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Skins Quotes 7/28: Barry Cofield, NT


The Commissioner
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BGO Ownership Group
Apr 11, 2009
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Greensboro, NC

Marine Corps Virginia

July 28, 2012
Redskins Park

Nose Tackle Barry Cofield

On how his familiarity with the scheme will help him this year:
“I think it’ll make a huge difference. Honestly, I go back and review myself last year and I’ve played a lot better than that. It was a growing process. I gave myself some leeway for that, but having a true offseason this year, being able to watch a lot of tape and do all the learning and having this training camp and us as a unit… The great thing is that they brought Adam [Carriker] back. I think that did a lot for continuity. Then you add [Jarvis] Jenkins back into the mix and Chris Neild played well. We’ve got a lot of guys and I think our depth is going to be surprising to a lot of people.”

On a specific aspect of his game that he feels should have been better last year:
“Nothing specific, just doing everything better. I go back and watch a lot of Casey Hampton Steelers tape throughout the years. He’s kind of the godfather of the nose tackle position as we play it today and he did it well. He did some things better than me and there are some things that I can do with my natural ability, with my athleticism, that I bring to the position that not a lot of other guys can do. So it’s just getting better at everything and have everything be second-nature. By the time I left New York, everything was second nature. People had to catch up with me. Last year, I felt like I was playing catch-up. I can already see a difference in the beginning of camp.”

On if his knowledge of blocking schemes or technique makes him more comfortable:
“It was both. You see a lot of different schemes. Playing a head-up zero nose, you don’t get that upfield charge so you have to rely a lot on technique to brace yourself. The lineman is running off the ball and you have to react to him whereas a 3-4 guy is taking a step and generating power. So you have to be able to brace yourself. You’ve got to be powerful, but technique and leverage and things like that can make up for those things. Like I said, I wasn’t happy with the way I played last year. [Defensive Coordinator] Coach [Jim] Haslett and [Defensive Line] Coach [Jacob] Burney were always positive. They actually said they heard from coaches around the league that they felt like I was going to be one of the best nose tackles in the league. So it’s up to me to execute it, but I’m always hard on myself and I expect a lot of growth this year.”

On if he has a relationship with Casey Hampton:
“I’ve never spoken to him. I actually talked to some of the Steelers coaches. Obviously Haslett came from Pittsburgh so they’re all one big brotherhood with the [3-4], that system that they love and has been, quite frankly, extremely successful. Pittsburgh is one of the top defenses year in and year out so I feel like with the personnel we have this year and the fact that we’re growing together – a team like Pittsburgh, those defensive linemen were together forever. They’re getting older now and it’s new guys being infused, but I feel like the longer we stay together as a unit – me, [Stephen] Bowen and Adam [Carriker], I feel like we’re just going to continue to get better and eventually we’ll be the best front in this league.”

On if he reached out to any other nose tackles during the offseason:
“I did not do that. I just spent most of my time talking to Coach Burney and Coach Haslett because they worked with guys and they know what I’m trying to accomplish just as good as any nose tackle or better than myself. That’s why I laugh when I read that people had graded my performance and what they had to say, and it’s like there’s no way they know what I’m trying to accomplish. They’re not in that room. There’s no way they know. There’s no way they can give me a minus because they don’t know what I’m doing. I barely know what I’m doing half the time out there. After sitting down and reviewing and talking to the coaches, they were very optimistic. After the spring, I feel like I’ve gotten off to a good start and I feel like I’ll be a different player on the field this year.”

On the defense’s accomplishments last year and what they expect for the upcoming year:
“I think there was a lot of growth. I think statistically they were maybe 31st two years ago and middle of the pack pretty much last year. I think the whole team coming together, special teams continuing to excel, the better we get on offense, the more we’re able to control the ball and stay on the field and do those types of things, I think we’ll all feed off each other. I think we made a huge stride last year. If nothing else, putting the proper personnel in. If nothing else, our personnel this year has just grown together. There’s not as many new faces as there were last year. A couple in the secondary, but up front in the front seven, we’re just learning to play together. Everyone’s just a year more experienced and a year better in the defense.”

On the impact he will have on the field:
“Realistically it’s not going to be a ton of big plays. That’s just not what the position entails. The one thing that I do rest on from last year is that [linebacker] London [Fletcher] led the league in tackles and made it to the Pro Bowl. He obviously appreciated the work I did up front, but I just feel like I can do it better. I feel like I can make a few more big plays. I feel like I can be in the quarterback’s face. We’re doing some things differently up front that are going to hopefully get the nose tackle some one-on-ones to be able to push the pocket and harass quarterbacks and even get some sacks. Last year I think I had two, three sacks. That’s not horrible for a nose tackle, but I feel like with the skillset I have I can improve and I want to get a couple more.”

On how he compensates for his lack of bulk as a nose tackle:
“First off I’m bigger than the 306 than I was at the combine, so I’m not the smallest guy on the field by any stretch of the imagination. It’s really just about technique, pad level, and just work in the weight room. I kind of took a different approach last season. It was in the lockout. I didn’t know where I would be. I didn’t know if I was going to go to a team where I was going to be getting up the field, or I was going to be a 3-4 end, 3-4 nose. I had no idea, so I didn’t know how to train. I was just trying to be in shape. But now having a specific guideline, knowing what I was expected to do, knowing what kind of blocking schemes I’m going to see, I was able to take a different approach this offseason - really train my core and my leg strength and things that you might not even associate with a nose tackle. You think of a gut, but you don’t realize that you can have a gut but you can have a strong core up under that stomach. There’s a lot of things that we work on that you don’t see on Sundays, but they’re crucial for our position. I feel like myself, Chris Neild, and Chris Baker, we’re all off to a fast start this year.”

On batted balls by defensive linemen:
“It’s not as sexy as getting a sack. You don’t really get to celebrate a lot after a batted pass. You get to the huddle, and you get a high-five. That’s it. Coach Burney, he loves that. A batted ball is very frustrating for a quarterback, frustrating for an offensive lineman because their coach is always telling them to keep those hands down. Every once in a while you can bat one in the air, and it can be interception, so it’s a big play. I was happy with how many I had, but it’s something that you can’t really practice. It just has to come naturally to you. Get your hands on a few balls, and if I can infuse that with a few more sacks, then I’ll be very happy.”

On establishing himself as a leader in his second season with the Redskins:
“Absolutely, and I think that had changed by the end of last year. I actually spoke to the team when we played that second Giants game, and I felt like right then, the words I said, the positive response I got from the guys, I think they wanted to hear more from me. It’s just about earning your respect. This league is all about what have you done for me lately. Nothing I had done prior to coming here warranted anybody respecting me or treating me like anything more than another guy trying to make the team. With my play last year, leading by example and doing the right things on and off the field, you gain that respect. And then you can assert yourself, and I feel like I am in a position where guys respect me and look up to me at this point.”

On if Jarvis Jenkins looks healthy:
“I think so. That’s the only positive thing about getting hurt is he had a long time to rehab. It’s not like he got hurt in the Super Bowl, and he’s still in the rehab process. He looked good to me in the OTA’s. He looks even better now, so him working on that rotation with Bowen and Adam, with that depth with him coming in on nickel and pushing the pocket, that makes us even more dangerous.”

On if adding Jenkins to the defensive line rotation will keep him fresher:
“Yeah, I think so. Talking to the coaches, they felt like I played too many snaps last year, so they want to try to spell me a little more this year. I’m all for it. I’m not going to complain about playing time. I just want to help the team, and I feel like the more fresh bodies… That’s what I was used to my whole career, just coming in waves. A lot of bodies are all hungry and are all talented enough to warrant being out there, but I think we have that here. And I think it will show.”

On his relationship with linebacker London Fletcher:
“London was a guy I looked up to even before I got here. He’s a Cleveland guy. He’s a guy I had met before I got here, and I already had a lot of respect for him with the way he performs, first and foremost, and the way he prepares. He’s done nothing but reiterate to me that he’s a quality football player and a great leader, one of the best I’ve ever been around. Any time I get the chance to talk to him, I’m going to jump at it. A lot of times we talk about non-football stuff because that’s the kind of relationship we’re developing. I was thrilled to see him go to the Pro Bowl. I talked to him around that time. I talked to him just because he wasn’t even signed actually for a while. I wanted to stay in the loop to make sure they got him re-signed. We talk a lot of football, and we talk just in general. Nose tackle and middle linebacker, we’re almost like a center and quarterback. It’s my job to keep him clean, and the more success he has, I take pride in that. Our relationship has grown, as has the whole defense. For that reason, I think we should be more productive this year.”

Canadian Hog

2019 BGO Ballers Champ
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Aug 28, 2009
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Ontario, Canada

Impressive read. Barry sounds like an intelligent guy with the right mindset. There are seemingly many level headed, go-to-work type guys among our front seven on defense. I'm really liking the attitude on the part of many of our defensive players. Provided we strengthen the secondary, I think this defense has a chance to really be special in a couple years. What is nice about that is that in theory, it should just be coinciding with the time that Griffin really steps it up at the QB position.


The Pro Bowler
Mar 8, 2010
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Middle Earth MD

I caught the presser(video) at Redskins.com and yes, he does come across as very well spoken, intelligent and right minded.

Makes sense too, that one more year in the system and actually training the body for his position should make him more efficient at his work.

I expect some good things from the front seven this year and beyond.

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