Q: How are you doing?
A: I’m good; I’m good. I got to practice a little bit today again. And it felt really good.
Q: Did the treatment speed things up?
A: The treatment sped things up. I think it is just the culmination of everything that we have been doing. They have treated it really well; they were smart about it going through training camp and gave myself an opportunity to try to get ready for this first ballgame.
Q: What do you have to prove to yourself and be able to do in practice that would allow you go to against the Redskins?
A: Basically just timing things; just making sure that I have good hand placement, good get off, good explosiveness. Really make sure that everything is okay downstairs with the leg. And if that is the case then I’m pretty sure that I will be able to go on Sunday.
Q: Are you pretty confident?
A: So far so good; so far so good. It is just going to be one of those things that we are going to have to see what happens on Wednesday. We are going to put on some pads and bang around a little bit more and see how it feels. And hopefully it will respond positively.
Q: Did you do everything today?
A: I participated in team drills today and it felt really good being out there with the guys and practicing against competition. It felt really good.
Q: This is the first time since Aug 7 or so, right?
A: I did a little one-on-one pass rush last week. We have been progressive about how we have gotten back into things. It felt really good today; it felt really good today.
Q: Are you behind at all do you think?
A: Absolutely I’m behind. You think about missing 20-some odd practices, of course you are going to be behind. But the opportunities were there for me to watch film and study other guys and try to learn from other guys’ mistakes, try to learn from other guys’ successes. And try to improve my game mentally from a mental aspect and try to get the hang of things that way; try not to waste any time.
Q: On the other hand were you a little fresher than you might have been?
A: I’m definitely stronger than I might have been. I have been in the weight room lifting. So it has given me an opportunity to kind of have a second offseason….training program so far as the workouts and exercise that I could do I have been doing. So that has been a positive from this episode.
Q: Are you ready to roll?
A: I’m ready to roll. I’m ready to hit somebody. It has been awhile. I enjoy the game of football. I love competition against guys. And so I’m really ready to hit somebody. It’s just time.
Q: There is obviously not any more time to rest. I’m sure you are going to push to get into every game you can. Did the doctor say that this is going to be something that you are just going to have to fight through all season long?
A: That is something that we absolutely wanted to avoid. We wanted it to be something where we treated it – being very smart up front so this wouldn’t be something that would be nagging. And so far it has not been. So we will continue to.
Q: How optimistic would you say you are about playing against Washington?
A: Well, it feels really good. It feels really good today. That is all that I can go on is what my body is telling me and what the trainers are telling me. And it feels really good and so we are going to continue to progress.
Q: There are no thoughts in your mind, "Look, I’ve got to get this healthy if I have to sit out a week, I sit out a week." Obviously you want to play the second week against your old team. But is it the kind of thing where you look, if it is the first game you want to be ready for that one and you don’t care about what happens next?
A: I haven’t missed a regular season football game since I came into the League. One of the things that is very, very important to me is being out there on the field; being out there with my teammates and participating and competing and helping this football team have an opportunity to be successful. And that is what they brought me here for and that is what I plan on doing.
Q: The streak means something to you, obviously.
A: Helping my team win football games means more. And I feel like me being out there would help the team more so than hurt the team. So definitely me being out there – and feeling the way I’m feeling, I feel like I can participate and I feel like I can help the team, then I’ll be out there.
Q: There is also a situation with the position you play – you can rotate. They don’t have to have you carry the whole load from the start.
A: There is definitely strength in numbers. There is definitely strength in numbers. That is how they perceived it when they brought me here and that is going to continue regardless of my situation. There are a lot of guys on the defensive line that can get the job done. And I just want to help to contribute in that respect.
Q: Was today a day that took a little weight off your mind?
A: Last week really took it out when I started practicing and doing individual drills. I did the one on one pass rush and I saw that the explosiveness was still there. And so that was the biggest thing for me. I wanted to see whether I could explode off the ball and still be powerful. And so far, so good.
Q: You are honest with yourself?
A: The worst thing you can do in this business is for yourself; worst thing you can do in this business. I’m not lying to you.