(what brings you to Detroit) Obviously my great defensive line coach,
now the head coach of Detroit, Rod Marinelli. And Joe Barry. Two
inspirational people that have been my life who I credit me being who I am
today, too, as a football player, as a man, as a person.
(now a full-time starter) That responsibility comes with hard work and
fitting what the scheme is. Most importantly, it’s doing what’s best
for the team. That’s going to come as we work hard and start winning. All
that’s going to come. I believe that I’m just here to relish this
opportunity to work hard and go out and give my best effort to the team and
(do you expect to play predominantly at right end) I don’t know the
position. As you know, I can play pretty much anywhere. I’m going to do
whatever’s required of me wherever. I don’t know. We’ll figure that out
as we go.
(where did you play the most in Tampa) Really I can’t name it. One year
I played three technique for like six games. This past year I played
seven, eight games at right end, then I backed up a whole lot at left. I
can’t name it really. I’ve pretty much played everywhere.
(where would you prefer to play) I don’t have a preference. I just want
to go out there and play, get a chance to help this team improve, and
just work hard.
(When Barry joined Marinelli, did you think that paved way to Detroit)
Well, we had the relationship there. But also, there’s Scott Linehan
and the Rams, my college coordinator. Coach Petrino. There’s people in
Seattle. Lane Kiffin. There’s numerous teams that know who I am, and I
could say, ‘No, I’m going here.’ I prayed about it. I just had a great
feeling when I came here that this is where God wanted me to be, and
that’s why I’m here.
(any thought at all of re-signing in Tampa) Yes, that was an option.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t … they couldn’t bring that deal to fruition.
(think of going anywhere else, other visits) When I got here, there was
teams calling. I told my agent, ‘Just don’t set up anything. Let’s see
if we can work something out here. I feel real comfortable.’ And
everything he was telling me was fitting right into my thought process.
There was three or four teams that called. We just said, ‘No.’
(why do you think this team will be better) First of all, I believe 100
percent in Coach Marinelli’s philosophy, and Joe Barry’s philosophy
that he got from him. With that belief comes the hard work and the effort
and all that’s going to pay off. I believe that. And that’s why I came
(how intense was Marinelli in not letting you go anywhere else) No.
He’s cut and dry. I thought it would be a little harder because I knew him
as a defensive line coach, and he was real stringent and demanding and
everything. But he came and just simply wrote out, ‘This is what you
can do. This is how you’re going to do it.’ And I said, ‘OK.’ And that
was it. I believe him. We can get this done.
(do you think you blossomed under him in Tampa) Yes, 100 percent. Like
I said earlier, if I went to any other team in the NFL, I don’t think I
would be the person and the man I am today without him.
(how did you change) I was … The work ethic was there. He just forced
the sense of urgency in me, tightening the details, little things. He
kind of made everything simple. Not thinking of all these moves that you
can do. This is one that you’re really good at. This is what you should
play off that. Going from Point A to Point B in a straight line. Just
made me tough, mentally tough and physically tough, just endure down
there the heat. One thing he always says, ‘Learn to be miserable, but as
you’re being miserable, be great in that misery.’ And he made us
miserable during the drills. At the same time, when we were tired, we became
great players because we didn’t make mistakes. We were able to think and
execute in the worst conditions. That’s what he made me.
It was more like in the heat doing extra drills, coming out and doing
things that he required of me that he wanted me to become.
(where do you think Rod and Joe can take you now, what’s your
potential, goals) My potential? I’m not going to set any. They’ll be set as we
go. More important is the team itself. It’s not me. It’s a defensive
unit growing, learning this system and blossoming in this system. As you
know, Tony Dungy and Coach Smith are in the same system. . And
that’s where we’re trying to get. I think we’ve got the players and the
coaches to get us there.