Earlier today Dre Bly took part in his first practice with the 49ers. As is usually the case, he was brought before the media for a Q&A. I definitely have to say, the man does not lack confidence. He had a few pearls, but by far my favorite came when asked about his physical condition:
Oh yeah, my instincts are still very instinctive.
Maybe it's not the funniest thing anybody's ever said, but there's something just so fantastic about that line. One might call it Tyson-esque. After the jump, check out what Bly had to say.
On his first look at his new teammates:
"First look at my new teammates, first look on the field since last year. I’m glad to be out here today. I was itching sort of to get back out here on the field and I’m happy to be out here. It was fun."
On his feeling coming to the 49ers:
"A team with a lot of potential. A coach who has a lot of passion for the game, has a lot of knowledge, a guy that’s ready to lead. The sense I got from the guys is they respond to him. They like who they have leading the team and I’m glad to be a part of it. Championship teams start with a great leader, a great guy at the top and that is what we have in Coach Singletary. He’s a guy that’s won, he’s a Hall of Famer, a guy with a lot of passion about the game and just a great man and that’s what you need when you are going to be a good football team. You need somebody great to lead you."
On his veteran leadership:
"It’s a young team that’s been building through the draft and we have a few veteran guys like myself, Takeo Spikes and Walt [Harris], he went down, Isaac Bruce, but for the most part it’s a young team with a lot of talent and guys that have a lot of upside and hopefully we can lead these guys and do great things. I’m excited to be a part of this team. I know the tradition. They have Super Bowls. They’ve had Hall of Famers and have a lot of tradition. This is a football town, so I’m glad to be here, looking forward to working and competing and hopefully it will lead to some great things."
On being with Isaac Bruce again:
"It’s crazy because he was the guy that raised me. I was telling him that story today. He didn’t talk to me the first three months when I was in St. Louis. Isaac doesn’t talk as it is, but it took him a couple months to actually respond to me and after I started becoming consistent, making a few plays here and there, then they opened up to me, but Isaac, you are talking about a great veteran guy that, it seemed like, when I came into the league he was a 10-year veteran and he’s still playing football 10 years later. This is a guy that let his work and his actions talk for him and he’s not going to say much. Isaac leads by example on the practice field and off the field and I have a lot of respect for him because I honestly believe going up against him every day in practice is the reason that I’ve lasted as long as I have and had the success that I’ve had because of going against him and Torry Holt and Az Hakim on a daily basis, but it was started with Isaac Bruce, the way he competed and the way he worked."
On what Bruce said to him after not speaking to him for months:
"I can’t remember, but I started making a few plays and I was working my way up the depth chart, because I came into St. Louis…I was very successful in college and had a lot of hype and stuff like that, but Isaac, his thing was, that stuff is in the past. We are in the NFL, we’ve all had success and what you did there, it doesn’t matter here. You have to prove yourself here, you have to work to get better. From that point on, my DB coach told me just listen to everything he says. He’s a perennial Pro Bowl player and he knows what he’s talking about and I did and 10 years later, I’m here now. So I’m glad to be here and still have a chance to compete with him, because I know Isaac, we know how to push each other and he knows how to get the best out of me and I’m glad to be here."
On what he brings to the table at this point in his career:
"I make plays, that’s just who I’ve been my whole life, from college. It just didn’t start that one year in the league. I’ve been consistent making plays every year since I played football. Just look at my resume, that’s who I’ve been. Come in here, being a leader and just come in here bringing ball skills, that’s been my asset every year and I look forward to being that guy here."
On if his ability to generate takeaways get better as he gets older:
"I’m not going to say it’s easy because it’s always been easy for me. I’m not trying to be arrogant about it, but I’ve been consistently making plays ever since I’ve been playing football. My first year I played football in college at North Carolina I had 11 [interceptions]. I’ve been consistently making plays. For older guys, because you become smarter and you see different routes and see different things you have a tendency to make more plays here and there. For me, I’ve been injury free the last three years. Last year was a down year for picks, but still at the same point, I still led the team with two, but I just look forward to being who I’ve been. I’ve been reliable. I’ve been a pretty injury free guy my entire career. I haven’t missed a lot of games. I’ve been pretty consistent and I just look forward to being that same guy. I’m kind of hungry right now, based on how things ended in Denver and so I’m just glad to be a part of a team, looking forward to competing and just showing who I’ve been my whole life and like I’ve been saying, my statistics don’t lie, and I just plan on being that guy."
On his characterization of being a gambler:
"People are going to say that because you intercept balls and what I’ve done, what I’ve done that was what I was labeled as, after I picked off 11 in college. I’m aggressive, I make plays. At the same time, a receiver is going to catch balls. I’ll go to war with a guy everyday that is going to make plays versus a guy that is going to run around and tackle a guy when he makes a play. That’s never been who I am and that’s not going to be here. I’m not going to take any crazy chances and put the team in crazy situations. I’m just going to be who I’ve been and try to make smart decisions. I guess it wasn’t that bad to the point where if I would have taken a lot of chances and been an overly aggressive gambler, I wouldn’t of lasted as long as I have. I’m just going to be who I’ve been and that will hopefully lead to great things."
On his condition physically:
"Oh yeah, my instincts are still very instinctive. I haven’t lost much quickness at this game. I’m not a 4.3. I have football skills in speed and football instincts. I feel that my smarts and my instincts make up for guys that can run a 4.3. I can’t run a 4.3. I probably can run a 4.5. I’m just going to be real with you, but guys that run 4.3s and 4.2s at the combine, you don’t see that out here when they are playing football. Everything is converted to football speed and I’ve got football speed. Like I said, the biggest thing for me, the last three or four years is I’ve been injury free. A lot of guys at my age, at this position, they drift off, because of injury and they get big and they move them to safety. I’m lighter than what I was when I first got into the league. Right now, I’m probably about five pounds overweight, but I can get that down easily. I’m running out here and I’ll easily lose that weight. I’m just glad to be a part of a team, a good situation. Coach Singletary is a great leader and I plan on being the same guy I was since the first day I came into this league and instincts and ball skills, I can’t lose those and that’s what I have today."
On how vocal they are going to be in the locker room:
"I’m just going to play my role. If some of the young guys ask for advice and I give them advice and I haven’t been here for a long enough time, to stand out up front and be that leader on defense. They have [Patrick] Willis, Takeo Spikes and [Nate] Clements and Michael Lewis and some of the other guys. So I’m just going to play my role and I’m trying to compete and I want to be on that field. I’m going to concentrate on myself and give help if it’s needed."
On the preseason game against Denver:
"Oh, I’m looking forward to that. Normally, for first preseason games for me, there hasn’t been many snaps, but however many snaps I get, I’m going to be licking my chops, because anytime you leave a former team, you look forward to competing. I’m looking forward to competing with my former teammates and having a good time. I’m looking forward to, like I said competing. It’s nothing personal and I have a lot of good friends and Brandon Stokley, Brandon Marshall if he’s still a part of the team with all that trouble he’s gotten into lately, but I look forward to competing with those guys and seeing how things go."
On whether he seems himself as a starter:
"I’m here to compete. Based on who I’ve been my whole life, I never lost. I’ve got a lot of confidence in my ability. I have a lot of confidence in who I am as a person and I don’t have any flaws right now. I feel like I’m the same guy I’ve been. The same guy that has made plays my whole life and I look forward to being that guy here."