Player Diary

‘I have no choice but to be good' <BR><BR>

It feels really good to be able to get out there and do some good things. I was pretty disappointed the first week because I barely got in the game. I thought I was going to play more than that. But then the second week, they said they were going to play me more and they did. I just continued from there. Now I just have to keep it going.

I've been practicing well and I've been able to do a couple of things in the games, but I know I can do more. I have to get to the quarterback quicker and get better at pass rushing. I have to get some sacks. I've been able to beat my guy and get to the quarterback, but I need to ‘kill,' and finish the play, like we call it here.

One of my highlights so far was the fumble I recovered during the Washington game. I should have taken it to the house, too. I'm not going to say anything. I'm not going to mention any names about why I didn't take it to the house, right, Will Peterson?

We've been able to get so many turnovers so far because it's really something that we stressed. The new coaches came in and stressed it from the start. We've been able to do that well so far. I don't know that we're going to get 10 turnovers every three games, like we have. That would be a record. But hopefully we can keep up that trend.

It's real important for me to get the playing time I've gotten so I can get into a rhythm. It's so hard when it's like it was last year. It's difficult to sit on the bench for two quarters and then you go in for three plays. Sitting on the bench is very difficult. When you're out there and you're able to go up against your guy constantly, you're able to study him and see his mannerisms. It's one thing to study a guy during the week, but it's a lot different when you're in a game live. You just get more into a rhythm and get a better feel for the game.

It's huge that I'm getting to play. That's the only way you're going to get better. No matter what anybody says, you have to be on the field playing for you to get better. If you're sitting on the bench, they can coach you to the best of their ability, but unless you're on the field, you're not going to get any better.

It feels tremendous to help win a game and then know that you had a part in it. It just feels good to be out there with everyone else and to be contributing. I like making big plays, but I'm still looking to make that big, big play. There's no reason I won't make a whole lot of plays. They're putting me in a lot of positions to make big plays. I never had this opportunity before. I'm lining up and coming from all kinds of places. The plays are going to come.

I'm also playing the run a whole lot better than I ever have during my whole life. A lot of it has to do with technique and my desire to play the run. A lot of times last year I wasn't studying the run; I wasn't even thinking about it. But in this defense, you have to play the run or you just won't play period.

Obviously I want to crack that starting lineup. But there's something about me that says that I want to be dominant. I want to be a dominant player. When I'm in there I want to be ready to dominate. Right now, am I ready to be in there all the time and be a dominant player in the NFL? I still have a lot to learn. It's not that important where I think that I have to be a starter right now. I have great guys that I'm learning from. So however long it takes for me to be that dominant player that I know I should be, that's how long it will take till I'm a starter.

My locker is right next to Michael Strahan's. It's just crazy; sometimes you don't even realize that he's your teammate. I learn so much from him, a tremendous amount. He's so cool with everybody in the locker room. But then you see him on the field and he's a totally different person. He's like an animal. There's been so much stuff that I've learned from him that has helped my game so much, and we're not even the same type of player.

He has this bull-rush move that he uses very, very effectively. I used to watch him do it all the time. I know that I have the speed so I would always try to bull-rush my man, but it would never, ever work. I'm strong enough so I wasn't sure why it would never work. Why did his work and mine never did? He explained to me that instead of just running straight up the field and trying to bull-rush the guy, you have to break down a little bit and gather your strength before you bull-rush the guy. I used to just run straight into the guy, and he wouldn't go anywhere. I learned from Strahan to go fast up the field, but then gather yourself before starting your bull-rush. I started doing that and it's worked perfectly since then.

Strahan's been here for 12 years and he's seen a lot of defensive ends come and go. He's seen a lot of players. I know that he's said that he thinks I going to be good. I appreciate that, but I also think I'm going to be good. I have no choice but to be good.

Our defensive success really hasn't been a surprise at all. Since the offseason camps, we had an idea of how good we were going to be. Tim Lewis is a good coordinator. He's really good. All we have to do is buy into what he's been telling us and we're going to excel.

Coach Lewis just has so much more knowledge of what's going on. He knows what every single player is supposed to be doing at every single time. You can be watching film and see a D-lineman step with his right foot first instead of his left and he'll point it out. He just knows everything.

I think we can go really, really far this year. We have a good solid defense and a good, solid offense too. We're tough. No team is going to be able to just push us around. Every team that we play, whether we win or lose, it's going to be a fight. We're going to fight everybody.

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