Culpepper comments

Here's a sampling of what Daunte Culpepper had to say when he met with the South Florida media for the first time since the trade that brought him from Minnesota to Miami.

On how his rehab is going: "It's going good. I am getting a little bit better every day just working hard. Right now I'm really on the grind. Things are looking good, though. The knee is getting better every day."

On what types of exercises he is doing: "Right now I'm doing mostly running straight ahead, not a lot of cutting, and just mainly strengthening exercises – squats, leg extensions, leg curls, things like that. Doing many exercises on the field as well to get the strengthening in my legs."

On if he expects to be under center on opening day: "Well, me personally, that's my goal, but there really is no timeline on when I am going to be 100 percent or ready to play. Me personally, that's my personal goal, but I still have a good picture of the whole thing and I'm real good with reality and I know that an injury like this, it's tough to come back from that quick. That's my goal right now and I am going to continue to work that way."

On if he will be able to develop chemistry with teammates if he doesn't play in the preseason: "I am really not concerned. I want to be ready for the preseason. If not, I am going to get a lot of work with the guys before the preseason even starts. As far as open field competition, it might be a little different, but I am going to get a lot of work between now and when that time comes."

On the transition to the Dolphins: "Like I have said before, I look at right now, or the even the past year, it pretty much is halftime of my career. Now, me being here and having a fresh start, this is starting the second half of my career. I feel great about it. I absolutely feel great. I have great support around me here and everybody is very optimistic and very enthusiastic about it."

On how bad he wanted to get out of Minnesota: "It wasn't that I wanted to get out, it's just I think for both sides, it was good for me to move on – good for the Vikings, too. That's the way it happened and I'm happy right now. I'm happy with the opportunity I have here."

On what he thinks of the Dolphins' skill players, like Randy McMichael, Chris Chambers, Marty Booker: "I feel absolutely great with the guys here. I haven't had a chance to play with them in a game situation, but as far as working right now, working to get better, all those guys are guys that are leaders on the team and expect to go out and be good, be good players and do what it takes to win. That's what I like about the overall idea about everybody out there. We are working hard every day to get better."

On the reaction he has received from teammates: "I think some of the guys are kind of feeling me out, which is normal, but most of the guys are genuinely happy and excited. ‘Hey we're glad you're here and let's work to get better.' "

On if feels the weight of expectations on him: "To be honest with you, I don't think anybody can put any more pressure or expectations on me than I put on myself. That's how I look at that and that's how I deal with it. Ever since I was a kid, I always expected to go out and be the best I could be and perform at a very, very high level. Hopefully, we can just carry that enthusiasm over to victory. That's really what it's all about – winning games."

On how difficult it is for a new quarterback to become a leader: "The thing is, I'm not a guy that is going to be blurbing my mouth and saying different things in the locker room. If something needs to be said, I'll say it, but I'm the type of guy who tries to lead by example. I'm going to try to be one of the first guys at every drill, one of the first guys in the meeting rooms, stuff like that, just to let guys know what it takes to be a winner and what it takes to be the best that you can be."

On if he feels vindicated that the charges against him were dropped or if he is worried he might be charged again: "Everybody can do what they want to do up there, but I felt like I went through the process. From the beginning I said that I was innocent and I'm glad (the judge) saw it that way after he saw all the evidence and I'm moving forward. They can do what they want to do. I don't care."

On how he felt the charges affected his reputation: "I would rather not say. That's neither here nor there. That's all behind me now. I'm here now looking forward and I'm glad to be here in Miami."

On if he feels like he has to do anything to defend his name: "I feel like I am just going to be myself. I am not going to sit here and worry about somebody thinks this or thinks that. If anybody really wants to know, they can just ask me or ask my teammates that I played with, or ask somebody who really knows me what type of person I am. They'll know it. I am not going to worry about anything that was said. Everybody has got to be careful."

On if he sees enough talent around him to succeed: "I think that with the players we have right now, we have a great opportunity to a good football team, even to be a great football team. Not just with the players, but with the coaching staff we have in place. I think everything's in first. Everybody needs to file in line and get to work. I am very excited about what we can do right not, not two or three years later."


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