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Jonathan Allen | 'We're out here competing'

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Washington Commanders defensive tackle Jonathan Allen addressed the media after practice on Aug. 2. Here is a full transcript of the press conference.

On how he's feeling with pads:
"I feel really good. I feel really good. We're out here competing. The x's and o's of football are fun and that's what we enjoy. It's been awesome." 

On what his expectations are for the team:

"I try not to focus on what we're capable of because at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter right now. I'm just trying to make sure I'm doing my part and helping this team become the best football team we can be. At the end of the season, we'll stack up the wins and see where we're at." 

On the younger defensive linemen:

"They're doing good, man. They're competing. They're coming in here. They're working. They're living up to the standard that some of the heart and souls of this team do like [DE] Chase [Young],[DE] [Montez] Sweat and [DT] [Daron] Payne. I like to throw myself in there and they're competing hard man. I love their attitude going into training camp." 

On who has stood out to him:

"It's hard to say with the second day of pads. I think everyone's had a good period. [DE] KJ [Henry]'s playing really good. [DE] Andre [Jones Jr.]'s playing really good, then [DE] [Joshua] Josh [Pryor] is playing really good and then [DT] [Phidarian] big Phil [Mathis] plays really good. It's just about consistency so the more and more days we get into training camp, the more and more we can see what they're really made of."

On what stands out about the defense:

"We're playing really well together. When I'm taking my break, I know Sweat and Payne will go out there and do what they got to do. The guys in the back and are going to do what they're doing. We're really eliminating the stupid mistakes, the lack of communication, the hustles. We're just playing really well off each other right now, so we got to keep that up. We can't get too excited. We understand that it's only week two of training camp. There's a lot of room for improvement and there's a lot of things we got to clean up, but every day we're taking a step in the right direction. We're not having really any days where we take a step back."

On using the five package more:

"It really just depends. If teams come out in five wide, it's going to be hard to be in the Cinco package. But as a defensive lineman, I think the hardest thing is not focusing on what packages you're in, but whenever you're in the game, whatever the situation is, making the best out of that situation. I try not to focus on that because it's really out of my control. It's up to [Defensive Coordinator] Coach [Jack] Del Rio and the scheme that the coach put together. It's my job to go out there and execute it regardless of the situation. As a defensive line, we always say we want the pressure on us. We want us, the D-line, to have the hardest job on the field. If that means we're out there and we have low numbers and we still got to stop the run with a light box, so be it." 

On feeling comfortable in year four:

"Yeah, for sure. I mean, you don't have to spend a lot of time with a lot of the basics. We know the plays, we know what we're supposed to do now and we can really pay attention on how we have to do it. As opposed to going into the first year, we're all learning something new, so we have to spend more time focusing on what to do first. I feel like we have a good understanding of what we're trying to do, but now we can really fine tune on how we're going to accomplish that." 

On having more plays in practice:

"I mean, it's what we do. I can speak for the guys who went to Alabama. We're literally built for this. Most guys on the defense we're built for this. It's good work. We're going to be tired during the game. We're getting the work in our practices and it's been going good." 

On not having to play catch up on the conditioning of the first weeks of the season:
"Yes and no. You know, at the end of the day, the issue with the first game of the season is sometimes guys play the game before the game starts. And I'm a firm believer of you can mentally drain yourself before a game by getting too amped and too fired up before a game. And you know, for young guys, sometimes that's going to happen. They're too excited too early on and you're tired when the game comes. But at the end of the day, man, I mean, you're playing football for months before the season starts. So, it really isn't an in-shape thing. I think in years past we just weren't really executing at a high level to start the season. There was a lot of guys, me, myself included, making small mistakes, mental errors, not communicating, not fitting off each other well, and in football, when you're not doing the little things right, you're going to get taken advantage of. So, I think [Defensive Coordinator] Coach [Jack] Del Rio and the coaching staff, they've done a really good job of simplifying things. Guys really aren't out there thinking we know what we got to do and we're going out there and playing fast."

On how the extended periods of practice affected the players:
"It's really good. You know, I think depending on where guys are in their career is going to affect them differently. I know for me, I like to go hard and I like to practice hard and sometimes I can wear myself down and not recover. So, this year I'm trying to do a better job of focusing on myself when I'm not on the field, spending even that much more time trying to recover. So I can always play at a high level. It's one of the things where everybody has to find that out on their own, you know what I mean? As a young guy, you can kind of go forever for the most part. So you don't really think about the little things and what you're eating and the recovery you're doing at night and what time you're going to sleep. But as you get older and going into year seven, you know, thank God my wife went to school for exercise science and nutrition and she's really helping me fine tune the little things that are going to allow me to, you know, play with these sustained periods for a longer period of time."

On if he noticed Washington Commanders Managing Partner Josh Harris on the sideline:
"I didn't even notice that some of the owners were at practice today until after practice. I mean, I'm focusing on the game, focused on what I got to do, trying to be, you know, real with myself and be critical about the things that I can do to improve. So, I mean if I ran into 'em, it would've been obviously cool to see 'em. But I think Mr. Harris and some of the others do a good job of just, you know, being out there but not making it about them. So, I mean, I didn't notice, but it's definitely cool seeing 'em out there."

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