receivers and getting hands on them and being strong with them, so that way they can’t move you off your place. Once you get that and the technique and the strength, all of that bundles into one and you get a good corner."