In his third season in Washington, outside linebacker Marcus Washington has emerged as a leader on the Redskins' defense. He spoke with Redskins.com and media after a recent training camp practice:
Q: After producing a winning season last year, how do you view this team heading into this season?
A: "It's easy being the underdog because people don't expect a lot out of you, but now people kind of know, 'Those guys can play, they can get it done.' We can't get too high on ourselves and get a big head, we've got to come out and work hard every day."
Q: What word would you use to describe the defense?
A: "Relentless, we're relentless. We've got a lot of guys out there that play with chips on their shoulders, and they're just relentless. We try to dominate guys and intimidate them; I think that's a big part of our deal. The teams you have to play in the weeks to come, they see it. So if you're hitting hard, they are kind of tip-toeing when you face them."
Q: Do you see yourself as one of the leaders of the defense?
A: "I don't know. I just try to go out and play hard every day, every Sunday. If a guy is down, I try to pick him up. Hopefully, guys would do the same for me. We have a lot of guys who can lead. Sometimes it's Shawn Springs, sometimes it's Sean Taylor, sometimes it's Lemar Marshall."
Q: What is the potential for this defense?
A: "We've got a lot of potential, but potential doesn't count for a lot until you prove it. We've got some talented guys and some athletes, so it's going to be fun to see what happens."
Q: What do you see in the safety combination of Adam Archuleta and Sean Taylor?
A: "They are two big guys who probably could play linebacker if they wanted to. So we definitely have two threats out there. They're going to give receivers crossing the field a hard time."
Q: In the linebackers corps, how is rookie Rocky McIntosh coming along?
A: "I think he's coming along. Off the field, he's kind of quiet and reserved. When he gets on the field, he kind of turns it loose and he's a wild man."
Q: How do you see the competition between Rocky and Warrick Holdman?
A: "Both guys are doing really well out there. Competition brings out the best in everybody and if you've got somebody competing against you, it's going to push you and make you come out harder every day."
Q: The NFC East looks like it has a lot of depth. How are you viewing the NFC East right now?
A: "It's going to be really tough. All of the teams did a great job in the offseason. New York picked up LaVar (Arrington), Dallas got Terrell (Owens) and some nice draft picks, so it's going to be tough and it always is. Hopefully it's going to go back to like it was in the old school days that everybody keeps talking about. It was just tough--they lined up, guys put a hat on a hat and you definitely knew when you're playing an NFC East team. You had to bring your hard hat and your lunch pail, because it was a black and blue division."