DE Robert Ayers Jr.
August 3, 2015
Q: Expectations for this season
A: The numbers will come, but if not, if I look back and say I was disruptive this year and I improved and got better and helped my team winóthen Iíll give the numbers up for the winning. So, thatís what Iím shooting for.
Q: Is it important to you to be a good run, pass guy?
A: Of course, I definitely want to be a complete player. I want to be able to do everything that they ask me to do, whether it be dropping in coverage or rushing the passer, stop the run, rush insideówhatever it is, I want to be able to do it all. Itís why Iíve been able to be in this league for seven years. I feel like I can do a lot of different things. I just want to continue to keep improving and continue to keep getting better. Just make plays and win games. I definitely pride myself in both.
Q: Do you look at yourself as being more of an every down defensive end? Do you shoot for that?
A: I shoot for that every year. All I can do is control what I control. I work my butt off and whatever I earn, thatís the role I have. I try to maximize those opportunities in those situations that Iím in. I shoot to do it all and whatever role I get is just what I have to embrace and keep striving for better. Thatís definitely the goal.
Q: Do you feel more comfortable now that itís a year here since youíve come back home? The novelty of being in this area, has that worn off?
A: I never was uncomfortable. To say Iím more comfortable, I donít really look at it like that. I never was uncomfortable. I feel like Iím at home and when I came here I was fortunate enough to be with a group of guys that accepted me. Mathias [Kiwanuka] was by far one of my better teammates. We were competing and pushing each other to get better, but he also was willing to give a helping hand. Guys like that, they donít get enough credit for things they accomplish and things they doóhow they open the door to guys to even though theyíre striving to beat you out, they help you and they help you learn. Soon as I got here I felt at home. JPP is a great teammate, Damontre [Moore], Cullen [Jenkins]óI learned a lot from Cullen. I think my comfort level when I first got here was at 100 [percent].
Q: But was there a little bit of pressure from all your friends and family in the neighborhood saying okay now heís back home now we donít have to worry about him being in Denver or in Tennessee, heís right here?
A: No, they know how I go about my business. They know Iím a serious dude, so they donít really bug me too much. They probably bugged me more when I was in Denver than I was here because I was in Denver, they had to catch flights and this, that and the other. Here it was just like, if they want to come to the game, alright. If you want to come, come. If not, then not. So I actually have some family out here for practice. They know how I am and Iím not shy about distancing myself when I need my time and when I need to handle business, Iím real blunt with my family about, ďI need to do this.Ē They didnít really bother me being home.
Q: You ever meet Michael Strahan?
A: Yeah, I have. I got his autograph. Growing up in the area, he was a role model, I idolized him. Local TV always had the Giants on, so he was the guy that I watched, you know, tearing peopleís heads off. Him, Amani Toomer, Tiki Barber, all those guys. I grew up watching that. My father played the position he [Strahan] played. My father wanted to go to college and play defensive line. Unfortunately, his career didnít go where he wanted it to go. But, watching him, he would always have me watching John Randle out in Minnesota. Those are the two guys that I grew up, that my father made sure I watched. When I got a chance to meet him, I was kind of in awe a little bit because this is my first time meeting someone that I actually idolized. There are other guys that I would like to meet in my life like Mike Tyson, Michael JordanóI would love to meet Muhammed Ali. He was one of those guys that were on that list for me. I got to meet him and I got his autograph and I wasnít shy about asking him for it. It was kind of, awkward, but.
Q: Was it when you were a kid?
A: No, it was just now. It was last year in the offseason. I had him sign my hat. Iím gonna get it framed.
Q: Did he give you any football advice?
A: I listen to a lot of the things that heís saying in the media. Heís a very busy guy. Heís had just as a successful post-football career as he did when he was playing. Heís always on the move so whenever I see him, I kind of look, and I had the opportunity to go talk to him. I didnít really ask him about anything like that, but I listen to a lot of the things heís saying in the media and just comments he makes. In the interviews he gave in the past about the mentality and mindset and the will to win and things like that. Thatís where I really get my information from him because heís such a busy guy. Plus, I can be kind of shy.