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K.J. Henry wants to earn the respect of 'my teammates, my coaches, and everybody in the organization'

Clemson's K.J. Henry (5) blocks while B.T. Potter kicks an extra point during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Wofford Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
Clemson's K.J. Henry (5) blocks while B.T. Potter kicks an extra point during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Wofford Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

The Washington Commanders' newest offensive pass-rusher, K.J. Henry, spoke with the media earlier today. Here are some of the highlights from his press conference.

On getting the call:  
"I'm always, you know, not too high, not too low guy, you know, obviously just blessed to even be waiting for a call. That was kind of the mindset today. It came fast. It was kinda to the point where we started this early, so I was getting hungry. I started eating and I'm starting to eat. And that phone call comes in. So, really excited. Was really excited." 

On what he was eating:  
"Mom made some chicken pot pie from last night that came in, was delicious."  

On if he was eating when he got the call:  
"I was, yeah, I was. I was watching the TV but I was grabbing some grub." 

On the fact that they traded up for him:  
"Yeah, I mean that just shows love. Obviously all the picks wanna be drafted earlier, but you know, fifth round for number five. It only makes sense. I promise you I was very excited, but no one was screaming louder than my dad. Been a Commander's fan all his life. This has been his team and now it's my team. It was a big moment." 

On why his dad is a Washington fan and if he is from this area:  
"He's not, I haven't really gotten, I got to now, but I hadn't really, really gotten down to the bottom of what made him a Washington fan. I have to figure it out. I have to figure it out. I never really asked, but he's been one since I've known, since I've been able to see him coach football and things like that. Trust me, I've been watching this team for a long time."  

On if he joined him in fandom
"Nah, I am now though. I'm the biggest one. I promise you that much."  

On who he was a fan of growing up
"I used to be a  fan of that team in Green, but we don't mess with them no more." 

On what he can add as a player: 
"Coming in, first and foremost, I wanna earn everything. I know I'll have to but I'm excited to get that opportunity to do it all over again. Earn the respect of my teammates, my coaches, and everybody in the organization. But, you know, as a player, I'm gonna bring great versatility to the field. Maximum every single play and just excited to help us win. Whatever aspect that's called for me on the field, special teams defense, just any position in order to bring us dubs next year. That's what I'm excited to do and then obviously just trying to lead by example in one way or another. I'm gonna lead by example or lead from communication and just try and be a bright spot that's already in a great defense." 

On if he had a sense that Washington was interested in him through out this process: 
"Yeah, somewhat. I had talked to Ryan [Kerrigan] from the Senior Bowl more than anybody in the staff. We also got on a Zoom call as well, so that was definitely a kind of sense. And then just trying to get a feel for what teams are, are looking for. My dad and my agent, I let them talk to them each other cause they trying to obviously figure it out. My agent kind of tapped my pops and said, I think this is the one. So, it just kind of came full circle and there's definitely no place. I'd rather be." 

On what made him a team captain at Clemson: 
"The same thing I did at Clemson is the same thing I'm gonna to do Washington and that's really just, even though I'm trying to make us better as a team or as an organization, I'm not too profit to have people around me trying to make me better as well. I think that's a great quality any leader can have personally is just putting their product aside and doing whatever it can to help a team win. So that's the same mindset I'm coming in with. I'm coming in hungry. Ready to earn my way, earn my spot, but also at the same time, I'm also gonna be wanting to learn and wanting to be a better version of myself every single day and in order to do that, I have to open my ears and take advice from others, so that's just gonna be the same mindset that I come in with."

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