Defensive Lineman Dexter Lawrence II
August 27, 2021
Q: Why were you pushing around the rookie?
A: We’re just out there getting better, challenging each other, just like I do with everybody else.
Q: How will it be to get some extended work on Sunday?
A: I’m excited. (Head) Coach (Joe Judge) said the starters are going to play more this game, so I’m ready to go out there and just get a good feel for game tempo type of things. Continue to work on the goals that we have, start fast, stop the run, and don’t beat ourselves, pretty much.
Q: Does a unit kind of need this to be able to go for a longer period harder to build a little chemistry?
A: We condition well (laughs), but not just like a game. Obviously, getting a feel for a game and getting the feel for 60-70 plays a game is different, so we’re all excited and ready to go out there.
Q: How much stock do you actually put into preseason results when you go out there? Do you look at it and say, ‘We need to perform well, so it leads to playing well in the regular season?’ Or we’re just trying to get our work in or work on specific things?
A: Mostly just not beating ourselves, like I said. The little things, the fundamentals, our techniques and what comes off of that is what comes off of that. If we know that we haven’t beaten ourselves, then we know that we did everything we could to win the game, if we do or not.
Q: What are this year’s expectations, last year you guys kind of surprised some people with how well you played?
A: Just to go out there and compete, that’s the only expectation that we have as a unit is to go compete and go give our all and not beat ourselves, like I keep saying. We know at the end of the day, it’s all about us and how we approach each and every second of the game. It’s just like we’re going to get work when we go out there.
Q: Is it fair to say you should be a top-five defense with everybody back from last year?
A: That’s not our expectation. Like I said, it’s just to put our heads down and work. Each and every day work, work, work. Whatever comes after that is what comes after that.
Q: The second practice in Cleveland and the start of practice in New England your D-line kind of set a tone. Do you guys view yourselves as ‘We’re going to punch back and we’re going to fight back. It’s us. We’re the head of the spear’?
A: We take on the responsibility as the D-line of setting the tone. However the day is going to go, it’s going to go how we set the tone. We know that we have the responsibility to get everybody else going. Everybody looks up to us. Everybody knows that we’re the leaders on the team and we take the responsibility of that.
Q: How do you guys as a defense evaluate how you guys performed in joint practices with the Browns and the Patriots?
A: We responded really well. Just got to start faster like Coach keeps saying and make sure we don’t beat ourselves with the little fundamental technique things that cause big problems.
Q: For the three, four years, (Vikings Defensive Lineman) Dalvin Tomlinson was as steady as they come in his spot. Without him there, does it feel strange and how are (Defensive Lineman) Austin Johnson and (Defensive Tackle) Danny Shelton carrying his load?
A: Honestly, it’s just like a fitting in the puzzle-kind of thing with AJ coming in there doing his thing and Danny being big and physical, just going in there and wrecking things. It’s obviously not Dalvin, but it’s other good players that we have. I can even go in there and play the nose. We all can rotate and play any position.
Q: Do you like standing next to Danny because he makes you look small?
Q: After 32 games in two seasons, how would you say you’re better than you were when you first walked in here?
A: I’m not making rookie mistakes and I’m not making second-year mistakes. That’s kind of my biggest thing is not making the same mistake twice and learning and growing the knowledge of my position, and understanding the game better, which is where I’d say I’ve been growing the most.