5/20/20: Jon Allen, Landon Collins

Skins Quotes: 5/20/20: Jon Allen, Landon Collins

May 20, 2020

DT Jonathan Allen

On if he has met Coach Rivera and if so how many times has be talked with him:

“I met him [Head Coach Ron Rivera] as soon as we signed him. I was at his press conference. I met him one time before that and me and my wife took him and his wife to dinner. My first impressions, I love him. I love everything I’m hearing from him, I’m loving everything I’m hearing from other players and other former teammates. He seems like the type of guy that we need in Washington, to help get this culture change and turn things around for the better.”

On if there was anything that jumped out in particular to him about Rivera:

“I don’t think there was just one thing in particular, it was easy to get behind and believe in everything he was preaching and everything he was saying about what he wanted to do as a coach and as the leader of the Washington Redskins.”

On what he has gotten out of the Zoom meetings with his position group thus far:
“It’s definitely weird. I feel like the best thing is, since we are a new team, is it is a whole new playbook for everybody. So, the biggest thing that I’ve been able to take away from it is just, getting used to the playbook, getting used to the new terminology. I feel like the hardest thing with football is, a lot of the terms overlap from college to NFL, from different NFL teams. So, we’re having a lot of the same terminology, but different meanings. It’s really just the overlap in terminology and just getting used to the new scheme, the new roles and just everything.”

On his first impression of the new coaches and players:
“I haven’t talked to a lot of the new players just because a lot of them haven’t been here, but the coaches I have had contact with, I mean, they’ve heard nothing but great things. It’s hard to judge a guy before you actually get on the field and get a chance to talk to him and actually work hands on with him. And I understand he’s [Ron Rivera] a head coach, we probably won’t be seeing a lot of him as much as we will the defensive coordinator or the d-line coach, but just really seeing what he is on an everyday basis and not just in front of the camera, which, from what I’ve seen is the same person. But it’s really hard to get a feel for someone until you actually start getting your hands dirty with them.”

On moving forward and playing during the COVID-19 pandemic:
“I mean first things first, you definitely want to be safe. But as far as moving forward, I mean I have full faith in our medical staff, so I mean, it’s really what they determine and what the NFL determines is safe for us to move forward with. That’s really all I can think about, it’s just so much for one person to even try to comprehend that it’s not even worth it, you know? Just pray for the players that do have it and do everything you can to take the precaution to be safe.”

On his impression of DE Chase Young:
“After he got drafted I just texted him congrats, looking forward to working with him. And then he reached out to me the next day and asked if he could come through for a little bit because he is a local guy, I think he’s like an hour away from where I live. So he came over, [DT] Matt [Ioannidis] came over, we just hung out and talked, it was really informal. Nothing really went down, he just had a couple questions like what was it like coming from college to the NFL, just basic questions that a rookie would ask. After that we just had some dinner and just kicked it. Like I said, it was really informal, didn’t really talk about anything in particular just really getting to know each other.”

On how excited he is to play with Young:
“I’m super excited. Whenever you get a guy with that caliber it’s definitely immediately going to make an impact for your team. I’m just really excited about what we’ve done in the last couple of years and the pieces we’ve built. We’re young, we have a great coaching staff, we have a great core of players, so I’m excited about the possibilities of what we can do. We have to go out there and do it, but, there’s definitely a lot of potential for us to go out there and have a good season.”

On how he thinks the changes that Coach Rivera and Coach Del Rio plan on making will affect the defensive line:
“I think it will give us the ability to be more aggressive at times, it’s kind of hard to say because people assume that going from a 3-4 to a 4-3 is going to be a big difference, but I think 50, or 55 or 60 percent of the time last year, we were in a 4-3. So I feel like the biggest thing is the technique that we’re being taught to play out of that 4-3. I mean, I don’t know. I haven’t played in a 4-3 since high school, so I’m excited about the opportunity and I really think it’s going to be good for us just to really let [DE] Chase [Young], [DE] Montez [Sweat], [DE] Ryan Anderson, [DE Ryan] Kerrigan, just let those guys go and let the defensive line go, be free, and I’m excited to see what we can do.”

On if he gets the sense that the new scheme and plan is going to be more aggressive:
“100 percent. If you look at the mentality from the defensive line we’ve always had that aggression so that’s nothing new for us. But, you can definitely feel that sense of pressure and the type of play style that we’re going to have this upcoming season, so I’m excited for it.”

On how high the ceiling is for the defense based on the talent they have on paper:
“I think our ceiling has always been as high as we want it to be, you know. I really don’t get too caught up on what we can do I just get caught up on what we have done. We just have a lot to prove. So I’m just keeping our heads down and we’re just working, we’ll see what happens come season time. But there’s a long way to go until the game. We still have to meet for the first time and actually do field work together and go through training camp which will probably be a new experience that none of us have ever been through. There’s a lot of steps we have to take before we get to dominating on the field and you’ve just got to focus on what you can do right now.”

On what areas he felt like the defense needed to improve upon and how he thinks this new scheme can help in that regard:
“I don’t think it was really the scheme that messed us up last year, I think it was just individually, and as a collective group as a defense, we just weren’t consistent. I mean we would have games like the [San Francisco] 49ers, and the [New England] Patriots for a part of it where we would play really well. Then we’d have games like, I don’t know, the [Philadelphia] Eagles and the [Dallas] Cowboys where we’d come out and give up 30 points defensively so I really don’t think it was anything huge that was making us, that contributed to our struggle in the last year. I think it was just being consistent and just not doing the little things in a day-in and day-out basis, that contributed to us losing.”

On how much time he has spent with Coach Del Rio is Zoom meetings:
“So I actually played with Jack Del Rio’s son in college, so I know a little bit about him before he even came back. But everything I’ve heard, I mean his track record speaks for itself, it’s been nothing short of fantastic. We’ve had a decent amount of interaction with him. He hops into our Zoom meetings honestly, more often than not. He’s just there just talking ball, talking football, and just trying to make sure we’re getting on the same page because we want to be able to hit the ground running come training camp.”

On what he is planning on doing later today:
“I’m golfing. I’ve been golfing a lot lately. I’m about to head to the golf course.”

On what he has been doing to stay active during the lockdown:
“Honestly yeah. I’ve been trying to do anything just to stay active and stay fit. I mean I work out every day, but it gets pretty boring because usually, I mean, I get done with workouts by 12 o’clock, and we have meetings from 12-2, so from 2 o’clock on I’m literally doing nothing. Just trying to do something to get out of the house and keep my mind sharp and just not get so bored, because there’s really nothing to do out here.”

On what he has been working on during the lockdown:
“I really feel like it starts with my work ethic in the offseason. I’m a firm believer of if you want to have a good season you’ve got to have a good offseason. I’m doing everything I can to eat right, sleep better this offseason, just do everything I can to make sure I’m in the best possible shape. And really just try to use quarantine as an opportunity for me to get ahead of the game and get ahead of my competition a little bit with how hard I’m training, so those are some of the things I’ve been doing. Besides that, I’m just, it’s really hard because it’s something I’ve never done before, so I’m really just trying to, like I said, make sure I’m in the best shape possible and really hit the ground running when training camp does start, or whenever we get together.”

On what he is hoping for in terms of sports going forward in America given the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic:
“Well I mean first and foremost I’m definitely hoping to play the season which I think we will, I couldn’t imagine us not playing a season. But like I said earlier, I’m just trying to take this as an opportunity to get ahead of my competition in any way I can. And make sure that I ramp up my training and make sure this is the best offseason of training that I’ve ever had, that way I’m in that much better shape come training camp. And that’ll just help me play that much better this upcoming season.”

On if he has spoken to any athletes in other sports during the lockdown:
“I haven’t talked to too many, honestly I really haven’t. Yeah, no. I’m trying to think, I really haven’t talked to too many athletes just because the free time I do get I’m trying to spend it with my wife, or I’m golfing, or I’m either working out, running, or in Zoom meetings. So honestly not too much contact with a lot of other athletes in other sports.”

On how he has taken strides in the Esports world during the lockdown:
“I do, I stream a lot more than I have. I’ve probably been streaming, probably like, I want to say, 20 or 25 hours a week. Documentary, or production on one of the documentaries I’m a co-producer on, from my e-gaming side of my agency. We just finished the final form, we’re just trying to make sure we’re doing all that stuff, but for the most part is, I’m really just trying to focus down on football. This is the time we were going to be in OTAs, we would’ve already had multiple minicamps already. So I’m really trying to do anything I can to lock down on football, so yeah, I’m putting a lot of time into streaming but not as much as people may think just because I’m trying to use this time to really lock down on what I can, and to help me get ready for the upcoming season because it will be here before we know it.”

On his impression of Defensive Line Coach Sam Mills III:
“I like Sam Mills a lot. I mean, it’s definitely my first year without Jim Tom[sula], but he definitely taught me enough over the course of the last three years that will help me for the rest of my career and I appreciate him for it. But I look at Sam Mills as having an opportunity to learn new techniques and new schemes that will help me develop my play even that much better. So I’m looking forward to the opportunity. I can’t wait to get on the field and actually start working hands on with him because as a defensive line, it’s hard to really get a lot of technique through a Zoom call, you know what I mean. So I’m looking forward to the opportunity, trying to take everything I can, and just trying to improve myself as a player.”

On how much better he thinks the communication on defense will be with the new defensive staff:
“I definitely think it can be a lot better. For whatever reason it was a problem. I’m not sure what that reason was because I’m on the front end. I’m not at that spot in my career yet where I can focus on what I have to do and also focus on what the DBs have to do, so a lot of the time I had no idea why the miscommunication kept occurring, but I just try to make sure that I do my job at a higher level to help them out in any way that I can. But, I mean, I’m definitely sure it’s going to be something that we address, and I’m sure he’s already addressed it, Coach Del Rio, and, I mean, I’m just going to have to see how it comes out Week 1. But like I said, we have a lot of time before that, a lot of practices, a lot of walkthroughs, so many things we have to do before that. So we’ll see how it turns out this season.”

On the team picking up his fifth-year option:
“I’m excited. Like I said, just being in my hometown area, I love Washington. But I also understand that it’s a business, so I’m super excited that they felt that I was worth it that they extended my future option too.”

S Landon Collins

On his adjustment to the new coaching staff:

“I mean I like the adjustments to the coaching staff. The coaches we had last year were really good. The ones that coached me and the defensive room were really good. The coaching staff now is very hands on. I like the details, I like the awareness of what’s going on, how people know exactly what’s going on. The fine details with them. When the motion needs to happen, if something were to change with the call or change within the formation that makes our defense change. Everything gets pinpointed, and that’s the best thing about the defense for me. Everybody’s going to have their job and know what their job is. If anything happens, they’ll know what to do within their job. That makes it easier for everybody to be on the same page. Everybody literally knows what everybody else is supposed to be doing. That makes it easy to communicate and be on the same page. We react faster. Everything is about split second reaction and inches. We just need that part to be very sound.”

On what he has been able to get out of the Zoom meetings with the defense:
“Everything. It’s like there is basically a team meeting. If we’re in the facility right now, we’d be going over installing the defense or we’d be installing whatever we’re installing, it’s the same way. We’re going through the same process that we’d do. The only thing we’re not doing is taking what we got from the classroom on to the field. That’s the only difference right now. It’s fairly easy. We ask our questions and we tell our group that there is no dumb question. There are no questions that we cannot answer. Today I had a question about a couple things because I wasn’t getting it. I was trying to picture it in my head and most of us players picture a lot of stuff in our heads. So when I was trying to picture it in my head, I didn’t see what they meant by it, so I just asked my questions until I got it down. Regardless of how long it takes, we have to get it down because at the end of the day, once football season starts or once we all start back up, we don’t know if we’re going straight into football or if we’ll have some time before we start. Those questions, those answers, how everything goes within the Zoom meetings, it’s fairly the same as if we are in a team meeting room.”

On if he has kept in touch with his teammates to make sure that everyone is staying in shape:
“Most of us post what we do on Instagram, so I know what everybody is doing. I follow everybody on Instagram, so I can just look up their Instagram and see that they’re working. But more than everybody knows right now since we don’t have OTA’s, don’t have everything going on, this is the time and period where everybody starts to work out because we won’t have mini-camp. Everybody wants to go into training camp at least in decent shape to play football because playing with your defense in a week or so from starting camp, it’s very, very tough as we all know. In saying so, having to text guys to ask them if they’re working out, no I don’t have to do so.”

On if he has had a chance to talk to Coach Rivera and what the team meeting with Rivera and the entire team on Zoom was like:
“That meeting was very stern and straight to the point. He was telling us his expectations of the team and where he wants to go with us and what he’s looking for once we all get together. It was very, very good. Very stern. Putting his philosophy in place and setting the tone to let everybody know what to look forward to and what kind of mindset to come in with this team. Personally with me and his text messages and what we’ve talked about, I think we’ve talked on the phone maybe three times. We text more than – I was surprised – we text more than we talk on the phone. It’s just like common stuff. Then if anything needs to be mitigated, he asks me for stuff. He asks me to be the leader I am and stuff like that. To give you a focal point, to always be myself and continue to be the leader that I am and keep doing it the right way. That’s kind of the gist of how we handle our stuff.”

On the defensive line’s potential:
“I think playing with the defensive front that we have with the veterans like Jon Allen, Daron Payne, [Tim] Settle, Montez [Sweat], [Matt] Ioannidis, all those guys are going to be able to teach Chase [Young] NFL football. He’s already a great athlete, so that’s going to be a dominant force that he already has within himself. Having those guys around him to teach him how to attack this, how to read that, how you can play this better in a professional league and getting out of his college form is going to be great. It helps us with having a great speed guy with Montez Sweat off the edge and how we have another physical guy like [Ryan] Kerrigan and getting Kerrigan some more rest time because we know when Ryan Kerrigan has rest legs, we know what he can do. That’s a big plus for us because we can always rotate him in and out, and they make plays. They make plays, and it makes it easier for us on the back, so we don’t have to cover for so long. By the ball not coming out fast, you’re not getting big gains. The ball is not going over our heads as DB’s [defensive backs]. That’s a major key for when we’re playing with a great D-line like that.”

On how his interactions with Coach Rivera have compared to his experiences with other head coaches:
“My experience with other head coaches, every experience with a head coach is different. It depends on the guys you have around. I think we have a fairly young team, a coach with a stern background coming in with a focal point of how he wants things to be run, just to give guys an attention grabber. The other coaches I’ve dealt with had an older group, so they didn’t really have to say much. Everybody just knew what was known to be done and it was already done because those guys were professionals and stuff like that. From there, Rivera is just a solid coach, from that point on he just [inaudible] he was about to get the job done. That’s why he said what he said the way he said it.”

On his thoughts on the changes in the secondary:
“The changes, we’ll see how they go. I like it. I watched [Ronald] Darby, I watched Kendall Fuller, I know how these guys play. I will watch Sean D [Davis]. It’ll be my first time. I have to look up his stats and talk to a couple guys from the Steelers to see how his attitude was towards everything and how he runs things just to get a background and stuff like that. These guys are great pickups by our team. I’m looking forward to it. I definitely will always miss Josh [Norman] and Dunny [Quinton Dunbar], but at the same time, we have to move on and we have to move on with what we have. I think the team has some great defensive backs that can be put around me and myself around them to make this thing work. I’m looking forward to that opportunity. It’s a blessing to me because I’ve watched these guys play and they play really good.”

On what he can do to help the younger players out during this virtual program:
“All I can do for these guys is just tell them that I am here. Open line of communication. Ask me any questions about the league if you have any just to give them knowledge. It is hard to give them knowledge when I am not around them even if they have questions. Usually vets tend to feed off what a guy is doing right or doing wrong if he has suggestions to give a guy in different aspects of the league and what he should do for the league. There is not much I can say over the phone to do that. All I can do is keep a line open. Our rookie right now, Kamren Curl, I just have an open line with him. Any questions he has, I am here to answer anything. Don’t be scared. At the end of the day we have to be a brotherhood on the back end. If anyone has any questions, my lines are always open on offense or defense.”

On CB Jimmy Moreland:
“Jimmy was supposed to have seven picks last year. That was just off of athletic ability. He was doing what he was supposed to be doing in the game but at the end of the day he was all athleticism. I was like. ‘Wow, he is going to be special.’ Once he got it down and could see it before it happened, he could jump for a pick six. He could jump before the play. He just didn’t trust himself within his ability to do those things. That is just a rookie not being sure or seeing what they want to do and just going for it. I think he has the confidence now and the trust that he knows we trust him in his ability to do something, have his back and cover him. That’s how it is as a rookie. I saw things and didn’t do it because I was scared that a veteran was going to be mad at me. It’s all praise. We all try and make plays. I feel that way about Jimmy.”

On if the optimism around this season feels different than in years past:
“It feels different because of the coaching staff. We have changed the whole coaching staff and have switched the defense around. I can’t speak for everyone, but it was much needed. When I talk about concepts and rules, set in stone things that need to happen within a defense, this defense has it all.”

On if there are any specific examples that he can point to that makes him feel confident:
“No, the guys, just talking to them. Talking to the coaches and Coach Rivera, knowing who we brought in. These are coaches that all have coaching backgrounds that have all had great athletes that have made a killing with their team. From that aspect, it is going to be the same way. Guys have to literally buy in. If we buy in, you win. If you don’t, you are going to fight here and there. From that standpoint we are going to make this thing work.”

On if his approach to film study has changed at all:
“No, I think this is my fourth defensive coordinator. I have never changed my approach on how to study and how to look at what I am supposed to be doing because it is second nature to me. It is how you study the game and how you study the game within the defense. What I can and cannot do within the defense. I work hard and ask questions about it. I was in the meetings the other day and was asking questions if I could do this or do this. If this was to happen. Just finding ways to make certain adjustments within the defensive call to get an inch or a yard out of making the play. From there what I am studying, the defense and if I have to make the calls and adjustments to what is going on, I have to be really on point. Every formation has an adjustment to it.”

On his campaign to feed frontline workers and what his foundation has planned for the future:
“My foundation is going fantastic. We really didn’t end the campaign, we just wanted to move somewhere else with it. We were helping the nurses, now lets help the custodians that are cleaning up everything and the police officers that are on duty, stuff like that. We never have stopped yet, we just try and help more than one group of people. We just want to jump here and there for different groups in different communities and different parts of the cities. We don’t stop. I appreciate you bringing it up.”

On if he plans to incorporate any of his teammates in any future events:
“I am going to try. I want to see who is down there. Make sure they stay safe. The lesser people the better controlled the environment can be. I am not trying to bring the whole team, I just need maybe five. I am just going to see who is down there. I know [QB] Dwayne [Haskins Jr.] is down there, I think [DT] Jon Allen is down there. I know [DE] Ryan Kerrigan is down there, [DT] Daron Payne, [LB] Shaun Dion Hamilton. I have a couple guys down there that I can ask to come through, so yes.”

On the defense’s potential:
“I am looking forward to that. It reminds me of all the guys we brought in during my 2016 year in New York. Those guys are major pickups and they helped us tremendously and we had a crazy year. Having that big pickup with [DE] Chase Young and having those two corners brought in along with some solid safety help. I don’t see why we don’t have that breakout year that we want.”

On if he has any personal stories about how COVID-19 has affected him:
“No, I don’t have any. No one has caught the virus yet and hopefully no one does in my family. Knock on wood. I am praying to God no one does. I don’t have any stories about what is going on in the world in my personal life.”

On his concerns with getting back to playing football:
“I really don’t have any concerns. I just want to get back to playing. It is big on me. I just really want to play.”

On S Sean Davis:
“I heard great things. He is very fast and knows how to run the sky and make things happen. He has done a good job.”

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