On how it feels to be back:
"It feels great to be back. Seeing all the guys back again. Seeing all the coaches walk the hall. This is what we're used to. It feels good to be back in this building and it lets you know that we're getting closer to being back to doing what we love to do. It's right here. We can start working out again, start training again with the guys; just getting that camaraderie back. Those are all the things that you miss when you're away. You just miss being around those guys and miss the atmosphere of the locker room. It's great to be back in the locker room."
On what he has done during the offseason:
"I've kind of been back and forth. I have a little league football team in my hometown. I've been working out down in Sarasota at the IMG campus down there. I've been all over the place, just trying to get a lot of different things done all while focusing and getting ready for this upcoming season."
On the toughest thing about having to get ready in a short amount of time:
"We've missed OTAs. We've missed some very important things especially for our younger players who are just now coming into the system. We're trying to cram a lot of things that we've missed into a few weeks. It's going to be tough, but they don't call us professionals for nothing. We're professional athletes and professional football players so we have to be professionals about the situation. We know that we're going to have to spend a lot of time in the meeting room, something that a lot of vets don't like to do. It's going to be needed if we want to get those young guys up to speed with what we're trying to do as a team, offensively, defensively and special teams. Just missing those important meetings, missing those important practices, that's been tough. Hopefully guys have understood that while we've been on this long break, it's important to take care of yourself, make sure you're in great shape and working hard. Not just sitting on the couch watching all the reports on what's going on. It's important to make sure that you've been working during this time, staying focused and understanding that we're football players and that one day this lockout is going to be over and we have to be ready."
On the schedule of activities:
"We're just preparing. Things that we would have done months ago, we're trying to get done in a few short days. Meeting with the coaches, getting your physical, seeing your team doctors. Just making sure that you're in good health. Those are things that we have done today and things that we are going to do today. It hasn't been anything unexpected."
On the rule changes in regards to practicing with pads:
"You never know until you go through it. This is unchartered waters for us so we don't really know what to make out of it. I know for players, it sounds good but you don't know. Sometimes things that look good aren't always good for you. So we don't really know what to make of this issue. What I will say is that I think enough guys understand what it takes to make sure that they're ready. Coaches understand what it takes to make sure we're ready to play. There have been new rule changes and obviously as players, we feel as if they were for the betterment of us as players. We feel good about the things that have happened and we're just ready to get going, put this all in the past and just get playing football again."
On how the decrease in hitting may affect the game:
"We hit a little more here than I was used to in Texas. We didn't really wear pads at all in Houston. That's something that we frequently do here. To me, it really doesn't matter. As long as I can go out there and get the work done, it really doesn't matter to me whether we're in pads or in shorts. As long as I can go down there and get the work done that I need to make sure that I'm ready to play football, I really don't have a preference. I understand that I have to take care of my body, so cold tubs and all those types of issues. Guys that understand what they're in for and know that this is a physical sport and what you're getting into know it comes with the territory. Some days there will be pads, some days there won't be pads. You just have to understand what you have to do as a player and not worry about what's happening elsewhere."
On the type of product that the fans will see, given the decrease in organized workouts due to the lockout:
"This is a team that I'm really not worried about. I know that there are a lot of really hungry guys on this football team and guys have worked their tails off. As far as what the product will look like, it may be different or it may not be different. I really don't know. Maybe this time off has been good for us, maybe it hasn't been good for us. We won't know until we get into those pads or until we hit the practice fields, whether the work that we've done is what we needed to do or if we need more work done. Nobody has ever been in this situation so you can't say what's going to happen or what's best for me or what's best for the team. We just have to wait until we get out there and we'll see."
On whether injury is more of a concern without having organized offseason training:
"Not really. I've trained extremely hard. I've been at it for months, just trying to make sure I'm prepared, with personal trainers making sure I'm eating right; doing everything that I need to do in order to have a successful season. Injuries do occur in this sport and it definitely won't be because I haven't prepared. Sometimes it's just the belly of the beast. I know guys have worked their tails off, like I said, especially on this team. I know the guys on this team, we've met up and had passing sessions. Guys have been other places working with their personal trainers. We have a veteran football team so the guys on this team understand what it takes their bodies to get ready and to be ready to play."
On whether he has met with position coaches yet:
"Everything for me, I came in first thing and the first thing I did was start preparing for my physical, going in seeing all the doctors, going into strength and conditioning. Getting on the scale, seeing your weight, getting your body fat checked. It's still early but that's been the day so far. There's a lot more to go on today. We've got a lot of catching up to do in terms of sitting down with the coaches, expectations, all of those things. We haven't done those things yet. Like I said, we're trying to cram a month's worth of things into a couple of days and weeks, so it's definitely different. It's something that we haven't been through as a team, something that we haven't been through as individual players. It's different. This whole situation is like being a rookie all over again because you really don't know what to expect. We haven't seen our rookies on the field and we haven't been on the field as a team. I know the guys on this team have been taking care of themselves. I know guys haven't been just sitting back and relaxing. I know our guys have been working because we knew that this day would come and we needed to be prepared when it did."
On whether the Falcons were better prepared for the break than other teams:
"I think so. This is a special football team and we have a bunch of special guys in the locker room. We can't say what the next team has done. Teams have done their own things. This team has been a focused team throughout this whole thing. Throughout this whole time, we've been focused and we've been preparing. Not a lot of guys in the League or throughout this team thought we were going to miss football games so it was just a matter of coming to an agreement which both sides felt was a comfortable situation and making sure we're ready. We didn't have to have coaches calling, even though we couldn't communicate with them. We didn't have to have people calling and saying, 'Hey guys, what are you doing?' I think they trusted us enough to know that we were taking care of business throughout this situation."
On whether rookies are going to feel pressured entering camp without previous organized meetings:
"It depends on what team I was playing on. On this team, no, because I'd understand that there are a lot of veteran guys so those guys are going to pick up a lot of the slack until I catch up on the curve. The rookies on this team, while we do want them ready, we don't want them to come in overwhelmed. Learn from these guys. If you need help, ask questions and I think that's what the rookies on this team will do. It's not a situation on this team where you have certain rookies who automatically have to come in and play right away. If a guy isn't ready, let's get him ready. Let's not just throw him in the fire. I think that as the veteran football team we are, those guys can take the time they need. If two weeks is enough for those guys, we'd love to have them out on the field. If not, take your time to catch up. We have a very good football team and we want to make sure the guys are prepared before they step out on the field for the first time."