This interview has been edited and condensed for readability.
What are your toll road-day out essentials?
I bought my half-gallon yeti jug stout of water; consistently gotta protect hydrated. Boatloads of snacks. [Joe Rogan and Bussin’ with The Boy podcasts.] The dogs [Benji, an American bulldog and pit mix] is loaded up with the water bowl, and he’s bought bones aid there, so he can munch on some stuff. I’ll toss a tennis ball aid there every two hours ‘trigger he’ll chunk thru a tennis ball in enjoy 5 minutes.
Fascinated about everything, how used to be the offseason?
We did radiant fricking proper with what we’ve bought. We bought a boatload carried out in these Zooms. I used to be so fully delighted to chat ball at that level. [I was like], ‘Let’s secure on it, let’s have confidence quizzes.’
What manufacture you watched of the protection’s transition from a 3-4 to a 4-3?
Closing yr used to be my first time ever playing in a 3-4, so it used to be a gargantuan trip for me. But … [the 4-3] is what I’ve played in since I used to be 7 years frail, so I’m more than elated in this protection. When Dad coached, that used to be what we ran.
Dad’s stoked. It’s humorous on memoir of my dad used to be a Raiders fan, so he loves [defensive coordinator Jack] Del Rio. After we hired him, he used to be enjoy, “I already know everything about him.”
What’s numerous about this modern defensive coaching employees?
The eye to detail. … I cherished the attention to detail these coaches had this yr in teaching the ways on memoir of there had been events final yr I didn’t perceive fully what ways [to use]. Now, I mediate they’re very thorough. Very, very thorough.
Additionally, Del Rio has made it very clear, “If you occur to wanna kind a play, inch kind a play. I’m no longer gonna ever sing you no longer to.” … I enjoy the flexibility in converse to have confidence your instincts. Having that freedom would maybe be priceless, however furthermore that highlight to detail is gonna have confidence us all be on the same page. Very enthusiastic about the protection.
What are real looking expectations for the unit?
We are able to have confidence a top-tier protection. Enjoy a study our d-line. We’ve bought fricking Jon Allen, Matt [Ioannidis], Daron [Payne], Tim [Settle], [Montez] Sweat, [Ryan] Kerrigan, Crawl Young. I fancy our d-line.
This yr, that you would possibly play any of the three linebacker spots: Mike, Will or Sam. What manufacture you request to your role this season?
Appropriate now, all people’s finding out every residence. No one knows what they’re playing. … My thing is, playing linebacker, you’ve gotta be ready to play on all three, so I will kind obvious I do know all three positions. Dawdle and play, man.
How did you truly feel in protection final yr?
I truly feel enjoy I will duvet. I do know the stats whine I’m no longer that gargantuan, however I truly feel enjoy for me, it’s lawful trusting my flee. I truly feel enjoy I will duvet moderately about a tight ends or operating backs … [but] there had been events where I bought a shrimp out of protect an eye on or maybe lunged at a guy that will secure me beat. So, moderately about a this offseason is lawful, “Hi there man, listen, you’re rapid, have confidence it.”
Baseball gamers frequently make a selection on themselves by stats. How manufacture you balance tape and numbers?
I don’t watch at stats. The onerous half is, in football, stats can never paint your complete image. If it’s a breakdown in protection — let’s whine my corner and I didn’t talk. We had been playing man protection, and we didn’t talk, and we’re both operating to every other. If my guy catches the ball, it would possibly per chance well well per chance inch on him on the stat, however it’s enjoy, that’s lawful a breakdown in protection.
The stats I recall rate to are the stats that we discuss, enjoy our targets to winning the game. We wanna be off the field 65 percent of the time, if we secure them in a Third-down pickle. We desire them to kick field targets, or nothing, if they secure to the pink zone, no longer lower than half the time.
If you watched film from final yr, what did you glimpse?
I’m kind of a perfectionist, so where folks would possibly per chance well per chance be enjoy, “K, this dude, he had a bunch of tackles, a couple compelled fumbles, [tackles for loss], blah blah blah.” After I observed the film, I observed alternatives and I believed, “Dang, I wish I’ll per chance well well secure that aid. I desire that aid.”
I’ve long gone aid and watched [last] season a couple events. … Folk would maybe be enjoy, “Oh, you had a gargantuan rookie yr,” and I’m enjoy, “No, I wanna manufacture higher!” I’m champing on the bit to secure aid.
You played college football on the College of North Carolina while Ron Rivera used to be coaching down the toll road in Charlotte. Did him sooner than he bought hired?
No. … But [a] linebacker that I played with at [UNC], Andre Smith, ended up getting drafted by the Panthers. So as quickly as we hired Ron, Andre texted me and he used to be enjoy, “You’ve bought your self a proper one. Ron is a very gargantuan fricking coach.” … If folks are gonna inch out of their system lawful to convey one thing good about you, that used to be enjoy, “K, this coach would possibly per chance well well soundless be the precise deal.”
Is there anything else we didn’t discuss that’s indispensable from this offseason?
Laughable, swiftly story. So, I used to be down coaching in South Florida, and I’d attain aid home for the weekend, after which they shut everything down. And dude, I went trusty into a stout awe. I used to be enjoy, “I’m no longer gonna be ready to figure out for how long?” So, I referred to as my head power coach [Chad Englehardt], and I’m enjoy, “Chad, I need the Sorinex reps number perfect now. Take care of, perfect now.” … Had him ship me an complete fricking home gym.
Taking a watch aid on it, it’s one thing he never would’ve pulled the trigger on himself, however [my dad’s] so fully delighted that I did it. He uses it. Mother uses it. My niece comes over, she plays over in there. … My female friend, she’s a interior most coach, and enjoy, we’re kind of effectively being junkies, so to glimpse my family kind of getting aid into that, it made me truly feel proper interior.
The family’s bought no excuse now.
I used to be enjoy, “Dad, it’s on.” I feeble to consistently whine with my mates [in the group chat] … “Is it grind season, or we bought cheat meals going on?” So he’s consistently sending his meals to my family community chat. It’s humorous on memoir of my female friend’s enjoy his interior most effectively being coach, and he’s enjoy, “What can I direct? I’m gonna direct this.” And he or she’s enjoy, “K, direct that, no butter, no bread, don’t even take into memoir eating a french fry.”
Well, the logical final quiz has to be: Is it grind season?
[Before this drive], I used to be calling all people up in Virginia enjoy, “Yo, what’s the deal? The place can we secure some workout routines in? Who’s up right here?” … It is grind season, man.