How are you feeling?
I’m feeling good. It’s good to be out here and watching the guys work. There’s a good turnout. I’m doing good.
Where are you in terms of your rehab process and what you’re able to do right now?
I’m running around, lifting weights and trying to get stronger. Whatever [Head Athletic Trainer] John [Norwig] has me do every day, I’ve been able to do it. I’m doing well.
What is your goal?
My ultimate goal, most important goal, is to be 100% and get this thing better, no matter how long it takes. I think that’s the overriding goal and I expect to be there.
Is there a danger in rushing back too soon and not reaching that goal?
I would think. You have to listen to your body and trust the trainers, which is what I’ve been able to do. It’s been pretty apparent when my body is not ready to do something. I communicate that, we take our time and proceed that way. I feel like that’s the best way to do it and it’s gone well so far.
Are you running?
Hard enough, yeah. I’ve been able to do what they’ve asked me to do.
Sitting here today, do you think you will play the first game?
It’s too far away to speculate. One thing I’ve learned with this thing, it’s a long process, still going to be a long process, so you don’t know how your body is going to react moving forward with the new stuff. It’s too early to tell.
Are you where you had hoped to be at this point?
I think so. I’m pleased with everything that I’ve been asked to do, that John has had me do so far. I’ve been pleased, he’s been pleased with the way my knee has reacted. So far so good.
Re: The Steelers not drafting a tight end in the first round signifying that you will be ready to go early in the season:
I don’t know. I think that may be a little too forward-thinking, at least for me. I’ve got no pressure from any of the coaches, from trainers, from anyone in the building to rush anything. They just want me to be 100%, so we’re on the same page.
Is it too early to project any kind of timetable for a return?
I think it’s far too early. There’s a long time before training camp starts, so that’s a long time to make gains, positively or for things to happen negatively. I’m just going to take one day at a time and hope I get better each day.
They did the surgery on the PCL, right?
Has that healed?
It’s healing, yeah. I think Dr. Bradley is pleased. Every check-up he’s been pleased with the progress, so it’s on its way.
Are you optimistic that you might be able to play the whole season? Is there a chance that could happen?
I’m sure there’s a chance. Like I said, I think that’s a little too far out to think about right now. I’m just trying to get better every day, do what I’m asked to do, listen to my body and progress that way.
What do they have you doing?
Just lifting. The big thing now is getting the strength back and getting the confidence back when I’m on the grass. That’s the main thing. With all the atrophy that comes from surgery, you lose a lot of strength immediately. I want to get it back to as strong as my other leg.
Will you have to wear a brace?
I guess that’s to be decided by me and Dr. Bradley.
Are you worried a brace would slow you down?
No. I’m obviously going to do what is in my best interest, what Dr. Bradley feels that I need to do. I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
Do you see this injury as a major setback after having a good season last year?
No. If you play this game long enough, you’re not going to be healthy for your whole career. Guys who are able to do that are few and far between. Realistically, a major injury is bound to happen sooner or later. You just deal with it and move forward.
The offense hit some rough spots last season. Do you think it can improve, and why?
I think it certainly can improve. I think that’s why everyone is here working to get better at it. I think we have to get better if we want to be better as a team. A lot of that falls on our shoulders as an offense.
How do you make up some of the players you lost on offense?
Guys step up and you play to your strengths with the guys you have. I think we have enough guys on our offense to be good. Every year, in this league, you’re going to lose somebody, it seems like. That is what it is. It’s expected, so it’s nothing drastic on our end.