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Telvin Smith - Wednesday, July 25, 2018

(On how his daily routine differs during training camp and the regular season) "In every way. We make the joke that a lot of people work 9 to 5. We work 5 to 9 around here. It is that aspect of being here all day, locking in to what you want to do and what you want the team to become."

(On the SAM position) "I trust [Defensive Coordinator Todd] Wash. I know that when it comes time he will have the game plan ready. We are still looking for a guy to take that spot and take it over. We have Blair [Brown] and the young rookie [Leon Jacobs] there. We know it is going to take time, but at the same time that is something we don't have. They are going to make it happen."

(On if he has to mentally get ready for camp or if the enthusiasm for the upcoming season has him anxious to return to the field) "It is both. You have to mentally prepare yourself to remove yourself from family and mentally be here with your teammates every day, all day, and know that you are going to get aggravated or frustrated. You have to lock in, especially for these first three or four weeks. It is always the toughest the first couple of days. You are so joyful and happy to be back. I think the first couple days are easy and then the dog days hit you."

(On if there is a fear of setting the expectations too high) "I think you can only set the bar too high when you do not believe in yourself. I think this team is full of confidence, full of talent, full of hard work and dedication. The bar is as high as we set it. It is not where can we go, it is where do we want to go. That is what we are working on right now, making sure we go where we want to go come February."

(On his thoughts on Malik Jackson's 16-0 comments) "We want to be the best. The best have done it."

(On if he thinks they are the best team in the AFC) "I think we are the best team in the league. I am not knocking anyone. There are some talented teams out there. If I don't lock in right now and believe whole heartedly that my team will be the last team standing, then I don't think you really are ready for that fight that is about to come. 

(On where he is in his career) "I am at a point where I can say I have accomplished a lot. I have seen a lot, but at the same time, I am at a crossroad where my career could go here towards legendary status if you lock in now. Who would be in the situation right locked in to a contract, on a team like this – what more do you want as a player. You have the defense around you. I know for the next couple years, this is a situation that anyone would want to be in. It is on the players on the team to see what we are going to do with it."

(On if he is chasing legendary status) "I don't consider myself to be chasing it. That is my role. I picked it a long time ago. Now I am just doing what it takes to achieve that status."

(On knowing what to expect during training camp) "It wouldn't change. When you see it and know that you have to do it then it is so easy to think negative. Your first instinct is, but right after that we will remember the outcome, so we take right back to there, and we did win. If you talk to anyone on the team they will say we went hard during camp, but we did go to the AFC Championship game. I think it fuels both sides in the sense of it made guys understand that this is where it will get you if you put the work in, but at the same time hard work is hard work. It is still hard."

(On not having to answer questions about the team's confidence in Blake Bortles) "It just shows the hard work of [Bortles], wanting to show that [he is] the quarterback of this franchise. He is our quarterback. We are going to get behind him and play, but it is his hard work and dedication going into it. This is the point that we all knew would happen, but now we just have to make it happen again or the questions will come back up. 

(On the next level for this defense) "Every great defense has won it all. That is what we want to be. A great defense is not mediocre. It is not to say you won a couple [division] championships. No, we want to say we dominated the world. That is the next step. At the same time, it is honing in on the little stuff. Calais and I were talking, a couple times last year, he said it was four times last year, in games that we could have gotten our offense the ball back or it was on the defense to stop [the opposing offense]. All four times we did not get the stop and the team ran the ball on us. We have to have that mentality of crunch time. We know we are not front runners. We can bang with you. We just have to put our foot on your throat and keep it there from the beginning to the end." 

(On fatherly advice for Jalen Ramsey) "Just get ready for diapers. That is the biggest thing. Diapers, diapers, diapers. Congratulations, Jalen! That is major. I think he will be a great dad. Great guy." 

(On playing the three other conference finalists) "All of that is great, but if we don't win Week 1 – that is what we have to do. Don't get me wrong, it is great to talk Super Bowl and 16-0, but you do not get to 16-0 without 1-0. We have to make sure that we understand the ultimate goal and don't get outside of getting ready to play these games and make sure we focus on the one we have first." 

(On how his leadership role will change with the absence of LB Paul Posluszny) "Instead of being vocal, we always said we would look to Poz, and we knew he was going to be there. We knew he was going to be there, or we knew he would be doing whatever was on the schedule, whatever he needed to do. That is where my role has gone to. Now I am the guy who shows up and calls the meeting and is early to the meetings, and when the guys walk in the meetings I am there, setting the tone for this. Sometimes I have to be the bad guy to the players. Not saying I wasn't doing that, but I have to be on every time. That is a part of growing as a player, especially when you are the oldest guy in the room. You have to take that." 

(On the team's motivation to be the number one ranked defense against the run) "It is not just against the run. It is just to be the best. We are not necessarily chasing the number one. It is just when we are outright the best. When you say, 'They are the best defense. They were the best defense. There is no question. They made the plays.' You do not leave any questions [unanswered]. I don't care what happens, as long as everything gets to a certain point then I think it will be solidified. We just have to make sure when we get to that point we are ready to solidify ourselves."

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