TE David Ausberry is entering his second season with the Raiders. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
TE David Ausberry: Everything feels great with the new offense. We're making a lot of progression every day, and it feels good to be back on the field again.
Q: Do you feel like, "I am now a tight end"?
Ausberry: It certainly feels like it. With all of the weights we're doing and the playbook, it makes you feel like a real tight end, quote-unquote.
Q: Did you feel that you made that transition at some point last year, or was last year just kind of like the transition year, so to speak?
Ausberry: I guess you could think of it as both ways. I was doing a lot of the same things last year, but now I'm just pretty much hand in the dirt. There's also a lot of formations where I am spread out wide and all that, but it's just more about actually being a real tight end now. So it feels pretty good.
Q: How much bigger did you get? How much weight did you put on?
Ausberry: I'm about 265 right now.
Q: And what were you last year?
Ausberry: Last year I was about 250.
Q: Even at the beginning of the year?
Ausberry: Beginning of the year, I was about 245 coming in. Got to put on the weight a little bit, but I feel pretty good.
Q: Do you feel you lost any speed or quickness or anything? Some of the DBs I talked to said it doesn't look like it. You look like a bigger guy that's just as fast.
Ausberry: I don't feel like I lost anything, but that just comes with a lot of technique. You've got to be able to know your opponent and be able to separate from people, and that's pretty much what I'm trying to do.
Q: Was it easy putting the weight on or was it hard for you?
Ausberry: It wasn't that hard, but if you're lifting a lot it comes on pretty quick. That's pretty much what happened. Playing weight I'll be back down to about 258 or 255 or so. But right now, it's just trying to get a little bit more muscle on the upper body and try to stay fit.
Q: Carson Palmer, on a few different occasions, has talked about working with you and said quite a lot of nice things about your skill and things that he thinks the team can do with you. When you have the quarterback of the team sort of in your corner in that way, how does that feel?
Ausberry: It feels great. A vet like Carson, you always want a guy like that in your corner. It helps when you have some sort of relationship with the starting quarterback, because you begin to feel each other on the field and it helps a lot. I'm just blessed to be in this position.
Q: Did you work out with him in the off-season too?
Ausberry: Yeah, we did a little bit of work together.
Q: So you said that your size hasn't really affected your speed. Have you felt the benefits otherwise?
Ausberry: We haven't been too physical out here, so I can't really tell you that yet. Like I said, I feel good. I feel okay right now. We're not pushing it too much in the weight room and neither are we pushing it too much out on the field. So, I feel okay right now.
Q: You want to start? Do you feel that'll be out there for you to grab?
Ausberry: Yeah, that's what I'm trying to do. If I get a chance to get out there, I'll get it. That's just how it goes.
Q: I know you've been putting in a lot of work in the off-season. What kind of things have you felt like you've gotten better at since last year?
Ausberry: Just recognize defensive fronts. Coming from the outside back into the interior, you've just got to be aware of what's going on in front of you now. You're not reading too many safeties now, but other than that just getting the middle part down. With a new playbook it takes a lot of work.
Q: When you were coming out of USC, did a lot of teams talk to you about playing tight end? Did you pretty much figure that was the way it was going to go?
Ausberry: I just kind of played it by ear. If somebody wanted me to be in the three-point stance during pro-day, that's what I did. It was pretty much something that they were going to try me out at anyway, so I just went along with it.
Q: Was it something you really sought out or wanted to do, or was something you just sort of "oh look, the team's telling me what they want from me"?
Ausberry: Why not? The more versatile, the more time you can play.