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November 26, 2012

On being Batman, busting through doors, Jerry Jones driving the machine -- it's Brady Poppinga's first day as a Cowboy

Former Packers linebacker Brady Poppinga has some things the Cowboys maybe can use – linebacker experience, a Super Bowl ring, and a splash of personality.

He spent his first day in the locker room at Valley Ranch talking about Batman and busting through doors and Jerry Jones driving the machine and ... well, forget trying to describe it – here some of his quotes:

On how hard it was for him to sit out all year after not hooking up with a team out of training camp:

“You kidding me? I don’t know how many times I just wanted to run through the door and blast somebody. But you got to have patience and understand that you’re a regular civilian in this world and you can’t break laws and break doors. You got to hold you aggression inside of you and get it out when you’re lifting weights or what have you, so it’s good to be back.”

On what kind of training he did to stay in shape:

“A lot of training, a lot of fundamental work. It’s my eighth year, so it’s not my first rodeo. I understand the kinds of movements and the kind of feel I want to have. I’ve been taught very well by my position coach, by the strength and conditioning coaches. From them, I’ve been able to formulate a plan customized to how I like to feel. I was in what you would call Batman shape, meaning, when I get the call, boom, I put the mask on and I’m gone. So I got the mask on and here I am.”

On adjusting to a team trying to fit in so many new players:

“I’m still getting a feel for it. I just got here T-minus five hours ago, so I can’t give you the pulse yet. Check back with me on that one.”

 On understanding the nuances of the defense:

“Every defense has the same concept. Mixing and matching those concepts is different from each team to each team and also with what they call it is different. It’s just like learning a new language. I’ve done that before. I spent two years traveling in South America, learned Spanish. In English, you learn apple is a fruit. In Spanish, it’s manzana. They mean the same things. It’s just figuring out what word means what. That’s the learning curve, and that’s what you have to memorize and get down and I’ll be doing that in T-minus 27 minutes.” (It was 27 minutes until the locker room closed to interviews).

On his personality and bringing energy to the locker room:

“This is just who I am. If you want to tap into that, go right ahead. It’s for the taking. I’m not trying to hold it in. I am who I am. I love who I am. I’m not afraid to show it. If people want to embrace that they can. If they don’t like it, I guess that’s great too. I just realize that half the people are going to like you guys and half the people aren’t, so you mine as well just be who you are. It’s always 50-50. It’s easy being who you are, too, by the way.”    

 On whether he’s been around a team that had so many injuries:

“Yeah, Green Bay, 2010, the Super Bowl year, so I’ve seen it done. Basically you have to have guys when they do come in, they’re the next guys up, whatever their role is, they have to commit to learning and they’ve got to be able to become part of the team. That’s what’s most important. That’s what separates championship teams from average teams, chemistry and guys wanting to play for each other. It’s about learning what you have to learn to do your job description and integrating yourself with the team for chemistry.”

On whether he was one of them:

“Yeah, I was one of them.”

On how his workout went with the Cowboys in November:

“This is a machine that keeps rolling, and the man driving this machine – well, his staff is – Jerry Jones and his staff is driving the machine. If you’re a part of this deal, you’re a part of this deal, and if you’re not, you’re not. I didn’t have any control of it, but this is a great organization, obviously. It’s highly followed. It’s a successful organization. They’ve won some Super Bowls with a lot of great players have walked through these halls. To be a part of this team it’s an honor and a privilege.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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