Matt Ioannidis virtually met with the local media on Friday. Here are three key takeaways from what was discussed with the 26-year-old.
1) He very much believes in the defensive line
When he had a chance to address reporters earlier this week, D-line coach Sam Mills III completely embraced the fact that his unit needs to take charge for the Washington Football Team.
"Let's be honest," Mills III said, "this room is supposed to lead this defense."
It turns out that Ioannidis sees eye-to-eye with his position coach.
"I share that sentiment," he said. "100-percent."
Ioannidis later described how he, Chase Young, Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen, Tim Settle, Montez Sweat and Ryan Kerrigan have to be the "tip of the spear" for the franchise this season. It's encouraging that they're so aware of that challenge, and it seems like that awareness could lead to tremendous success.
"This is a D-line group that I feel is highly capable," Ioannidis said.
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2) Chase Young is meshing perfectly
Asking every defender for their take on Young is becoming a tradition in these Zooms, and it was No. 98's turn on Friday to share his thoughts on the second overall pick.
"He fits in great," he said. "Right off the bat, mentally, I think he fits in the group, how we all gel together."
Over the past few years, Ioannidis has become particularly close with Allen and Payne. Together, those three are as serious and as focused as they come. Young would surely benefit from learning from those guys, and it sounds like he's well on his way to doing just that.
3) He's very conscious of the current pandemic
Ioannidis decided not to opt out of 2020 after really thinking it over and having extensive talks with his wife, but just because he's playing doesn't mean he is getting too comfortable.
"I see it as my responsibility not to put myself in at-risk positions, whether that be places I'm in or what I'm doing in the facility," he said. "I hope that everyone shares that same thought process."
Ioannidis also gave a little insight into how the organization as a whole is approaching day-to-day operations during coronavirus.
"It's definitely been expressed in meetings and when speaking with our medical team," he said when asked about being careful.
There's so much excitement from many at the thought of the NFL commencing its season, but unless every athlete is cautious, the season won't last. Fortunately, Ioannidis isn't messing around. Hopefully he's not alone.
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