NFL Media's Oklahoma Drill series presents exclusive, quick-hitting one-on-one interviews with players and coaches from around the league. No nonsense -- just football experiences directly from the source.
Born: May 21, 1994
Experience: Four NFL seasons
It's what God gave me. I mean, [not getting re-signed by Panthers] all happened for a reason. I'm here, and I'm ready to wait it out. When the teams start talking on [March 11], my ears are open.
It's tricky [asking what changed in Carolina], but you never know until you know. And as you can tell right now, you've got teams placing franchise tags, you've got teams extending people. I had my meeting. The meeting went different. Now I'm just ready for whatever team is ready to come get me. I'm ready to play and ready to get a Super Bowl.
I just sat down with [head coach Ron] Rivera, and it was basically them telling me that they were going to get back to me, and everybody else ... You know how the teams go. You've got the GM, you've got the head coach, you've got all the people who, I mean ... stuff happens, life goes on. We're here to have fun with life. I've got a big day coming up, so that's what I'm preparing for.
[The Panthers are] doing what they're doing with their team, and I'm here to be the best free agent available, make sure my body's healthy and make sure I'm ready to go whenever I sign with a team.
My body has been healthy since the season. I was just making sure I was good, making sure everything else was right (when out with a back injury late in the year).
I just want a team to let us have fun, but also keep everything serious and make sure that we are having fun. That's the main thing. Just having fun, because at the end of the day, this is a game that we grew up [playing] and that we love. I just want to go in, make the impact that I can as a player and just have fun with everything that I do.
Has losing ever been fun? Having a bad day, is that fun? So we had a couple of bad days that weren't too good, that weren't too pretty. Do you have fun on your bad days?
I'm 24 years old. I can run whatever you want me to run on the field, and I'm ready to go get a W, that's it. A Super Bowl ring, let's go get it.
I don't know how the process goes, but I'll be back at home with my family, chilling, working out, getting more healthy, make sure my body is ready to run come the day it's supposed to.
My coaches, they always told me you can't teach size and you can't teach speed, so I've been blessed by the good man upstairs. I'm just going to keep doing what I can, stay healthy and go out there and get Ws for my team. That's all I know how to do.
[Longtime Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis] -- he was that vocal leader we all were used to. We prayed together. We grinded together. We joked together. We talked trash together. You hate to see a leader like that go, but they're going in a different direction. You've got guys over there that can fill the void. You saw the first four games, and I think he set them up as a veteran to have their work ethic go unnoticed when he leaves or now that he's gone. As you can see in the first four games, they did a phenomenal job on defense.
I texted [Carolina QB Cam Newton] to make sure he was good [after surgery]. He had a lot of events over in Atlanta during the Super Bowl. I think he had a great time. ... He said he's been doing good. The process is going smooth, and he's just grinding away.
[Super Bowl week] was cool. It was my cousin's birthday weekend, so it was just, make sure he had fun. I mean, I talked to [Rams RB Todd] Gurley before the game, made sure he was ready to rock, and it was just all making sure everybody else had fun. I know we didn't do our job during the season to be there, but I was there so people could have fun with all of the amenities that were there.
[March 11], everybody will be able to talk to me, and I will know who will want to talk to me. And from there, that's where I'm going to have conversations and see where I land. ... I told my agent, "Don't even bring anything up to me until [March 11]."
Today is the 5th, so I don't know what teams are interested in me. I don't know anything because I don't want no information. My job as an NFL player is to make sure I'm healthy, so when the [11th] comes, I will see what teams are interested in me.
No, [I don't pay attention to the NFL Scouting Combine]. I already had my interview, that's how I feel. Good luck to everybody who's doing it. Don't think too much of it, have fun. But I already had my interview.
You try to prepare for it and listen to people, but you really don't know until you get there. If I would have had better information, I feel like I would've been prepared better. They say you wake up early, but they don't tell you how early. They say you've got meetings, but they don't tell you how late the meetings are. If I would've knew that, I would've mentally been prepared and ready to go and knocked out everything.
It's all 40-based now. That's all people worry about is the [40-yard dash]. Like every year, but now all they really worry about is the 40. So you see guys running the 4.3s, the 4.2s, the 4.4s, it's cool and dandy, but you've got to start transferring it to the field. Do more of [the route-running drills]. That's real football.
Y'all look at all that type of stuff, and that's cool. But within the lines, are [defensive linemen] gonna run that 4.4 to go get to the quarterback? You're not running 40 yards for a play. He's gonna be running 3 yards, max, to get to the quarterback. So it's cool that they getting fast. I'm on the outside running fast, so I'm worried about DBs.
[The] 40's overrated. We're not track stars. We play football.