Interview: Washington Football S Troy Apke

ASHBURN, VA -- August 24, 2020 Washington Football Team safety Troy Apke speaks to the media after practice on Monday morning.

On where it feels different this year compared to previous seasons:

“[I’m] probably just a lot more comfortable out there. I think [defensive backs coach Chris] Harris and [defensive coordinator Jack] Del Rio have done a good job of explaining the defense. Me going out there and being able to communicate everything with everyone out there, that’s where I feel different I believe.”

On if it’s harder to work on his angles during training camp:

“No. I think every play I can work on that running to the ball, just taking good breaks whether I’m in the middle field, whether I’m covering someone. I’ve been working on it every day.”

On his journey to get to where he is today:

“I got hurt my rookie year, my hamstring. I think in the long run that made me better, just being able to take care of my body, knowing how my body works, how to get ready for practice, get ready for games. Things like that and recovery.”

On if there are any noticeable differences this year:

“Especially with Coach Harris, I think he brings a lot of energy. Even if we’re in a Zoom meeting he has a lot of energy. Things like that. On the field, just getting that energy from him I think he spreads that around to the whole defense.”

On how Harris spreads energy through Zoom meetings:

“Just asking questions, things like that. He says we’ve got to compete every day, whether it’s in a Zoom meeting or out on the field. Just competing.”

On what he focused on this offseason:

“This offseason was definitely different. We didn’t have any OTAs or things like that—virtual OTAs, actually. And just coming into camp, I just wanted to be ready. From what I learned from OTAs and years past, just being prepared and being ready for that.”

On getting opportunities on the field last season:

“It was definitely good. Just being out on the field, feeling the speed of the game, getting reps in practice and in games. That’s definitely helped me.”

On his expectations for this season:

“When I’m out there, from my standpoint it’s just communication and making sure everybody can trust me out there and making sure everyone’s in the right position. That’s just competing every day. That’s just what I’ve been doing.”

On working alongside S Landon Collins:

“Landon’s definitely a pro. He’s a great vet. Being out there with him, he makes things a lot easier. The things he sees—he’s a pro. He’s been around for a while. I’ve been trying to pick his brain about little things.”

On what he gained from playing last year:

“I think just getting more comfortable. It’s different once you start getting reps. Your first rep to your last rep is completely different. You become a completely different player. So just getting reps and becoming more comfortable out there.”

On how his game has changed from last season:

“Like I said, just being more comfortable, being out there and being able to communicate and just seeing things. Not having to think as much with calls and things like that. Just being more comfortable out there and just play, really.”

On how defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio’s helps him out:

“I think the biggest thing is just kind of—it’s a lot easier just me being more comfortable out there and just kind of going to make plays, really. Whether I’m in the middle of the field or just covering someone, just kind of knowing where everyone else is going to be in the defense so I can make my plays and be in the right position.”

On playing under a defensive-minded head coach:

“I think [Head Coach Ron Rivera] has done a good job on both sides of the ball. I think everyone’s kind of bought in to what he’s preaching to us. I think our practices, and everything has been going good.”

On the defensive meeting after practice:

“We’re going to watch film and just clean some things up. I think we had a good day today in practice. There were some periods where I think the offense got the better of us, we got the better of the offense. It’s day-by-day. It’s just competing. Everyone’s getting better. We’ll watch film tonight and then make corrections.”

On having a new head coach in Rivera:

“I think he’s doing a really good job. I think what he’s preaching, I think everyone’s bought in and trying to buy into what he’s saying to us. I think he’s done a really good job with that.”

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