Thanks to the people at X-A-M Sports, Big Cat Country was given the opportunity to ask rookie defensive end Austen Lane during the Jaguars bye week.
OGN: Hello Austen and welcome to Jacksonville – glad to have you. With Derrick Harvey being benched, there’s a great opportunity for you to claim a starting spot. How has your mental and physical preparation changed?
Basically it hasn’t changed since pre season… I just practiced like I was the starter. You need to do that so you are prepared to go at any time so you’re not a deer in the headlights.
OGN: I’m certain that the stock answer would / should be ‘I prepare the same’ – but surely, aren’t you ‘amped up’ a little with such a golden opportunity and does that provide a little extra motivation on the field? Thanks and best wishes for success.
Hahahaha… honestly it felt great and I did get "amped up" but thankfully I was prepared like I said..
rws591: Glad to see you get the start Sunday. Obviously coming from a small school you have a larger transition into the NFL than those from larger schools. Where before you were able to literally blow through your competition due to you athleticism, you now have to refine your skill and improve your athleticism. Aaron Kampman is a mid-round guy that worked into a starting position and is now a terror to QBs, does having him around and learning from him and his story help you along your path?
Absolutely – Kampman is great for the whole team. I’ve learned to hone my skills as a pass rusher and a whole lot of stuff like learning to take care of body and watching film. Great asset to the locker room and the whole organization.
rws591: Also, take a 3rd person view of yourself, what do you project as in the NFL? A dominate pass rush rusher, an athletic freak that allow coaches to use him creatively around the field, a balanced DE, or a run stuffer?
Playing as a DE that is relentless who can get to the QB and stop the run as well.
jagsfan1: Austin, Being from a small school in Kentucky how is playing football there and now in the NFL different? The speed, players, media etc?
Well... the heat is about the same. Truly though the competition of course isn’t like what I’m facing now. I mean we had some guys like Romo and Cromartie with talent but just not throughout the rosters. Media: it’s a little more hectic obviously because it’s a much bigger market and Murray State more people were interested in the basketball so the focus is different here.
rhettchrystal: Austin, after Marion Barber ripped off a nine yard gain at you, were you happy after you stopped the next play for a negative run.
One of the greatest talents as a football player is to have a short memory. Thankfully, he had the run which I was able to forgot about it, and then I was able to stop the next run.
rhettchrystal: Has Aaron Kampman, been big infulence on you?
rhettchrystal: Do you agree with the decision to bench Harvey? You're getting more playing time, because of it, but do you think that he will get his spot back, by having a breakout game?
All I can control is how hard I practice and how hard I can play. It’s the business.
ruffdaddy: Austen, Congratulations on a solid performance on Sunday, hope you start in that slot for many years to come. What is like working with Joe Cullen on a day-to-day basis?
He definitely gets the best out of you and pushes you over your limit. You become a better football player because of him.
ruffdaddy: What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from him?
There’s been a lot of good lessons, but just the whole mind set of the pass rush. He’s instilled in us that pass rushing is a life style… you have to live it, dream it, do it.
ruffdaddy: What’s your favorite Joe Cullen story?
Probably when I was out during OTA’s he never called me Austen he just called me Murray State for the first 3 weeks and finally now he calls me Austen or Lane so that’s really cool.
kjones407: Of all of the defensive line pass rush moves, which one is the hardest to utilize effectively?
By far it’s the spin move. It’s all about timing and you have to set it up with a speed move so the tackle bites. I’m trying to hone that move. Freeney and Mathis have the best moves in the NFL and it’s a rare move to see and to see used right.
Surteal: When is height an advantage for you?
Height is always an advantage but my wingspan is even a better advantage. It helps shed a blocker.
Surteal: Is it unnatural to get low?
No, you can train yourself and that’s what we practice – getting into "shoots" but yeah you can never be too low.
Zoltan from Budapest: Matt Griffin – is (your college head coach) with the team right now.Is he helping you with advises too? How much you too talk since you are working again in Jacksonville?
During the Draft he just said as long as I did at what I did Murray State that I’d be fine. It’s been refreshing to have him here; although we don’t get to talk too much because we are on opposite sides of the ball. It has been cool to watch him coach the TE’s and see him grow as well.
Zoltan from Budapest: How do you feel yourself in Northern Florida?
I love it. The heat and humidity doesn’t mix well with my hair/dreads but I’m good to go. I like the people – best fans in the NFL by far. I love that I’m 6 miles from the beach and can go chill when I need to.
Zoltan from Budapest: Are you 100% healthy now? I asked this because you suffered from minor injuries this season.
YES! I’m all good. The problem with hamstring issues is you have to rest and I never wanted to rest. I’m all good!
Zoltan from Budapest: How you ice cream (which was named after you) doing in your home area in these days?
I think it was a big hit. I’m waiting to hear from Ben and Jerry’s for a endorsement or a patent. Unfortunately it’s cold in Wisconsin so its closed for now but come spring time the Austen Lane flavor will be back. If you ever visit have a scoop… it’s on me.