Last week as part of the Summer Bowl 2016 held at King’s House Sports Ground in Chiswick, we spoke to Cincinatti Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap on a number of topics, including the change in attitude towards the International Series and the competition he has with Geno Atkins to sack the quarterback
Kadeem: How are you finding London so far?
Carlos: It’s pretty good man. The people have been very hospitable and I didn’t expect them to be as knowledgeable about football either.
Kadeem: What are your personal goals this season?
Carlos: Personal goals? To lead the league in sacks. I was fortunate enough to reach one of my personal goals last season, getting the single season record for my team (15), but I want to lead my league in sacks and get that sack title – as I call it.
Kadeem: How much easier does it make your job when you have Geno Atkins alongside you?
Carlos: It’s easier and harder because if you want the sack title, you’re constantly competing against him to get there every play and you know Geno has no issue getting to the quarterback so that makes it a little bit harder, being an outside guy while has that direct path. But it also helps you to because him getting that push up the middle is going to flush that quarterback into your lap sometimes, so overall I think it helps me because we are just constantly competing for us to get there. It makes both of us better.
Kadeem: It was a difficult ending to the Bengals last season, how did you recover from that personally?
Carlos: You learn from it and you answer the questions on getting back to playing football on September 11th. So that’s the first way to answer that question and get that under the wraps.
Kadeem: What are you expecting from the London crowd?
Carlos: What am I expecting? I’m expecting to see them watch American Football like how they watch their football. I’ve seen a lot of their games on TV, the fans are crazy. They go bananas over what we call soccer and you guys call football. But for American Football, I wanna see those crazy fans out there rooting us on in WhoDey gear, Bengals gear and I want them to witness me get a couple sacks.
Kadeem: How has the perception of the London series changed since 2007, when it first started?
Carlos: It’s very interesting. This is my first game, my first year playing over here. When I first heard of it I was kind of excited because how often do you get to go another country and play another game. But then it’s kind of weird to because you don’t know who’s going to be home or away and if you’re the home team, how are you the home team but not at home? So it’s a little different but it’s kind of exciting to because you get to change up the environment and get a new experience, new fans and I’m curious to see what the atmosphere will be like.
Kadeem: How far do you think the UK is from getting a franchise?
Carlos: At this rate it doesn’t seem far at all because you’ve got six teams travelling over here every year and it seems like they are adding another game here every year. I’ve just learnt that there’s only six hours from New York, so doesn’t seem like that’s too far. I mean I’ve done nine hours to Miami and that trip is different. But six hours from New York, that’s about the same as going to LA so I don’t know, it’s going to be interesting to see how they try and mix that in. We shall see.
It was an absolute pleasure to speak to Carlos Dunlap and I’d like to take the time to thank him for talking to us and being so open and honest when being asked these questions. Thanks once again to the NFL UK team for inviting us to their media day.
Pics: Roger Goodgroves