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Q&A with Menelik Watson

Posted Aug 25, 2013

T Menelik Watson spoke to the media about starting at left tackle this Thursday night against the Seahawks in Seattle.

Q: One day of practice and first team – that’s pretty good.

Watson: Yeah, it’s good to be back. It was nice to just get out there and get a sweat and get back in the huddle, get back communicating with guys on the field. It was nice.

Q: Dennis [Allen] said you’re going to start at left tackle on Thursday. That’s pretty quick.

Watson: I spoke about it and going to try something new. Right now, just working my technique and listening to anything Coach Sparano is telling me. Right now, I have to go watch film. I think it was a pretty successful day there considering it was my first ever time playing. But I have to look at the corrections and fix the mistakes for tomorrow.

Q: With as much camp as you missed, do you think getting to start at left tackle this quickly do you think it’s something they saw from you before that in OTAs and mini-camp?

Watson: Must be.  I’m the type of person that when you tell me to do something, I’m going to just do it so not too much thought is coming in from my perspective. Jared [Veldheer] went down so I knew there’d probably be some shifts. Like I said, I told Coach Sparano, wherever you guys need me to play, I’ll be ready. So they trust me to play the left tackle position, so it’s a privilege and I have to take it serious and make sure I’m ready to play.

Q: How much left tackle did you play at Florida State?

Watson: None.

Q: And how about junior college?

Watson: None. Off tackle, played a little off tackle outside Kyle Long at our junior college, but none. So it’s a new experience, but it’s fun. Just like when I stepped out the first time at right tackle, it kind of just comes natural. Once you got a guy scream…coming off the ball on every side. But like I said, it’s very technical and things happen a lot quicker on the left too. Obviously it’s the blind side so you have to be double about your wits. Like I said, I have to get in there now and watch the film, study hard tonight too when I get home.

Q: What have you heard about Seattle as a road venue?

Watson: Loud. I spoke to Howie Long just this weekend and he was telling about it too. It’s a loud venue. I actually got to visit it when I was coming out of junior college on my visit to Washington. Beautiful venue, so it should be interesting. Loud venue and first start in the NFL, so should be exciting.

Q: You were hurt at camp but were you able to do a lot of mental reps?

Watson: Yes, yes. I was doing too much mental reps. I was doing a lot of film watching by myself. It was kind of hard because there were certain things I’d see in practice or in the games and I’d want to shout it out in meetings, but I kind of felt it wasn’t my place obviously with me not playing. There were a lot of things inside me which I bottled up and had to self-analyze. Coming onto the field, it’s a new pace than just watching. Mentally, I feel sharp on the field.