But in his second season, Wheaton is making big strides. He is healthy, competing for the opening opposite
Wheaton talked about his progress during the team’s minicamp.
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“I am just more comfortable. I don’t have to think as much when I hear the play in the huddle. I don’t have to think as much going up to the line. I can play faster when I don’t have to think as much.”
How important is it to feel that kind of confidence?
“It’s everything. That is my opinion, I think confidence is everything. Whether it’s golf, baseball, or basketball, confidence in any sport is everything. With me getting injured and losing that confidence I lost a little bit of my game, but it’s back now.”
What impact did your injury have on you last season?
“I couldn’t play for those four weeks. When I came back it was getting used to playing with the splint. I don’t think I slowed down. It was trying to deal with the injury.”
Was it tougher than you thought doing that with the splint?
“Definitely. Trying to play with the splint on I couldn’t go out there and play as freely and fast as I wanted to. I am healthy now and I am comfortable and relaxed out there.”
“Oh yeah. I am pretty sure if you ask anybody else they will say the same thing. Everyone wants that spot. It hasn’t been given away yet. Everything I am doing right now is focused on getting that spot.”
What do you have to do to take that spot?
“Just make plays, be a playmaker. You have to know the playbook, minimize mistakes, make plays and compete.”
When you are trying to win a starting spot out here in this atmosphere, in shorts, no pads, is it tougher to do it that way?
“If you ask a defensive player they would probably say that. For me I just have to know my routes, beating hands and beating a defender. The pads don’t add much to it.”