First impressions of having a whole new staff together and meeting them and the coordinators. Two days in, what are your first thoughts?
I'm happy with the choices and just to see the morale of the coaches and everyone out here. Them just being upbeat. First couple of meetings I think they really implemented really what they expected and what they were going to give us. And that's what you want from coaches; you just want to know what's going on, whats next, what do we have to do, so we just have to go out there and put the work in. So far so good.
What is expected do you think?
We're expected to play relentless at all times. Effort is not a question. There are some things that we lacked last year and I was the first person to agree with it. We have to play a certain way to get to where we want to get to. Them pointing that out really brought attention to me because you want to be a great defense, you want to create an identity out there. For them to say that it let me know that we have some work to do, but all in all they said they looked on the sheets of paper and saw the guys can definitely get the work done and get the job done. We have the guys here and we're looking forward to it.
This is your 4th coach in your career now. Are you numbed to the coaching transition or do you get really excited with the new opportunities?
It's always a challenge. When you're a player you just think about your job and what comes with the job is the terminology and the playbook and things like that and how the practices and things are going to be run. That's what I think about. That's a challenge for all players, here today, this early, I have friends still out on vacation and we're in here working, trying to get in on the same page. I think that's what's going to make us better than what people think we're going to be doing. We're starting off with a new staff but there's no excuses, we've done it before, I've seen it done, so it's definitely possible.
What's your focus, coming in with the coaching staff, personally?
Just to lead. I think I got the spotlight in leadership role last year. It didn't go as well as I would like it to, but guys understand what it takes seeing an example by me and a couple older guys on the team. As long as we continue to lead by example, growing up as a young'n, you don't see veterans here at this time. Some veterans stay home. I wanted to get here and let the guys know I'm in it, I'm not bigger than the team at all, and I think the guys see it.
I'll make an observation from last season, I know you missed Wednesday's practices because of a knee, but when you talk about that presence, I think your presence was missed on those Wednesday practices which is a real big practice day of the week. Is that something that you've personally noticed that you'd like to change this season?
Yeah it was just something I had to do, to be ready for Sunday. Wednesdays are the days where the coaches install, and you can go out there and you have room for a couple mistakes and Thursday you can correct them and Friday it should be crisp. I used Wednesday as the day where, "Ok, everyone can have room for mistakes but when I come Thursday we should be sharp, I've seen the mistakes so I shouldn't make the mistakes." So that was just the best day for me as far as the playbook and my knee.
With Chip Kelly coming in with that fast paced offense so much is made about how his defenses don't have time to really get in shape and get things going on the field. Is that even a concern in your mind that the offense is off the field too quick or is that more of a challenge you're kind of relishing?
I'm relishing it. I've always said, I don't look at it as a negative when you say the offense gets off the field quick. Whether it's 3 and out, or score a touchdown-quick, it's our job to go in and get that opposing offense off the field as quick as possible so that we can do the same thing again. So that's how I'm looking at it. I'm not looking at it as getting tired, exhausted. I've never, in 1,000 years, ever heard of someone not wanting to be on the field. So it's part of our philosophy, it's Chip's way and I'm all in.
Is it nice being back with the guys working out? Have you gotten that same vibe from the rest of your teammates?
Everyone is excited just to be here and to be better than what we were. Just the morale and just to see everyone out there it's a real good picture. It's going to make us better in the long run.
Colin [Kaepernick] has obviously been in the news a lot lately with his future with the team or another team. Is there any concern that when the season rolls around and if this situation isn't resolve, this could become a distraction.
Yeah, when the season rolls around I think it will be. But right now, guys are just focused on what we have to do to get to that point. I'm sure upstairs and Colin are trying to get everything right, but the guy that are out there putting work in on the field, those are the guys we're going to continue to be working with and try to make better.