Jeremy Butler: Pre-training camp interview


Training camp gets underway this week, and the wide receiver competition is set to be the most fiercely competitive battle for the 2015 Baltimore Ravens. With this in mind, I got the chance to ask wide receiver Jeremy Butler how he feels about camp, the injury that kept him off the field in 2014, what it was like coming into the NFL, and more.

You had a great career at the University of Tennessee at Martin and are in the top 5 at the school in 100 yard games, touchdown receptions, receptions, and receiving yards. What was the transition like coming from such a successful college career into the NFL?

For me the transition was pretty smooth, I owe that to my position coaches from junior college and at UTM.  They really pushed me fundamentally and physically, so my game was pretty developed to transition.

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Following on from that, what was it like coming in and working with guys like Steve Smith and Joe Flacco who have been so successful in the pro’s?

It’s a blessing.  Those are guys you can learn from without ever having to ask a question. You can learn from them by seeing how they go about carrying themselves and their attention to detail.

Last year you were having a great preseason and there was a lot of excitement building after some great performances.  How did it feel having your career put on hold because of injury, and has it motivated you to come back stronger?

I learned to not stress over things out of my control, so I took it all in stride and just made sure I would come back the best Jeremy Butler I could be. I’m ready to play the game and put out the results of hard work over I/R season.

We have been hearing from wide receivers coach Bobby Engram that you are in great shape this year. Has there been anyone in particular that has helped you get faster and stronger for this season?

Yea, I studied Jerry Rice and noticed in the 3rd and 4th he could move and play at a tempo like it was still the 1st quarter. That’s due to conditioning – once you’re fatigued all technique and skill go out of the window, so I took conditioning more serious and got with Nick Stamper at Solus in Tennessee, then Terrick Gaines at tgxfit out in Baltimore to work on that.

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We also heard a lot of praise for you from Joe Flacco during minicamp, do you feel a strong chemistry is being built with him?

Yea I think so. He’s put some 50/50 balls up for me that I came down with, but it’s my job, so I want him to just know if he puts it in my area it’s caught.

The wide receiver battle is what everyone is talking about going into camp.  Is there anything extra you are doing to prepare yourself mentally for such a tight competition?

I can only control me, and it’s just football for me go in and have fun and use the talent I was blessed with. It’s the NFL, they say competition sorts it all out, so if that’s the case there’s no worry in my mind at all.

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In particular, the slot receiver competition looks to be very tight.  Is that where you see yourself performing your best and making big plays like you did in college?

I believe I’m just as good in the slot as outside, so I don’t mind moving around to make plays in the offense.  Wherever they need me to make a play, however, I believe I can.

What has it been like so far working with Marc Trestman and what differences are there to how Gary Kubiak ran the offense?

They both are great coaches who get the most out of players.  All great coaches have similarities in that sense, but they go about it in different ways I guess you can say.  Both are very down to earth, players-first coaches.

Finally, both for yourself coming into your second year and for the team as a whole coming off a disappointing playoff loss, is there a different feeling coming into this year compared to last year?

The feeling is and always has to be to get the job done each day, each week. There’s a job to be done for me and for the team.  It’s just that simple.

Butler, along with the other Ravens veterans, will report to camp this Wednesday, with practices opening the next day. He is set to be at the heart of a fierce competition though appears to be going from strength to strength this off season and is certainly someone to keep an eye out for over the next month or so.

Next: 10 reasons the Ravens will win the Super Bowl: #8

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