Washington Commanders tight end John Bates addressed the media after practice on Aug. 6. Here is a full transcript of the press conference.
On the tight end room:
" I feel like we're in a really good spot and obviously everyone's still learning the offense and all the ins and outs and nuances of it. I feel like as a group we've picked up on things really well and we're still developing to learn those things but I feel like we're doing a really good job so far with this offense."
On learning the offense:
" I think the first couple weeks in training camp, everyone's back together, new offense, everyone's still trying to get the timing down and really just dial in on the concepts and what we're trying to get accomplished. You can see after a couple weeks now the timing's getting there, everyone's starting to get on the same page and so things are flowing and we're really excited."
On Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy's situational emphasis:
"We're really just wanting to be situational masters. He throws a lot of different game time situations that you don't necessarily see all the time or stuff that comes up a lot. He wants to make sure that when we get into those situations that we execute at the highest level."
On if QB Sam Howell looks different from last year:
"To be honest, no, I feel like since the day Sam got here everyone knew what he was about and what he could bring to this team and what he was able to do in the past and what he's shown to do here. Sam's been doing a great job and I'm excited to see what he does for us this year."
*On where his game has grown this off season: *"I think just all around, especially in the passing game. I feel like I'm a much more fluid route runner. I feel like I've done a really good job of learning how to create separation at the top of routes and from defenders. My biggest thing is just striving to get better every single year and to show progress all around my game. I'd probably have to say that."
On if he is excited for the first pre-season game:
"I mean definitely. I mean we've been going up against our defense now for three weeks and I think everyone's ready to hit someone else. It's always exciting once games start rolling around, that buzz and you start to come together as a team now during training camp going against each other every single day. It really gets fun when you start going up against opponents and you're really working together as a complete team trying to accomplish a goal of winning."
On if the focus on certain situations has helped compared to last year:
"I don't know necessarily about that. I just know EB's really trying to hone in on third down short yardage. We're really just putting the control of the game in our hands and not the other teams."