3/31/20: LB Thomas Davis Sr., QB Kyle Allen

Skins Quotes: 3/31/20: LB Thomas Davis Sr., QB Kyle Allen


March 31, 2020


LB Thomas Davis Sr.


On reuniting with Coach Ron Rivera:

“It’s definitely going to be exciting reuniting with Coach Rivera, I understand how he likes to operate, how he likes to do things and what he expects of us as players. It’s definitely going to be an exciting time, being back on the East Coast. A lot of people are saying, hey, you’re going to be right back in the system that you’re familiar with but at the same time, it’s Jack Del Rio’s defense, so there’s going to be a learning curve and it’s something that we are all going to have to go through as defensive players. We’re excited about it, I know I am, and I’m pretty sure the other guys are as well.”


On his motivation for coming to Washington:

“I think one of the biggest things, first and foremost, was the fact that Coach Rivera was there and when I look at this roster. I feel like the pieces are in place to be successful. When you look at in particularly defense, you look at the front four that these guys have assembled and not only the front four, I kind of look at the top six or eight guys I feel like are capable of going out and completely wrecking the game. As a linebacker, you want to play behind guys that are capable of doing that, that allows you to be free, that allows you to make plays, and that was a huge factor going into it, knowing that Coach Rivera knows how to do a good job of getting the best out of every position and every player, knowing that the secondary is going to perform a lot better this year. I watched Washington a lot last year and watching Josh Norman who is one of my good friends, who didn’t have a particularly impressive season. So I know that the pieces are in place, I know offensively they have a ton of weapons that are capable of getting the job done. When you look at [Adrian Peterson] AP, and you look at [Derrius] Guice, and you look at all these guys you just feel like this team has the makings of becoming a really good football team they just need the right leadership.”


On what he can provide on the leadership front:
“You know it’s all about going in and doing whatever is asked of me, whatever that ask is, whether that is mentoring young players, whether that is leading by example, just whatever that I’m going to be asked to do that’s always been my makeup and something that I’ve always looked forward to doing. When I first came into the NFL I had a bunch of veteran players that definitely did a great job of showing me the way, so here I am going into my 16th season and it’s all about giving back and pouring into the lives of these guys and getting the most out of them.”


On how he will try to make the talented roster play to its capabilities:
“It’s all about practice habits. For me, that’s something that I’ve learned being in this league as long as I have. You start to create your identity and who you’re going to become and what you’re going to be in practice. You just have to change the way you practice, you have to make practice harder than the game. That’s something that we’ve done under Coach Rivera for a long time, and its shown. In Carolina we had some really good teams, in particular some really good defenses, because we came together, we worked hard, we knew we had good coaches and we bought into the system. That’s really what it’s all about right now, getting the guys to buy in and understand that you can be whatever you want to be as long as you put the work in.”


On the difference between playing with Ron Rivera and playing with other coaches:
“It’s a lot different playing for Coach Rivera because he’s a guy that played the game. Whenever you play for a coach that played the game, they understand what guys are going through. They listen more, they adjust the schedule more, they understand that at any given point in the season it’s not about tearing guys down, it’s about uplifting your players and that’s something that Coach Rivera has been really good at. I just had the opportunity to have the opportunity to go out to LA and play for Coach [Anthony] Lynn, another guy that played the game. So, whenever you have two guys like that, that definitely know what players are going through at all times, they tend to while not being easy on guys, they tend to understand guys a lot more. That’s just been my experience playing under Coach Rivera.”


On what he is currently doing to remain in shape for football:
“Well, first and foremost, we all understand and know with the times that we’re in right now it is important for us to stay at home. Luckily enough for me, when I decided to build the house that I am currently living in, that I am probably going to live in for the rest of my life, I put a gym in it. That’s been one of the most beneficial things that I actually did in building this house, because I’m doing this interview right now from my gym, because that’s the quietest place in my house right now, the kids are away. I think that it’s important to all realize that this is something that is unprecedented that we are going through right now, but you’ve got to stay on top of making sure that you’re in shape as players, you’ve got to make sure that we’re doing the things that are necessary to make sure that once the season is able to kick back and we’re able to go, that it’s not a bunch of guys trying to get back in shape at that point.”


On how Rivera handled the lock-out year of 2011:
“Coach Rivera did a tremendous job coming in, his first year as a head coach, coming in after a lock-out into a team that just had the number one draft pick and coming in with a depleted roster, because what happened in Carolina that year. We let go of all the veterans, we didn’t sign anyone the previous year coming into free agency so he had a lot of work to do and he did a tremendous job of you know, just reorganizing the team and getting guys to buy in to what he wanted us all to do. It didn’t really happen that first year because of the lack of talent, I would say, that we had on the team, but as he was able to get in guys that he wanted you could see us become a really good football team. That’s not the situation that we’re facing right now in Washington because there are a ton of great players on the football team. Like I’ve said I went over the roster, I’ve seen the guys that are on the team, it’s all about getting those guys to buy in and understand their full potential. I know Coach Rivera is a great motivator, he can get guys to definitely buy in to what he’s doing.”


On why players over the years have loved playing for Coach Rivera:
“I think it’s just based on simply what I said, just because of his understanding of the game first and foremost but then his ability to be able to connect to the players. He’s not a coach that beats you when you’re down. He’s not a coach that if you make a mistake or if you go out and you don’t have a particularly good game, he’s not that coach that’s going to be the guy that cusses you, he’s going to do whatever he can to lift your spirits and make sure that he motivates you to be better the next game. He’s not a coach that is going to go out and through his players under the bus, he’s going to take full responsibility for whatever happens. We’ll talk about it in the locker room, it’s not one of those situations where he’s throwing guys under the bus in the media or doing anything like that, and when you see that as a player that makes you want to go out and compete hard for a guy.”


On what his role will be in the defense:
“I don’t really know what it’s going to be, there are a lot of things that are going to play out in particularly, seeing what happens with the draft, seeing how training camp goes, we’re going to all go in and we’re going to compete and we’re just going to figure out what’s going to happen from there. Just from a what our role is going to be stand point. I know there’s a lot of knowledge and a lot of leadership qualities that I have as a player that I take pride in having, I’m going to go in, I’m going to do whatever is, like I said earlier, being asked of me, and if I’m asked to play off a lot I will be ready to go. I prepare hard, I work hard in the off-season and during the season to make sure that my body is ready to go and like I said, whatever is asked of me I will be ready to do it.”


On the CBA:
“After being around for a while, I was one of the guys that voted yes, and the reason that I voted yes was because of all of the things that were being offered to the younger guys, to the 60 to 70 percenters. I knew that that was a good deal for them. It’s all about majority when it comes to making votes like that. You had some of the bigger name guys that disagreed with it. Just from that standpoint, I felt like this is going to be a deal that will allow us to continue to go on and play the game. We gained some things, we lost some things. Whenever you have a negotiation it’s always a give and take and that’s kind of how this negotiation went. You never really find out the full benefits versus the loses until you are a few years in on a deal. We’ll all figure out what we gained and what we really lost as time goes on.”


On the new playoff rules:
“It’s definitely going to be different, it’s going to be weird. I think essentially the second team is then penalized for being a good football team but it’s already been said, so it isn’t something that we have an opportunity to vote on. It just makes it more competitive it adds more teams in and it allows teams that are hot late in the season like the Titans to be able to make a run, a team that might not normally be in the playoffs, are getting that opportunity so I like it.”


On if he considered retirement this offseason:
“No, no. I didn’t want to retire this offseason. About two years ago I thought that I was going to walk away from the game but then once that season was over it was like man, [inaudible] still can do it, he still can play. Just go until you feel that you no longer want to do it anymore or that you no longer can do it anymore. After playing with the Chargers this year and adjusting to that style of defense that they played and being able to be productive in what was asked of me and now I’m trying to go into a new system and show that I can be productive in that and then we’ll see what happens.”


On when he expects things to get going in regards to COVID-19:
“I have no clue. You know honestly, we all circulate and say that the season is going to happen when it is supposed to happen and that we will be able to go in and do the things that we need to know. I think this next month from what I’ve been seeing is really critical and seeing what is going to happen moving forward. I know that they pushed the timeline out another month or so, to make sure things really settle down. It’s important right now for people to really listen and understand that this is not a game, this is something that we all need to pay attention to, we need to stay at home. There’s nothing more important right now than your own life and the lives of the people that are around you that are being affected if you’re out partying and you’re out doing unnecessary things that could possibly spread the virus. So, it’s important right now that we continue to do the things that are being asked and follow those guidelines so that we can have the season start on time. As long as people don’t do that, then who knows when the timeline is going to actually be correct.”


Quarterback Kyle Allen


On his workouts in California with Jets QB Sam Darold and Bills QB Josh Allen:

“It really hasn't been that much different. We’ve been out here since February 1st. We’ve kind of done this past couple of years. We come out in the beginning of February, stay here through March, and kind of get through a bunch of training. So, the only thing that has change is we had to move from our gym to some person’s garage over here. He had weights for everybody. So, we're just in a garage down here in one of these neighborhoods, we're the only three people working out in it. So, it’s nice and clean, its chill, and then we just go and throw, us three. So, we’re trying to stay away from everyone and still be cognizant of the social distancing and everything. But, at the same time, try and get as much work in as we can. So, not much has changed. it just been a little harder to find places to throw, a little harder to find places to work out. But its been good, we've been getting good work in and trying to adapt to all this like everyone else is.”


On if he has a relationship with QB Dwayne Haskins Jr. before the trade and if he has talked to him since the trade:
“No, I have never met him before. We played each other last year and dapped each other up after the game, nothing crazy. But, we texted since I've been traded, nothing crazy. I'm excited to get out and meet him. A lot of the coaching staff is been the same too, but I haven't met [QB] Coach [Ken] Zampese yet either. So, I'm excited to meet him and all the new players and stuff too. But, yeah, limited contact, me and him.”


On the balance between getting to know someone and competing for the same job:
“We've been doing this our whole lives, you know what I mean. We've all been doing this since we were in high school. We've been trying to compete against different guys and at the same time you get to meet a lot of really cool people in the process. That’s how I was with Cam, and Will, we're all competing for different types of jobs and stuff. But, we all come out with great relationships. You spend a lot of time with these people, you might as well make relationships with them. So, hopefully its the same between me, Dwayne [Haskins Jr.], and Alex [Smith].”


On what his expected role here in Washington is:
“When they traded for me, it was kind of random. I didn't push to be traded and I just signed a contract in Carolina two weeks before. Interesting experience, but just talking to the coaches and talking to Ron [Rivera] and I think the expectation is to come and compete for the job. I think it’s an awesome opportunity and I think it’s cool to be back with the coaches who run a similar system. So, we'll see and I'm going to take advantage of my reps like. in Carolina, when I was the fourth string two years ago and got three reps in training camp. Now with more reps, I'm taking advantage of them.”


On the date to come back to Redskins Park and already being familiar with the system:
“I have no clue with the date. It’s going to be real interesting to see. But I think the continuity with the system is huge for me. And I think that it going to be big for the team too. If we don't have a lot of OTA's, we don't have OTA's at all, it gives at least someone on this team a chance with experience in the system to be able to teach it to the other guys and relay what the coaches are saying and kind of teach the offense to everyone and teach the language. So, I think it’s a good opportunity, especially for me already being in it for two years knowing the system, and hopefully being able to communicate it with everybody.”


On how good Offensive Coordinator Scott Turner is and how he's grown in his new role on this staff:
“I think they're getting a really good, young coach. I spent a lot of time with Scott [Turner] in these past two years. Just grinding out installs, grinding out tapes, and everything. I think Scott really got his opportunity in the last four games of the season last year and I think he showed well. I think Coach Rivera saw that and a lot of other saw that to give him an opportunity. So, I think you're getting a good, young, offensive coordinator who has been there before. Studied under Norv Turner, one of the best in the game, since he was born. There is a picture of him when he was 12 years old throwing the ball on the sideline with the Redskins. It’s kind of like full circle for him. It’s really cool for him, and I think it’s going to be a good opportunity for him and for the Redskins too. I think it’s a good fit.”


On how he keeps busy in California:
“It's pretty boring right now, I’m going to be honest with you. This morning we woke up, threw around, just got done working out, it’s about one o’clock, and we have the rest of the day with absolutely nothing to do. So we play a ton of gin, we watch movies, play Call Of Duty, and we get super bored. That’s about it.”


On grasping a new system as a young quarterback:
“I think this system is a really good system. I think it takes a decent amount of time to really learn and grasp on to. I think it has evolved a lot over the years since Norv kind of started with it back in the day. And I think that it took me like solid month, month and a half before I really felt comfortable about practice and going through plays. And then after that, you slowly evolve and get better and better, more comfortable in it. It’s tough to grasp it at first. But once you grasp it, it’s really fluid. You can add a lot of things into it. You can maneuver it in different ways to help the team out. I think it’s a really good system and I think Scott has a really good idea of what he wants to do with it.”


On learning Scott Turner’s system fast:
“It’s just repetition within the system. There are hundreds of formations, hundred of concepts, hundreds of plays. It’s just repetition. It took me a while. I was just sitting in front of a mirror and saying the play to myself or going through all the plays over and over at night. And it just took a while, especially when I was at my first year at Carolina. I really didn't get many reps in practice either. So, I was just grinding them out by myself in a room. You just got to rep it, rep it, and rep it. It’s all about the memory and then your good.


On [LB] Thomas Davis being a leader in the locker room and how he helps lead younger players:
“He's [Thomas Davis] a great locker room presence. He's a great dude. We definitely missed him last year in Carolina. I can't even tell what year he is, but he's been in the league for a long time and he understands leadership. I think a lot of people respect him in the locker room. I think people respect him the second he walks in. He's not afraid to lead. He's not tentative leader. He's a strong vocal leader. So, I think every locker room needs a couple of those guys. I don't know if we have them in the locker room yet, I haven't met any of the guys. But I know you want those guys.”


On being the starter and how he approached it:
“It doesn't change much. I just took a lot more hits than I usually would. I think that you build relationships with your teammates, expecting that fact that you’re going to play. You’re going to go in there and you’re trying to build that confidence with everyone throughout the entire off-season. So, when it’s your time to go in and play, it is your time to go out there. They have that confidence in you too and I don't think anything really changed. Your sense of urgency and preparations change a little bit since you know you’re going to play. You learn and evolve throughout the season, but, in terms of relationships with everyone, it’s the same whether you’re playing or not.”


On who impresses him and who he is excited to work with:
“Obviously, [WR] Terry [McLaurin] had a great year last year, an awesome year, break-out star. [Steven] Sims [Jr.] had a really good year last year. I haven't really gotten a lot of time to check out tape. I don't have an iPad, I don't think we are allowed to have any iPads or anything. So once we get through that, check out some tape. But I know there some really young guys in that room and I think we just traded for a couple guys or signed a couple guys. I've been having trouble trying to following stuff over the phone. But I think it’s a young room, I think it’s a talented room. And I think it’s kind of the way with the whole team. There's a lot of talent around the team and bringing in Coach Rivera and the whole coaching staff. Just kind of having a clean slate. I think it’s going to be really good for the team.


On what he saw from the defense during his start against them in Carolina last season:
“We came into that game knowing that the D-Line was very solid. We were going to have some opportunities and we're just going to take advantage. We were really doing a good job with that. We scored two third-down touchdowns, I mean its 14-0, it could have been 6-0. I think we were running the ball down the ball the first couple of series and then got a little complacent, I think as a team. I think also, the Redskins defense made a bunch of adjustments and they kind of switched their whole game plan and sent us a lot of things that we haven't seen on film. I don't think we were ready for it. We didn't adjust to it very well. It was crazy, it was one of the craziest games. They did a really good job of adjusting mid-game, player adjustment mid-game, and being able to do that. So kudos for them for that.”


On working on different things with Josh Allen and Sam Darnold now having played in NFL games:
“That’s why we like to come out here and train with each other two because they are kind of going through the same thing. The other guys coming in and out like Jarred and Austin, and it’s good just to come in and just talk to each other about these experience in-game. And we have film night at our houses and break down film and just talk through a bunch of things, get everyone’s point-of-view. There's a bunch of things I'm working on from last season, there things Cam's working on, things Josh is working on, and some things from everybody. And kind of seeing good conversations. But it’s kind of one of the things we're working on out here.


On Ron Rivera and the different culture he brings:
“I can't speak on what was there before, I was walking into Carolina the first day I got there, he brought me aside and talk to me and said, 'you’re going to get your chance'. I was the fourth quarterback at that time and you’re going to get your chance, take advantage of your reps. In practice, he would make sure you were saying things and he would say things and work with me. As the head coach, you don't have to do that for the fourth guy. At that time, they brought me in to be that. I turned out to be more than that. But, that first impression was really cool to me and then the overall culture that he built there or how many years he was in Carolina. He was a player’s coach, all the players loved him and respected him. And if you’re in that room that day that he had said his goodbye to all of us, he got let go, not a dry eye in that room. Everyone had a tone of respect for him player, staff. He built that culture; he deserves to have that respect. So, I think there's going to be a mutual respect between all the players and the coaches. I think he's really going to get the most out of you but he cares about you too. There’re probably other coaches like that in the league and there are some that aren't like that. And he's one of my favorite head coaches I've ever played for.”

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