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Ed Dickson training camp Q&A

Posted Aug 6, 2017

Panthers tight end talks about how he gets through these "dog days" of camp.

On if his mentality has changed since playing with Greg Olsen: “Playing the last four years here and the others in Baltimore, it started to turn that way, whatever the team needed that’s what you deal with. Being a part of a championship team in Baltimore and here, as close as we came, every player is important to whatever your role is. Greg is a great receiver, all-around tight end. What we ask him to do, he does to the highest level. To have three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons says a lot. He’s not slowing down. I look at that and say, “How do I get myself on the field as well?” There’s only one ball to go around. What can I do to keep me on the field? If my level of blocking has to go up, if my level of catching has to go up, that’s what I’m going to be doing. That’s the mentality I bring every day, day in and day out.”

On how Greg Olsen’s game compares to other tight ends in the league: “I don’t like to compare people’s games. He’s unique in his own way. I respect his game. He’s a student of the game. For a guy, don’t tell him I told you this, for a guy of that age, he still acts like he’s a rookie in the league. The way he studies and everything like that, I aspire to something like him. He teaches me something every day I come in this building or come in any building that we’re working in, to be more like a pro like him.”

On tenor of camp after nearly two weeks: “These are the dog days of camp and this is what camp is built for. Coach Rivera talks about it all the time, we’re building a callousness. We gotta see what type of team we’re going to be this year. We’re not going to be the same team we were last year. We’re not going to be the same team we were in 2015. We gotta see what type of team we’re going to be. Going through these practices against our defense, that’s first and foremost. Then getting into the preseason games and then so on and so forth. We have to see exactly what we are each week and each day.”

On whether or not the last couple of days of camp are the hardest: “To further answer your question, I say the first couple of days you get aggravated because it doesn’t matter what kind of training you’re doing in the offseason, you can’t assimilate football shape. Getting into it, getting back in football shape, the two minute drills, stuff like that, you’re going to be a little bit tired. So yes, this next week we’re going to be beat up a little bit, and we’re going to turn that corner and start to feel a little better going into that second and third week of camp.”

On development of Chris Manhertz: “He’s a young player that’s hungry. He keeps me and Greg on our toes. I think he can play in this league. The competitive nature in our tight end meeting room is at an all-time high. I think he’s a good player and to see him make plays, I’m always rooting for my guys to do well. I respect all, fear none. Even Greg, I’m pushing for his job. I know we need everybody on the team, we need everybody in our room to step up. Our goal is to have four tight ends on the field. How do we do that if Greg is solidified? I work for my job and the second and third tight end have to work for their job. We’re going to have to take over those special teams as well, there are hungry linebackers in there as well. We don’t know how it’s going to end up at the end of the day, the 53-man roster but we’re hungry to go out there and get those jobs.”

On Alex Armah: “First thing that jumps out is his versatility. He’s a hammer. He’s a young player that is growing every day, he’s smart, willing to get into the book. So first look at him, he’s willing to work hard and try and go out there and get those jobs. For me, seeing Tolbert not in this offense anymore is an opportunity for me as well. If I’m at the F or the Y or I’m split out wide, I’m going to be out there somewhere.”

On if he thinks his versatility would allow the team to go without a true fullback on the roster: “Well, I couldn’t tell you. I am not the Offensive Coordinator. It’s tough to call his job out sitting here talking to you guys. We make it hard on them though, with the tight ends on the field and Alex as well. It’s hard on them, but at the end of the day it’s up to him for how he wants it to look. Having weapons like McCaffrey there and Jonathan Stewart, we are going to run the ball. We are going to run the ball very well.”

On what he is looking forward to most about playing the Texans Wednesday night: “I have a couple friends who play on the team and to play somebody else other than our defense. I love Luke, but to see him in an A gap every once in a while, I’ll be happy to hit somebody else in a different color. Just to see where you are. It has been a while since we have played a game.”

On playing against the Texans number one defense from last season with the addition of J.J. Watt back from injury: “If he’s out there we are going to give him some love taps. I respect their defense. I watch them a lot, very closely. To see the things that they do when they play, I’m excited to go compete against them.”

On whether or not he has taken a ride in Jonathan Stewart’s Oregon car: “I heard about that. I haven’t gotten in yet. Stew’s unique, and the car. I don’t know how that came about, but we have a lot of pride in where we come from. Stew proves that with the car. ... I’m not going to say that I would do that myself. If I got it for free I’d take it. I wouldn’t spend my own money to go do that.”

On getting big hits out of the way in the first preseason game: “Everybody’s emotions are going to be going high. We haven’t played since the end of the season. I’m going to see if I can make it again and hit somebody else. I think after the first hit, personally myself, I’ll be calm and ready to go. To see some of those rookies out there and working for a job and everything, it’s what I’ve been doing for a majority of my life. I am excited to play.”

On memories from his first preseason game and what it was like: “It might have been against the Panthers. I’m not sure, don’t quote me on that, but I remember it. I remember my helmet kept coming off every other play. To think back then to that game to now, it’s a little bit different. Still emotionally, inside, you’re still ready to go and anxious.”

On giving Julius Peppers any love taps in his first preseason game: “I know you guys have heard it millions and millions of times before, but that’s a big human being right there. I’m glad he is on our side. I remember going to battles with him when he was in Green Bay and everything like that. I’m just glad he is on our side. There are not many people in this league who can make me look like a dork and he is one of them.”

On the unique skill set that Joe Webb has: “You think about a guy like Joe Webb playing quarterback, and you don’t see quarterbacks out there playing special teams. I think Joe Webb early on in his career wanted to play quarterback, and he can still play quarterback now, but he understands the magnitude of being around for a long time and being out there on the field. Special teams, he made a living playing special teams and can still make a living playing special teams. It’s not like he is out there just getting by, he is making a whole lot plays for us. For this team, and the Vikings, he has played special teams and been one of the best.”

On if there are any guys in this league who he has tried to block but they were hard to move: “There was one in particular, that I was like he is not really big but he is stout, James Harrison. Being in Baltimore and going through those battles, those Steeler-Ravens battles, it wasn’t pretty, so to say. So that is another one that sticks out, but talking about statue or build, I don’t think there is anyone that can compare to Peppers.”