For the first time in his 12-year NFL career, Jerry Hughes was not available for the first day of camp. A calf injury sidelined him for a little, but his goal now is to be 100% for the rest of the season.
“Now that I’m actually practicing, it’s just about pushing myself to see if I have a limit on my calf,” said Hughes. “I know that we’re not playing week one next week, so I still got to really monitor my body, make sure that I can still put together successful days.”
Hughes was one of the starters who did not play in the first preseason game against the Lions on Friday. Instead, he made sure he was mentoring first round rookie Greg Rousseau. Since Rousseau, at 6’7″ has five inches on Hughes, the veteran pass rusher is actually teaching Rousseau someone else’s tricks.
“There’s certainly a lot of things that I’m telling him that I wouldn’t necessarily use myself or tell myself just because we’re two different body sizes, body types,” said Hughes. “We pass rush completely different, but I was able to play with Mario Williams, who was about 6’7″, 300 pounds. Being able to watch how he pass rushed, to watch how he worked for about four to five years, I’ve been really just pointing Greg to rush like him.”
As veterans, Hughes and Mario Addison will spend the season teaching the first and second round rookie, as well as continuing to work with second-year AJ Epenesa. Back when Hughes, was a rookie, he learned from Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.
“We laugh about it,” Hughes said. “Funny how this business comes full circle.”