NFL Draft

Senior Bowl Interview With Memphis RB/WR Antonio Gibson

Senior Bowl is a great chance to meet and talk to dozens of players invited for the week in Mobile. Perhaps ones that’ll become future Pittsburgh Steelers. While we’ve profiled some players already, for some of the shorter interviews, I wanted to provide a transcript of those interviews.

I spoke to Memphis RB/WR/KR Antonio Gibson on Thursday following the final day of practice. Here’s the transcript of that conversation. We hope to have a scouting report on him in the near future.

Question: Take me through the week of practice. Anything surprise you?

Answer: No surprises. Just had to get accustomed to things at running back. I’ve never been strictly a running back since high school. Now I’ve got a feel for things and once things got rolling I got comfortable and things went very well.

Question: What was the biggest transition working strictly as a RB this week?

Answer: At Memphis, all of my runs was outside zone mostly. Didn’t really do much inside zone until about, I did a little bit against SMU, a little bit against Cincinnati. So just getting accustomed to running between the tackles. And here, you can’t do too much in the backfield at this level. You’ve got everyone playing at a fast pace. You gotta get north and south. Picking up on pass pro. Did a little bit of pass pro yesterday. Picking up my blocks, staying square with my feet. Doing the little things as a running back.

Question: What’s the biggest difference between inside and outside zone?

Answer: Everything. Your footwork, your reads, your tracks. I feel like outside zone is kinda easy. Just getting the ball, reading hats and kinda hit the hole. Inside zone, you gotta hit the hole hard. You gotta get north.

Question: Are teams viewing you as a running back, receiver, or just general playmaker?

Answer: Some teams talked to me about running back. Some teams talked to me about wide receiver. Some teams talking to me about moving me around.

Question: Do you have a preference for what position you want to play?

Answer: No preference. I want to be the best athlete to ever touch the field. So wherever you put me on the field, I want to be the best at.

Question: Will you be doing kick return work in Saturday’s game?

Answer: For sure.

Question: What’s the biggest key to being a good kick returner?

Answer: You have to have vision. You can’t be too shaky trying to juke everybody. You gotta make that first cut and you gotta get north and hit it hard.

Question: How tough was it to largely sit on the sidelines during 2018? What was the reason for that?

Answer: We had a lot of talent coming in. You had the running backs Darrell Henderson, Tony Pollard, you got Patrick Taylor who rushed for 1000 yards. You’ve got wide receivers Damonte Coxie, Kedarian Jones, Mechane Slade, Pop Williams, Sam Craft. We were deep. We’re always deep at athletes. It’s hard to get on the field. They establish a trust from freshman year to their junior year. I was competing. I didn’t think I was doing bad at all. It took me some time to learn the playbook. It’s a little complicated with Norvell’s offense and how fast pace we go. But I finally got it. And I was doing good at practice. Opportunity never came my way but I didn’t blame nobody. Just kept working. And when my opportunity came, I made the best of it.

Question: What is it with Memphis always churning out great athletes? And was it hard to handle being asked to be so multiple?

Answer: Not hard to handle. I was a playmaker coming in. I just had to show myself. I had to learn quick. Everyone here can do it so it’s going to be hard to touch the field. So you gotta work. And that’s what I did day in and day out. I worked. It finally came my way.

Question: I’m sure you’re going to end up at Indy for the Combine. Have a number in mind for your 40 time?

Answer: Haven’t gotten invited yet. Hopefully I do. When the time comes, you gotta see it.

Question: Have you talked with Pittsburgh yet?

Answer: I had contact with them. [Team asking for] the basic information.

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