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Frost 04-27-2006 09:49 AM

azcentral.com: Archuleta reflects on new team, new season

NFL safety Adam Archuleta, a one-time 172-pound Chandler High junior, is a poster boy for hard work.

Archuleta, a walk-on at Arizona State University, became known for a strenuous workout regimen and eventually became a 2001 first-round draft pick of the St. Louis Rams.

A month ago, Archuleta signed a six-year, $30 million free-agent contract with the Washington Redskins, and Saturday will meet participants in the first Adam Archuleta and Friends Clinic.

[B]The Chandler Republic[/B]: Are you looking forward to the clinic?

[B]Adam Archuleta[/B]: "It's the first time I've ever been affiliated with a camp and this is like a trial run of how I would like things to go in the future. It's something I'd like to do on a regular basis."

[B]TCR[/B]: You played with a herniated disc during the 2004 season and missed a couple of games last season because of a concussion. How are you feeling now?

[B]AA[/B]: "I didn't miss any games in 2004, but my back injury greatly affected my play. But I feel very good right now. I'm the strongest I've ever been in my career."

[B]TCR[/B]: How tough is it to leave St. Louis?

[B]AA[/B]: "It's hard. You spend five years in a community and you definitely build an emotional attachment. All of a sudden with a snap, you're relocated with new teammates and a new city. Now I'm being welcomed in instead of me welcoming new teammates to St. Louis. It's kind of a role reversal, but I'm excited."

[B]TCR[/B]: Did you make any other visits besides to the Redskins?

[B]AA[/B]: "No. Ultimately, it was between Chicago and Washington. Those were the two frontrunners. It was virtually impossible for any other team to sneak in there."

[B]TCR[/B]: Redskins defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has a good reputation and may be the next coach once Joe Gibbs returns to NASCAR full time as a team owner. Was that a factor?

[B]AA[/B]: "Yes. What I need in my life right now is stability and someone like (Williams) with a good reputation. It's exciting to have people around me who know what they're doing and have a passion for it. I'm excited ending up on a team that I think has a chance to do some great things and be special. The Redskins are a team on the rise. There's a lot of upside. It seems like the ownership and the front office work together to do everything possible to try and win. That's important in this day and age."

[B]TCR[/B]: Did you enjoy the free agency process?

[B]AA[/B]: "It was cool. It's nice to know you're wanted. Considering I never got a chance to go through the recruiting process out of high school, this was my first crack at teams kind of clamoring for you. It was a good psychological boost."

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