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Interview: Washington Football DB Ronald Darby

Updated: Aug 24, 2020

ASHBURN, VA -- August 23, 2020 Washington Football Team defensive back Ronald Darby speaks to the media after practice on Sunday morning.

On how the secondary has performed in training camp so far:

“We’ve been able to accomplish communicating. We weren’t able to have OTAs, everything was over Zoom. So, to be out there and be able to communicate and have people coming at you at full speed, we’ve been able to do a good job at that and creating turnovers.”

On how he feels this season after injuries in his past:

“I feel great. Coming off the ACL the year before and going through last season, I was having a lot of lower muscle problems like strains. I’ve been taking care of myself this offseason. I had a little bit more time due to the fact of Covid and not having OTAs, so I stayed on top of my body. I feel great. I’m human, I feel a little sore out there. They’ve been hard practices. We’ve been going against some fast guys. But I’m feeling good.”

On how the coaching staff emphasizes not making mistakes:

“You can’t really emphasize not making mistakes. It’s about coaching mistakes. Mistakes are going to happen. But, the main thing of not making mistakes is making sure your eyes are good, keep drilling yourself on your technique even when you’re tired. You’ve just got to stay on top of yourself. Mistakes happen, so you just fix your mistakes.”

On facing WR Terry McLaurin in practice:

“He’s really talented. He’s one of the best I’ve went up against because he’s going to work each play. He knows how to get out of his cuts full-speed. He’s smart, he wants to learn and get better. He’s really good, and he’s young. That’s the scary thing. He’s still young, so he’s got a lot of years. He’s only going to get better. He’s a really talented player.”

On playing in Head Coach Ron Rivera’s defense:

“I love it. It’s a lot of different things. I’m used to always just being man-to-man 95, 98 percent of the time. It’s a man defense, but there’s a lot of things you don’t have to worry about. You can play aggressive to certain things and you can have your eyes back on the quarterback on certain things. I love it a lot. And you’ve got the front that we have, which will cause pressure. You can make a lot of plays on this defense.”

On how he fits in the defense:

“Like I said, this is my first time playing in this type of defense. Ever since I’ve gotten drafted, I’ve been in a man-to-man defense my whole career. I like it a lot, I like coach and coach always has liked me and I feel like this is the perfect fit for me.”

On playing under defensive backs coach Chris Harris:

“It’s good because sometimes we’ve had those hard days where the energy isn’t there, and he’s going to stay on top of us and always bring that energy. It’s always good to hear coaching and tips from someone that did what you did. He’s been in the league. He’s played in the league so there are things that he’s seen. Having actually been out there, he knows what’s going on out there. So, it’s good to have someone out there like that. He brings energy every day. He’s going to come every day with the energy.”

On how he would describe the cornerback play:

“It’s hard to really answer that. I just know this defense can set you up and make a lot of plays. You’ve got to also be disciplined with your eyes. You’ve got to know what’s going on. Certain things you don’t take. You’ve got to learn what to be aggressive on and learn what you don’t have to be aggressive on.”

On if there is a Batman theme with Harris saying ‘Welcome to Gotham City’:

“I don’t know where that came from. I think that was the first time I’ve heard him say that. I don’t know where he got that from, but we don’t have any Batman themes going on.”

On being from D.C. and adjusting to the team name change:

“It was crazy to me. As a little kid, when you grow up a fan you always want to play for the team you grew up watching. The one year I come here, the name is taken away. I’m playing for the Washington Football Team. I’m happy. It’s a blessing.”

On if they still discuss Covid-19 protocols:

“Yeah, they still are very strict on it. When we do meet, they make sure we stay six feet apart and then we carry our trackers on. My tracker is in my pocket right now. If we blink red in the meetings, we make sure we separate more. We’re on top of it a lot still. Everyone in the building takes it seriously.”

On if players regulate each other with social distancing:

“They did a great job of making sure everything is how it’s supposed to be. If there ever is a problem, Coach’s door is always open. Any type of problem that we have, we can always go to Coach and talk about it. Since I’ve been here since camp has been going on and everything, I haven’t had any complaints or anything.”

On what makes players good communicators:

“The main thing about communication is knowing what you’re doing. We go over the same stuff in meetings, walk throughs, walk-through meetings, in practice. We’re doing it over and over and over again. The more you see it, the easier it is for you to know what’s going on. So like, when it comes to communicating you’ve just got to know what’s going on.”

On coming back home to play:

“It feels good to be back home, but you’ve always got to stay focused. I grew up around here, so there could be a lot of distractions if you allow it to be. But Ashburn is just far enough to get away from everything back home. It’s like a 45 to an hour-minute drive to get back home. It’s good to be back. I’m not sure how the season’s going to go as far as fans and things like that, but I’ve got a good group back home with people that are going to make sure I’m on the right path and doing things right.”

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