49ers rookie offensive lineman Joe Looney has jumped right in with the team during his first NFL season. The fourth-round selection has taken most of his snaps with the second and third-team offenses so far. 49ers.com caught up with the Wake Forest alum ahead of his first NFL game at Green Bay on Sunday.**
I am really excited to begin my NFL career this weekend at a storied venue like Lambeau Field. It's going to be awesome to be on this team and go play a good team like the Green Bay Packers especially when you think about the history of that team and the 49ers. It's going to be awesome, and all the guys are excited to play.
Going somewhere like Lambeau reminds me of some of the coolest stadiums I have played at in the past. The best place I ever played so far was Florida State. Bobby Bowden Field at Doak S. Campbell Stadium has one of the best pregame rituals I have ever seen. They have their mascot, Seminole Chief Osceola, ride to midfield on a horse and throw a burning spear into the 50-yard line before kickoff. That just gets you pumped up whether you are a Seminole or not. It gets you ready to play. Another reason I liked playing there was also because we won some of those games.
Some of the young offensive linemen like me, Kenny Wiggins and Al Netter have been staying out after practice to work on our sets and our punches for our pass protection. We also focus on footwork for run blocks just because it's going to help us in the long run. We all want to get better so we can have that opportunity to play. You learn the technique from the coaches and then you just want to stay out and make sure you're doing every little thing right to develop mastery.
When I come out here the coaches expect me to get better at everything. They don't expect me to go down. They want us to get better every time we step on the field. When I come out I'm focused on one thing at a time. If I come out a day where I want to have better sets that's what I'm going to work on that day. If it's improving in the run game then that's what I'm going to try to improve.
I thought I did pretty well adjusting to learning new things in the preseason. It was good because I got to learn a lot from guys that are experienced on that offensive line. I could watch and learn from them to see how they do it and then I just tried to make sure I copied them.
One veteran guy who has been really helpful in mentoring me is Leonard Davis. He plays so efficiently and that's what we focus on together. He speaks a lot about making sure every move is the right one so that you're not putting too much energy in just sliding or punching. He told me everything you do is for a reason when you're blocking. Every punch and every kick you take needs to have a purpose.
As a rookie I am also responsible for picking up a lot of snacks for the veterans on the team. We try to only get healthy stuff like Jamba Juice and other things like that. You gotta take care of the vets.
I have already had two NFL road trips in the preseason, and I'm looking forward to this weekend's trip to Green Bay. It's easy to pass the time because we are still working to improve during those flights. We usually spend a lot of the time taking offensive line tests to make sure we know all our calls and what the game plan is.
As a rookie in the NFL the 49ers have become a family of mine, but because I am away from home, I try and call my family once a night to let them know how I am doing. I definitely miss them. This is my little brother's last high school football season so I have been keeping up with him a lot, making sure he's on the game and doing his thing. I am just trying to keep everybody in the loop.
I also follow my college team. It was really good to see Wake Forest beat Liberty 20-17 in their season-opener this past weekend. I was very happy for those guys.
Thanks for reading my rookie blog. I look forward to seeing all the fans the throughout the season.[