Now that you have had some time with the secondary, what are your thoughts going into the season and signing a long-term deal this offseason?
"I'm very happy and it's very excited for another year. Last year we were kind of grabbing guys from different teams and things like that during the season, trying to get a cohesiveness down. Now we have a full year in together and I think that's only going to help us. We're coming together as a unit now and not just a whole bunch of guys strung together."
How much is not being able to do full-contact stuff in the offseason impacting you guys as a defense?
"I think it affects everyone in the league. Everyone in the league would like those practices, especially OTA practices. Especially for the younger guys. I think that is who it helps the most, is the rookies and the second-year players to really understand the defense and know their place and their assignments and things like that. I think it's a hurdle the whole league has to deal with."
What has been your early impression of CB John Reid?
"So far John Reid seems like a very smart guy. Very smart guy on and off the field. You can tell he's eager to learn. I see things here and there and I let him know and I watch him to see if he's going to implement it and he's doing it. I think he's doing a great job of being a rookie, staying humble and just trying to learn as much as possible."
Now that CB Johnathan Joseph is gone, do you feel like you are the OG in the locker room as far as the secondary is concerned?
"Yeah, definitely. I feel like I'm definitely the oldest guy and most experienced. I definitely feel like it's my job to lead the guys and lead us to be better than we have been in the past. My goal is to be a whole lot better than we've been over the past couple of years. That's my plan and I'm doing everything I can to help everyone, including the safeties as well. Trying to get on the same page as J-Reid (Justin Reid), working out with him this offseason and just getting that bond together. One thing I know about the secondary is you have to be a tight-knit group on and off the field. I think I'm trying to build that as much as possible."
What's it like teaming up with CB Gareon Conley now that he is active and with your past playing together as Buckeyes at Ohio State?
"It's super cool for me because when I was at Ohio State, he was my little brother. In your last year at Ohio State you have to get a rookie or a freshman and he has to be your little brother. He goes around with you and stays in the same hotel as you on road games. He was my little brother. Fast forward six or seven years, for us to be on the same team is pretty special. Like I said, secondary is all about that connection you guys have and we have that. He looks up to me and it's fun to play with him. It's just fun to play with guys that you're friends with. It doesn't seem like a job then. It seems like you're a group that's out to accomplish big things."
You may have seen the Big Ten Conference has decided to postpone fall sports. What are your thoughts on that and the uncertainty of college football right now?
"I was kind of upset, especially with the Big Ten doing it first. I would've rather seen one of the other conferences do it first. I like to talk trash about the Big Ten. I'm from the south so, everyone I know always talks about the SEC, so it would've been good to see them kind of give it up first. To me, I understand it. I think that college athletes will be surrounded by a student body of 40,000 to 50,000 people at some schools. It might not be easier to control them, I guess you would say, control their distancing. We're professionals and we get tested every day and things like that. I think as a professional it might be easier to have that discipline off the field compared to an 18-, 19- or 20-year-old. I understand it. It's unfortunate. I love to see Ohio State whoop ass every year, but we'll take a year off."
With college football likely moving to the spring, do you think it is going to be harder for players to enter the NFL Draft?
"Definitely, definitely. That was the first thing that I thought about. I was like, 'man, what if I was coming out and I was a junior about to get to ready to be a senior, ready to prove everything and then all of a sudden there's no season.' That would kind of suck. I always have to put myself into other people's shoes. So, when you think about that, it's like, I have no idea how they're going to be able to sort out who's who and things like that. It's going to be very interesting how it moves forward and luckily that's not my job to figure it out."