The second overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft,
Has the transition to the NFL gone how you expected?
“It’s been how I expected it. My head coach at Texas A&M (Mike Sherman), he was a head coach in the NFL, and I think he prepared us well for what was to come in the league.”
How would you describe the difference between college and the pros?
“It’s a business here. Everybody treats it like a business. The speed of the game, it really hasn’t affected me, it’s just everybody has better technique.”
But I imagine hitting the quarterback feels the same at any level.
“Absolutely. Here, they definitely want to stop you. They’re definitely trying a lot harder to stop you from getting there. But it still feels great when you get there.”
With players missing time due to injury, have you taken to heart Head Coach John Fox’s “next man up” mentality?
“For sure. The guys that have come in have done a pretty good job. It’s good to get the stars back, but we were good before, too.”
What does it do for the defense having big names back on the field?
“It definitely gives us a boost. We’ve gotten a lot of veterans back, a lot of guys that know what they’re doing and have been in these situations.”
Are you excited to be back at home after two road games?
“I’m certainly excited to get back in front of our home crowd with another rivalry game. Hopefully we can entertain the crowd and please them by coming out with a win.”
What are your impressions of hostile road environments in the NFL?
“It hasn’t really bothered me much. When we go out there (on defense), it’s quiet on the road. So it hasn’t really been too tough.”
Have you set any personal goals for this season?
“Not really. My formula for success is to take it one play at a time, and at the end of the season see how it all turns out. That’s what I’ve been doing, and hopefully it’ll keep working for me.”
How would you game plan for yourself as an opposing coach?
“I don’t know. I just go out there and I try to play. If I am part of the game plan, then that means Doom, Elvis (Dumervil), he’ll be free on some plays. Game plan stuff doesn’t really worry me or bother me. All I can do, all I can control is to go out there and play and take it one snap at a time.”
Are you and fellow 2011 first-rounders like Marcel Dareus close or are there friendly rivalries?
“There’s no rivalries. It was a lockout, so we were able to form relationships that no other class before us was able to do. We spent a lot more time with each other, so the relationships that we have as a rookie class are even bigger than anybody else. That’s where it came from. I met Marcel a long time ago and we were able to go to this event, that event, and just really get to know each other. He’s a cool dude.”
Is the Broncos’ rookie class close as well?
“Yes sir. I knew most of these guys before we were even teammates. It’s just crazy how we all ended up on the same team. Me and
Are you ready for your first shot at the Chargers?
“I’m excited for my first shot at all the NFL teams. I just want to go out there, take it one play at a time and hopefully I’ll do well.”
Is the game even more important going into the bye week?
“Every week is a huge week. Hopefully we can stick to the same formula for success, keep grinding, keep working it out and be ready for the Chargers.”