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Transcript: OTAs Day Five

DT Marcell Dareus

Thursday, June 7, 2012

On how OTAs are going so far:

I think they've been going pretty good. We're gelling with the new teammates, really liking the guys and really liking what they bring to the table. When we get them to put their toys on I'm going to be scared for who goes against us.

On not having OTAs last season and the benefits he's getting from them now:

Really getting to know the guys. Know them more than just getting right into it, but then again knowing how they play, really getting a great feel for them and really understanding their game. I can learn more during this period of the offseason than last year coming in just during camp. Kyle Williams, Mark Anderson, they really are helping me out along the way. I really cherish this time more than last year.

On what his expectations are for this season:

Year two I want to do better than year one. First and foremost I want everybody to be healthy and really play to the best of our ability and bring the defense out further than the defense has been.

On how much better this defense can be:

Watching the defense this year we have a way better understanding of what's going on. I really think we're gelling together more than just, like I just said when we're going through camp now OTAs we can run through the play to get a better understanding of everything and get a feel of who needs to be where, who's going to cover you up, what the back support is going to be; just all of that in general it makes it more of a better situation for us.

On the depth that the defense has:

With the depth and the talent alone we're going to learn more across the board. We're getting more wins, we get more people to come in and bring to the table just as much as the starters. It's just so much of a competition out here of who's going to be where and what's going to happen. It's just crazy.

On sending out a "warning" for everyone to get ready:

I can't even stress that enough.

On what changes technique wise with new DC Dave Wannstedt:

Not really much. He just really wanted me to get after it more. I had to really play under control last year and just play my role and do the best I can in my role. But this year he's kind of letting me be a little freer. Everybody across the front is a little bit freer as a defensive line in a friendly defensive scheme he's putting in for us. I really just can't wait for him to take the collars off of us.

On if he's a three technique:

I'm a nose two eye, three technique. Pretty much the same as last year.

On what he wants to bring to the table:

This year I want to bring to the table a more in shape Marcell. I want to be more in shape flying to the ball, flying more than I did last year, more than I did ever. I really want to get off the ball, get to the ball, run to the ball, be nonstop having an engine and have a motor just nonstop going. I want to be in better shape, physically and mentally ready to go.

On how he gets to be at the point where he's ready to go:

I just have to chop at that wood. You've got to keep chopping onto the old wood until the season is over. It never stops.

On how much the additions on the outside help the guys on the inside:

It's a great deal. We get some pressure. We get to crash the pocket from the outside and not just from the inside. It just brings more versatility to the defense. I don't have to really worry about trying to cover up when I know Mark (Anderson) is going to have his outside, Mario (Williams) is going to have his outside and (Chris) Kelsay is going to have his outside. We're going to be covered either way it goes around, so me and Kyle can do more things in the inside. I'm just excited about the whole thing. I think you can hear it in my voice.

On having the guys that he has around him and the overall talent now on defense:

Honestly I look at it as a blessing. I never really played with a group of guys as talented as this group of guys. We come from different backgrounds and different ethnicities. We can come together and I can learn so much from this guy, that guy, that guy, this guy. I can get from a big small man perspective who can play like one of the biggest men on the field but so compact. He can show you different types of things playing with leverage. I can learn from Mario just dominating off the edge. Mark (Anderson) with his technique and just being so sweet with it. I get so much from different players and I can only take in so much. I'm like a sponge right now really just trying to learn as much as I can.

On his playing weight:

I want to get a little down. They wanted me at 330 last year. I played at 330, 325. I probably want to be at 325 this year being quicker around that weight.

On getting the freedom to be more attacking:

You'll all see this year.

LB Kelvin Sheppard

On how the OTAs are going and how important they are for him:

They're going pretty good, just getting better each and every day. That's the big cliché in football, but that's seriously what we're trying to do because you're never perfect. Good isn't good enough here. We're trying to take it to the next level so that's what we've been doing.

On how he's handling being the middle linebacker in the new 4-3 defense:

Just taking it in. I'm not letting it get to my head, just using it as motivation in knowing that I have very high expectations being a guy that's lining up and is being called a leader with guys like Kyle Williams, Mario Williams and Nick Barnett. These guys have been in the league, veterans and All Pro guys. I'm just taking all of their information along with the coaches and trying to combine it all into a Super Bowl run.

On how much of a challenge his role is and how prepared does he feel:

I'm prepared. Still it's a lot of things going in. We haven't even got to training camp yet. As of right now I have all my knowledge and all my information pretty well. I'm being pretty vocal with the younger guys because today they're starting to get the young guy Nigel (Bradham) in there with us. I'm trying to talk to him because I know how it is coming in as a rookie.

On how much the guys surrounding him a role in his confidence:

With it being on paper it doesn't give me too much confidence until we start doing it out on the field and actually putting in the work on the field. Of course we can't get to that the game situations until the pre-season. Just looking at the film and it's night and day you can see it. The front is getting to the ball. It's hard for the quarterback to get balls off and that helps us out as linebackers.

On how much film study is involved for him this time of year:

It's a lot more than you would think actually because I'm not just trying to learn the middle linebacker position because you can never know what's going to happen during the season. I want to know not only the linebackers but what the d-line is doing and what the secondary is doing because that helps me know if those guys are there I know where I need to be or where I could cheat to to make a play where I shouldn't have been; just things like that give you the competitive edge.

On what his thoughts were when he found out about the system change on defense:

I was excited. Whichever way it is as long as I have a job in the league and I'm able to compete on Sunday's I'm happy. But of course I've been in the 4-3 scheme my whole life. Now going into Coach Wannstedt he's one of the gurus of the 4-3 defense, so of course I was excited. But all the talk goes aside on Sunday's. You actually have to do the work and put in the work on the football field.

On what it's like working with AHC/DC Dave Wannstedt:

Coach Wannstedt is great. He's a great guy and a great players coach. I'm a lot more familiar to a lot of the guys in the defense because I was actually in the linebacker room because he was the linebacker coach last year so he's a great guy. We actually live across the street from each other so he's my neighbor. He's already reminding me of that (I can't get away from him).

On his weight coming into this season:

I'm not 260 right now I can tell you that, when I came into training camp last year. I just know what's expected of me now. I know in the 4-3 defense you don't have to be at 255-260 linebacker. You have to be able to go sideline-to sideline in this defense and cover to be able to carry the receivers and tight ends up the seam. I'm just a lot more familiar. I know my body and I know what I need to do.

On being 10-15 pounds lighter than last year:

(More comfortable) on my body, on my legs and everything. You just feel a lot more comfortable and more explosive.

CB Aaron Williams

On what his expectations are personally from last year to this year:

Man coverage, keep your eyes on your man, don't keep your eyes on the backfield and tackle better. There are all sorts of goals I have for myself this year. I missed a few games last year so really my main goal is to stay healthy. Once I stay healthy guys give me the ability to go out there and make plays. As long as I stay healthy I'll be fine.

On how much more up to speed he is with the defense compared to last year:

It's pretty much the same thing as last year almost for me. The thing that helps us the most is the d-line. We've got great guys to put pressure on the quarterback. The guys at linebacker, vets in the backfield so it's really not a difference. Make sure you get the details down but other than that you just have to go out there and play.

On getting pressure on the quarterback makes his job a lot easier:

One of things that George told me about as long as you're in leverage you'll make plays. It's not about always jamming the guy on the line of scrimmage or being in the right speed. It's all about leverage because you know at the end of the day Mario, Mark, Marcell and Kyle and all those guys are going to go after the quarterback and the quarterback's going to have maybe less than two seconds to get the ball out so it's going to benefit all of us DB's.

On the opportunity he has at his position:

With Drayton getting released it has no effect. Nobody has a guaranteed spot. I'm still fighting for a spot. Stephon's still fighting for a spot. We're all fighting for a spot. It's not guaranteed. Each year you've got to prove yourself. Last year that was great, that was last year. The New York Giants they won the Super Bowl last year but it's a new year. We're looking at it as a new year and guys got to step up and do their jobs.

On being more comfortable out on the field this year: First time you come in it's like being a freshman in college. My whole philosophy in coming in is keep your mouth shut and listen. Do more listening than you do talking. First year I did that and I just want to learn a little bit and get used to the guys and how they are chemistry wise. Now, this year now I know them, we hang out. We hang out outside of football. I feel more comfortable on the field. It's more about trust on the field. That's the biggest thing on the team.

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