“We have positionals twice a week,” said Alabama lineman A.J. Shepherd, “where I train so I was working with the coach to learn guard and learn some more pulling. It’s different because at guard, you have to punch right away, but at tackle you can wait and see. I’ve just been working on both because I don’t know where I’m going to play.”
“I feel guard is a little easier,” noted Utah tackle Jeremiah Poutasi, “because of the fact the D-tackle is just right there. Right out of your stance, he’s right there in front of you. At tackle you need to be a little bit more fluid in your steps because you’re going against some of the best speed rushers. Not only that, you’re out in space by yourself. At guard you’ve got a lot of help, but guard also is more about being physical.”
I played left tackle in my career, but early on I played right tackle. I also took snaps at [center] at practice at the NFLPA Game, did some 9-on-7 work, some things like that, so to have the ability to snap the ball and play center, play a little guard out there too, I can move around that’s huge, because you’re trying to make the team. If there’s a hole at guard and all you know how to play is tackle, it’s hurting you for getting onto the field.”
At one point a Cleveland Browns beat writer asked him about Johnny Manziel and how last year’s must-see rookie quarterback’s first-year struggles will impact him. Winston waved it off, for one of the more refreshing moments of the 10-minute melee. He wasn’t worried about it, and reminded the audience that he was “not Johnny Manziel.” At least he wasn’t asked to “talk about” it.
The highlight of the whole affair came with just a few questions left on the clock when he reminded the huddle masses of pleated khakis about his weight.
“A lot of people thought I was fat, but I’m proving everybody wrong. I look good and I know it.”