Was your background with Dennis Allen and Reggie McKenzie in the back of your mind once Free Agenvy opened? Is it a good fit right away?
"Oh yeah, definitely, definitely. As soon as my agent told me the Oakland Raiders wanted me, I was definitely excited. I was with Reggie in Green Bay and I was with coach Allen and he was my defensive coordinator in 2011 in Denver. So, it's a great fit."
How did it feel having both Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen agree that you were worth signing?
"It feels great. It feels great. It feels like you're wanted to come in and contribute. That's a great feeling. It's like family, you know. I'm excited. Definitely looking forward to getting out there to Oakland, back to work April 15. It's gonna be a great season."
How is your health after your torn triceps last season? You going to be ready to take the field April 15?
"Yeah, I'm gonna be ready to go. As soon as it starts up, I'm gonna be able to do all the stuff as far as the lifting... I think the first thing is lifting and conditioning and stuff but then once OTA's start and we start to do field work, I'll be ready to jump on the field and start that stuff too."
Raiders approach has been to get familiar guys, hungry guys, who love football. Is that what you bring?
"Oh yeah, definitely. That's who I am. Especially after missing football for a whole year, I'm definitely hungry to get back out there. I definitely love and enjoy playing football, that's what I've been doing for practically my whole life. I'm excited to be doing it especially with people I have some familiarity with, it makes it just a great experience."
What did you like about Dennis Allen from your year together in Denver?
"His style of defense. We were always attacking, his detail, the work ethic. He's all about working hard. If you work hard in practice and doing things the right way, you're gonna get the results and that's what happened. We had a pretty good defense, we made some plays. We played hard and we played well and that's definitely what I like about coach Allen."
You were a linebacker until coach Allen who made you a defensive end. Do you expect to play the same role again?
"I can play multiple roles. I can play outside linebacker or defensive end. That's pretty much my role is I'm a defensive end."
What do you think your strengths are? What do you bring to a team?
"Just like my aggressiveness. My work ethic, wanting to get better, trying to do things the right way, to play a good technique of football, and just get better. Just learn more about football. I'm just, I'm hungry. I'm a hungry player. I got a lot to prove and my actions are gonna show it."
You say you're a defensive end but your most productive season was at outside linebacker. Why do you think that is?
"Well, it was a different experience. Playing at linebacker, you stand up and you're able to see more of the field and you can read things a little bit where as a defensive lineman sometimes you're in the three point stance all the time so you don't see things as quickly as you do when you stand up. So, there's definitely a difference as far as that aspect."
How difficult was it being out for a year with the torn triceps? You feel like you were ready to break out when that happened?
"Oh yeah, definitely. I was just getting my momentum, just feeling good, getting in a groove and the injury bug hit me. It's tough. Injuries are a part of the game. You gotta adjust. It definitely was hard for me. That was my first time going on injured reserve so it was definitely a new experience for me. It definitely humbles you but it re-focuses you and makes you more hungry to want to get the opportunity to get back out there."