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Player Q&A: Derek Wolfe


How do you feel about starting the season?**
"I feel like we've got a good squad here. Everybody's been working hard this offseason trying the best individually that they can be. When we all come together, I think we're going to be great."

What are your individual goals going into this season?
"One, I just want to stay healthy. Two, I want to hopefully become a dominant player at my position. Really, I'm just focused on doing what's best for the team. I'm not worried what my stats look like. I'm just worried what the scoreboard says at the end of the day."

People like to focus on a player's stats, but the way you play could open up opportunities for others, no?
"That's the thing about football is it's a team sport. Everybody's got their role and you've got to play your role to the best of your ability."

How have you been trying to pick up where you left off before last season in improving his pass rush?
"I'm just trying to combine the power and the technique that I bring to the game and make that one. Be strong in the run and be quick in the pass is kind of my thing."

You talked about the loss of confidence after injuries last year. How has it been trying to recover that confidence?
"It's been day-by-day. You have your good days, you have your bad days. You just got to try to stay the same every day."

How have your relationships with the D-line changed after they reacted so quickly with your seizure last fall?
"We're family. Terrance was the one who made the huge deal. Louis Vasquez was there. Von was there. Those guys who sat back there with me. It means a lot to know that they saw something wasn't right and made a big deal about it. Some people would just kind of ignore it, think maybe 'Ah, he's just tired.' Obviously they knew something wasn't right, so they had my back and I'm very close to those guys."

Who were some of the most important people in the process of rebuilding confidence?
"Obviously the coaches. This whole organization really helped me out, stood behind me and kind of had my back through the whole thing. They never doubted me once in thinking I wasn't going to come back. I stayed here in the offseason and worked with our strength coaches. Luke did a great job everyday trying to get me a plan. You know, 'Here's our goal today. This is what we're going to do today.' So he did a great job of getting me back."

What's one question reporters don't ask you that you wish they would?
"I get asked just about every question you could imagine. There's not really anything out there that they haven't asked me. They're always asking me how am I doing, how was the past. Everyone's been doing a pretty good job of asking about the things I want to talk about and not the things I don't really want to talk about."

Not even about hobbies?
"I'm one of those guys who's kind of into everything. Whatever's fun at the moment, that's what I do. I'm not really like a single-minded guy: I like to diversify my hobbies, everything. I just like to do a lot of things. One week I might be into riding 4-wheelers, the next week I might be into getting my truck fixed up. I just try to stay busy in everything I do. I like to watch a lot of movies. Sometimes my favorite thing to do is just chill, hang out at home in my house."

Coming from a small town, do you ever look back in wonder?
"Every now and then it's good to reflect on where you've come from. I try to stay away from looking in the past as much as possible."

In high school you were a wrestler, in addition to playing football. How did wrestling in high school weigh into your development in high school?
"Your body control and your technique. Wrestling is such a technique-driven sport. It makes you very disciplined as far as your technique is and everything else. The footwork and your conditioning – nothing's like conditioning for a wrestling match. It takes a long time to get ready for a wrestling match."

How did going through tough months – last December, January, February – make you stronger now?
"Everybody has adversity thrown at them. I've had adversity thrown at me my whole life. It's just another speed bump I've had to get through and find a way to make it out of it."

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