Q: How much do you get as a team out of practices that are as competitive as today’s was?
A: You get a lot out of it as long as it’s still productive. As long as you still keep your focus, when something happens it happens, and then you’re onto the next play. I think as long as we continue to do that we’ll be alright.
Q: What have your thoughts been of the practices so far from a production standpoint?
A: Well, I can say for the defensive line at least, we’re pretty well into the playbook. We’ve got a pretty good grasp of what’s going on. I think the biggest change will probably be as far as the linebackers go, we’ve got a lot of new faces at the linebacker position, and then those guys have to learn the system. They have to learn a lot because our linebackers, they have to know everything. Up front I think we’re doing pretty good at grasping things. I don’t sit in the linebackers room during meetings, so I couldn’t speak to that, but up front we’re doing pretty good.
Q: As a defensive line it looks like you guys are having a very strong start to camp.
A: Yes, we’re just trying to get better every day. That’s the biggest thing, we’re not comparing it to anything. It starts the first day and we just keep going.
Q: Is this a time when you start to get antsy to get on the game field and see some live action?
A: I guess a lot of people say that, but at the end of the day, competing is competing. We can come out here every day and compete against each other aggressively and still get the job done, still respect each other, not cross that line and get some work done. Obviously it’ll be good to get someone else in here and play against a different scheme.
Q: What do you think of the new defensive scheme?
A: It’s already different as far as our game of play and our style. We’re attacking. We’ve got to be more disciplined, more consistent because we can stop the run. We’ve just got to do it every play, instead of taking off time here and there. But the guys are hungry. We’ve still got some improvements to make and we’re going to get them corrected.
Q: Is that kind of an attitude and pride thing?
A: Very much so, very much so. I think that’s [the case] in the sport, in general. If you don’t have an attitude, if you don’t have pride about then it’s kind of hard to play this game and respect the game because you are happy and proud to be here.
Q: Was it frustrating last year that some of your numbers were skewed because you gave up so many big plays?
A: Yeah, they did happen. We can’t take them away, but it’s in the past now and if you take some plays away, things would be different.
Q: How are you building your defensive to have consistent run fits?
A: It takes trust. It takes a lot of trust. You have to trust the player beside you and all the players around you to do their job. And you do your job and not try to overcompensate. If a run does squirt out then it’s happened. That’s a good play by the offense. But don’t say, ‘Okay, now I’m just going to do this,’ and neglect your own job.
Q: Did you guys just decide that it had reached a point where it was enough?
A: Well, yeah because you don’t want to get anybody hurt. We’ve still got preseason games and 16 regular season games to play for, so that’s what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to make sure that we’re all prepped for that. Fighting is irrelevant.
Q: Does being 28th in the league (in rushing defense) last year make you feel a little bit sick?
A: Absolutely. We know we have tremendous talent and we know we can improve on that so we’re looking to improve on that.
Q: What got things started tonight between the offense and the defense?
A: Competition. We’re out here playing football. We have the pads on so you know both sides want to do well. We all want to succeed. So it’s just all-good fun, football competition.
Q: What are your thoughts on
A: He’s a big, strong guy. He’s very athletic for his size so he has tremendous upside. I love the competition. I’m just trying to do my best giving him some good looks and he’s doing a great job giving myself some good looks as well.
Q: It got a little feisty out there and you guys had a meeting with Coach can you talk about that?
A: Yeah, anytime you’re competing as hard as we are in camp to accomplish what we want to accomplish, tempers will flare. Of course they did today. It generally happens in camp but the key is to leave it on the field and move on from it.
Q: You’ve had a lot of long, hard practices. Do you think that has a lot to do with it?
A: Yeah, we’ve been going against each other a lot. There’s a lot of individual competition and a lot of guys fighting hard to make this team. Like I said, the key is to just move on from it and not let it affect the practice any more than the couple seconds it’s going on.
Q: Defense likes to talk don’t they?
A: Yeah, every defender likes to talk. A lot of running backs like to talk. Some O-linemen do too. It’s part of the game. It just kind of adds some excitement and enthusiasm to practice and sometimes it makes it a lot more fun.
Q: Do you say much during the heat of battle?
A: It wasn’t necessary. There’s better talkers on the team than me. I let ole’ Booby Dixon do the talking on offense. He seems to like that.
Q: Did Coach want you to cut it out?
A: Yeah, Coach just wanted us to put an end to it and we did. There wasn’t anything going on past that and that was the end of it.