I recently talked with outside linebacker Antwan Peek about last season and this one...
Q: We know the 2007 season was a physically trying one for you personally and professionally due to injury and disappointment. That being said, what are your thoughts heading into the 2008 season, for you and the team?
AP: You know, I was disappointed last season because we didn't make the playoffs. This is a good team and we have the opportunity to be a very good team, one that can win and make the fans proud. The Cleveland Browns fans are real and we want to win for them as badly as for ourselves and the organization, and I mean that.
I make no excuses, I didn't play as well as I would have liked last season and if I would have played better, maybe it would have made a difference. The knee injury was just that, an injury, players play and do what they have to do. At the end of the day, I didn't get it done, we didn't get it done, but that doesn't mean we won't, we are coming back stronger, faster and hungry.
Q: With the 2008 season around the corner, what changes are in store for a defense that was ranked near the bottom of the league last season?
AP: We didn't play as well as we could have as a defense last season, we know that and there is motivation to pick it up. Our defense is about players making plays as a unit, depending on everyone to do their job, not on a single player being 'that' guy.
The organization has done some things this off-season to help us. Getting guys like Shaun Rogers and Corey Williams will make us better, it is hard to stop teams that have the kind of size and ability those guys bring to the table. It is so important to have guys like that, it will make us better and keep Robaire and Shaun (Smith) from being worn-out.
Q: Exactly what does it provide a linebacker such as yourself to have players along the defensive line with the size and ability of the ones in Cleveland now?
AP: A single offensive lineman will have a difficult time handling any of these guys, they are strong, athletic and really are getting the defense down. Shaun (Rogers) and Corey (Williams) are getting it, Shaun (Smith) and Robaire (Smith) know it. These guys can fill the gap and keep those lineman off the linebackers, we will have the opportunity to make plays, run to the football and attack. It's really going to be on us to do our job with those guys up-front doing their thing.