You recently had your jersey retired at Fort Dorchester High School. What was that like?

"It was a special moment, a memorable moment and a tremendous honor. I think it shows the hard work that I put in during my career at Fort Dorchester. Very few guys get their jerseys retired at any level, so this is a very special moment for me and my family. This shows me that the community hasn't forgotten about me, and that's a special feeling."

You were out of football for a full year after the NCAA suspension in 2010. What was it like to finally get back on the field?

"It was a great feeling to finally step back onto the football field. The year off really made me realize how much I loved playing football and how much I missed it. The game really hasn't changed. People are a little bit bigger and a little bit faster in the NFL, but it's still football and it was great to be back on the field again."

How long did it take you to get comfortable playing again?

"It took a couple of practices and a preseason game to really get my feet underneath me. I think as training camp went on and I got to play in a couple of preseason games, I started to feel more and more comfortable out there, but it didn't just happen the first time I stepped on the field."

Your first sack came against the New York Giants and Eli Manning. What was that like?

"It was a special feeling and it was great to get that first sack out of the way in the first game I played in. It was against Eli, one of the famous Mannings, so I definitely won't forget that one. It was a speed rush. The tackle stepped inside to pick up our tackle and he didn't touch me. It was still a sack, blocked or unblocked. Hopefully it's the first of many more to come."

Carlos Dunlap and A.J. Green are both playing for Cincinnati. That doesn't seem fair does it?

"No, it's not (laughing). They're both great players and having great seasons, and I tell the guys in the locker room that the three of us are all from the same town. It's really neat to see two guys from the same area playing on the same NFL team, and those are two guys I used to play with and against. But this isn't high school anymore, it takes a lot more than two great players to have a great team in the NFL (laughing)."

Chris Long and James Hall are veteran NFL defensive ends. What's it like to learn from those guys?

"Chris and James have been great. They've definitely made the transition from college to the NFL go a lot easier for me. James has been in the league 12 years and I watch him and learn from him everyday in practice. They see some good things in me and in a way I don't want to go out there and disappoint them. I've tried to take what they've told me and translate that onto the field."