Linebacker Marcus Washington joined other NFL stars at the 2005 Pro Bowl game at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Washington spoke with Redskins.com from Hawaii after Thursday's practice:
Q: Could you describe a little bit for the fans about what it's like to be at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii?
A: "It's great. The weather is beautiful and Hawaii is beautiful. I'm really enjoying being around the other players and my family. My parents and my grand-mom are here, and my sister is flying out here [on Thursday]. So it's a wonderful time. I'm really enjoying being over here."
Q: Since this is your first time in the Pro Bowl, what are your emotions as you prepare for the game?
A: "I really feel honored to be here and I feel very humble. It's an honor that enough people thought enough of me to allow me to come over here and be able to play with some of the biggest names in the NFL. Like I said, it's really exciting to be here and I'm excited to play in the game."
Q: Seeing some of the superstar football players in Hawaii, are you a little bit in awe or have you moved beyond that?
A: "I've gotten past that feeling in my career because I've played against a lot of AFC teams and now I've played against a lot of NFC teams. But there's still a bit of that feeling when you first get to Hawaii and you first see some of the players you haven't played against before. But once you get to talk to some of them, and then once you get out here in practice and start running around, that goes away pretty fast."
Q: How intricate are the defensive calls in the Pro Bowl?
A: "It's pretty simple. You get about two plays, basically zone and man-to-man defense. There's not much to learn. They pretty much let you play ball. It's not a Gregg Williams-type of defense, that's for sure."
Q: How are you physically? How much did you have to get in shape to prepare for the Pro Bowl?
A: "Well, I stayed in pretty good shape [during January]. I did some lifting and a lot of running. Mainly, I was trying to heal up. That was probably the biggest thing. I had some bumps and bruises during the year that needed to heal up. I wanted to be completely healthy before I came over here."
Q: Now that the Redskins' regular season is more than a month removed, do you have a different perspective on your first season in Washington?
A: "No, not really. It was a tough season. We had some really close games. We had a bunch of games where we were right in it into the fourth quarter. But we know we have some work to do on defense. We can get better. And we know our offense will get up to speed. We know what the coaches expect out of us and they got a chance to know us and our personalities. I think that'll benefit us next season. I definitely feel like we have something to build off of next season."