The NFL Rookie Symposium is underway this week in Ohio, and NFC rookies arrived on Wednesday. The symposium is only for drafted rookies, so the San Francisco 49ers ten draft picks are in attendance, but not the undrafted free agent signings. Their arrival means some media availability to learn a little bit more about them. The general NFC availability is set for Friday, but the players are already doing some radio interviews.
49ers first round pick Arik Armstead is part of that group, and he had a chance to speak with SiriusXM NFL radio on Wednesday. You can listen to the audio HERE, and I have transcribed it below. I believe the audio did not include part of his interview, but I think this is most of it.
The downside to national interviews is the hosts sometimes don't have a full rundown of what is up with the player. In this case, I don't think they were aware that Armstead missed most of the offseason workout program because of Oregon's academic calendar. It's not the end of the world, but it does not help when they lead into a question about the next few weeks off by talking about how he might want time off after being busy since the draft.
Whatever the case, Armstead talked about what his game is, and his preparations for training camp. All indications are that he kept busy during his time away from the team, so that would hopefully bode well for a strong few weeks of getting ready for training camp. Considering how much time he missed, he has plenty to learn. Jim Tomsula previously said players only got playbooks if they were in attendance, but I have to think the team made sure to get him some stuff to keep him busy and learning during this key time before training camp.
Describing his game:
As a 3-4 end, your responsibility is different, you're expected to take on bodies and keep guys off linebackers, and also make plays yourself. I take pride in that. As a 3-4 end, we have to beat up offensive linemen, put our hands on them. My assets and my skills, with my length, it allows me to do that. I take pride in that.
On Mangini system:
Coach Mangini's real cool. I met with him throughout the process, and I met with him when I got there. Their defense is similar to what we did at Oregon. That's going to allow me to pick it up even faster.
On the symposium, and seeming to be ready for what the NFL brings:
Yea, I know a lot of this stuff. I've been blessed to have a lot of influential people in my life, my family, close friends, and people who aren't blood related that I call family. They've helped me a lot. I still have stuff to learn in growing up as a man, but I try to stay on the right path, and I've been blessed to have people to guide me on that path.
On thoughts of where things are at:
There's no down time. You've got three, four weeks to get ready for camp. That's vital time to prepare. There's a lot of expectations, and a lot of things my team is going to need from me. There's no down time, you gotta prepare and get your body and mind right for camp, and try to have an impact.
On the 49ers weight room:
Right now, I don't know. I haven't been in the weight room with all the vets yet. I'm sure they're more advanced than I am in that area. But I'm excited about being part of that culture, and getting into the weight room a lot more, and building that strength that I think is going to help me on the field. I'm excited to be a part of that culture, and get with those guys, and see how strong I really am and be around them to push me to get to that level.