Here is a transcript of what defensive tackle Ed Oliver told reporters after his preseason debut:
Q: You got to see one of the best guards in the NFL [Quenton Nelson] up close and personal. What was that matchup like from your perspective?
A: Any time you get a talent like that put in front of you, you have to respect them. I really don’t know players, but after watching film and seeing who he was, you have to respect him. I respected him before I took the field, but I don’t fear anybody. I have respect for him on the field. He’s a good player.
Q: What was the whole experience like? Putting on the uniform and the game day atmosphere?
A: It was exciting, but it was weird, because I knew we weren’t going to get to play that much; and that’s something I’m not used to. Coming from Houston, I’m usually playing the whole game. So you have to get what you can get with the limited series that was different for me. Just going out there and having fun with my guys, flying around with my guys, great linebackers and defensive line around me. The guys could tell I was nervous at first. I wasn’t talking much, I was just reading my key, I couldn’t hear anything. They said just loosen up and play. They helped me a lot.
Q: Obviously Quenton Nelson is one of the better guards in the league, what was it like for you going up against that caliber of a player right away?
A: It goes back to practice. I practice against [Quinton Spain] and [Dion Dawkins]. Being able to play physical against those big, heavy guys helped me out tremendously in the game today.
Q: I know it’s preseason, but the fact that you’re coming here, first game, how were your nerves entering tonight?
A: It’s the same way with every game, just kind of lackadaisical when I first get to the stadium and as things build up and I get closer to taking the field, it ramps up a bit. By the time I got to the field I was super excited.
Q: How do you think you played tonight?
A: The tape is going to have all the answers. I know I’m a long way from where I want to be. I know the biggest room in the house is the room for improvement; so I’m just eager to get better.
Q: You got your hands on Jacoby Brissett on a play and he got by. You wish you could have made that play?
A: It’s just a little wake-up call. Arm tackles aren’t going to work in this league. Any other quarterback I would’ve dropped him, but I missed the sack.
Q: Is it good to finally get this game out of the way? Is it full steam ahead?
A: I’m ready to get back here in the morning and work out, go to practice, and watch the game, and see where I can get better. I know there are a whole bunch of things I can get better at. I’m just ready.