Let’s start with your touchdown last week. I know you had one last year against New Orleans, but how did it feel to have this one come in a win?
It felt good. Especially just the importance of it. It was late in the game, and also we needed this game to keep the playoff hunt alive. It felt pretty good being out there and being able to make a play, help our team win.
You did the Sprinkle celebration and after the game said you’ll always do that. Can you keep that promise?
I’ll probably have just different variations of it. I don’t know, it’ll come as it goes.
How long have you been doing it for?
Oh I’ve been doing that since college. Since my first touchdown in college.
Were you the one who came up with it? Or did some teammates help you with the inspiration?
I had help from a few of teammates. There’s actually a song from called ‘Sprinkle Me’ by E-40 and he says, 'Sprinkle me mane,' and that was kind of the inspiration for it too.
Sticking with the theme of celebrating, how do you plan on celebrating the holidays with your family?
They might come to the game. They’ll probably come to game so I can see them a little bit.
Have they been to a game before?
Yeah this will be the first time. They’ve come to preseason games, but this will be the first [regular season] game.
Do you remember the favorite gift you’ve ever gotten for the Holidays?
Favorite gift? Probably an Xbox 360. Got a 360 one year for Christmas.
Have you upgraded the system since then?
I got a PS4 now.
I have a PS4 too, I actually think it’s better than an Xbox but some people disagree.
I think it is too. I think it’s better graphics, I feel like the better players play on the PS4 too.
What types of games do you play?
Oh, I play everything. I play Fortnite, Madden, 2K, FIFA. Do you like FIFA?
I do play FIFA from time to time.
Love me some Fifa. Call of Duty. Really all the main games, but mostly Fortnite and FIFA.
I feel like FIFA almost helps you learn the sport of soccer more? Has it helped you follow it?
I follow it a little bit. I don’t just watch TV everyday and look for the games, but I play it mostly. I learned a lot of players names, but I don’t really follow it that much.
You said you played Madden. Do you think that can actually help you learn more about the game? Josh Johnson said he played it when he signed here to learn about the receivers.
I feel like it does a little bit. I guess just understanding certain schemes and things like that. Some guys you’ll play, they’ll understand it. Cause most of the time I just pick it. Some guys actually going in there and gameplan, actually know the fronts and stuff like that. Coach suggestions, that’s what I do most of the time. Some guys are pros at this, for the most part I just be chilling.
I know some players don’t like playing as themselves, do you?
I do. I ain’t going to lie, I do.
How cool was it to see yourself in the game the first time?
It’s pretty tight. Because, you now, NCAA, they cut it out. So I never had a chance to even play with myself on that. Playing with myself in Madden, it’s pretty cool. It’s always been something I wanted to do, and it’s pretty cool doing that.
Growing up you played baseball and basketball as well. Was football always your main sport?
It wasn’t always football. I started baseball when I was five, that was the earliest sport I played. Basketball in eighth grade and football in sixth grade. But I was always the best at football and got the most attention for football, so I just stuck with it.
Are you still a fan of those other sports? Who are your teams?
Yeah, I still love it. Baseball I like the Mets. They’re not really doing to good right now, but I’ll stick with them. Basketball, I really just follow wherever LeBron goes.
What made LeBron someone you wanted to root for?
He’s just a great leader, great player, just a great social media presence. He’s known, he’s out there and I just liked his style of play.
What did you think about his move to Miami?
I thought it was a good move. I feel like he probably could of handled the decision better. I don’t think he needed a whole TV show for it. Other than that, I thought it was a good decision, it was good for him. Got some championships, so I feel like it all worked out. Plus he came back to Cleveland and got them one. I feel like it was good.
Back to football, have you been able to adjust more to the grind of the season in your second year?
I would say just being used to the schedules. Also just managing my time and things like that. It’s a lot different from college. I feel like the coaches put a lot more on to you as a player to watch film and things like that. Where as college, you’ll probably be at the stadium watching film with your team. But, I feel like they just put more on you to do your job, treat it more as a job. Just get used to that.
Have you figured out a routine that has kind of worked for you?
You kind of, it’s Week 15, 16, you kind of get a routine going and things start to just be the same. Just getting used to that has been good.
As for your tight end play, it’s varied. Sometimes you’re asked to block and now with injuries you have become more of a pass catcher. How do you handle the different roles?
I’d say it’s been good. I’ve been trying to show the coaches that I’ve been ready. Know where to be, know the routes and stuff like that. Just always staying ready, when you get an opportunity you step in. When the play is there, you just go out and make it
What would feel better for you: A touchdown catch or a big block that opens up a lane for a big run from AP?
Oh, that’s a good question. I feel like when I have some good blocks I like to celebrate a little bit. But, I would say a touchdown catch. It feels better.
With a block, I feel like you know you did it, but people watching don’t always notice.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s like you get more recognition for a touchdown.
Do you feel like the tight end position in general is changing?
I feel like it’s definitely changed. There’s a lot of receiving tight ends in the NFL, a lot of guys that don’t like to block. I feel like being an all-around tight end, it just helps you more, helps you have more longevity in the league. Play more years just being able to be more than just catching passes.
With your fellow tight ends, what have you been able to learn from veterans like Vernon Davis and Jordan Reed?
It’s been good. Especially last year when I came in, just learning from them, being behind them. Learning, learning, learning. It’s just been good, learning certain techniques on routes and things like that. Certain leverages, learning how to read the coverages better, footwork. All types of things I’ve learned from those guys.
You also played with Chargers tight end Hunter Henry. Did you see the whole Stephen A. Smith debacle the other day?
I did see that. Oh my god, that was so crazy. He even said Derrick Johnson too. I was like, ‘He just named two players who aren’t even playing right now.’ [Laughs].
Did you have a chance to talk to Henry about it?
No I didn’t talk to him about it, but I’m sure he saw it. It was all over Twitter. That was just funny to see that, then everyone on Twitter was talking about it. That was funny, though.
Back to Vernon. He’s done some acting and you even did a scene with him a few weeks ago. Do you think you may follow in his footsteps?
Yeah, oh yeah. Just a little bit, cause Vernon has done a lot of other things too. Just watching him around the locker room. He’s always doing random stuff. Impersonations and things like that. It’s been good.