Washington Commanders defensive tackle Daron Payne addressed the media on July 28. Here is a full transcript of his press conference.
On how his toe feels:
"My toe was just a little sore and we wanted to take a couple days just to calm it down, but now I'm good."
On being back out at practice and with the fans:
"Oh man, I hate being away from the guys, so just to be able to get back into it with the guys is just a whole bunch of fun. And it's exciting to see all the fans and how things are going."
On which toe it was:
"I ain't telling you that. [Laughs]"
On his high school retiring his jersey:
"It meant a bunch with me because I just know, the community, they love me so much and they always try to show their love for me. I always wanted to show love back to them, so I appreciate everybody that had something to do with that."
On what the offseason was like as a whole:
"I mean, really it was, other than signing the deal and all of that stuff, it was the same for me. I was just training, doing my thing and just getting ready for a season."
On what it means to him to have the contract:
"I just appreciate it because it took a lot of hard work to get here and it didn't go unnoticed."
On the difference in approach now that he signed the deal as opposed to playing in a contract year and how he now is working towards validating the contract:
"It ain't about validating nothing. I like playing football. I love coming up here every day, showing all the hard work that I put in and I love making plays."
On DT Phidarian Mathis and what the five linemen looks have been like:
"Definitely. He definitely is going to be like that nose for us and help us be able to because we are really good on defense on the defensive line, so as much five down stuff that we can do, we gonna try to do it. But, Big Phil is good, he's really explosive. He's young. He likes to listen. He always comes up to me asking for like advice and things that he can do, so I'm excited for him. I know he ended his season a little early last year, but I feel like he is gonna be good for us and he's gonna be a good rotation guy and he's gonna make a lot of plays."
On the offensive line and how they are helping him get ready:
"Right now for me it is different just seeing [T/G] Sam Cosmi at right guard. He's one of those guys that's pretty quick and agile, so I don't know. It's hard to do kind of some of the things that I like to do against him, but I know we all are just gonna make each other better and we're just gonna keep pushing each other throughout the whole camp."
On the advice that he gives Mathis:
"I don't really try to give him advice. He comes and asks for it. He comes and just be like, 'What do you think I can do for this? What do you think I can do for that?' And I just try to tell him, like little keys to read and how to approach different things and plays. Not actually just play football, but how to look at things and be able to decipher what's going on instead of just being out there just going."
On the defensive tackle market after he was paid:
"My agent told me, he was like, you know, it was time for a bunch of guys to get paid. So it was like, either you go early or you wait a whole bunch of time. And I'm like, I really don't care. I just want to get the deal done so I can focus back on what I like to do."
On the expectation of the defensive line:
"I just want to go out there and take over games. Like, I want us to be the most dominant group on the field, like every game. Like we got the capability to do that. We got a bunch of monsters on the edge and then we got me, JA [Jonathan Allen], [John] Ridgeway and a whole bunch of other guys on the interior. So, I feel like we got all the pieces we need to just take over games, dominate and just lead the team."
On the five defensive line sets and if he anticipates that being a regular thing this year:
"Definitely. Probably so. Like I said, I know they put a lot of capital into the D-Line room, so we like to put that on our shoulders and we take it head on. We know they like to put us on the field, and we love being on the field."
On Defensive Line Coach Jeff Zgonina:
"He was our coach last year. He's one of the guys that was an actual player so he can relate to the things that we come to him with. Like little technique things and just how we can actually get better with it. It's more comfortable knowing that he can relate to us and just knowing that he's been in that position that he knows what we're talking about and we're just not talking to him and he never did it. You feel me?"
On Zgonina's shorts:
"I told him, he said he didn't get them hemmed. I think he got them hemmed to be like that."
On the learning from having success the previous year and the expectations that have to be balanced:
"I mean, for us right now, like [Defensive Coordinator] Coach [Jack] Del Rio's biggest emphasis for us is like starting out slow. Like we always start out slow and then later on in the season we kind of get to hitting our strides. So this year we just want to come out of the gate fast swinging and get straight to it so we are not playing like a whole bunch of meaningful games later on in the year and having to go crazy hard trying to make the playoffs."
On how much he goes back and looks at last season:
"I know they're probably gonna watch a whole bunch of film on me and try to lock up the things that I like to do well the most. But I got some new stuff that I've been working on and I also will rely on some of the old stuff that I was doing to help me make some plays. But I feel like as long as I just bring the intensity and just keep like a high motor, I can still make a lot of plays."
On new things he has been working on:
It's just different pass rush moves and counters to how guys can stop one move that I like to do."