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Transcript: S Xavier McKinney (before scrimmage)

Eric from BBI : Admin : 8/6/2022 7:45 am
Q: Obviously (Cornerback) Aaron Robinson is going to be a big part of this defense, tell me what you're seeing from him so far.

A: He's done a great job of just making sure that he's doing his job, he's been making plays out on the field, and he's been locked in every step of the way. I trained with him in the offseason, we were in Tampa Bay. I already knew what it was going into this training camp, I knew how he would perform, and he's done very well for us. He's continuing to improve each and every day.

Q: Obviously we don't know what's going to happen with the weather tonight as far as fans in the building. Presumably, you guys will have a full house tonight. From your perspective, if you guys get out there and start running some offense-defense, are you looking forward to the idea of being out there in the Stadium calling plays?

A: Most definitely. Obviously, it'll be our first time everybody as a group, out there in the stadium. It's going to be fun. I know the energy is going to be up, we're excited, and we're ready to kind of get that little first glimpse of how we're going to be playing and know what we're going to be doing. So, it'll be fun, and we're looking forward to it, hopefully, we don't get rained out or anything like that, hopefully, we can just be in the stadium the whole time.

Q: Just as a follow-up, do you look at it as a test run for yourself with calling the plays in the helmet and getting guys in that setting?

A: No, I see it as the same. Obviously, we're going to have some people in the stands but, it's just kind of another practice to be able to communicate the calls and do what I have to do to make sure we execute on defense. Like I said it's going to be fun, I'm looking forward to it, everybody else is too, we're just ready for that time.

Q: How effective do you expect this defense to be this year?

A: Very effective, like I said before we've got a lot of playmakers on our defense, a lot of guys that can do a lot of things very well. We've got a great defensive coordinator calling the calls so, it's going to be fun, you're going to see a lot of guys flying around, a lot of guys making plays and getting after the ball. That's something we pride ourselves on as a defense, so it's going to be fun. We're still working, we're still getting better and improving, but you know we're going to have a lot of fun with it.

Q: Do you think the new defense has given you and the rest of your teammates more creativity?

A: Yeah, I think so. I've said it before of just kind of letting us play loose and letting us play free. Not being afraid to make a mistake or mess up or have a M.E. (mental error) or have a pass completed on you. (Defensive Coordinator) Wink has done a great job with relaying that to us, and communicating that he doesn't really – if you have a M.E. or if somebody catches on you, you know it's a next play mentality for us and that's how we treat it. I think we have a really resilient group, a lot of guys that if something bad happens we just move on to the next play and keep playing and try to get the ball back for our offense. That's the ultimate goal for us. It's going to be fun and we're not too worried about if anything bad happens, we just know we've got to keep playing.

Q: I have a big picture question since you're going to be in front of the fans tonight. At this time of year whenever there's a fan fest practice, they always seem to cheer for the offense and when the defense makes a big play, it's almost met with groans because the offense failed. I'm just wondering, you guys on defense – do you notice that and how you react to it that the fans at this point of the season seem to be predominantly rooting for the offense.

A: I'd say defense wins championships (laughs). But I think the game is obviously an offensive game. Obviously, people want to see a lot of touchdowns, but we know as a defense we've got to go out there and execute and play defense. We don't really worry about if we make a play and no one gets excited. Obviously, we're still practicing against each other too, in the games when we make those plays, we know our fans are going to go wild for us when we make those plays on the defensive side, and the same on the offensive side. We're practicing against each other and were competing, so we don't worry too much about that stuff, we just try to go out there and compete with one another.
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