top of page

Interview: Washington Football LB Kevin Pierre-Louis

ASHBURN, VA -- August 18, 2020 Washington Football Team linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis spoke to the media following the second day of practice in full pads.

On what he is bringing to coaching staff:

“I think [Head Coach Ron] Rivera and his staff already have something that’s great that’s in put right now. I just want to make sure that I’m a part of it when everything’s said and done. We have a great coaching staff, we have great teammates, the linebacker room is very competitive. So each day I’ve got to know to bring my A-game and to keep pushing and doing my part and understanding there’s a reason why I’m here and making sure that I show up and prove that.”

On what he learned playing for Chicago:

“Over my career, I’ve had my stints where I’ve been able to show my skills on defense. I’ve been traditionally a good special teams player. This league is about opportunity, and when your opportunity comes you have to make sure that you’re up for the task. Last year in particular in Chicago, we had a couple injuries at the linebacker position which allowed myself as well as another linebacker to step up. You just can’t let those opportunities pass. It kind of reminded myself I can still play defense; we can still get the calls not just on special teams. I just want to carry that forward. I just want to be what I can be on this time. Right now, I’m a part of Washington Football Team, I’m going to do the same thing. When my numbers called, show up and just keep balling.”

On where he has felt comfortable on the defense:

“I’ve felt comfortable where [linebackers coach Steve] Russ has put me. Right now, he’s said there’s no set place. Each of the linebackers have done a great job of learning each position on the defense. Having that be said, mike, will, dime or backer, each one of us have been doing a great job learning each one. As of now, I’ve just been placed on the SAM or the dime. I feel comfortable where Steve Russ, our coach, has placed myself. But if there’s a day that pops up that he wants me to go to another position, I have to make sure that I’m ready for that as well as the rest of the linebackers.”

On what strong suits he brings to the linebacker room:

“Some of my attributes I feel as though collectively we share a lot of them. I think what makes the linebacker room competitive is that we are all the same in a way. But myself, I’m explosive, I have quick-twitch speed, I have a knack for getting the ball on a given play. That’s what I definitely bring to the defense. I think that’s something that stands out. Something I need to work on as we all know is the small details. You have your attributes and your pocket of skills that you can work with, but without the small details, the defense that we’re running where everybody needs to be in a certain place, if I’m out of a gap trying to make a play, I can’t leave one of my teammates and hang them out to dry. So, this is just why we’re in camp right now, to iron out the small details, to make sure we all know where we need to be and keep focusing on that.”

On his interest signing with Washington and its crowded linebacker room:

“Just the opportunity. The opportunity was there to let myself be known not just as a special teams player, but someone who can contribute significant time on defense. And then the competitiveness of the linebacker room also brought me here as well. There’s a lot of guys who I’ve admired over the years. LB [Thomas Davis] was a guy who, in my time with the Seahawks, I remember after a game I walked up to and told him how much I appreciate his game and how much I pay attention to it. LB Reuben Foster, I watched him in college and I admired his physicality. It’s something I wanted to be around, to learn from as well. You’ve got [LB Jon] Bostic who I’ve watched over the years. Once again, another physical, downhill, line-to-line playing linebacker. That’s another player in the linebacker room who I kind of changed my way of special teams after watching how physical he can be. LB Cole Holcomb, another guy that flashes and is also physical but fast at the same time. We also have [DE] Jordan [Brailford] who’s fast, a person that I really didn’t get the chance to see until now. There’s also [LB] Khaleke [Hudson] who reminds me of myself, not the biggest in stature but his heart, you can see his heart on the field. Each of the linebackers are playing their role right now, making it competitive, making sure that we all show up because at the end of the day we are competing. This is camp.”

On if playing under coaches with defensive experiences incentivized him to come to Washington:

“I talked about opportunity as well as the coaches are here. When the environment is set up for you to succeed, now at the end of the day it’s all up to you. I say that because now, the environment is here for myself and the other linebackers to succeed. We have the great coaches here teaching us the details, the great footwork, teaching us how to become great linebackers. So, we don’t need to look any further. Now everything is on us. It’s time for us to show up. It’s time for us to play because we’re given all the tools that we need to succeed.”

On developing chemistry with other linebackers:

“It’s still early in camp. We’re switching out a lot. I think what’s great is the linebacker group as a whole, there’s a lot of continuity between each other. We’re going to keep working on that. I can’t say right now who feels comfortable with who, but it’s just a good thing collectively as a whole we feel great with each other. I think anybody now can go out there and play well with each other.”

On DC Jack Del Rio’s system compared to others he’s played under:

“It’s pretty similar. He wants guys to be able to make plays. He doesn’t want us to be ‘fit-ball’ players he wants us to be football players. He understands that each defense is set up for a person to be a certain position, but at the end of the day it’s about making plays. He wants us to create turnovers, he wants guys to be fast and physical, to play smash mouth football. You have to appreciate a coach like that, that just doesn’t want you to be in one spot and to stay there. He wants you to know where you need to be, understand where your help’s going to come from and from there make a play.”

On how the stout defensive line will help the linebackers this season:

“When you have a great defensive line, you know there’s a lot of times where you see a lot of linebackers making great plays, a lot of people overlook the defensive line. If there’s a linebacker that’s making a ton of plays, nine times out of 10 he has a great defensive line in front of him. With that being said, we understand that they’re great. They’re taking on double teams, they’re really holding these blocks to allow us to flow over the line and make plays from that point. It comes hand-in-hand where we have to help them out as well. If they’re getting doubled and they’re taking on doubles, as linebackers we need to play fast and downhill to either get those doubles off of them to allow them to make a play, or we need to make the play if they’re going to sacrifice their bodies taking those doubles for us. It’s a blessing knowing that a guard or tackle is not going to climb too quick on a linebacker because we know if they do climb up quick, our defensive line as great as they are is going to make the play. We work together from that standpoint.”

On DE Chase Young:

“He’s a humble guy. He’s ready to work. I’ve been in the league going on seven years now. If I’m blessed enough for this year, so I’ve seen a lot of first rounders. I’ve seen a lot of highly touted people coming in and he has a really good head on his shoulders and you can’t really ask for more from a guy like that who has the physical capabilities. He has the mental strain to keep pushing and to stay humble and keep working like he does. The sky’s the limit for a guy like that. I’m honestly blessed to have the opportunity to be around that, to see him develop in this year. There’s a great defensive line, he has a lot of veterans to lean on, so he’s in a great position to succeed. I know for sure he’s going to do what he needs to do.”

On if he was surprised with the depth up front:

“Definitely. I was a little shocked just to see how talented it is. There’s not much drop off. From a coaching staff, you kind of wish you had times like that where the one’s go in and they do their thing and the twos go in and it’s almost a replica of the ones. When there’s not that much drop off, that just makes practice go a lot smoother. You know where guys are going to be and so it’s a blessing where you can have that when there’s no drop off between quote unquote ones and twos and so on and so forth.”

On if he knew about the talented defensive line when he signed with Washington:

“I didn’t know it was going to be like that. I came here for the great coaching. I knew there was going to be a competitive linebacker group. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand how good the defensive line group was. Once I signed, I had heard ‘Hey, that’s a great place to be at. That defensive front is amazing.’ That just solidified my decision to come here. So it was a blessing in disguise for myself personally.”

On the energy level in padded practices:

“I would say there’s a sense of urgency. It’s needed, yes, but it’s coming from within. Plays are being run fast. We’re moving our positions quickly. With the pads coming on, there has not been a drop off on pads and no pads. Guys are excited. I think collectively we all realize the opportunity that’s in front of us to succeed. Traditionally, the team has been one way and now we’re excited to take that step forward and everyone’s excited for that. We had our second day in pads today, which was good. You hear a little bit of the pads clicking today a little more. It’s a good base for us to start from because we understand that we’re only going to get better each and every day.”

36 views0 comments


bottom of page