Insider Exclusive: Q&A With Keilen Dykes

Keilen Dykes continues his interview with AZRedReport, this time for insiders only. The defensive tackle goes on to talk about the difference between playing the 3-4 defense and the 3-3-5 defense, the legacy he left behind in West Virginia, and how the Cardinals remind him of his old college team and more.

Click here for Part I

Dusty Wittig: How comfortable are you playing in the 3-4 defense?

Keilen Dykes: It is something like what I played in college. In college we played the 3-3-5 and the 3-4 isn't too different. For me about the only change is lining up on the shoulder of the center instead of playing heads up.

DW: As a college player expecting to go pro, did you have any friends or contacts in the NFL you looked to for advice?

KD: No not really. I knew some guys, but I wasn't too close with them. I just went in here just like everyone else.

DW: Your West Virginia class has had more wins than any other class to wear the blue and gold. How does it feel to be part of that legacy?

KD: It feels good. When I was coming in, they were telling me I could be a part of something great. When people talk about West Virginia they talk about good things. It wasn't like that before my class arrived on campus. We were a tight nit group and we won a lot but also went through a lot. But we still got it done, and that's something that we will always remember.

DW: What is your best moment from college?

KD: Beating Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl and going out on top. Celebrating with the team after that game was the best moment.

DW: What are you excited about most with the prospect of playing for the Arizona Cardinals?

KD: They remind me of how West Virginia was when I was just coming in. They lost that bowl game the year I came in, but you could tell that things were changing with the coaching staff. The same thing is going on here, they went 8-8 last year and I think this year we can get over that hump and make it to the playoffs. We want to win the NFC West.

DW: Your West Virginia team was considered by many the heavy underdogs to the Oklahoma Sooners in the 08 Fiesta Bowl, but yet you came out and beat them by What was your mindset going into a game like that and how did it feel to quiet the doubters?

KD: All we heard before that game was about how big their offensive line was. But we knew that we were not that small either. We weren't getting much respect because everyone wanted Oklahoma in the national title game. We out-quicked them and out-hustled them. We just came out and played ball and ended up quieting our critics. We showed that the Big East can play with anyone.

DW: What was your best hit you have ever put on a guy?

KD: Probably when we were playing Pittsburg. I was getting blocked and the Pittsburg running back cut right into me and I put him on his back.

DW: At what point in you career did you realize that you had NFL potential?

KD: My red shirt sophomore year in college I realized that I could play in the NFL. I was out there in the starting lineup for my second year and I was just making plays and playing really good football. I guess you could say it was my coming out party and I realized I could do this for a living.

DW: Is there a veteran on the team who has eased your transition from college ball?

KD: Alan Branch has been really helpful. He's a good guy to talk to. He tells me what I should be doing and how the coaches want certain things done.

Click here for Part I

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