Inside Linebacker Darrian Beavers
Q. What's it been like putting the pads back on for the first time since your injury?
A: It's been a blessing. It's been a blessing to play football again and get back there. It's been a long year, so it's good to get out there and play football again.
Q. What's been the most difficult part of your return? Is it different from what you thought it would be?
A: I'd probably just say the wait time (and) how long it takes to recover from this injury. But besides that, it's just been taking the game of football away – I'd probably think is the two biggest things. I've been playing football since I was seven, every year, so sitting out a season is kind of different for you, so I'd probably say that.
Q. Is there a moment in the first session that you felt like you were back in a groove?
A: I think it's like a continuous thing. The more and more practice, the more and more reps that I get, the more and more I'll feel – I guess more comfortable as you'd say. But it's just been a blessing to play football again and have the chance to put the pads back on.
Q. When you have a game that you love taken from you, do you come back with more appreciation for it?
A: It's still football at the end of the day, so it's still a fun sport. Like I said, I've played since I was seven, but I'd say maybe it made me sit back and humble myself and not to take it for granted, I'd say in a way. Besides that, it's football, and when you come back and you're on that field everything blanks out and you just want to play football.
Q. How do you view the linebacker room now with the new additions?
A: I think we did a good job in the offseason getting a bunch of players in here that are new and trying to make this team the best team that we can make. I mean, and that's just good. The better the players, the better it is.
Q. With joint practices coming up, how do you look at the opportunity to go against an opponent during training camp?
A: I think it's great. I think it's great to practice against different teams, different players and see where you're at. I think it would be good for this team and good for this season.
Q. You talked about having to learn how to live without football. Did you do anything differently to fill that time when you weren't rehabbing?
A: Not really. It was mostly doing rehabbing and trying to stay off my feet as much as possible, which probably made it seem longer. Just sleeping a bunch of times and just relaxing all the time, but it was just doing rehab then going to stay off my feet.
Q. Is it all physical now? Has the mental part gone away post injury?
A: No. When I'm on the field I don't even think about what happened or anything about last year. For me, it was just – I want to be the best that I could be on the field, so I want to know – there's so much stuff that I've got to do pre snap, before a play to even worry about my knee to be honest. Like I said, when I'm out there, I've got so much other stuff going on that that's the last thing on my mind.
Q. Are you a full go for the preseason or are they holding you back?
A: To be honest, I'm just taking it day by day. To be honest, if I'm practicing then I'm practicing, and they'll let me know that before the practice or the game. Right now, I'm just going day by day, and I know that we have a practice today and I'm going to go out there and practice full padded today.
Q. With all the veterans getting days off, are you saying 'coach, I don't want a day off?'
A: For me, yes. Like I said, I need as many reps as possible. The most reps I can get, the most practice time I can get on the field, playing football is very important to me.