For many Washington Redskins fans, closing the chapter on Su’a Cravens’ tenure with the team comes as a relief.
Last week, the team moved on from the 2016 second-round draft pick for merely a fifth-round draft pick and a swap of other picks with the Denver Broncos.
On Monday, Cravens’ new team introduced him to the Denver press. The 22-year-old had some intriguing comments about his injury situation, his retirement, and him moving on from the Redskins.
“I wanted a fresh start, I don’t like the way things happened,” said Cravens.
Describing how his concussion issues changed his life and gave him a new outlook on the game, the former USC Trojan did not want his lone 2016 season to be the story of his entire NFL career.
“I’ve always been excited about football, you know, I’m a competitor.”
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“I was going through something I wasn’t even aware that I was going through. So the mindset that I had, back last year, it was completely different from how I am now. Once I got cleared and I took a step back and actually looked at how I was acting, the way I was treating my loved ones, the way my whole thought process was, it was a stranger. It was just crazy. I didn’t even realize you was just in a predicament that you was just completely unaware of. There was a point where I was done with football.”
“Some things change and sometimes you got to be mature about situations and when it came to last year it wasn’t really about what I wanted it was about what I needed to do.”
Once Cravens decided to make his return to football, though, the damage had been done. Not only did it appear the Redskins organization was over him, but his reputation took a hit as well.
“I think there is a false narrative on what exactly happened,” Cravens said. “One day I will be able to speak a little bit further on that. But I’m not a quitter, I’m not a guy who lacks love for the game.”
Boy, that day cannot come soon enough.
Cravens spoke on how teams simply just didn’t want him in their division. But also, how teams weren’t confident in him. He constantly reiterated how he had not lost his love for the game.
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“When it came to the Broncos, it just felt like, ‘Nah, we want him. We want him here. He has a role that he can come in here and play, and that’s all I’ve been looking for: a place where they want me.”
“This is a job, and it doesn’t matter who you think you are, the ability that you may have it can all be gone the next day,” he said. “Having it taken away, with no choice… it kind of matured me in a way to where I would never take that for granted again.”
The full video of Cravens' introductory press conference can be found here.