Dallas Cowboys tight end and former Baylor Bear Rico Gathers recently joined “J Dub City” on KESN-FM 103.3 (ESPN Dallas) last week to talk all things football. Here are some highlights:
How much do you feel you’ve grown from where you were last year to where you are now?
Gathers: A lot of much (laughs). In the understanding of the overall game, and then from an athleticism standpoint. I felt like when I first came into playing football I was running like a basketball player, running real up tall. You can’t take away the fact that I’m 6-6, 6-7 and I’m used to playing up high, but the main focus was me getting my shoulders down, getting my pad level down, and being able to come out of my stance real explosive. And I feel like I’ve been able to do that this year playing at a lighter weight – went from 280 to 270 over the offseason.
Feel lighter out there, flying around a little bit more?
Gathers: Oh, yeah. You know, I low key feel like the Big Zeke, Big Zeke Elliott out there.
What’s been the most difficult part going from basketball to football?
Gathers: At one point, it was blocking. You have to develop a certain type of nasty to be able to block big dudes who are basically the same size as you or even bigger.
So, at one point it was [blocking], but doing those pod drills and stuff like that, that really helped build that type of nasty that I needed. I like getting nasty out there, getting brutal, getting vicious with my defensive linemen. They have a major part in making me a better player coming into this year.
On his TE style opposed to Jason Witten…
Gathers: Me and Witten are different in our approaches to…
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