Two-Minute Drill: Erik Walden

After a big preseason finale against Kansas City, Erik Walden will miss Sunday's game due to a suspension. Walden had a productive training camp after losing his starting job and seeing the team draft his replacement.

A little late getting to this off my tape recorder while on magazine deadline, but this is Erik Walden after an outstanding performance against Kansas City on Thursday night. He's suspended for the Week 1 game against San Francisco after getting arrested in a domestic dispute in November. While away, Walden said his focus is staying in shape, getting healthy, staying "mentally intact" and "supporting my team."

Did you want to leave a big final impression: Absolutely. You always want to make an impression because you can never get complacent. Jobs are up for grabs so you want to make sure I let my teammates know and my coaches know that I'm all-in, despite my situation.

You've had a strong training camp. What's been the difference for you?: Just confidence, man. You've got to be confident. I was a starter. It was unfortunate the way the season ended the way it ended with me, but I was a starter. I was a Super Bowl champion, a defensive player of the week, so it's about confidence and loving what you do and having fun.

Where does that extra confidence come from, in light of how last season ended and they drafted your replacement?: I've been playing football my entire life. People try to make it be like it's pressure, but it's no pressure. It's football, this is what we do, this is what you train for, so when you're prepared and you're mentally focused, there's no pressure and no nervousness. You just go out and make plays and make a good impression.

You lost your starting job at the end of last season and they drafted Nick Perry. Was that motivation?: Absolutely, because when you're a starter and then you get taken out of the starting lineup in a big game, that bothers you. I kept that in the back of my mind when I was training this offseason to make sure if I get that opportunity again, something like that will never happen."

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