Former Husker linebacker Josh Banderas is ready to get back on the football field.
Banderas signed with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent, but has spent some time back in Nebraska during the offseason. The Broncos open training camp on July 27, and that's when Banderas will resume his push to make the roster.
Banderas joined "The Bottom Line" Wednesday to discuss his NFL career thus far, some of the Husker linebackers tasked with replacing him and a lot more.
On his first NFL practice:
"You've got a bunch of big names and new faces and new schemes. For the most part, it's just helmets and shorts and playing football. At the end of the day, that's all it really is. ... But there's definitely nerves. This is the NFL. This is as high as it gets. There's those obvious nerves, but it didn't take too long to really get over it once you get into actual football, because that's what you feel comfortable doing."
On advice former Huskers on the Broncos gave him:
"They said it's really not going to be anything you haven't done before. ... It's a huge advantage for me to have those guys there that I know and am real good friends with and played with. It just adds more comfort to the whole experience."
On what he's still learning about the Denver defense:
"I understand it on a pretty good level, but obviously there's always room to pick up a little something else. Somebody — a coach or veteran guy — might look at something a little different and help me change my perspective and get more information out of it. There's always room to grow, but I think I've got a pretty good handle on it from the experiences I've had over the last four years."
On the adjustment to having more free time as a pro:
"I'm still trying to figure that out. I'm living out of a hotel, and I know the rookies I came in with, but everyone's not as close as you were with the guys in college. Trying to figure out what to do with all this time, because you're not there as much as you were in college. In college, we had a players' lounge and the academics center. Everything was in one spot. But here it's just football. That's all that's there. It's your job and you're free to do whatever you want. So I've got to find a hobby or something. ... I have played more golf in the past two months than I have in my entire life. I'm not very good, but there's definitely time to start getting better at that."
On the offseason workout regiment:
"Just trying to get my body as healthy as it can be. Obviously getting in shape and staying in the weight room to be able to run forever. Just get the body in the best feeling it can be, because as soon as I get back, it's not going to be feeling very good for 16, 17 weeks."
On Husker linebacker Chris Weber:
"He'll be perfectly fine. He would've been perfectly fine if he was a starter last year. He's really athletic, obviously one of the smartest kids on the team. He has no problem picking up this new scheme. He's got it down already better than anybody. He's a heck of a player. He'll be fine. I'm really excited to get to watch him. Hopefully he can make some plays."
On Husker linebacker Mohamed Barry:
"You guys are going to love watching Mo. He's a fun player to watch. His first year, he was just getting everything learned. Even the second year he was still learning, still figuring out college ball and what it's all about. When the kid goes, the kid goes. He just gets to the ball somehow. He's really athletic, really strong and now he's got that mental part. He's starting to screw that down. He's going to be a good player, a good addition to the defense, and he'll really make some standout plays this year."