On the meeting during practice “We have a day off tomorrow and a lot of people were talking about it. I heard a lot of chatter about ‘we’re almost there, almost to that day off.’ If you go into anything thinking about a day off or something else then you aren’t going to be focused on the task at hand. We’re not going to have the energy we need to come out here and get better. I talked to coach Petersen. I said I’m not feeling the energy, so we need to bring it up. We brought it up and I told them we need to finish this practice off strong, that we can’t look forward to tomorrow because if we come out here and lack or go half at it then we’re not going to get better. Then we need to practice tomorrow. So we need to put it in; every time we step onto this field we need to play and we need to play in the now. It got turned uup. I loved the energy. And everybody was feeding off of it. And that’s how we need to play. That kind of energy is contagious. Coach Petersen talks about that all the time, how things are so contagious. If you see one guy, and even if we have a day where we’re not feeling it, if you go out and fake it, if I fake it, he can’t tell if I’m faking it or not. So he’s going to start going with energy and I’m going to start feeling it really and we’re all going to be turned up.”
Is it good to have scuffles to bring up energy? “Plays like that. It’s all about momentum. Offense says if they caught that they would have had momentum and they would have been all juiced on the sideline and they would have them rolling. On the defensive side, I make that play and everybody gets excited and we get the ball rolling. The next play is a knock down, tackle for loss, sack, that’s how you get it going and that’s how you keep it going.”
How do you seniors manage the personalities on the defense? “We have no egos in the room. AN because we have a lot of veterans in here, it’s not so much that the seniors are regulating things or managing things. Of course we have that respect as seniors but at the same time I like to listen to Budda (Baker), I listen to Sid (Sidney Jones), I listen to all those guys and so we have that camaraderie as a DB unit to where we can all tell each other the same things and have the same respect from each other. When you have that kind of chemistry, sky is the limit for a unit like that.”
Who’s stepping up? “I think everybody. It’s crazy because we have so much depth. I think coach Lake talked about that and how he’s in that good, sticky situation where we have so many players that can play and actually contribute. I like to tell those guys that are right behind but still can play to keep their heads. So guys like Jordan Miller who are stepping up and guys like Byron Murphy come in; he’s been doing a lot of good things out there. We have a lot of different rovers such as Jojo McIntosh and Zeke (Ezekiel Turner) and Brandon Beaver, Trevor Walker. We have so many guys who can play. With so many guys that can play, that’s a great thing."