CB RASHAD FENTON
Q: What do you expect the biggest adjustment or transition is going to be for you?
FENTON: “Maybe just the game speed. I feel like that will probably be the biggest adjustment. I would have said the playbook, but I feel like the defenses that we used to run at (South) Carolina are kind of imitated in a way on some of the defenses we’re running now. I feel like that will be – not an easy transition – but not as difficult because the playbook and the plays are kind of similar in a way.”
Q: Scouts said you picked up different techniques at South Carolina. How do you think that program will translate and help you play in this defense?
FENTON: “Coach (Will) Muschamp and Coach T-Rob (Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach Travaris Robinson), those guys are defensive gurus. That’s what I call them, that’s what everybody calls them. Multiple players in the NFL, and it’s evident that the techniques that they implement and have been teaching me for three years there at (South) Carolina are very useful, not only here in Kansas City, but at all the NFL teams, period. I feel like they use techniques and different schemes that are run by NFL teams and it only benefits the players because the transition will be easier.”
Q: Seems like Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo brings an energy out there to the practice field; do you feel that?
FENTON: “Yeah, it’s definitely pretty cool because I’ve always felt like players thrive off the energy from the coaches. So just being able to receive that energy, even if you’re kind of tired, the coaches are always energized so you’ve got to kind of match that energy. It’s a player-coach relationship.”
Q: You do all the preparation – pro days, Combine, etc. – then you get drafted and you’re finally here. Do you feel like you’ve arrived or is that feeling going to come later?
FENTON: “That’s still going to be later. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been working my tail off making sure for this moment that I’ll be more than prepared. But I’m a sixth-round draft pick right now, 201st pick, I’m not on the team guaranteed. We’ve got to still earn our spot on the team. I wasn’t a (high) draft pick, so right now I’m working my tail off like I’m a free agent. I’ve still got to make the team.”
RB DARWIN THOMPSON
Q: How do you think the first day of practice went for you?
THOMPSON: “Learning experience. Coaches are on me, just do everything right and hustle. That was the main thing. Getting back into football is really different from training. I’ve been training for the pro day and stuff like that, but getting back into football shape is a lot harder. Football shape is different, between football shape and regular running shape. I’m glad to be here.”
Q: How did you get so big?
THOMPSON: “My junior year of high school a kid told me I wouldn’t be a running back. I was too slow, not big enough and things like that. After that year it just never left me. Everybody asks me how I got my traps. That one year of high school I went crazy on the traps and they never left.”
Q: As you adjust to the NFL, coming from junior college, do you still carry a chip on your shoulder?
THOMPSON: “Always a chip on my shoulder. I’m overlooked, underrated, I’m blessed to be here. It’s the perfect situation. I’m blessed. I don’t know what else to say. It’s God’s plan. I’ll always keep that chip on my shoulder. I feel like I don’t do it so much for the people that doubt me but for the people that are inspired by me. It’s much more than just about me now. I have kids that look up to me from my city. I’m happy to represent.”
Q: What makes it a perfect situation?
THOMPSON: “Just the offense. Andy Reid. You’re talking about starstruck – when I met Coach Andy Reid on my top-30 visit, I was like ‘This is a Hall of Fame coach. He’s on his way.’ To just be in his system and to see what he’s done with other guys in the running back position, I’m very blessed. Perfect situation.”
OL NICK ALLEGRETTI
Q: How’s it going so far?
ALLEGRETTI: “Good. It’s been a pretty good experience. Coach (Andy) Heck’s been awesome. I’m learning a ton from him. I love the way Coach Reid has been running stuff so far, so really excited about being here for three days so far. But it’s been exciting and I’m having a lot of fun.”
Q: Did you feel like when you got here that you were prepared for the NFL? Or even a day-and-a-half into it, is it more than you thought?
ALLEGRETTI: “Yeah, it’s definitely another animal. There’s nothing you can do to totally be prepared. But I think Coach (Lovie) Smith and his staff over at Illinois did a very good job – run it like an NFL program. So, I had good preparation coming in.”
Q: At center, do you find yourself having to think a little more than just being able to react?
ALLEGRETTI: “Yeah, at center there’s definitely a little more on your shoulders than guard. But I’m comfortable there, played it, like I said, for a long time. I enjoy taking that role on, thinking a little more for the o-line and controlling it. So, I feel comfortable there.”
Q: Coach Reid mentioned that when he watched film, he described you as dirty-tough. What do you think makes him say that?
ALLEGRETTI: “I love playing football. I think there’s a way you’re supposed to play football, a way you’re supposed to play o-line. Physical. You want to put people on the ground. That’s just how I was coached, how I was brought up. So, I think that’s what he sees and that’s what he’ll continue to see.”