This week, three veteran Redskins players — Jonathan Allen, Landon Collins and Adrian Peterson — met with the local media via Zoom to discuss the offseason and expectations for the coming 2020 regular season.
I thought it would be fun to look at what each had to say about their experience and expectations of the off-season and the coming regular seasons.
On how he stays motivated:
I love competing. There’s nothing like the comradery that happens within the locker room and being around so many guys from so many different backgrounds.
Just playing this ultimate team game. The love of the game, chasing the championship, all that is keeping me going and keeping me motivated.
I’ve been blessed to continue to do it at a high level, especially at my position, going on year 14. I’m just taking it all in and enjoying it while I can.
On the goals for 2020:
The goal is the same: win the NFC East.
On his personal goals for 2020:
My personal goals? Just to contribute.
Obviously, my mindset, I want to be a guy that helps lead us to a championship. So, whatever role that is, I’ll be taking part in and I’m going to put my best foot forward.
I feel like the things you do during the off-season — with physically getting your body ready and mentally having a grasp of what they’re asking you to do — it will put you in position when the time comes to be one of those guys that can help the team win...the NFC East and put ourselves in a position to compete for a championship. I feel like everything else will kind of flow and fall under that if those things come in alignment.
On if his approach to film study has changed at all:
No, I think this is my fourth defensive coordinator. I have never changed my approach on how to study and how to look at what I am supposed to be doing because it is second nature to me. It is how you study the game and how you study the game within the defense. What I can and cannot do within the defense.
I work hard and ask questions about it. I was in the meetings the other day and was asking questions if I could do this or do this. If this was to happen. Just finding ways to make certain adjustments within the defensive call to get an inch or a yard out of making the play. From there what I am studying, the defense and if I have to make the calls and adjustments to what is going on, I have to be really on point. Every formation has an adjustment to it.
On what he can do to help the younger players out during this virtual program:
All I can do for these guys is just tell them that I am here. Open line of communication. Ask me any questions about the league if you have any just to give them knowledge. It is hard to give them knowledge when I am not around them even if they have questions.
Usually vets tend to feed off what a guy is doing right or doing wrong if he has suggestions to give a guy in different aspects of the league and what he should do for the league. There is not much I can say over the phone to do that. All I can do is keep a line open.
Our rookie right now — Kamren Curl — I just have an open line with him. Any questions he has, I am here to answer anything. Don’t be scared. At the end of the day we have to be a brotherhood on the back end. If anyone has any questions, my lines are always open on offense or defense.
On if the optimism around this season feels different than in years past:
It feels different because of the coaching staff. We have changed the whole coaching staff and have switched the defense around.
I can’t speak for everyone, but it was much needed. When I talk about concepts and rules, set in stone things that need to happen within a defense, this defense has it all.
On if there are any specific examples that he can point to that makes him feel confident:
No, the guys, just talking...to the coaches and Coach Rivera, knowing who we brought in. These are coaches that all have coaching backgrounds that have all had great athletes that have made a killing with their team. From that aspect, it is going to be the same way. Guys have to literally buy in. If we buy in, you win. If you don’t, you are going to fight here and there. From that standpoint we are going to make this thing work.
On how he thinks the changes that Coach Rivera and Coach Del Rio plan on making will affect the defensive line:
I think it will give us the ability to be more aggressive at times,
it’s kind of hard to say because people assume that going from a 3-4 to a 4-3 is going to be a big difference, but I think 50, or 55 or 60 percent of the time last year, we were in a 4-3. So I feel like the biggest thing is the technique that we’re being taught to play out of that 4-3.
I haven’t played in a 4-3 since high school, so I’m excited about the opportunity and I really think it’s going to be good for us just to really let Chase [Young], Montez [Sweat], Ryan Anderson, Kerrigan — just let those guys go, and let the defensive line go — be free — and I’m excited to see what we can do.
On if he gets the sense that the new scheme and plan is going to be more aggressive:
If you look at the mentality from the defensive line we’ve always had that aggression so that’s nothing new for us. But, you can definitely feel that sense of pressure and the type of play style that we’re going to have this upcoming season, so I’m excited for it.
On how much better he thinks the communication on defense will be with the new defensive staff:
I definitely think it can be a lot better.
For whatever reason it was a problem. I’m not sure what that reason was because I’m on the front end. I’m not at that spot in my career yet where I can focus on what I have to do and also focus on what the DBs have to do, so a lot of the time I had no idea why the miscommunication kept occurring, but I just try to make sure that I do my job at a higher level to help them out in any way that I can.
But, I’m definitely sure it’s going to be something that we address, and I’m sure he’s already addressed it — Coach Del Rio, I mean.
I’m just going to have to see how it comes out Week 1. But like I said, we have a lot of time before that, a lot of practices, a lot of walk-throughs, so many things we have to do before that. So we’ll see how it turns out this season.
On the team picking up his fifth-year option:
Like I said, just being in my hometown area — I love Washington. But I also understand that it’s a business, so I’m super excited that they felt that I was worth it that they extended my future option too.