Q: How frustrating has it been to deal with injuries after all that you've come back from?
A: I've been through injuries throughout my career in the NFL and it is what it is. Yeah it's frustrating because you know you want to improve and get back on the field. You also have to look at I don't want to take a step back.
Q: How eager are you to get back into a game setting?
A: I'm excited because it's like stepping into the Coliseum, like a gladiator but with 10 other guys. It'll be exciting, but it also gives me a gauge where I'm at. And then I will come back and say this is the area I need to improve. This is the area that we will continue to work on to get better. That's what preseason is for.
Q: Do you have more rust than you thought you would?
A: The rust is less than what I thought it would be. When you think about three years off and still knowing how to kickstep. We're still physical; that's my thing. But there are things with this offense that you have to learn. It's not just second nature.
Q: Where's your biggest area of rust?
A: It's really the basic technique of what Buges wants, keeping the pad level down and bending your knees. That s for everybody. Everyone has to get lower and get their hands right. Some guys have been here longer so it comes a little faster.
Q: Have you noticed because of all the weight you've had to lose, has that contributed anything as far as a loss of strength or fatigue?
A: I'm not fatigued. I feel a lot more energetic than if I came back at 370 pounds. As far as dehydration I carry a lot more lean mass and a lot less fat and if you ask a dietitian the leaner guys actually cramp more. Maybe that's something I'm not used to because I was a bigger guy and carried more fat. That's just your body having to adjust.
Q: Have the criticisms bothered you?
A: No. Like I said in life, man, you get criticized all the time for what you've done and haven't done and for what you have yet to do. It just goes along, especially when you're in the spotlight. People are gonna look and that tells me they expect big things, which is probably good. If they criticize, they expect big things and I expect big things from myself. We have to get our technique down and that thing is gonna come.
Q: Are you confident you have enough time to still become the opening day starter?
A: Yes. … The run is not over. We haven't played a game yet. Let's not just get into who's in, who's out, who's this, who's that. If I can lose 30 pounds in a month I definitely can do that.
John Keim covers the Redskins for the Washington Examiner and is a contributing editor for Warpathinsiders.com. He has covered the team since 1994. Some of his other stories can be found at dcexaminer.com
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