Redskins.com's Jake Kring-Schreifels provides five takeaways from Ryan Anderson's press conference at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va.
1. Alabama prepared him well for training camp.
According to Anderson, it's been a smooth camp so far, getting acclimated to life in the NFL and learning from his veteran teammates. That's largely because Anderson is used to this kind of environment from his playing days at Alabama.
In the southern heat, Anderson explained that the team did "a lot of banging around there," which helped prepare him mentally and physically for the few weeks the team stays in Richmond. If he were in Tuscaloosa now, he said the team would probably do more hitting than the Redskins do now.
"At this level it's all about protecting the players," Anderson said. "At that level, you're developing players still. You're bringing players out of high school, and you have got to see if they're tough. You're going to make them tough if they're not. We do a lot of team run, a lot of blitz periods. It's a lot of banging going on down there."
Needless to say, Anderson was tough enough.
2. His appreciation for Junior Galette started in high school.
Joining Anderson at outside linebacker is Galette, who in some cases is in a similar boat, proving himself to coaches after missing the past two years with Achilles injuries.
Anderson grew up watching Galette starting in ninth and tenth grade, and has relished the opportunities of playing with someone with the explosiveness and ability to rush the passer like Galette possesses.
"You know, hopefully I can learn a bunch from him, Trent [Murphy], Preston [Smith], Ryan [Kerrigan], all those guys. It's going to help me down the road," said Anderson, who also explained why he appreciates Galette so much.
"You know, he was an undrafted guy," Anderson said. "He worked his way up to the top. He's an effort guy, you know, he plays hard. He doesn't take many plays off so I respect that about his game."
3. The competition level has been the biggest adjustment to camp.
It's one thing to start camp with a group of Alabama players that are still relatively new to the football grind and the requirements that come with playing their respective positions. It's quite another to stare down a veteran offensive lineman with years of NFL experience prepared to humble you on the first snap.
"I'm not taking no reps against no freshman that are just coming in from high school," Anderson said. "All these guys are good and they've got families to feed, man. So, you have to go hard every play out there. You just try to get your foot in the door and get your feet wet, but you're going to have to earn it."
Anderson has looked pretty good in the early-going, mostly using his size to his advantage in bull rushes against his opponents. Still, he feels like he can improve on just about everything in his game a week into practices.
"Just have got to keep repping it and keep getting better every day at something new," he said.
4. Jonathan Allen keeps him motivated each day.
Aiding his big transition into the professional ranks has been his Alabama-now-Redskins teammate and first-round pick Jonathan Allen. The two have leaned on each other throughout camp, which has been a comfort to have as they ingratiate themselves with the team.
On the field, Allen doesn't talk a lot, but when he does, he's giving Anderson encouragement and keeping the mood light.
"He comes out every day and he just competes, man," Anderson said. "He's the type of guy that you want on your team. He's one of my favorite guys on my team back then. He's one of the guys that always got me going. Comes out there when I'm not feeling it some days, he's the guy that always [said], 'What you got for me today? What are we going to do today?' So it's good to have him out there doing it again."
5. The ultimate goal is to win games.
The Washington Redskins defense and special teams conducted their fifth day of training camp practice Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va.
Anderson chose not to share any of his specific goals for his rookie 2017 season, but he definitely has them, especially as they pertain to the team.
"The ultimate goal is just to win, you know what I mean?" he said. "Just come in and find a role on the team and play my role to help this team win."
The first step will be next week, when the team takes on Baltimore in the first preseason game. Anderson isn't trying to worry about the bright lights just yet.
"I try not to think about it. I try not to," Anderson said. "I just take it day by day; I don't want to get myself too excited or anything that would cause me to have any anxiety when I go out there."