Falcons defensive tackle Paul Soliai, formerly of the Miami Dolphins, signed a five-year, $33 million dollar contract after becoming an unrestricted free agent. A total of $14 million of the deal is guaranteed.
The 340-pound former Pro Bowler is set to anchor the defense.
Here’s a Q&A with Soliai from earlier today:
Q: Why did you pick the Falcons?
A: There were other teams, but I just thought it would be nice to come in a play for a wonderful organization. I think I feel comfortable just coming in and spending the rest of my time here in Atlanta and helping out.
Q: How do you see yourself fitting in the defense?
A: I willing to do whatever they want me to do. Wherever I have to play and whatever defense we are doing, I’m just here to do whatever they want.
Q: How’s your relationship with Mike Nolan and Bryant Cox?
A: It was great to see them (at dinner on Tuesday night). Both of them coached me when I was in Miami. Very good coaches. Coach Nolan, I have a great relationship with him. He kind of taught me how to play the position and I play it like that. He gives me a lot of advice. Everything went good last night. I’m just happy to be a Falcon. I’m happy to be here.
Q: Have you ever played in any defense besides a 3-4? Did you play in a 4-3 in college? Do you have a preference?
A: It really doesn’t matter. I’ve played is 3-4, 4-3. I doesn’t matter what defense it is. I’m really pumped and ready to play.
Q: Did the Falcons talk to you about controlling the line of scrimmage and doing a better job of that?
A: I think everybody will see that I really do all of my talking on the field. I try to take on double teams, get off my blocks and make plays. I came up here to help in whatever situation that they need me to do.
Q: What was your impression of the Falcons when they face the Dolphins last season in Miami?
A: It was a good game for both teams. It came down to the last plays. I didn’t play that game, but it was a great game by both teams. Great defense on both sides and offense.
Q: How much longer do you think you can play?
A: I really don’t know. I’m going to play until whenever. I really don’t think about the next yea. I’m worried about this year.
Q: After making the Pro Bowl in 2011, what do you have to do to get back to a Pro Bowl level?
A: I just have to play like I’m playing right now and make more plays. Whatever happens, happens. If the Pro Bowl comes and I’m in it, I’m in it. … I’m just thankful that I’m still playing.
Q: Is the (defensive tackle) over looked?
A: Yeah, it’s always over looked. They really don’t credit us with the doubles. That’s basically what we do, take on the double (teams) and our brothers will have the one-on-ones. Our main goal is to stop the run.
Q: Define what toughness means to you?
A: I don’t really have a term right now. My personal stuff, I do all of my talking on the field. That’s how I show my toughness.
Q: What do you know about head coach Mike Smith?
A: He’s a good coach. I’m excited to be playing for him. I’m just excited to be here.
Q: What are your plans for the rest of the offseason?
A: I’ll be back here to train with the rest of the fellas. I just have to go take care of some business, but I will be back in April to workout with the guys.
Q: What did you order at the restaurant last night?
A: I didn’t order too much, I still had jet lag.
Q: Where did you fly in from?
A: Salt Lake City.
Q: What’s your hair going to be like this season?
A: It’s still going to be the same.