HBO begins airing its newest season of “Hard Knocks” Tuesday night. The show will follow the Cincinnati Bengals through their training camp. Of particular interest to Nebraska fans will be former Husker running back Rex Burkhead, currently the Bengals’ No. 3 running back behind BenJarvus Green-Ellis and fellow 2012 draftee Gio Bernard.
Here’s a video interview Burkhead conducted late last week, along with a quick transcript:
On whether it is difficult to go from starting at Nebraska to fighting for reps in the NFL: “It is. But that’s what it is. It’s the next level. It’s the NFL. You gotta work your way up. You gotta make plays and come to work every day and prove that you can play. You gotta make sure you’re on your game.”
On fitting in and Cincinnati’s prospects this season: “I’ve got enormous expectations for the club. The talent’s everywhere. Offensive side of the ball, defensive side of the ball, special teams if you want to go there. The talent’s definitely there. We need to make sure everybody’s on the same page and we’ll do great things.”
On roles the Bengals might want Burkhead to fill to make the team: “They haven’t mentioned any of that to me. I know kind of what I need to do to push myself as far as getting on special teams, make sure I know what I’m doing on the field in those situations. As well as working on the overall running back game, as far as pass protection, third downs, run game, anything like that. They haven’t mentioned anything to me. I’m just out here fighting every day, working hard, making sure I’m on top of it.”
On whether playing at Nebraska made for a smooth transition to the NFL: “Nebraska football, it’s almost like a NFL team there in the state of Nebraska. That’s what it is in that state. Fans love that. There’s excitement about it year-round. There’s definitely that media attention non-stop year-round there. It has made the transition easier as far as media goes and talking to them.”