Q: What’s the off-season program like?
FLOWERS: “The off-season program is kind of different. We have a different strength coach in Mike Clark. He’s just taking us out, showing the right ways, the wrong ways to just do the small things – get your core right, what you don’t need to eat, what you do need to eat. I’m just trying to transform my body into what it needs to be to be successful on the field.”
Q: Is there a need to lose a bunch of weight as a team again like last year?
FLOWERS: “After last year when we lost our weight, we felt so good and in shape we don’t want to put the weight back on. That was just a one-time thing that I think Coach (Todd) Haley did a nice job of doing in our program and in our minds that the extra weight can slow you down in the long run.”
Q: Do you consider yourself a leader of this defense?
FLOWERS: “Yeah. I think I lead by example more than being vocal. I’m a laid-back guy, but once I get on the field, I pride myself on not trying to mistakes and trying to get the guys riled up to go out on the field and have fun.”
Q: What did you think of your performance last year?
FLOWERS: “I think I had a solid year. I left some plays on the field; I could have had a lot more interceptions to give the ball back to the offense so they could score some points. You can always get better. I think I had a solid season, but I’m ready to turn it up for this season.”
Q: How much would it help you and the others in the secondary to have a big-play safety in the defensive backfield?
FLOWERS: “I feel we have safeties in this program right now that can make plays. We’re coming into a different system with (defensive coordinator) Romeo Crennel so different players play different ways in different systems. Until we go to OTAs and start mini-camp, we won’t know how the safeties can adjust to this system. We can have people who haven’t had shots on the field step up in Romeo Crennel’s defense. We won’t know the answer to that question until we get to OTAs.”
Q: How’s your shoulder?
FLOWERS: “Shoulder’s doing fine . . . It’s at 100 percent now, going ahead getting stronger so it won’t bother me at all for the season this year.”
Q: This is your third season and your third different defensive coordinator. How does that affect you?
FLOWERS: “I think it helps me because once we go into the film room, it isn’t like you’re hearing the same thing over and over – we’re getting something new. It’s going to keep you excited. It’s just something that you have to pay attention and learn from. Romeo Crennel, coming in, I love the way his defense plays. He loves to blitz, that the quarterback has to get the ball out early. I’m looking forward to coming into this new defense.”
Q: You’re not afraid to hit people. Are you going to have to balance that a little bit with preserving yourself and making sure you can last a whole season?
FLOWERS: “Not at all. I’m just going out there like I never hurt my shoulder. But this off-season, I’ve got to work hard to strengthen up my shoulder, strengthen up the muscles around my shoulder to make sure it’ll be less of a probability that I’ll hurt (it) again. As far as me trying to be less aggressive and not go flying in, I’m not going to change that at all.”
Q: Were there ever any thoughts about shutting it down early to not make matters worse?
FLOWERS: “To be honest, I didn’t because all the guys that I went through training camp, all these off-season workouts with, they’d been with me through this whole time. I think it would have been selfish for me to just sit down and just say you guys can finish the last two games just because I want to rest and make sure I’m alright. I just wanted to go out there, put my blood, sweat and tears into it with my brothers that I ground it out with during the off-season.”
Q: Can you talk about your camaraderie with CB
FLOWERS: “You’re going to have that camaraderie when you’re coming in as rookies together. We both had that attitude that we can’t back down from anything. I think he’s been playing very well. He’s coming in here in shape, he looks a lot stronger and a lot faster.”
Q: How different is the system going to be this year under Romeo Crennel?
FLOWERS: “To be honest, I don’t know how different it is going to be because we haven’t gotten a playbook or anything yet. A 3-4 is a 3-4. I don’t think it can get too different. Terminology might be a little different, we might have a couple new blitzes in. I can’t go by too much because I haven’t gotten a playbook yet.”
Q: What does this defense needs to do to elevate its game as a whole?
FLOWERS: “That’s a tough question. You’d have to ask the coaching staff that question. That’s what they get paid for. I don’t know.”
Q: You’re a big fan of Wal-Mart shopping sprees. Can you talk about that?
FLOWERS: “You’ve got to go to Wal-Mart and stock up the fridge with healthy food. Now that workouts have started, you don’t even want to eat. Just going to get a lot of salad, carrots, just racking up on all of the stuff that doesn’t fill you up but it has to fill you up just to try to eat right.”
Q: Still saving money even on the NFL budget?
FLOWERS: “Oh yeah, you have to. You have to still save money.”
Q: Is the new strength and conditioning coach harder than the last one? Are you sweating or hurting more after the first couple of workouts?
FLOWERS: “I can’t say that it’s harder because it’s only our second day into it, but it’s a change. Cedric Smith from last year was a great strength coach, but we have two different guys working two different things. You’re going to work different muscles that the other one didn’t work. It’s just all new to us right now, so that’s why we’re so tired and drained from this workout because it’s just something new we haven’t been working.”
Q: When you came in on Monday, could physically see the difference in the guys from one year ago to today?
FLOWERS: “Yeah. Actually guys coming in and their cores just look a lot stronger. Their physique just changed. Like I said, when Coach Haley came in, he taught us about having our weight down and how much conditioning can affect you on the football field.”
Q: So a lot of guys have reported in shape this year? What’s the difference?
FLOWERS: “Endurance. We were running today and a lot of guys didn’t even bend over out there. We just have so much more endurance than we did a few years ago.”
Q: Is there a different feel in the locker room than a year ago at this time?
FLOWERS: “Yeah. With the new coaches coming in, guys are just ready to play for them. They’re bringing that winning spirit over here. Winning is contagious. They’re bringing that winning feel over here, the winning atmosphere. So we just can’t wait to go out on the field and transfer it to the game.”
Q: Do you like the changes that are being made, especially bringing veteran players in?
FLOWERS: “Definitely. We have a young team. Veterans can lead the way. They’ve been through a lot of stuff that we haven’t even experienced yet. They know what it takes to get where we want to go. I’m loving the additions that the Chiefs have made and I’m loving the fact that all the veterans that we brought in are over here working out now on the off-season, building that chemistry with us.”
Q: Other than Wal-Mart, what have you been doing the past couple of months?
FLOWERS: “Just training down in Delray Beach, Florida; just getting adapted to the sun that we’re going to be facing at training camp, just trying to get a jump on it.”