What have the first few practices been like for you?
It’s been good. I’ve been getting in shape, working hard, and perfecting my pass rush. Things like that.
Coach Veltkamp mentioned the strides you’ve made from last year to this year, physically. What are some of the changes you’ve made?
Again, weight. I’m trying to look more like an NFL defensive end. I’ve got my hips better so I can get more pressure on the quarterback. We only had thirteen sacks last year, so I’m trying to make that number much bigger.
Do you notice the changes? Have you felt it already?
In some reach blocks and back blocks, I’m really locking people out. It feels better.
What has it been like to learn from Coach Nielsen? He seems like a really energetic guy motivating you.
Oh yeah, he’s crazy. He’s a great coach, he’s a great motivator, and he knows what he wants. At the end of the day, if you’re a coach that knows what he wants, it’ll help you out in the long run.
You mentioned having thirteen sacks last year. Is that a goal for the defensive line, in general, and something you want to improve on?
We want to have at least four sacks a game. We want to lead the nation in sacks. We don’t want to be at the bottom of the league. Our goal, you know, is to have two people have thirteen sacks.
Talk about the changes schematically from your first couple of years here to a new staff. It looked like they were asking the D-line to do some things a little bit differently than the previous staff did. Is that true, and did it take some time to adjust?
We blitzed a little more back in the day. Now, it’s more about getting the D-line to recognize blocks. You gotta be stronger and more physical. Then, it was more about just getting up the field. Now, we have much better technique.
Who are some of the younger guys that have caught your eye?
Justin Jones. He’s a real, great kid. If he keeps working where he’s working, he could see himself into rotating in.
Another kid is Pharoah McKever. He’s working pretty hard, and he moved from wide receiver. If he could just learn what to do, he could be a great player.
One more guy I wanted to ask you about is Kentavius Street. What have you seen from him?
Kentavius is strong. He’s a really strong kid. He’s a very built kid. He looks game-ready.
The thing with him is that he’s just gotta focus on recognizing things. He should be fine for game one.