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Quotes: Keenan Robinson (8.1.14)

Linebacker Keenan Robinson

On returning from injury:

"I'm getting back to doing what I love to do. Obviously it's hard, been tough. It's hard being away from the game for a year and a half, but for me, you know, I use that year and a half to prepare mentally. Obviously, physically, I had to rehab, which is more important, but mentally I think I gained some upside in my game, which will allow me to excel this year and that's one thing I learned. You've just got to be able to take the bad with the good and persevere through any obstacle that life throws at you and my two injuries were a perfect example of that and now I'm just ready to perform, which is why the Redskins drafted me."

On practicing in full pads on Monday:

"It was almost like Christmas again for me, man. Like I said, the last time I put on pads was Thanksgiving game my rookie year and that was against Dallas. It's been a long time coming for me and obviously it's one thing to run around out here in shorts and a helmet, but put them pads on – that's what football is all about. For a linebacker, being physical is very important and that's what you want to see out of linebackers. And for me,  the coaches obviously still want to see how I'm going to react in those situations and as we get into tackling, doing things like that, I can further show to them that I'm back and I'm healthy and I'm ready to go."

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On if it was a memorable moment for him to put the shoulder pads on after his recovery:

"I didn't have a surreal moment like that until we were on the field. Once I slip it on, it's like just everyday business. But once I go out on the field, start hitting, it's like, 'OK, now I'm getting back to my old ways, man."

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On if doctors talked about the odds of tearing both pectoral muscles and if they foresee any future obstacles:

"He didn't. I mean, once you rehab and heal them up to how he healed them up – I did a very good job on the first side and I tore the other side. It would be different if I tore this side twice. He said it shouldn't happen again, but injuries happen and football is a very physical game and hopefully I don't have an issue with either one of them ever again."

On if he thinks about his injuries while tackling:

"It's still in the back of my mind, but as we've been hitting and doing stuff like that, I don't have any issues. I don't feel anything. I've learned to trust my body more and I'm feeling more comfortable with tackling and being out of position to where I have to reach and make plays. But like I said, once we get into preseason games and everything is full-go, I'll even build that confidence even further."

On who leads the linebacker corps:

"For the insides, it's me and Perry [Riley, Jr.]. We are the two guys that have kind of been there the longest. Obviously we brought in some veteran guys from other teams, but for me and Perry, we've been there the longest and we're both kind of the leaders right now."

On if practice sessions with the Patriots will bring out anything different:

"I think it brings out more competition, obviously for the defensive side of the ball. It's one thing to go against our guys every day, but when we go into other players, we kind of take pride and we want to show that we are a more physical team than we practice against, which would be the Patriots.           And we want to show that when Thursday comes – next Thursday when we play them – that what you're going to get in practice is what you're going to get in the game. We want to be able to show that we can be a dominant defense and be physical and be tough at the same time."

On being on the field with his teammates again and communicating play calls:

"Man, it's lovely because when I was drafted Haz [Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett] was here and I got hurt. Haz stuck with me the whole time I was coming back from my injury. So I'm loving it, the fact that we have the same defense that we had my rookie year, so I never really lost a step. It would be different if I had to come here, come off an injury and learn a new defense, but I didn't. So everything that I learned my rookie year, it still applies now, so basically it was just recalling all the old stuff and just adjusting to a few things here and there. But for me, it's not that bad, it's not that difficult. It wasn't as difficult as I thought it was going to be. Everything just came back to me soon as we got back to the field in OTAs and preseason camp, and I think I'm doing pretty well. As far as the play-calling roles go, it's just something that somebody has to do. It could have been me or Perry, but since I have the mic, the duty falls on my shoulders and I'm loving it right now."

On what fans need to do to get his autograph after practices:

"Just come to practice. I'm going to try to sign as many autographs every day as I can until it's time for me to go and they pull me aside, so just show up to practice."

On if he is ready for the attention that could come from being a potential starter:

"I don't know if you're ever truly ready but it's something that I'll embrace as the season and as preseason camp progresses. It's something that I am definitely embracing because it's my duty. When everybody says 'middle linebacker,' I think of leading the team, vocal leader, physical leader and on-the-field leader. It's something that I have to do and make sure that I'm fulfilling those roles as a middle linebacker."

On what he has learned a lot about the process of becoming a starter from Perry Riley, Jr.:

"Basically the first thing is the coaches will not let you on the field unless you know what you're doing, so that's the first thing. No matter all your physical talent, you can have all that, but mentally if you're not prepared, if you don't know the plays, if you don't know what you're doing in every situation, the coaches will not trust you on the field. For me, like I said, it helped having the same defense that I had my rookie year and last year when I was hurt because now I'm just recalling everything and the coaches can trust me because they know I played a little bit my rookie year and it's the same defense. So they know that I know everything and they can rely on me."

On if he expects to cover more tight ends:

"Right now so far they've asked me to cover Jordan Reed one-on-one, cover the bigger tight end guys that we have like Logan [Paulsen] and that's something I think that I can excel in just because God made me 6-3, 240 pounds and that's just something that I can use to my advantage. So obviously I can body receivers or tight ends up better. I can run with them as well, so I think that's something that they will ask me to do and I think I can excel at that."

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