Q: How would you compare Washington to the program here in New York?
A: It's different. It's a different group of guys, different coaching staff. Coach Shanahan and Coach Coughlin have very different personalities but they're similar. They both are very determined. They both have a single goal, which is to win a championship. That's the most similar part about it. Everyone is focused down here, great group of guys, grateful people, just like the ones in New York. A lot of similarities but differences also.
Q: How excited are you for Sunday?
A: It will mean a lot. It's a lot of things going into this game. Obviously I have my own personal feelings about the game, but the game is on 9/11 and all of the ramifications of that and being at home, in front of our home fans for the first time, the first game and what we believe is a new era in Redskins football. There is a lot going into it. It's going to be very emotional, very intense and this is what fans love to see. This is what football is all about.
Q: Do you know what happened to Jon Goff and Terrell Thomas?
A: Absolutely. Those guys are my friends. Those are people whose numbers I have in my phone and who I have a relationship that goes beyond the football field. I'm definitely always going to be sending out a text, 'Get well.' And let those guys know I'm praying for them when they're in a situation like that. I'm definitely aware of those types of things and getting up to speed even more so on the football field aspect of it by watching tape. I'm in tune with what's going on up there.
Q: Do you feel like this organization is snake bit?
A: It's definitely bad luck. I feel terrible for those guys. It's hard to explain. It happens every year in the NFL. Freak injuries happen and it's just a lot of them happen, especially on the defensive side of the ball, over there. I feel terrible for those individuals, but I know that team. They have a lot of depth. They have a lot of character and heart and I expect them to come out fighting on 9/11.
Q: When you see a guy like Thomas or Goff have this happen during a contract year, do you look at it differently?
A: Yeah, I definitely feel for them on a different level. It's rough, but the best thing I can tell those guys is remind them that two years ago I had a serious knee injury and a lot of people wrote me off and I was able to bounce back and get to the point [where] I am. I just told those guys to stay focused, be ready for intense rehab and knowing those guys, they will be. I expect them to come back better than ever.
Q: When you saw the young talent they had at defensive tackle, did you see the writing on the wall that they weren't going to bring you back?
A: When a team makes moves like that you know what the financial frames that they had, with the cap going back. With the free agents that we had, you know that my position was probably stocked the most. The cupboard would certainly not be bare without me. And I think they'll do fine without me. I'm going to bring my talent here. I learned a lot while I was there and I'm learning a lot as I am here from Coach Haslett and Coach Burney here. I'm excited about what we have going on down here. I'm sure they are confident going into 9/11 just like we are and it will be a great game on Sunday.
Q: What do you think about Linval Joseph?
A: He's one of the strongest guys I've ever played with. With him, it's just going to come down to technique and staying focused. Those are things I've told him. After I signed [with the Redskins], I texted him and told him and let him know it's his time. It's his time to shine. I'm happy for him and the opportunity he has. He's a good kid and if he stays focused and keeps working hard, the sky's the limit for him.
Q: How would you expect the dynamic of the Giants locker room to be different without Seubert and O'Hara?
A: It will definitely be different and different guys are going to have to step up. That's the challenge that I hope some guys are ready to embrace for their sake. Realistically, that's the NFL. Things change. We have a completely new locker room [in Washington] for the most part. There's still some holdovers, but there's a lot of new faces here and we're dealing with the same thing. That's the challenge of the NFL. That's what you expect when you're a pro. You're expected to handle whatever comes at you whenever it comes at you. We're doing that [in Washington] and they'll be expected to do that in [New York].
Q: Do you still feel like the new guy in Washington?
A: It's gone now. I definitely felt it when I first got here. Like I said, there were a lot of new faces so a lot of us were in the same boat so it was an easy transition. The guys that were already here welcomed us with open arms and we're all excited. Coach Shanahan has a great program for us. We've grown a lot throughout this training camp and we'll continue to grow throughout the season.
Q: What surprised you about Washington?
A: The biggest thing was I didn't see all of the stuff that a lot of the media reported on as far as the disorder and the chaos. I got here and I felt like this was a well oiled machine. Coach Shanahan is a great coach with a great pedigree and he has us all focused. I know there was a lot of issues in the past, but that just isn't here anymore. The locker room is tight knit, a lot of high-character guys. We're focused on the future. That was the biggest surprise and the most pleasant surprise was that it was very well one team, very well one organization, which is what I'm accustomed to.
Q: Are the injuries setting up everyone for counting the Giants out? That's when they always seem to surprise people.
A: We're in the same boat down here. People don't expect a lot from us. I'm pretty sure we're picked to finish last in the NFC East by everyone who thinks they know everything. We relish that position. We relish being under the radar and I'm sure the Giants will, too. It's going to be a battle of two teams facing the same thing. I don't look at the odds, but I think we're still probably the underdog going into this game because of what's happened with us for the past couple of years down here [in Washington]. We relish that opportunity to be the underdog. A lot of pros, when we get cornered, we come out fighting and that's what we're going to do down here and knowing the guys [in New York], I'm sure they'll do the same.
Q: What does this team do when they have so many injuries?
A: The next guy has to step up. That's everyone's mantra around the league. The next guy has to step up. There are a lot of high character guys in that locker room, a lot of leadership. Coach Coughlin is a great leader. I'm sure he'll expect the next guy to step in and not lose a beat and that's what we're expecting here. We're expecting the next guy to come in and play at that same level. We're preparing for everyone like they're a starter. We're preparing for everything that can come our way.
Q: What about the Redskins do you think will surprise people?
A: I think a lot of people would be surprised by how physical we are up front. We have some new faces on the d-line and we've got some holdovers, guys like Adam Carriker and Kedric Golston. Then you have guys like Orakpo and London [Fletcher] and Rocky McIntosh. Those guys are physical guys who are holdovers. Then the new faces of myself and Bowen and Kerrigan in the draft. We're going to be a formidable front seven on defense. The o-line is coming together too. They already had a lot of talent. They added some more talent to fit Coach Shanahan's scheme with that zone blocking scheme. I think a lot of people are going to be surprised with how effective and physical we are up front.
Q: Are you playing some nose tackle, too?
A: Definitely. You never know where you're going to see me. We have a lot guys that are talented and similar physically. So we can line up anywhere along our defensive front. I'm definitely going to be playing a lot of nose tackle, but they'll let me do what I can do in the pass rush game, too. I'm excited about the plan that Coach Haslett has set for me.