What did Coach Payton say to you as you walked on to the field?
Sedrick Ellis: “He just kind of took me aside and congratulated me on finishing the contract and everything – welcoming me and pretty much told me to have a good day at the start of camp.”
Did Coach Orgeron get on you for going the wrong direction in some drills?
Sedrick Ellis: “Coach O, he’s a little bit of screamer, so either way that I went he was going to scream – that’s just his style of coaching. I’ve had it before so I’m used to it.”
Were you able to prepare for the weather conditions you’ll be facing here?
Sedrick Ellis: “You can’t really prepare for the weather down here in the south, you just kind of have to come and get into it. I was training in Los Angeles, but it’s a totally different heat down there. It’ll take me a few days to get acclimated but I think I had a pretty good day.”
Was it hard to make it through practice?
Sedrick Ellis: “It definitely it gets hard toward the end of practice. All those other guys have been in about a week now – a little more than a week – so they’re already football-ready and I have to catch up physically and mentally to the rest of the team, and that’s my goal right now.”
How tough was it to be at home when everybody else was in camp?
Sedrick Ellis: “That was really tough especially when you know when all your new teammates that you haven’t made an impression on yet are out working hard and you want to be a part of that, especially being a new member of the team. It definitely weighed on my mind and I kept in really good contact with my agent and with officials on the team and we got it finished.”
How much did you get involved in pushing along the process or did you remain patient?
Sedrick Ellis: “I think it was a little bit of both. I had to make sure my agent was doing everything possible to get me into camp and also I had to stay patient because that’s what he gets paid for – to make good deals and to deal with the team – that’s his job. So it was a mixture, a little bit of both.”
When you got out in the heat did you wish you had taken a couple days longer to get here?
Sedrick Ellis: “No, I’m happy to be here. I wish I could have gotten here on the first day, to be totally honest with you. You never want to miss any part of camp being a football player. I wish I could have gotten here sooner, so it was that day today.”
How far behind are you?
Sedrick Ellis: “I definitely feel behind. You can’t help but feel behind when everybody else has already learned plays and you’re trying to catch up. One thing I noticed about this team and the older guys, they don’t try to big-time you, they try to help you and pull you along to make this a better defense and a better team so I really am thankful to those other guys who have helped me along.”
Was Coach O giving you a lot of extra reps in individual drills?
Sedrick Ellis: “That’s the kind of guy Coach O is. If he feels like you need some work, he’s not going to be shy about it at all. He’s going to pull you aside when it’s supposed to be your break time, so you always want to make sure you’re in the game.”
Are you surprised it took as long as it did to finish the contract?
Sedrick Ellis: “I was a little surprised. I think we were a little behind from the start because we had Tracy Porter’s deal, our second round pick. There were a lot of different factors; the guys who signed before me and we just waited on those guys and they were a little late. There are a lot of different factors that factored into this whole thing. That’s just the way it goes. I regret that it took that long. I wish I could have been here on the first day, but that’s how it happened and I’m here now. I just want to take advantage of my opportunity.”
Were your teammates heckling you about money?
Sedrick Ellis: “They were giving me a little of tough love there, but some of those other defensive line guys aren’t too underpaid themselves.”
Have you had a meal with your teammates and have you had to sing yet?
Sedrick Ellis: “Oh, that’s coming. I might have to sing the fight song or something, but being a Trojan I’ve got no problem singing the fight song for those guys. I’ll sing it over and over again.”
Will you have to buy some of those meals?
Sedrick Ellis: “I’m going to have to buy some of those team meals. It’s part of being a rookie. I’m not one of those guys who are going to act too big. I’m a rookie and that’s my place right now. When rookies come in later on, I’ll be the guy they have to buy dinner for. It’s just my role right now and I’ll play along with it.”
How long were you training in Tampa?
Sedrick Ellis: “About a week and a half.”
Did you go there to work in humidity?
Sedrick Ellis: “I tried to go to a similar climate. Tampa was pretty humid and pretty hot. I think that little week helped me a lot. I definitely had to get away from California because that weather was a little too good. They just had an earthquake in California. I missed it by a couple of days.”
Did you weigh in at your target weight?
Sedrick Ellis: “I haven’t weighed in yet. Just about when I finished my contract it was time to suit up. When I finished signing the papers I pretty much came down and got suited up and came out to practice.”
Was the play you made with Bobby McCray at the end of practice a highlight for you?
Sedrick Ellis: “I think I had a couple of good plays this practice. I’m definitely a guy that likes to do a lot of line games and a lot of movement at the defensive line. I’m not the biggest of defensive linemen so I pride myself on my ability to move. I definitely like to play stunt games on the line and things like that. I just like to get in the groove with my teammates and have as much fun as possible.”
What was your relationship with Coach Orgeron before here?
Sedrick Ellis: “I played under him. I wasn’t one of his top players when he left. I played my freshman and sophomore year and then he went to Ole Miss.”
Has he changed since you last played for him?
Sedrick Ellis: “Has he changed? Not one bit.”
When did you get to Jackson? Did you do a physical today?
Sedrick Ellis: “I flew in this morning. I did a physical during rookie camp and things like that. So I didn’t have to do it when I got here. Just signed the papers and made everything official. I had a six o’clock in the morning flight this morning from Tampa. I’m in dire need of a nap here. But besides that, I’m pretty good.”
What is your ideal playing weight?
Sedrick Ellis: “I think it depends on what the team wants from me. If the team wants me to be more of a slashing, up-the-field defensive lineman, I have to be lighter maybe around 299, 300, 303 area. If they want me to be more of a nose tackle, a hole-plugger, I can get up to about 310; 315 might be pushing it.”
What do you weigh right now?
Sedrick Ellis: “I’m probably about 305 right now. After practice I’m about 299.”
What is the highest weight you’ve played at?
Sedrick Ellis: “I was around 315 or 317 one year during spring ball. It was really good for the run. I was pretty much unmovable on the run, but it took away from my quicks and I wasn’t satisfied with that.”
Do you have some family from the Jackson area?
Sedrick Ellis: “My mom is actually from Jackson so I do have family around here. The problem is that I don’t really know them. I’m from California and I really hadn’t been outside of California all that much before coming down here. I’ve been here for a family reunion or two, but I was really young.”