I feel great, I feel fresh. And officially, I am back.
I'm happy for them, ... They got a chance to get one, that's the goal. I'm not bitter or anything like that.
I went to Charlie and said, 'Give it to me, look it all the way in, follow me as I go through, and I'll do the rest.
But that's nothing new. We're going to be a running team whether it's Ben or Tommy or Charlie at quarterback. And we'll still throw the football, too.
These guys dominate their position, ... They cause offensive lines to double those guys to get any movement and that's when the linebackers take over. If you do want to get some movement on the center, you have to get a guard to help the center. If you do want to move that tackle, you have to commit something to it so it creates a problem.
I do know that I would have loved to have been in there late in the game, ... Coach and I talked about all the situations that happened in the game and everything that was going on. But it's a conversation I'm going to keep and not talk about.
Hopefully, I'll get in early and see what happens but, as a role player, you have to understand that the opportunities may be there and may not be there, ... It depends on how it works out.
It's a tough one to swallow because you feel you had the game in hand and you couldn't get it done.
I was a spectator out there, ... I can't give you much more than that.
I was never a fast guy, ... So the little speed I did have and may have lost is not detectable. People look at me as a guy with quick feet and power. Because of that, I'm able to do the same things I was able to do at 26 and 27. I don't rely on speed, never have, so my game doesn't have to change much.
The body doesn't bounce back like it once did, ... The beating has taken its toll, so physically you don't feel as strong as you used to.
The difference in my situation is that I can still do everything in this offense that's been asked of me, ... It's not a finesse offense, so I'm not exposed. From tackle to tackle, I still put myself up there with some of the best in the game.
After Ben got hurt, I told Charlie, 'When you give me the ball, look it all the way into my body,' ... 'Just look it into me. I'll do the rest.' .
They knew I was going to get the ball ? they had nine in the box, ... But I was fortunate enough to make a guy miss, or to take a guy with me. That's why I'm still around.
I'm fifth all-time, and I fit in somewhere, ... It was like, wait a minute, I'm not just an ordinary guy. I've been able to do some extraordinary things in an ordinary body, but I'm not an ordinary guy.
I still think I can get it done. I still think I can play this game.
People count them out every time they play a worthy opponent and they find a way to beat them, and you have to respect that.
We know we have the pieces in place, ... That's evident. You look at last year, with us being a game away. So we know that. The question going into this camp is can we create that same chemistry? Can everybody play at that same level that we played last year? Can we be that same football team? In this business, that's the hardest thing to do.
We knew coming in that if we wanted to control this division, this was the game.
Maybe they're just laying low. But you'd better believe when Monday night comes they're going to be ready. This is the biggest rivalry in our division, and they'll be ready and we'll be ready.
Toward the end of the game today, I said we've been hunting these teams, trying to get respect. And now maybe it's a situation where we're going to be hunted. We've got to understand the situation and stay as hungry and keep trying to prove that we're a good football team.
Even when it's warm, they don't want to see me, trust me. I try to make it as difficult as possible for those guys and as painful as possible every time they tackle me. So late in the game, in the fourth quarter, that's when you start getting those big runs, because they don't want to come up and tackle you.
No question. I felt, a couple of those years, we had the best team, that was the sad part. All three years, I felt we had the better team (better than the three eventual Super Bowl winners).
That's something you gotta live with. It is what it is.
We don't have to be as good as we were last year, ... It doesn't matter if we're 15-1 again - if we're 10-6 but we win the Super Bowl, that's a better season.