Defensive Lineman Dexter Lawrence
Q: How does it feel being 7-2? Defense had consecutive turnovers in the red zone. Talk about all that.
A: Yeah, that's big, you know, just to keep fighting and not giving up even though they were making big plays like that to get there. It just shows the character of us on the defense and our willingness just to keep fighting for each other.
Q: You and (Defensive Lineman) Leo (Williams) seemed to really dominate up front together. Can you talk about the success between the two of you?
A: Our goal each game is to just have everybody on our back. Let's set the tone. Let's take control of the defense. Games like that are what our goals are each week and we're just going to keep trying to lead this defense to wins.
Q: When you went out there today, was stopping (Texans Running Back Dameon) Pierce the number one goal?
A: Of course. Just watching film — how hard he runs, how fearless he runs and his ability to break tackles and keep going, his balance is amazing. Our goal all week was to get eleven guys to him, bring him down, and don't let him get started.
Q: He only had, what, one big run?
Q: When you were on the sideline and they want to pay attention to your snap count and not burn you out. When you were on the sideline that's when they hit that big run of sixty-one yards. You come back, first play, you deck Pierce. Are you almost standing on the sideline like, 'alright, that's enough, that's enough, I've got to get back out there'? How do you manage that in that situation?
A: No, I wouldn't say it's like that. It was a good scheme block up they had, two guys on our middle linebacker, climbed up, and that's when they burst. I always want to be on the field, I feel like I always can help the defense no matter what. But I don't think it's a snap count type of thing, it's just us rotating guys in, staying fresh, so I can make that next play like I did on the running back.
Q: Might this be the first time since Clemson you had that feeling of this is fun?
A: (Laughs) Football is fun. I mean, losing isn't fun, but just being here with the guys, just enjoying the fellowship that we have every day, that's fun. The losing you just keep trying to learn from that and you keep trying to grow from that and don't let it take the fun out of football. This year, we're winning and it's extra fun, you know what I mean, to have that plus.
Q: (Outside Linebacker) Kayvon (Thibodeaux) said he hasn't seen (Rams Defensive Lineman) Aaron Donald in person, but he said as far as Aaron Donald and Dexter Lawrence, it's him and him when it comes to interior defensive lineman. What's your reaction to that when you hear him say that?
A: (Laughs) He's funny. It's just the respect I'm earning from him. He's a good ball player and I don't like comparing myself to people and things like that, but that's how he views me, and I just want to keep dominating and keep proving myself to him and to whoever else.
Q: You've said that there's never really been a moment since you got here you felt that you weren't a dominating player, but when you start seeing people react to your playing is it almost like, 'where have you been? I've been here the whole time?'
A: I mean, yeah, kind of. Winning helps with that. I feel like I'm a guy that always just wants to improve myself and just show my dominance wherever I am, however I am. (Defensive Line) Coach Dre (Andre Patterson) has done a good job teaching me how to play with my skills, my abilities, my length, and my strength, all those types of things. And me being willing to listen to him, that shows just my humbleness even though I feel like I have been dominating, but for him to come in and just teach me, coach me about how to be better. It's just all coming to fruition right now.
Q: You said earlier in training camp that he wanted you to use your hands better. Is that something, how do you do that?
A: Reps. Being intentional whenever I step on the field, in practice, in a drill. Being intentional about where I'm putting my hands, how I'm using them, what I'm grabbing, things like that until it becomes part of me, so I preach every week to the guys like let's go on the field, let's be intentional in what we want to get better at. Sooner or later, it's going to become second nature and just keep flowing.
Q: I remember when you were a rookie and you said to me something about being you being a run stuffer, you're a defensive lineman coming out of Clemson, but you told me back then, 'don't forget about my pass rushing.' Well, this year people are now seeing that even more. Do you feel you find you're getting attention where, 'hey, besides me being a run stuff defensive lineman, I can also push that pocket.' Do you find you're showing that this year?
A: Yeah, it's just starting to make a little more sense to me. Each year, my goal is to grow in my position, learn in my position, and this year everything is kind of slowing down for me, it's making sense. I'm continuing to build my confidence throughout the whole week and preparing the right way and it's just showing. I just want to keep going and keep trying to stack wins and get other guys to keep going with me.