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Cody Barton | 'It's time to compete'


Washington Commanders linebacker Cody Barton addressed the media after practice on July 29. Here is a transcript of the press conference.

On practicing through the heat:
"It's been new. Being from Utah, we don't get high heat, we have no really humidity. So this week's really the first time I've ever done some physical exertion and some high humidity. And there was an adjustment period, you know, the first couple days, even now still. But, I don't know I actually kind of like it, you know, kind of get your mind challenged a little bit. Makes you a little more, I guess mentally callous you'd say. But you just got to get used to sweating. Like everything's just soaking wet."

On what he's picking up from the defense:
"Just playing with the guys around me, how their play styles and, you know, building that chemistry and that relationship with my teammates. You know how certain D linemen play, you know, run coming this way. You know, are they going to move pop a gap? Are they going to stay, hold a double or, you know, the way safeties will fit in the run game or like the corners are pushing things or talking. Just building that chemistry relationship and also creating friendships with my teammates. And then as we're doing that through camp, you know, that'll just take us further through the season."

On how guys manage playing through the heat:

"Just drink a lot of water. You got to drink a lot of water and I mean, just eat big meals. It makes you on top of your food. I mean, there's no secret recipe. Just don't get dehydrated and don't starve yourself I guess, either. You know what I mean? Just make sure you're hydrated and just listen to your body. Yeah. Don't go out there and try to go crazy and pass out or something."

On what he did in the offseason to improve his game:
"I would just take a peek at it every day. You know, even the stuff that I already knew. I'm a flashcard guy as well, you know, I'd have all the keynotes written down and just kind of breeze through everything and talk through it and walk through it myself and just go through everything really quick, you know what I mean? And even though it was on, I just want to keep it fresh on my mind. So, then I come back and it's just there's no relearning."

On the different defensive packages:

"Yeah, I mean, all the different packages, it's a good look and a good changeup to give offenses because you can do a lot of similar things that have different packages, but it's coming from a slightly different look. Similar to the way offenses can run a lot of same plays but hiding it with personnel and motions and you know that kind of thing. But I like it and it's also the way we're cycling a lot right now in camp. It's good too because it's exposed me to a lot playing with a lot of different guys. And like I was saying earlier, just able to build that relationship with more players at a faster rate."

On the mindset around the word starter:

No. I mean obviously, you know, I think every player wants to be the starter, but at the same time they also know and once it comes camp, you know, it's time to compete. No one's job's safe, you know, it's going to be the best player's going to play. So, I can speak for the defensive side people have that in their mind and so whether you were the starter last year, those guys are out there busting their ass trying to keep their job and the guys that were behind them were trying to bust to become, you know what I mean? So, I would just say specifically the defense, because I'm on that side, but just everyone is very hungry and wants to be on the field and we're all just competing.

On growing up in an athletic family:

Growing up was very competitive in everything we did, you know, we'd race, who would eat their dinner the fastest, you know, I mean, just anything you do, it turned into a competition or somehow we'd turn into like a point system or whatever. But, I think growing up that style it helped us all become, you know, professional athletes. Our parents were, although they were great parents, they were also kind of like coach parents, you know what I mean? Like always my mom was with my sister for volleyball and basketball and stuff, and my dad took me and my brother's football, baseball, basketball, whatever it was and just having that competitive sports background growing up, I feel like it's, I mean, I got an older brother plays with the Cardinals, my sister, she's about to move to Italy and play her third season professional volleyball player. I got a little brother's true sophomore at Utah and he'll be, you know, he's probably going to be a first rounder coming out early as a junior. I'm not trying to be cocky about it, but I'll brag about my siblings all day. I won't really say much about myself, but, I feel like they just instilled in us habits of discipline, hard work and something I believe in is just always competing things.

On playing his brother Cardinals OL Jackson Barton Week 1 at home:

I was trying to get some info out of him the summer about, you know, what kind of plays are running, but he wasn't giving it up. I'm looking forward to seeing him, you know, being able to play them week one and yeah, it'll be fun.

On how the linebackers are looking this season:

I think it's looking real good. Now, I'd say as a whole in the room, for the most part, everyone, we're all pretty young guys that have a lot of experience. The only older guy is [LB] David Mayo, but even then, that dude's got a young heart and a young personality. As a room, that's one of the things that first jumped off when I first got here is how tight knit and professional the room was. Being in this kind of environment and working with those guys, I like that kind of environment and it makes me feel like every day you go in there and you feel like you're getting pushed, you know? Because everyone's got experience, everyone's a good football player and we have just pushed each other and that's where I think, you know, this year, that's just our position. It's going to rise, you know, and I'm looking forward to it.

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