SANTA CLARA –
Taylor Mays ended practice this afternoon by breaking up a touchdown pass.
On the last play of the first-team offense’s two-minute drill, Alex Smith dropped back from the 10-yard line and spotted Vernon Davis open in the middle of the end-zone.
Smith zipped a pass on target to Davis, but Mays closed in quickly and slapped the ball out of Davis’ hands.
It was one of the top plays of today’s practice, and when Mays walked off the field he was smiling and happy to talk to the group of reporters waiting for him.
Here are selected quotes from that group interview:
Q: Has it been tough to concentrate on the field?
MAYS: No, I mean, it’s cool. It is what it is. I roll with the adversity and play hard regardless, play for my teammates regardless. I like to play football.
Q: Does this put a chip on your shoulder?
MAYS: I’ve already got a chip on my shoulder. Business is business. It is what it is. I don’t have any personal vendettas with anybody. I talked to Trent. Me and Trent are definitely on the same page. There’s no animosity. He wants what’s best for myself and for the team.
Q: Are you concerned about getting injured in practice though?
MAYS: No, I’m not concerned, I’ve never been concerned. You can’t play football if you’re concerned about injury. That’s how you get injured.
Q: Do you think you’re getting the opportunity you deserve with this new coaching staff?
MAYS: I think it’s just a process. They want to get a lot of guys looks. There’ll just be a cumulative amount of reps as we go on. I can’t say that today defines a whole season or that tomorrow does, but I think as we build up through this preseason I’ll get whatever chance I need to get to show whatever I need to show.
Q: After talking with Trent do you expect to be here this season?
MAYS: I don’t know. Trent didn’t say anything for sure and he didn’t not say anything for sure, he just kind of left it as a somewhat open thing, and there definitely was a mutual respect both ways. We’ll just see what happens. Regardless of what happens in the future I’m here now so I’m going to do what I’ve got to do now to help this team and to be with my teammates and coaches and provide what I can provide for this team. If anything changes then it changes. I can’t really worry about that.
Q: How did you find out?
MAYS: Trent pulled me aside and told me first, which I appreciated.
Q: What have you been working on in the offseason?
MAYS: I finally started doing yoga, to stay healthy and to keep my legs right. I gained six pounds – I’m 234. I feel good, I feel fast. I’ve got to keep working on my technique and my vision.
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