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Interview: Washington Football CB Jimmy Moreland

ASHBURN, VA -- August 29, 2020 Washington Football Team defensive back Jimmy Moreland met with the media after Saturday's practice.

On how training camp is going:

“With the new coaching staff, we weren’t able to go to OTAs and all the stuff we needed to do before we got to training camp. As of right now I think it’s going really good. All the guys are getting the system down, the scheme down well. Guys are coming back and getting into their own, just running around and having fun now.”

On if he is comfortable rotating positions:

“I’m a little comfortable, but I’m still getting to know the ins and outs and the checks and stuff. Playing multiple positions is quite easy because you want to know what the guy next to you is doing, so you know where your help’s at and you know where he’s going to be when he sees this and that. So, you want to understand his job as well, too. So playing multiple positions is quite easy.”

On which receivers have stood out so far:

“Mostly, you know you’ve got [WR] Terry [McLaurin], you’ve got [WR] Steven Sims. I wish [WR] Kelvin Harmon was out there. But, it’s good work with all of the receivers because we have a lot of young guys. AGG [Antonio Gandy-Golden], [WR] Isaiah Wright, you’ve got a lot of those guys – WR Cam Sims – that are trying to prove themselves. [I’m] seeing those guys get along. We’ve gotten a lot of good work from Steve and Terry.”

On where he feels different in the defense this year:

“I’m feeling different playing more inside because outside is a simple thing to do. You’ve got one guy and you’re following him where he goes. But, inside, you’ve got key parts moving. You’ve got checks if you’re in motion. You’ve got to know where the linebackers are, you’ve got to know where your help’s at like I said. But, in this system, I feel comfortable. Last year, I wasn’t playing up to speed during games like I should be. I’m coming along now. I’m seeing things quite slower than they used to be before.”

On Head Coach Ron Rivera describing him as hilarious:

“I mean, I’m a fun guy to be around. I’m silly. I have great spirit. I’m never mad unless I have a bad play, but that gets tossed out the window. I’m just a fun guy to be around. I’m always trying to have everybody laugh and smiling because being cheery gets you a long way and being happy.”

On his maturation this offseason:

“Just seeing things this offseason – I went back and watched a lot of film. I always catch myself when I get to a new level starting out slow. I wanted to start out fast. I started out fast during training camp last year, but I didn’t keep that up. And then I had to get to looking at the older guys on this team, the vets, and how they take themselves more seriously, how they go out and do their thing, taking care of their bodies and separating your life from your profession. So you know, I took a lot of time off this offseason. Due to COVID, I was able to find myself inside my home. I wanted to make great things about it. A lot of people see the potential, but I’ve had a lot of coaches tell me, ‘Potential isn’t anything unless you know what to do with it.’”

On the differences in the defensive scheme this year compared to last:

“I can’t really tell you much about the differences in the schemes, I don’t want to give anything out or anything like that. But, being in the game for a year – like two years, being around [S] Landon Collins, [CB] Kendall Fuller, guys like [CB Quinton] Dunbar when he was around, [CB Antonio] Cromartie, guys just telling me how I play. I always asked them how I look out there, and they’d tell me: ‘You look good. You’ve got to be able to go faster and just trust yourself more.’ That’s all I’ve been doing this season, this training camp, trying to trust myself really and be able to read my keys and make the right plays, not the plays that I want to make, but the plays that I’m supposed to make for myself.”

On working with defensive backs coach Chris Harris:

“It’s been great. He’s an energetic guy. You know he’s been around. He’s played the game, so he understands what we need to do to play at a high level. He always tells us, ‘We don’t evolve around the energy, we create the energy.’ Being with him, like I said, he played the game. He knows more about the offense than we do because he’s been around the league a long time. In this league, offenses don’t change. They just try to disguise and be able to get the play they want off. So being around him just is a great thing as well.”

On if Harris gives him advice as a former late-round draft pick:

“Not really because it’s his job to get all of us hype. But you know, he understands where we come from as a low round draft pick. He knows I’m working hard. We’ve got a lot of low round draft picks in this cornerback group – DB group as I say. We’re just trying to get along and improve our way of playing and get better this season.”

On if he saw moments where he didn’t trust himself on tape:

“Yeah, there were plenty of moments on the tape where I didn’t trust myself. I went back to Week 1, Eagles game. I left quite a few plays on the field where I could’ve gotten the defense off the field. I could’ve made a great play, put them in 3rd-and-long, 2nd-and-long, things like that, 2nd-and-10 even. I just kept going long, going long, looking at the plays. I got better over the season, but there were still plays I left out there on the field.”

On how he’s building trust in himself:

“Right now, I’m getting better trusting myself and being able to trust the players around me as well. Accountability. I’ve got to be able to do my job first and foremost before I try to do anybody else’s job or tell anybody else to do their job. Now I’m just getting the flow, knowing where I’m supposed to be, reading my keys better and playing way faster than I was last year.”

On the comradery amongst the defensive backs:

“We switched out a handful of players, but it’s still much of the same guys that it was at the end of last season. With these players, Kendall Fuller coming to the team, he’s been on the team so most of the guys already know him. [CB Ronald] Darby coming on the team, we’re just all trying to get the feel for one another because we weren’t able to get OTAs and all of that. We’re just trying to get a feel for each other, and it’s coming along really good.”

On which receiver he likes facing the most in practice:

“A lot of people will say Terry McLaurin, but I like going against all competition because at the end of the day, I don’t know who I’m going to line up in front of when I go out there in the game or what they’re going to do. So, it’s just about practicing your technique and perfecting your craft at the end of the day. You’ve got players like Steve with the quickness, you’ve got Cam Sims with the height and size. Going against those guys each and every day helps me get better at my craft all around.”

On which opponents he’s looking forward to facing this year:

“Opponents in the last year, I leave them in last year. But this year, anybody who’s stepping up we’re ready for.”

On speaking with James Madison players after the team’s season was cancelled:

“I stay in contact with my guys back at JMU. It’s kind of hard for them. A lot of guys come to me as an example and try to see what they can do. I try to give them my best information for them: just try to get better, stay inside and do better when no one’s looking at you because you don’t know when college football might start back up.”

On how this system is for cornerbacks:

“With the system being for corners, it’s a really good system. His system, we’ve just got to play ball and we’ve got a great D-Line, so that’s what the system is trying to evolve around and trying to get better off of. Without them, it’s hard out there. We’re just trying to let them do them and on the back end we’re going to hold them and limit all the yards and cap everything off for them.”

On how he plays with vision:

“Like I said, last year I didn’t trust myself in making plays because I was kind of iffy on the scheme. I didn’t know what to do here or there. But now with this scheme and everything going on, we’re trying to break it down to really simple things right now. So the vision, all the vision things, it’s helped me get better because it’s helped me get what I’m getting here, what situation, understanding what the offense is trying to bring toward me, what they’re trying to attack our defense with. Just trying to get inside the coaches’ head, learning what they want to do, learning what all my players want to do as well.”

On if the defensive back group is gelling:

“Yeah, you get that feeling out there. But it’s a profession. They’re going to be looking for guys to come in and out every year. So as this group gets stronger and stronger together, we’ve just got to keep proving that we’re a great group together and that we can be here a long time and we can be one of the top defenses in the league. We’re just trying to get better every day and prove last season is behind us and we’re looking forward to the new season.”

On if they get an indication that this is the group of the future:

“We get that sense around the coaches. This is the group to build around because this is the group that they’re coming in with. We’re trying to make this group stay together as a whole and just trying to get better. With all this COVID-19 stuff going on and all that the world’s coming to, all that the world’s going through, we’re just trying to make sure our group is tight-knit so we don’t have any slip ups in between.”

On the defensive line:

“I’ve seen greatness from them. They can be great. They can be really good. They can be one of the best. With [DE] Chase Young, [DE Montez] Sweat, the tall guys out there on the edge, playing behind them I feel comfortable because the quarterback isn’t going to get easy looks. Playing behind [DT] Daron Payne, [DT] Jonathan Allen, [DT] Matt Ioannidis, [DT] Tim Settle, all those big guys up front I know what they’re about. That’s why our defense is getting to where it should be. It can be the year when we step forward and show everybody what we’re about.”

On if he likes the numbers on the helmets:

“It’s quite good. I wore them on all of my helmets back at JMU when we wore our white helmets. I like the style. It looks good on the helmets. We’re going to see how it looks when we put everything on come September 13.”

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