This weekend, Andre was nice enough to take the time to answer questions about his new position change, what he expects from new defensive coordinator Jim Haslett’s defense, as well as who he wants to win Super Bowl XLIV and if he has collaborated in helping prank rookie Pro Bowler Brian Orakpo this week along with much more. He also gives us an update on how he is feeling just coming off of bicep surgery and where he will be watching Super Bowl XLIV from.
THN: What will the new coaching staff do to cater to your skill set to become the best linebacker you can be?
AC: I really don’t know because I don’t have an idea of what they want me to do. It will be a communication between the coaches, myself and Orakpo. Timing is of the essence and we will have a new learning experience.
THN: What do you like about the 3-4? How does a defense that is built for the 4-3 adjust to 3-4 in one offseason?
AC: The 3-4, when ran correctly, can be very deceptive against opponents. Blitz packages can create big plays in the backfield, interceptions, etc. We will have to take it one day at a time when we transition our defense to a 3-4.
THN: Will Coach Haslett implement a mixture of 3-4 and 4-3 or just the 3-4?
AC: I really don’t know what he will do. I have heard he has coached the 4-3 defense before but prefers the 3-4.
THN: Will the new defensive staff cater the defense to each individual player’s talents or will the new defense be scheme oriented? Does it matter to you which of those will be the main priority of the new defense?
AC: I am sure with the 3-4 defense the coaches will tweak certain packages, so we can be more successful with the talent we have.
THN: Did you learn anything about yourself during a tough 2009 season that will be beneficial for you for the rest of your career? Or did you already know how to handle stressful seasons based on your last couple years in San Francisco?
AC: You always learn something new every year. Similar to life, you have ups and downs but in the end you grow as a person. 2009 was a blessed year. As my career is winding down I will continue to perfect my skills until my time in the NFL is done. I know what I do is my job. I have to be a professional whether the outcome is good or bad.
THN: Was a change of culture necessary and why? Are things starting to change in a way that you would approve of?
AC: There is always going to be change in the NFL. That’s the nature of the business. Teams are measured by success and winning. When you show lack of success, everyone is always going to be evaluated… everyone.
THN: What kind of culture do you expect this new regime to provide?
AC: Hopefully a winning season. We are tired of losing.
THN: Have you talked to Coach Shanahan or new GM Bruce Allen? If so, what were the conversations like and what are your impressions of them? What do you like about what they’re bringing to Washington?
AC: I haven’t spoken to them. Both men bring experience and leadership to the Redskins.
THN: Have you talked to the new assistants at all?
AC: Unfortunately, I haven’t. I am sure I will speak to them after the Super Bowl.
THN: Do you feel snubbed by not making it into the Pro Bowl considering 2009 was arguably your best season?
AC: All I can say is that I played hard for my God, my wife, my kids, friends, teammates and the organization. All I can do is rest up and play to the best of my ability the following season.
THN: Have you been keeping in contact and joking with London [Fletcher] and Brian [Orakpo] while they’re down in Miami?
AC: I haven’t. I didn’t want to bother them.
THN: Even though you’re in California, have you been working on helping other Pro Bowl players try to prank Brian because he’s a rookie?
AC: Ha ha ha. No man, it’s [the] Pro Bowl and I think the last thing people are thinking about is pulling a prank on somebody.
THN: Do you like the Pro Bowl being in Miami? What are your thoughts on its move from Honolulu to South Florida?
AC: I understand why they wanted the change. But overall, the history of the Pro Bowl is to go to Hawaii. It’s a great spot to enjoy the weather, I’m sure fans from Hawaii go to watch their favorite players. Luckily it’s in a warm climate so I don’t think too many people are complaining.
THN: Give me your thoughts on the Super Bowl matchup and break it down for people. Who do you like in the game?
AC: I would like to see the underdog win out; the New Orleans Saints. I have to support two men: Gregg Williams, because of the history of working with each other in the past [and] the other is Scott Fujita, my old Cal teammate from back in the day.
THN: Where will you be watching it from and who will you be watching it with? Do you usually hold a Super Bowl party at your house or are you the type of player who watches it on his own and doesn’t celebrate it because you’re not there?
AC: My wife and I will be watching the Super Bowl at our house. No parties for us. Too much cleaning after all the guests have left.
THN: Update the fans on your progress on your recovery from surgery. How do you feel, how far along are you in your recovery, when will you be ready, etc.
AC: I will be ready to return. This injury is nothing compared to some of the nightmares I have seen on the field. The rehab will start in a week or two. I feel great and moving around well.