Q: What do some of the young guys have to work on between now and the start of training camp?
A: I think the work that they put in these last eight weeks… You don’t stop. You just keep on progressing and getting your body ready for the upcoming season mentally and physically. So taking the notes that you have taken throughout this whole process, because they don’t allow the books to go home, so taking the notes that you have and studying them so you make sure you’re mentally and physically prepared.
Q: So is it safe to say the season already started?
A: It started. That’s very fair to say. No more offseason. You got six weeks to go get ready to start training camp, not to relax and sit down. Some people may do the first week off or do stuff on the weekends, but Monday through Friday is a grind.
Q: What are you most curious to find out about this team?
A: I just think we have great guys participating in the offseason camp and I think that’s going to translate over. I think we have a lot of great things. We’re trying to be more detailed than in the past. I think that’s going to carry over. We have guys that have been around that have done it. They won a couple of championships here so they can lead the younger guys and show them the correct ways of doing things. So I think the younger guys have been good to listen, open up and take to heart the constructive criticism of going both ways. So I just think we’re going to have a good, special season this year.
Q: What improvement have you seen from
A: Having an offseason under their belt offers a smooth transition because Prince was kind of messed up with the lockout and everything, but having a whole offseason under their belt where they can focus, train mentally and physically and do it here with everybody here I think has been great for Hosley and Prince. They matured. They’re coming in more openly to learning information that the coaches give them and also listening to what the older players have to say.
Q: Does it almost seem like
A: He came right back and fit right back in. I always kept up with him even though he was down south. Yeah. He fit right in smoothly. I’m happy to have him back. Hopefully we get back to where we left off and that was winning a championship when he left.
Q: As a defense, do you have to say ‘we played bad and we have to play better’?
A: Exactly. We had a lot of errors all across the field and that’s everywhere: Coaches, players, and the whole strategy. So we have to use that film to try and get better. It’s always hard to use film when you lose to get better, but there’s always a silver lining. We’re doing just that. We’re correcting those mistakes, those communication errors, and those misplays so we can eliminate them now and not go into the season trying to eliminate them.
Q: What are you looking for in the defense?
A: I think we’ve gone through a little of that right now with OTAs, which is the team’s enthusiasm with the way we gel and not just as a certain unit, not just as a DB unit or as a defensive line unit, but as a whole, as a collective team, and I think that’s something that has definitely grown in the further stages of this season. So I’m just looking forward to that to continue because with that comes along a lot better things.
Q: When you look around the room, what gives you hope that the defense is going to be better?
A: With every player lost, there’s a player gained. Unfortunately you lose players, but that’s the nature of this business and it just gives other guys the opportunity to come in and step up and make plays and for the guys who have been here to improve on their game and just work on their craft.
Q: Your defense was the 31st ranked defense. Does that still bother you?
A: No. Once the season is over with, it doesn’t bother me. That’s last year. There’s nothing now you can do about it. The only thing you can do is just get better from it and make sure you get better from those corrections and make sure you just never get complacent because we’ve had games where we would play outstanding and then we had games where we didn’t play so good. The key here is just never get complacent and just always working on your craft and always trying to get better as a defensive unit.
Q: Even with the troubles on defense, you were pretty close to making the playoffs. You could have been dangerous in the playoffs.
A: Yeah. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles at times. We had several opportunities to close things out and make sure we’re in that playoff hunt, but unfortunately we didn’t do so and that’s something we definitely have to build for. When the ball is in your court just take full advantage and never leave it in the hands of anyone else.
CB Prince Amukamara
Q: What is your confidence level going into this season?
A: I’d say the more I play the more confidence I get. Now, during this offseason, just having Terrell just next to me and learning how much knowledge he has, that just took my game to a whole other level. He’s like a player-coach and every time he’s critiquing me on my technique or my back-pedal, just telling me, ‘You need to understand the defense. You don’t need to just worry about you’re doing, but know what the nickel is doing. That’s first-year stuff. You know what you’re doing now. Now you’re in your third year, so now know what the safety is doing and know what the nickel is doing and it will make you play a lot better and a lot faster.’
Q: You look bigger and stronger this year. How much of an impact is that going to have on your game?
A: I think that’s going to be great, especially going up against the big wide receivers we have on our schedule like Calvin Johnson, and I think it’s going to make me healthier.
Q: The defense was inconsistent last year. Is there a focus this year?
A: Our goal every year is to be one of the top defenses and we haven’t achieved that yet, but this year it gives us a new opportunity, and I feel like we had a great minicamp, a great OTA period and I feel like our communication was there, our chemistry was there. We had our linebackers just buzzing to the right spots, the corners and safeties all on the same page… We gave up some plays, but that’s going to happen. I think what we’ve been doing is just getting it correct and not letting it happen again.
Q: How much weight have you added?
A: Right now I’m probably about 205. I usually play at 199, but right now I’m about 205.
Q: Is that what you want to play at?
A: In college I played in the two hundreds, but I think ever since I broke my foot I’ve been weighing less. But now I’ve been picking it back up.
Q: What’s your motivation heading into this season?
A: I really want to be the number one corner on this team and I feel like right now Corey is and my goal is to always just try to beat him out and I think as soon as I establish myself as the number one corner, then hopefully just become the number one corner in the whole league. I know that’s going to take work, but guys that came out of my draft class are doing great: Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman, and those are the guys I kind of compare myself to and I’m just trying to exceed all of them.
Q: You’ve had a slower start because of the injuries. If you’re measuring yourself against them, does that frustrate you?
A: A little bit. I just keep telling myself is all I need is a full season and I’ll be great because I just compare to college where I missed no games and I played every game and I was pretty successful. Just towards the last year I started building confidence even though when I was playing hurt the first couple of games and I was still hanging with the guys and then that gave me more confidence because I told myself as soon as I’m healthy it’s not going to be as bad and then that’s how it played out.
Q: How helpful has it been to be here this spring?
A: This was huge. Those reps that I didn’t get last year… it was huge. I’m an athlete where I have to actually be in it to learn rather than read and write it out. I like to actually be in it to learn about it more and I think that’s how it played out this offseason.
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