On if he is ready for Week 1:
"I mean, yeah, yeah, I’m confident. I am and we’re going to find out. There really was no other choice. I mean to get to the point of it, yeah. This date was sitting here. We knew that this was going to come regardless of opponent and you had to be ready to roll, all of us. Certainly, myself, getting caught up to speed, so yeah, there was no other choice and we’ll find out."
On the Arizona Cardinals:
"Yeah, they’re good personnel on the defensive side of the ball, really experienced on the back end. You know, one of the premiere corners in the league with Patrick [Peterson] and they’re really, really active upfront. They get after the passer, they’re disruptive. I think they led -- I mean they had a ton of sacks in the preseason, I don’t know if they led the NFL, a ton of turnovers all kind of created from that. They can create a lot of chaos; they do a lot up front, like I said, very active. Then, there’s the unknown. They have a new head coach who’s a defensive guy. A little bit of the unknown out there that you have to prepare for."
On how he is finding chemistry with players who didn’t play in the preseason:
"Yeah, I mean get as much work as we can, when we can. You know, [I’ve] been out on the practice field with a lot of those guys working really hard. We’ve had great competition in practice, you know, I think a good simulation of game-like atmospheres, but that’s just trying to take advantage of those reps."
On preparing for the unknown when facing a team with a new head coach:
"It’s hard. I think you just try to touch all your bases and make sure you have your answers ready. At the same time, I think you could drive yourself crazy chasing ghosts and doing a lot of that stuff. I think you prepare the best you can, try to hit all of it to a certain extent, but then I think go out there and hopefully we’ll find out pretty quick what the plan is. I do think you have to let your fundamentals take over in situations like that, let your rules take over, trust what you’re seeing and then go out and execute accordingly. A little bit like camp, you know, I think."
On setting the tone for the season during Week 1 preparation:
"I try to think about some commonality with these openers. It’s hard. I mean the opponents are all different. We’re all different every year, so I mean it’s hard, I think, to always find a commonality, I mean just to say that. I know that you can look at those and think there is some kind of correlation or something but I think these are all kind of their own kind of individual fights and we have to find a way to beat Arizona. I mean that’s it. This year this team has to find a way to go beat them and I do think there are hidden things with the new coaching staff. They haven’t shown a ton preseason-wise, so like I said that element to it. No, I don’t think there is any secret thing. You prepare the best you can to go win a game. I think it’s a fine line to -- you can get too overhyped with this and think this game is going to define your season and it’s one of 16. Every team wants to start fast, every team wants to go 1-0 this week, but at the same time, I mean realize that, you know its football. Someone’s going to win and someone’s going to lose it’s not the end of the world. It’s not going to define us, but certainly, we are trying to start fast. "
On if he is curious or concerned about playing with certain players on the offense:
"Yeah, yeah, I think that’s every single year though, I mean, I think regardless. Every single year there’s a little bit, yeah. You’re setting sail and going to find out. Certainly it is a journey. I think over the course of the season it’s not always the same. Teams ascend and teams descend over the course of a year and so, like I said though, I do think it just comes down to trying to just win this game and a little bit of the, yeah, there’s some blind faith that we all put into this."
On if he gets anxious during Week 1:
"Absolutely, yeah, I mean, I think every year. It’s been a long time since our last game, for all of us. It’s exciting. I mean, I think that’s part of the reason you keep playing is that feeling. That feeling of, you know, being alive and putting yourself out there, the vulnerability of it. No question, we’re going to go do it together and I mean that’s the great thing about the team sport element. I think it’s the greatest game. We’re devising our plan, they’re devising their plan, and we need to go out there and try to execute it."
On what has surprised him about RB Adrian Peterson:
"I think how quickly he’s got caught up to speed. Mentally, I think he’s worked really hard at getting caught up to speed in all facets of the running back position. Certainly, protections, I think are the most complex, you know, coming in, trying to master our system as fast as possible. Physically, I still think there aren’t many limitations that I see, so really I think from a mental standpoint, getting caught up enough that when you go out there you can let those physical tools take over. You know your stuff and you can go out there and play. I think that’s kind of what we’re all trying to do."
On working with RB Chris Thompson and TE Jordan Reed:
"Yeah, I don’t think there is any one thing, I think it’s cumulative. You just try to get as many reps as possible just to kind of bank those. I think trying to create as much of a game-like situation out here on the practice field is part of that. I think we’ve done that, you know, we have really, really competitive periods out here, working a lot of different situational football against our defense, with those guys in the mix, and I think those reps are all cumulative."
On the process following the trade and adjusting to the Redskins:
"I certainly haven’t had any time to reflect. You know, for me, it was full steam ahead. Like I said, trying to make the most out of a short amount of time and be ready to roll and that’s it. So, I’m doing everything I can to help us win this week. I think come after the season [and in the] offseason, there will be time for reflection and things like that, but right now I haven’t looked back. I haven’t had time. I don’t think any of us have that luxury. So for me, looking forward, we’ve all been staring at this date for a long time now and I’m excited it’s here on the doorstep."
On what’s exciting about Head Coach Jay Gruden’s offense:
"I think the thing that excites me is that as an offense, both from a personnel standpoint and a playbook standpoint, that we are not limited. I don't think we're pigeonholed in anyway. I don’t think that we have that many limitations and I think we can do a lot. With that though, there’s a huge challenge. I think we can give teams a lot of fits and problems, because we can do so much, but at the same time, we have to master all those phases and little things and the details get magnified. I think with an offense like this and the guys that we have, I think the details are going to be big."
On throwing the deep pass:
"I think you try and make it a point of emphasis and to work on it, just like any other facet of the game, and I think those things have changed. They’ve changed week to week, they change based off the matchups, they change based off the schemes and how they align and certainly you don’t always know when they are going to present themselves. You go into games thinking it’s going to be bombs away and you don’t ever get the look you were anticipating and vice versa. So, you’ve got to be ready for everything. Like I said, I think your training and fundamentals have to take over that when those opportunities present themselves that you’ve had the reps and the time to go hit it."
On the heat and weather this week:
"Yeah, I can’t imagine there are teams that are more prepared for this heat than we are. I mean going back to camp, and all the way to now, we've had a lot of days in some crazy heat and humidity. It will be nice, I think, going back West. I don’t anticipate it being this humid in the desert. I think we’ll be alright though, practicing in the elements we’ve practiced in has prepared us."
On playing with TE Vernon Davis again:
"Yeah, it’s been a lot of fun to get back with Vernon and the guy has just amazed me from the day I got here, just what kind of shape he’s in, how well he trains and takes care of himself. I feel like he hasn’t aged at all, at all. So, that’s been a ton of fun, you know he and I obviously get along really well and it’s been really cool to kind of step back into the huddle with him."
On risk versus opportunity when throwing the football downfield:
"I mean that’s the big defining thing for quarterbacks all the time. When to take the shots, when to take a little risk, and then when you do, to hit them, be accurate, be on time, miss in the right places. You can’t go out there cautious but I mean at the same time you’ve got to see things, trust your eyes, trust what they are telling you and I think like I said, when those opportunities present themselves you’ve got to try to hit them. A lot goes into that, it’s easy to sit up here and say, but it’s hard to actually do it on the field when it’s happening fast. But there are so many things, from understanding protections, the line and the backs and myself, all being in sync with that kind of stuff. Because a lot of times I feel those are incorporated with turnovers. When protection is good and sound, and everyone is on the same page, more often than not, good things happen."
On if he is confident throwing a deep ball after throwing interceptions:
"Yeah, I mean I’d like to think so. I think I’m better equipped for that. You have to be ready for anything and I think you have to take those situations as they come, and for me, I think it’s being locked into every single game situation, doing whatever I can to help us win. Certainly, if you’re ever to start like that, no doubt you better be able to snap into the moment and move on."