Outside Linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux
Q. How are you feeling coming back for year two?
A: Man, year two. I mean, it's amazing. I feel great. I'm healthy, and I'm just excited, man. I'm excited.
Q. How different does it feel? Does it feel different on the field knowing that you're not new and kind of just learning on the fly?
A: Yeah, for fall camp—I guess you could say fall camp is college, but training camp, it definitely feels a little bit different. Now I'm working on different things, just really understanding the game and kind of getting those gears going.
Q. We never really got to see much of you and (linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari); he was hurt so much that we never really got to see the full potential of you two together. Do you think about at all what it would be like for you two to play side-by-side for 17 games?
A: It's going to be exciting. For him on paper, you know how many sacks he had to how many plays he had, so just knowing that, I mean, if you can get him 17 games, who knows how many sacks you'll get. Yeah, he's definitely one of the most talented pass rushers I've ever played with. So yeah, I'm excited to really get it going.
Q. Looking at sacks for you guys, obviously you probably didn't have as many as you would've hoped last year. Can you talk about the good things that you did last year that maybe weren't stat worthy, so to speak?
A: It's so funny when you talk about what you've done. You ever hear Giannis Antetokounmpo's speech? I think it was in the playoffs; he talked about the past, and what you did and the future and what you're going to do, and humility is in the moment. For me, I mean, I didn't reach the goals that I wanted to reach last year, but we did well as a team. I gave myself a platform to continue to grow, and in the offseason, I put that work in, and now we're here continuing sharpening iron. I'm excited for what's to come as far as the growth of my game.
Q. What did you do specifically in the offseason to help you grow?
A: I mean, I worked. I don't want to give up the secrets. People pay for those. But definitely working out every day. I did, like, three workouts a day on average with recovery, with film study, with everything else. So, just never putting it down. A lot of times when you're going through life, you think about football season, right? Or offseason. There really is no offseason when you do it as a professional. So, understanding that and being able to really start making my lifestyle about the game and about growth.
Q. Those sprints that you're doing in between when you're not on, is that something you've always done?
A: No, man. In college, yeah, but when I came to the league, we run so much that you think you're going to be prepared, but nothing can prepare you for what's to come on Sunday. I'm just trying to give myself every advantage to be better. I played a lot of snaps last year, and I feel like if I was more prepared for the number of snaps I was going to play, I could have had more production. So, I'm just trying to give myself any advantage I can.
Q. When you look at last year's film, do you feel you left some sacks on the field?
A: Definitely. I think every time you look back at a play, you feel like you could have ate a little bit more. Last year's film kind of disgusts me a little bit when I look at myself. I get a little cringe feeling. But it definitely is, like I said, a platform to continue to grow.
Q. Why cringe?
A: Anytime you look at your younger self, you always see how you've evolved and matured. So, now it's me understanding who I was and who I am now and who I'm consistently growing to be.
Q. Do you have more of an individual plan for camp this year knowing what you need to get accomplished for yourself or you want to get accomplished by certain landmarks, preseason games, that kind of thing?
A: I would definitely say, when you talk about goals for myself, it would just be routine. Understanding what I need to recover, understanding what my body likes, and what it doesn't like, as far as my nutrition, as far as my recovery. Even when it comes to lifting weights, or stretching and doing things like that, just understanding – and I've been doing that from the offseason to now – what it's going to take for me to be my best self.
Q. What would you say were a couple of the most eye-opening things that you learned last year, it being your first go around in the league?
A: A couple of the most eye opening? That chemistry is everything. When you play this game, and you've got 11 guys out there, you can't do it by yourself, so you would say the teams with the most chemistry have the most success. Really being accountable and selfless. There are a lot of teams who have great players, and they have a lot of talent, but not a lot of humility, not a lot of selflessness. When it comes to big games, when it comes to big plays or tough plays and having to rebound, the truth will always rise.
Q. Getting back to that kind of thing a little bit, in college, at that level it's easier for a player of your talent to have a bigger impact individually. Is that now how it is at this level? Is that a fair point?
A: Guys make plays. You look at (defensive tackle) Dexter Lawrence (II), he's a guy who, every game, he's wrecked it. So, you are able to have impacting games, impacting plays in every game. It's just about how often and how consistent you can do it, and that comes to your conditioning, that comes to your film study, that comes to the chemistry among your teammates and understanding that every team you play is going to be different, and you have to kind of tailor what you do as a player to combat that.
Q. What can you speak to as far as the DBs and the young core you guys have? How do they allow you to play so freely, and what trust do you guys have for them on the back end?
A: Communication. Communication. Communication. Communication. I repeat that because a loud defense is a good defense. When you see how gelled they are and how together they are, you can understand that it's easy to communicate, it's easy to hold each other accountable. That translates from the back end all the way to the guys up front. We kind of continue to keep that camaraderie among us and really just be together. When we are on the field, we understand that we move as one.
Q: We were in here the other day with (tackle) Andrew Thomas, and he said closing the gap on the Eagles starts with the lines, basically. The offensive line feels it because the Eagles have been good on their offensive line for a decade. Does the defensive line feel the same, that to close the gap, we have to do it because we have a core now and they have had their (Eagles defensive tackle) Fletcher Cox and (Eagles defensive end) Brandon Graham core forever?
A: When you talk about the older guys as far as (defensive tackle) Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence, they've done it for a while now. They're kind of reaching that level where they need guys to come with them. Luckily, they have guys like me and Azeez, who don't have egos, who are willing to soak up the game, who are willing to put in the work and the time. Now it's about just continually growing together, continuously just getting better, and learning how to rush as a unit and learning how to move as a unit. I think we're all excited. I think that we have a big challenge ahead of us with the rest of camp and continuing to grow, but I think it's going to be good.
Q: When you look at this team, do you say we're a playoff team or do you say that was last year, we've got to do it all over again?
A: When I look at this team, I think I'm willing to fight in an alley with any of them. I say that because these are guys who have no quit, these are guys who want to be better. It's a thing to have talent and to be okay with it. It's a thing to make it the NFL and cruise through, but when you have a bunch of guys who consistently make it their point and effort to get better and to grow, the sky is the limit.
Q: With your personal goals, are you somebody that keeps those to yourself or are you comfortable stating what your goals are?
A: That's my thing. Last year I had so many goals and I had so many numbers and statistics on what I wanted to be. I just want to be great. I want to help my team win. I want to be a guy who can make plays and make the plays when they count. I'm not really too fixated on numbers, I'm just fixated on really having an impact every game and being available every game.