Opening Remarks: "I want to start with thanking (Chief Executive Officer) Mr. (Jeffrey) Lurie, (president Joe) Banner, (general manager) Howie (Roseman) and the whole Eagles franchise for continuing my stay here with the Eagles. I'm proud to be here and I'm proud to be an Eagle. I'm excited to be here this season and for upcoming seasons. It's been a long road from where I started at to get here, and I was given an opportunity when I first came here in 2005 and everything worked out. I had a great time here, played well, and worked hard for everything just for what I've gotten from 2005 until now. I'm glad to be here and I'm very excited. Business was conducted professionally and it's gotten me to where I wanted to be, today, and that's all I really can say."
On whether he sees this as a reward because he's played hard regardless of his contract situation: "Yes, I think with (T) Todd (Herremans) and me, we conducted our business professionally and the way it's supposed to be conducted. We never went out to the media and complained. We just did what we had to do to keep moving and caused no problems with the team and this atmosphere. We worked things out and continued to play."
On how hard that was to do that: "I have good agents. EAS with Tony (Agnone), Rich Rosa, Noel (LaMontagne), and Eddie (Johnson). Just some great agents who do their thing professionally. They have a lot of other guys in the NFL, and a lot of the top paid d-ends in the NFL as well. They've done a great job, and it's the only agency I've been with until now. I'm just glad to have them. Especially with Mr. Lurie, Banner, and Howie, everything was conducted professionally."
On whether the Eagles came to him: "I said, 'Hey, I think it might be time for me to get a new contract,' and it all started from there."
On whether it was hard to watch the Eagles spend so much money on free agents last year: "They have to do what they have to do. They have to conduct business and run the team here. They had to do what they had to make the team successful. My time has come, and I knew my time was going to come. It's just that I had to play my role and hopefully everything would work out."
On whether the Eagles are trying to eliminate the perceived stigma that they do not sign their own draft picks to big money contract extensions: "I don't have that consensus. That's just the way they do business and they're trying to make the team better. They have to do what they have to do, and they have to make the right moves when they have to make the right moves. They're going to do what's best for the team and what's best for the franchise."
On defensive line coach Jim Washburn and defensive coordinator Juan Castillo returning: "I wasn't surprised one bit. When you have Wash, he's done a lot for our d-line and we led in sacks, quarterback knockdowns, and you can go on and on about the things we've done with the defense, especially with Juan. Look at our stats. It was a brand new team they brought in here and he was jumping into – we only had half of a summer in order to prepare for the season and everything was really short. I'm just glad that he has another opportunity here. Like I said, as a coach I think he did well under pressure and being in the situation that he was in this past year."
On how he looks back on last season after missing time with a calf injury: "It was really unexpected, and it was very tough not being able to play. It was really, really tough. I got down on myself for a minute, but I had great teammates that were always there for me and to keep me up. It was about toughing it out, and I came back strong after I came back from that injury. I look forward to 2012 being a great season."
On whether the injury affected him after he returned late in the season: "Like I said, I thought I did well coming back off the injury. You never know – you could get an injury and it could take the whole year to clear up, you never know. It's just something you have to deal with and keep moving. You have to be strong-willed to keep moving forward."
On whether he feels strong enough moving into next season: "I can say that at the end of the season, it felt like I didn't even have the injury. That's how I felt. My calf healed up. Especially now with the way we run things on the d-line, we have an alpha-bravo kind of deal, we're switching in-and-out and in-and-out, it kind of just took off and gave your body a rest. I think that has a lot to do with it, too."
On whether the defensive line rotation could help him stay on top of his game a little longer: "Yeah it will. A couple teammates of mine were talking about that at the end of the season. We were like, 'Man, we could probably play 7-8 more games after this.' I'm a big fan of the alpha-bravo ordeal and it's going to give a lot of guys on this team longevity. You'll know that the d-line will be going 110% on every down."
On whether he ever envisioned a contract extension like this being a fifth-round draft choice: "My expectations were to just get an opportunity when I first got here. It was an opportunity where it was like, 'Man, I'm here,' and I didn't care how I was going to get in but I was going to get in. It was a really rough road just getting here. I trained hard, I was doing everything that I needed to do and then I got sick. I got pneumonia two different times. I remember catching it, trying to recover from it, and then I got put in the hospital.
"The doctor told me that I was going to get it again in a week or so, and I got it again. It really hurt me, and I went from 260 and ran a 4.5 to 235-230. I was like, 'Man, I'm not going to let this overcome me.' I got back after it. I came to the Eagles at 240, I actually got up five pounds. I came to the first camp here, the first time I ever got to come here, and I went all out. I was hoping they were going to keep me and there were a bunch of Pro Bowlers in front of me. I'm like, 'Man, there are a lot of great players in front of me that I looked up to when I first wanted to get in the NFL.' I came back at 270 coming out of camp, and everything just skyrocketed from there."
On whether the pneumonia came while he was preparing for the draft: "Yeah, I got it really bad. I couldn't perform at the rookie camp. I remember going into the meetings and answering a couple of questions before the coaches would excuse me to go back to the room because I was so sick. I couldn't even look at them, it was bad."
On whether he thought he would have been chosen higher in the draft: "Yeah, I think I would've gone higher in the draft. I don't care what anybody says, I think I would've gone higher in the draft because my body was at peak performance when I was training and I was tough. Like I said, I think that's what's gotten me to where I am today. I just thank God, my parents, and all the people who I have around me that I have made it this far. Now, I'll spread the word and pass it on to some of the younger guys on the team and just pass it on and give them some guidance as well."
On whether he is thankful that it's all happened the way it did today: "I'm thankful that I'm here now. Like I said, with anything that happened, you just have to move forward and keep moving in and stay motivated. That's really all I can tell you."
On whether he regretted signing the first extension for less money: "I don't regret one bit of it. To this day, I do not regret one bit of it. I've been very successful as a business guy. Like I said, I don't regret one bit of it."
On how important is to stop the run as well as getting sacks: "People don't know that I love stopping the run. Sacks are the greatest thing ever, but I love stopping the run because I'm a big competitor and I love the game. It's just I want to be the best at everything. It's just what my mentality is, and I'm going in to win. There's no other way out."