Linebacker Quotebook: Washington vs Gildon

A pair of linebackers showed up at the Steelers' practice facility, and both play the exact position. One's trying to hang on to his spot; the other would take it if made an offer to his liking. Here's what Jason Gildon and Marcus Washington had to say Thursday afternoon to reporters:

JASON GILDON

What's your reaction to Marcus Washington's visit?
I play football. Whether it's with Pittsburgh or somebody else, I play football. That's what I do. They've got to do what they've got to do and I've got to do what I've got to do. I've been here for 10 years. It's where I want to be.

Have the Steelers said anything to you?
No.

Would you rather they do something now or after June 1st?
It'd be easier now than it would be then. June's kind of late.

Are you looking to talk with Bill Cowher about his plans for your position?
Not really. I think if I'm here than it's my position. If I'm not here than it'll be his.

MARCUS WASHINGTON

How long are you going to be here?
Actually I'm leaving today. I'm going down to Washington. I haven't seen those facilities yet. This is my first visit. It's all pretty exciting. It's a lot of fun, having actually being wanted. Somebody actually wants me, so it's fun.

Especially Dan Snyder, huh?
Yeah. It's exciting. Those guys down there are really excited about me, as they are here, so it'll probably be a pretty tough decision for me.

Wouldn't this be a better fit?
I think. You know, I haven't had a visit with those guys but I think I fit well in this system. This scheme, the 3-4 defense, it really gives me a chance to use some of the talents that I have and I think it will be a good fit for me and I'll be able to do some good things and help the club.

What are those talents?
Rushing the quarterback. They give you a chance to do that here. In Indianapolis I had to drop a bit more than I like. But here, I've talked with the coaches - Coach (Dick) LeBeau, Coach Cowher - and they're very excited about me rushing the passer.

Coming out as a defensive end out of college, were you being looked at at the combine and such as a 3-4 outside linebacker?
Well I was a 3-4 outside linebacker and even some teams wanted to maybe try me at end. I remember coming down to the Senior Bowl, instead of playing end I played linebacker because they wanted to know if I had to do that would I be able to stand up and make those drops. And I was able to do it. Coming out, Indy put me at the linebacker in the box, the Sam linebacker, but on third-down situations I was able to rush the quarterback a little bit more.

Do you know Jason Gildon at all?
No. I met Jason Gildon today. The coaches were taking me over to show me the indoor facility. He was just pulling up and I got a chance to meet him. I remember watching him growing up. He played with another Auburn guy, Kevin Greene, and he's a great linebacker. That's what Pittsburgh's know for, their linebackers.

You might have to take his job, right?
I don't know. He has to teach me. He has to show me a lot of things, take me through the defense. I have to learn all the terminology and everything. If he decides to pass it on to me, I'd gladly accept it.

Is Washington looking at you as an end or a linebacker?
I'm pretty sure they're looking at me as a linebacker. I'm hoping I'll be able to be included with the third-down situations. But like I said, I don't know yet. I have to visit them and see what they have planned for me.

Marcus, is it pretty much bottom line for you?
A guy'd be lying to you if money wasn't the issue, but I think at the end of the day you have to put all those things together as far as the city, the organization, coaches, players, and you know like I said being in a good system, but money does -- unfortunately in the world we live in -- play a part in that. I'll speak with my agent and family and make a decision from there.

Did you get the sense the Steelers were trying to keep you from going to Washington? Were they coming at you hard?
I think they came at me pretty good. That's kind of flattering. It means somebody wants you. They want you to play. If they would've said, 'OK Marcus, get the hell out of here,' it wouldn't have felt like they were really serious about me. But the coaches really made me feel welcome today. The staff and even the cafeteria people were nice to me.

Are you meeting with the Chargers, too?
I'm supposed to go out there on Monday. They're supposed to, from what I hear, go to a 3-4 defense also. So I'll probably go out there and check those guys out, but after I leave here it's Washington and then San Diego next.

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