It’s very exciting to be embarking on the preliminary stages of a new season. We brought in a lot of new players who will add a lot to the team, and we’re excited about getting into this mini camp and starting to work together.
I think a lot of people don’t understand how much goes into our jobs, and how many people around here — not including us — are working towards making us better, like the training staff and the equipment guys and strength coaches and everybody upstairs. It’s a lot of people.
We’re here all the time. We get a couple of weeks off and other than that we have to be working out. I think everybody knows at this point that they’re not really “voluntary.” It’s called voluntary but how committed you are to the team is sometimes measured by whether you’re here or not. Everybody wants to be considered someone who’s committed to the team, so everybody shows up. It’s pretty much 100% participation all the time.
I think we’re going to have a really talented team — young and athletic guys. To be honest, I’d say the addition of Dre is the most exciting. Our secondary is pretty talented as it is. I think we had one of the best ones before, but at this point we definitely have hands-down the best secondary in the NFL. It’s up to us to prove because we have the talent to do so and we have the coaching staff to help us do so. I’m excited about the opportunity to learn from another veteran, and I’m also excited about pushing him to be as good as he can be because I’m not a bad player. It won’t be easy to just come and take all the reps.
Speaking of Dre, he’s a great guy. I’m fortunate to have met him and to be able to learn from him.
I’m not too worried about the offense. It makes our life a lot easier if we can get some point production like my rookie year. We had a lot more point production and we were just blowing people out. It was easier for us and we had a lot more interceptions because people were trying to come back from behind on us.
People don’t always know how everything’s connected. When things go well they want to give one person all the credit and when things go poorly they want to give one person all the blame. But everything is intertwined to the point that if a receiver has a bad game it can effect us defensively.
As far as the draft’s concerned, getting those defensive ends hopefully will allow for more pressure, which will make our corners and our safeties look a lot better. Everything’s interconnected.
I’m really excited about the offensive moves because Daniel Graham and Travis Henry will help provide points. And Jay’s coming on, so maybe we can start blowing people out again.
We’re really excited about the new coaches, too. We’ve had some meetings already to try and get the defense together and start learning it. It seems to be a defense that’s conducive to the talent that we have around here. It’s going to put a lot of pressure on the corners to perform and we havea three or four really good starting-quality corners. I think myself and Karl could probably start other places where there aren’t two Pro Bowl corners already here. I think we have a lot of talent in that position.
It puts a lot of pressure on us, and we welcome it.