One of the newest Seahawks, right tackle Eric Winston, talked to the media today after practice about signing with Seattle, his possible role on the team this year, and more. Here’s the official transcript with some video at the bottom:
(On first impressions of Seattle) It’s beautiful. I’ve never really been here except last year when we played. But I’ve never been around Seattle, what a gorgeous place. What great scenery. The lunch room, you kind of walking in the lunch room, you see the lake. Doesn’t get too much better than that so yeah it’s exciting to be here and I’m excited to be here.
(On how everything came about with the Seahawks) Well I just got a phone call a few days ago and put the wheels in motion and things worked out.
(On other offers and other teams) Yeah, you know, I’ve been searching for the right situation and what I felt was best. I want to go somewhere that they can win and when they called, I know they’re definitely capable of winning here and winning big so it was exciting to think that maybe I get a chance to play in some games I’ve never played in before and have a chance of doing that.
(On playing against Seahawks twice last year) They fly around. They have a lot of fun. They play hard and they play together. They’re a tough team to beat. I know that. I’ve played them a few times. We played them twice last year and then caught them early, I think, in Carroll’s tenure. But they’re as tough as it gets – multiple fronts, a lot of athletes and a lot of speed and you better be ready to deal with it so it will be a lot more fun, I think, playing with them than playing against them.
(On observations during practice session today) Well you definitely see why they fly around and the tempo in which they practice with, so it’s definitely an adjustment. But it’s like I said, they have a lot fun doing it and I can see why it’s maintained. I think when you have that kind of mindset; you have that kind of thought of ‘Hey we’re going to go out there and we’re going to have fun but we’re going to work hard,’ I think you’re able to maintain that. I think a lot of teams, you know, your first couple days of camp, you’re flying around, everyone’s having fun but then when you get into the dog days of camp, things slow down and their tempos not there. You can see why they’re able to maintain it around here.
(On what he was doing during the offseason) I live in Houston [Texas] in the offseason so down there, sweating it out. It’s nice to be in a little bit of better temperature but yeah, that’s where we live. So there are a lot of guys down there – working out with a lot of old teammates, etc.
(On zone blocking scheme and Tom Cable runs) Yeah, I think so. I think some of my best years have been in that zone scheme, obviously with Alex Gibbs, way back in Houston and that whole scheme after that and so I’ve had some of my best years and some of the best teams I’ve played on have used it. I think it’s a perfect fit for me and it definitely helps me with the learning process. I think, you know, obviously you got to learn how they call things, some of it is the same and some of it is different but I think it will definitely help me learn quicker, just knowing the techniques and not having to learn everything completely new.
(On what ultimately made the Seahawks the right fit for him) I think just the opportunity. I think the opportunity, not only at my position but the opportunity with the team. I wanted to go somewhere and win. I think this had everything so I looked at the situation – obviously I wanted to be a part of something special and I think these guys have a chance to do something special again this year.
(On both mentoring and competing against Justin Britt) Yeah, I think, anytime you that become a vet in this league, you’ve got an obligation to the young guys that come after you – to help them, teach them and obviously to compete against them. I had the same when I was coming up in Houston. I had older guys that I was competing against but at the same time, took me under their wing. If Britt wants me to do that, then I’ll do that and if he doesn’t want to hear it, then I won’t but I’ll be here for him and always be here to help him, that’s for sure.
(On his similar situation last year in Arizona) It’s a constant. They’re always getting guys ready and young guys are coming in behind you and playing. I think it’s your obligation to play good enough to hold them off and if it’s not, then it’s not the best thing for the team so at the end of the day they’ll do what’s best for the team and I’ve got to take care of my business to belong out there.
(On playing multiple positions on the O-line) Yeah, I’ve played a little guard here and there but I’ve played the vast majority of my games at right tackle, almost all of them so that’s probably where I would say I’m the best at.
(On his NFL Players Association role — he’s the NFLPA president) In the recent past, the guy hasn’t played but it’s an active player’s role and that will continue on.
(On his enjoyment of those duties) Yeah, it’s been really interesting. It’s been fun. I’ve always been an advocate for the players and trying to help them out and trying to help make their lives a little bit better and make them understand what it means to be a pro and help them out. We do so much at the PA and I think it’s my job to help make that better.
(On any discussion with the Cardinals) Yeah, you know, I’ve had talks with a lot of teams. But things didn’t materialize as much as I think, they did here and obviously, like I said, I think the opportunity here helped pushed some of those things along, I think, on both sides. I think I wanted to be here and I think they wanted me to be here so I think that helped move things along pretty fast.
(On being thrown into the competition today) Yeah, putting on a helmet this morning, it was like ‘Now, this is really happening’. Once you’ve done it for as long as I have, it’s kind of “old hat” a little bit. Obviously, the tempo here is a little quicker than what you can replicate in any kind of training session by yourself but at the same time you get used to it. Practice is practice and putting on the pads, it never really leaves you, sometimes, in the offseason.
(On long standing starting streak) Yeah, I think, 119, I think it’s at or something like that. It’s definitely luck. It’s definitely luck, not having a guy roll up on you or whatever, everything. You know, I like to think I put the work in and not just in the weight room but also in the training room. Staying flexible, staying healthy. You’re inevitably going to get caught in a pile and if you’re not flexible, something is going to pop so I think I’ve gotten into some precarious situations and able to kind of shake it off and walk out of the pile, I think, in one piece because I put some of the work in. So I do believe it’s not just luck, some of its hard work but I also think the zone system kind of helps you not get rolled up on. I think when everyone’s going the same direction and guys aren’t crossing each other and I think just being an athlete – staying on your feet, staying off the ground. Those kind of things that are ingrained in practice and through these coaches and coaches that I’ve had in the past I think has also helped on that so it all plays together but some of its luck, some of its work and hopefully I can keep it going.
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