Q&A With: Darrell Russell

The newest Redskin comes with heavy baggage, having been a three-time violator of the NFL's drug system. But Washington is ready to give him a second chance. They say he might even get as many as 25 snaps Sunday against Dallas. Here are some highlights from Russell's first meeting with the Washington media.

Q: Do you feel this is a second chance?
A: Not a second chance, just a new beginning. You go through life and have your trial sand tribulations. No one is faced with anything they cant handle. As long as you learn from everything then you can go from there. As long as it makes you personally wiser. Everything I've learned during the period i was waiting for my opportunity to come back i'm ready to apply that.

Q: Did you think you'd be signing here today?
A: Coming into this facility I didn't think i'd be signing this early. I thought I'd shop around and see what's going on and see where I fit best. Maybe I'm just anxious to get back. But the vibe I felt here, not just from the organization but the players as well -- maybe it's that need for a defensive tackle and me being anxious to get back, maybe that all fell into play. Either way I felt an energy here that I would be very excited to help contribute to.

Q: Are you concerned about being accepted?
A: I'm very concerned about being accepted here. When you're dealing with a team when you have true players that want to win and on top of that they're young, a lot of times the business aspect is the last thing they're concentrating on. If anything it's that they want to win. In this league chemsitry is a big factor. I could be the greatest player to ever play the position but if I don't fit in with the team I'm useless.

Q: Do you expect apprehension from teammates?
A: I'm sure they'll have their questions. I have no problem answering those. This is their team. I'm trying out for their team. I have a one-year contract. All I can do is be me and play hard and do what I can to help this team out and help them in their goal to the Super Bowl.

Q: Anything you'd like to say to teammates or fans or people who have questions about you or your character?
A: They're all lies, everyone hates me. No, just kidding. As far as the teammates are concerned anything that needs to be said to them I'll say behind closed doors. As far as fans are concerned, granted my career to this point has been in black and silver. But at this point I'm a Redskin and I'm going to do whatever I can to help the Redskins. As far as my decisions off the field I will always have the welfare of the Redskins in mind. I want to carry myself as a better person not only for this league but as a Redskin.

Q: Were you asked to sign for longer than one year?
A: Actually, I wanted a year and we're feeling each other out. It's not that I want a year to show everyone what I can do and then get out. Actually, I think Snyder is taking a big gamble with me. Look at my past and look at the way everyone views me at this time. Whether he needs a D tackle or not enough people are on his back and all I can do is be thankful to him and Spurrier to give me this opportunity. The last thing I want to do is let a man like that down. I met with Snyder last night and I admire his drive and push. I played under Mr. Davis to this point. I have nothing bad to say about him. I see a lot of similarities in their treatment of the players and their love for the players and he loves the game and he's a fan of this team. That right there makes me want to be part of this team.

Q: How emotional is this day?
A: It's an interesting day. There's a lot of factors. It's the first time I'm playing football outside of California. This is a brand new beginning for me. I'm probably excited. I'm interested to see how I'm going to do. I don't make promises and I don't go into a situation scared. All I'm going to do is give all that I have so I can look at myself in the mirror. If it doesn't work out it doesn't work out. But the probability for it not working out is really low for my track record on the field.


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