Burris: “Absolutely. There’s nothing like playing the game of football, and then playing the game of football healthy. You’re always going to be nicked up with something, but for the most part, I’m just feeling great having fun playing the game.”
Q: How tough was that mentally last year, just dealing with not being able to play?
Burris: “Mentally, that was one of the toughest things I’ve been through. One of the darkest years of my life, but that’s where my faith came through so greatly, and just leaning on the Lord for everything.”
Q: Where there any setbacks at all with the injury, or did it take longer to heal than you thought it would?
Burris: “You never know what’s going to happen with an injury, and then you get put on the PUP [Physically Unable to Perform] list, and you just keep grinding every day. It was a one day mentality for me, and I ended up getting back for the last six games, and that was a blessing.”
Burris: “I feel as good as I ever have. Better than then.”
Q: When you have a season where you’re not playing as much, how much are you able to get from just watching?
Burris: “All last year, and all leading up to this point, I’ve been taking mental reps every play. Even though I haven’t been doing it physically, all last year I was there and I was into it, and I was competing to get better every day; competing with myself.”
Q: How nice was it to have those last six games to at least get some momentum going a little bit headed into this year?
Burris: “It was definitely encouraging to get some games in last year. To get another active season and to just be with my boys out there and compete.”
Q: What are the impressions you have of
Burris: “He’s a great athlete. He’s a competitor. He seems to respect the game, and know the game, and just goes out there and gives it all he has every day. He’s already earning all the respect of his teammates.”
Q: When you began getting work out there with the first team, were you at all surprised when that came about?
Burris: “All I can do is go out every day and compete with everything that I have, and that’s what I’ve been doing. Everything that they ask of me, playing all three positions, I go out there and do it to the highest ability that I can, and it’s been great so far.”
Q: Have they told you to focus more on the WILL, or is it still learn everything?
Burris: “They really preach position versatility, so I’ve been going out there and most days playing SAM, MIKE and WILL. They want me to know them all, just like they want everybody to know them all, and be able to fill in where we need to.”
Q: Is there a position you feel more comfortable at of the three?
Burris: “I feel most comfortable playing football, being on the field.”
Burris: “No, I had never missed a game in my life. I’ve been playing since fifth grade, but it taught me some great things, and the Lord taught me some patience through it, and overall it’s going to be a great blessing in my life. I know it.”
Q: When you came up to that point where you were going to be put on the field a lot more with the first team, what did they tell you?
Burris: “They just told me to get out there. Go for it. You’re up.”
Q: Did they tell you that they liked what you’ve been doing here or this is why they wanted to put you out there?
Burris: “No. The coaches are good about encouraging guys and letting them know where they’re improving, but also where we need to work on, but there was no preparation for stepping up there. They just say, ‘Go in there and let’s get some plays in.’”