Bryan Robinson, who has been there before, wants to show his new Cincinnati Bengals teammates how to make the playoffs this season.
"If I can just share some of my knowledge, it would be that playing defense is an attitude," the ninth-year veteran said.
"It's wanting to stop that other team, not panicking when you're in certain situations, but overcoming those situations and learning from them."
Robinson, 31, signed a three-year, $6 million free-agent contract with the Bengals in March as a run-stuffing tackle who could push the defense to a new level. He already has done that in the meeting room, according to first-year defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan.
"He demands the young guys bring their level to his level [in] the way he reacts to people," Bresnahan said. "That's what you need. He can transfer what goes on in the meeting room to the practice field.
"This guy learns something every day and also teaches us something every day - coaches and players - because of the way he attacks this game."
The Bengals were vulnerable to the run in 2004, when they allowed 128.9 rushing yards a game and nine individual 100-yard rushers.
Robinson's game is adaptable - he has 17 1/2 career sacks and 37 passes broken up - but he earned a reputation as a stout run stopper in 2001 when the Chicago Bears went 13-3 and made the playoffs.
"This team reminds me of that 13-3 year because [the Bears] came in under the radar," he said. "This is the first team I've played on that the offense was so much further along than the defense. But it doesn't take a whole lot of time to pick up defense. It's wanting to get the job done. That's what stopping the run is."