Linebacker Azeez Ojulari
Q: (Head) Coach (Joe) Judge just said that he loved your instincts yesterday. Is that a result of maybe the game starting to slow down for you? Explain exactly what he means by that.
A: I'll say every week I'm just trying to get better. As I continue to play these games, I'm getting used to it and adjusting to the game speed and everything. It's just kind of slowing down for me and getting better by the week, so I would agree with him.
Q: What was that game like for you yesterday? I know you work hard every week, but to see the results, 2.5 sacks, three tackles for loss, four quarterback hits, to see the box score, what was 4:30pm-on like for you yesterday? Did you allow yourself to enjoy it a little bit?
A: Yes sir, definitely. I'm blessed to be able to go out there and compete and make those big plays out there. At the end of the day, I was just happy to get the win, to get back in the win column. I'm just happy to get the win for the team and just continue to go from there and just keep going. So, it was a great day. I'm just happy to get the win.
Q: Did you come back to the locker room and have like 100 texts or anything like that? Were people chiming in? Anything interesting?
A: People definitely chimed in for sure, so thanks to (those) people. Just got to keep going.
Q: You had a sack in each of the first three games. Then the last two games, according to the stats and analytics, you had zero pressures. I'm wondering if you were even aware of that and if that motivated you more? Was that a case of teams adjusting to you, and you had to adjust to them after that?
A: I think you're trying to get to the quarterback every week. You try to do whatever you've got to do to get there within the scheme. Whatever it is, you've just got to play your best, give it your all when you're out there. That's what I'm just continuing to try to do every single time I step on the field. Just play my role and do whatever I've got to do to help the team succeed.
Q: Did you notice a difference in practice last week? It seemed like talking to people and listening to Coach Judge talk to some other people, you guys put more of an emphasis on yourselves than necessarily the opponent.
A: Yeah, definitely. We're just trying to make sure we're fundamentally sound and just good with our techniques – because at the end of the day, it's really about us. At the end of the day, it ends up going back to us and what we have to do out there, and how we do it, and just trying to fix everything in that standpoint of us. Just get better every week and go out there and compete.
Q: There's been a lot of talk about Joe Judge and some of the coaches really challenging the defense last week. I'm just curious what was the mood like among the players and the veteran players leading into the game yesterday. Did anybody speak up? Did anybody give any big speeches? What really motivated you guys to have that big game yesterday?
A: We just knew that we needed this game. As a defense, we have to do what we have to do. We don't want the other team to score points. It's a mindset, really. Everyone comes in and everyone has to do their job. The defensive leaders come in and just let us know what we've got to do. Everyone has to do it at a high level. Everyone must lock in and go out there and just do it on the field. No more talking, just go out there and do it with our actions. That's what we did yesterday.
Q: How much is pass rush contagious? There were games where nobody had any sacks on the whole defense and then there's yesterday where it seemed like everybody had a sack. How much is that contagious? Like when one guy gets one, everybody wants to get one, and how much does (Defensive Lineman) Leonard Williams going up the middle help you guys on the edge?
A: Definitely, man. I feel like we feed off each other in our defense, definitely. We feed off each other big time. The secondary is covering, we get there, we work with each other. The secondary covers, the rush gets there – so it's just feeding off each other and playing off each other's energy. It's just great having these guys that want to get to the quarterback and get after people. It's just great competing out there.
Could be the steal of the 2021 draft at #50 over-all.