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Thursday Media Transcript: Linebacker Kareem Martin

Eric from BBI : Admin : 7/26/2018 2:47 pm
LB Kareem Martin

Q: Whatís it like to be here and get the whole team going?
A: Itís good, we felt like we had a good spring and now weíre all back together. We have one common goal. In training camp, weíre going to work every day and grind this thing out.

Q: What sticks out most about this team?
A: Just the energy of these guys. I know after last year guys donít want that bad taste in their mouth. Just seeing guys ready to work, paying attention, buying into the new defense and the new offense and everything that comes with it.

Q: You just added Connor [Barwin], you have you and Alec [Ogletree], and a couple carry overs from last year. How do you fit everyone into the system?
A: Thatís Coach [Defensive Coordinator James] Bettcherís job. Heíll find a way because heís a smart guy and he looks at everyoneís strengths and weaknesses and heíll put us in the best positions as linebackers to be successful.

Q: Youíve played against Connor [Barwin], what do you see out of him?
A: Heís a great guy. He was in LA last year so I watched a lot of him. Heís a great rusher so heíll definitely be a great edition to this team. Iím looking forward to learning from him.

Q: How tough to cover for a linebacker is Saquon Barkley?
A: Oh heís tough. I mean he could do everything Ė really fast. The biggest thing with him is you just have to trust your technique and just stay true and donít bend.

Q: What kind of first impression did Saquon [Barkley] make on the defense?
A: With a rookie, he came in with his head down and ready to work. Drafted number two, he couldíve came in cocky, but he came in humble and worked. I think that gained him the respect from all the players in the locker room Ė veterans. Just with him, the way he came in and the way he carries himself, he made a great impression.

Q: What did you see from Lorenzo [Carter] from the first couple of spring practices?
A: Growth, that was probably the biggest thing. He got better everyday. By the end of it, I think he was at his best. He took the criticism and everyday he tried to work on something and not make the same mistake twice.

Q: What do you think the biggest difference for you last year after mostly playing special teams? Was it just opportunity or did you have some sort of fourth year breakthrough?
A: More so opportunity. We had a lot of great guys. In the NFL, you just have to wait for your opportunity and your number to be called. My number was called last year and unfortunately what happened with Mark, heís still one of my friends, but I take advantage of every opportunity Iím given.

Q: One of the things of modern training camps is the lack of hitting. When youíre learning a new defense, how easy or hard is it to learn without hitting?
A: Hitting is one of those things that you know how to do or donít. I think as long as you can get the full-speed movement when weíre on defense, thatís all that really matters. Hitting has been something youíve been doing since you were eight, ten years old. When you make it yourself and you know how to hit, thatís something you can save for the end.

Q: What does it mean to play for this organization that has such a rich tradition, especially on defense?
A: Oh itís amazing, to have a great linebacker tradition here. You walk in the building and you see the championship trophies. Just hoping I can come in here and build off of their legacy of this organization and get it back to where to promise.

Q: How important is it to have a good first day even though you wont be playing in pads?
A: Oh itís big, you have to take this thing one day at a time. The first day is the most important day and then the next day will be the most important day. Thatís the biggest thing. This first day will set the tone for how weíre going to go into the season. Iím really excited for the season.

Q: How do you interpret this new rule with the crown of the helmet?
A: Itís one of those things where we talked about it, but until we play games itís hard to speak on it. Until we see how strict or how lenient the refs are, itís hard to see it in practice so I guess weíll see.

Q: Do you think theyíre (refs) going to start cracking down from the get-go?
A: Everything is about player safety so I can definitely see it being important. Whichever way they try to go, whether itís strict or lenient, we have to adjust to it.

Q: Why do players like playing for Bettcher? It canít just be that heís aggressive, what is it?
A: I think thatís what it is, itís a fun defense. Thereís a lot of moving parts and guys and you kind of get to let go, show personality and with guys doing other things. Some defenses you donít have that leniency; he gives that to the players. It helps on film with the team watching; heís over here, but heís covering another guy.

Q: You made that transition from defensive end to outside linebacker. Are there similarities? Do you see Olivier Vernon make that transition?
A: Oh yeah, Olivier, heís an athlete. He can do whatever he needs when it comes to football plays; rushing, setting the edge, heís been doing that his whole career. The transition for him, I donít see it being a big deal. I think heíll get the reps here in camp and heíll get in the game heíll be greatÖ Not that he already isnít.
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