Defensive Lineman Dexter Lawrence
Q: What is the impact, obviously the locker room impact, but on the field? You obviously already get a lot of attention. Is it possible for a team to give you even more now that he's gone? What's just the impact overall?
A: Yeah, like you said his impact was they've got to stop two rushers inside. I still trust the guys in the room like (defensive lineman) A'Shawn (Robinson) who has been playing well these last couple of games. Nacho (defensive lineman Rakeem Nuñez-Roches) who has been playing well the whole season. The bond with them has been good as well. We've just got to keep going and going, it's the nature of the business.
Q: You referenced it a minute ago about you as a captain and leader here, what is your role in trying to convince guys that this is not, 'hey, we are going to start a sellout'?
A: I don't think convince is the right word. I think we all, as athletes, want to compete and want to do our best. We all are still playing out here for each other and our families, so I don't think you have to do much convincing.
Q: The defense has certainly been ascending the last few weeks. I think you've only allowed 33 points, could've easily been just seven in the last game. Is it hard for the defense to continue to ascend without him? And if not, why?
A: He's definitely a major piece and we've got to figure out a way to – I think we've done a good job of having other guys play those roles, come in the game and do well and make plays. Obviously, he's (defensive lineman) Leonard Williams, he's a great football player and going to be hard to replace something like that. The thing is, everybody doesn't have to be a Leonard Williams, everybody doesn't have to be a Dexter Lawrence. Nacho has to be a Nacho. AR has to be an AR, and they are still good players that can play in this league, that have played in this league for a long time. So, I don't want to hear the things about how do we replace Leonard? You can't replace Leonard, he's only one of one. So, the next guys got to step up and do their job.
Q: What was your sense of how he was feeling about things?
A: I mean I was happy for him. He didn't have to say much. I already know how he feels. I was just happy for him, told him to go out there and shine and we'll hold it down.
Q: Did he see this as a chance to go back to the playoffs?
A: I just think he saw it as a different opportunity. If they didn't want to trade him, I don't think he would be traded in a sense, you know what I mean? I just think he sees it as an opportunity to go somewhere and shine.
Q: What was your initial reaction to learning the news and then to process the way you are now? Did it take a little time?
A: I just talked with my lady. Our girls are close, and I just prayed about it, and I just see it as an opportunity to grow individually, grow as a better leader, and just to continue to grow.
Q: With the way you are playing, can you expect more of yourself on the field?
A: Each week I want to dominate and that's what I'm going to do each week. And that's my goal, is to dominate. I enjoy pressure and I like pressure, whatever this brings, it brings, and I am just going to keep being me.
Q: What's the best thing you've learned from him?
A: Just how to be yourself. Don't get overwhelmed in moments and just stay true and cool to yourself.