Charles has taken a more vocal leadership role. What have you thought of his messages?
I felt they've been really good. You know, every week his speeches are really in depth, and it's not really rah rah, it's more of an emotional message that really gets to your heart. So I think it's very effective, and I think everybody feels pretty much the same way.
Do you think he's effectively gotten the President on board with you guys yet?
I'm not sure. But if so, I'm all for it.
What did he say to you guys before the Chicago game relative to President Obama?
He was just saying if -- something to the effect that if the President don't want to come watch us play, then we're going to win this game, get to the Super Bowl, win that game, and we're going to go to him. So, like I said, it's not really rah rah, but it gets the point across really well.
Kind of put in perspective what this year has been like for you. The way it started, looked like you were going to be going through another year of not being a big part of this; then you got a contract extension, now you're an important part of this defense?
It's been a crazy year. And I mean that in a good way. I think every individual person's path is totally different. But mine, in particular, has brought me definitely from the lows to the highs. And it happens so quick. It's almost I almost haven't really put everything in perspective yet. And to be going into the Super Bowl, it all feels so surreal to me. Because to have dreams of playing and contributing and making plays and being successful and going to the Super Bowl, everybody dreams it.
But to actually be making it a reality is a totally different beast. And I'm still trying to figure out how, why it's all happening. But I'm just blessed, and I'm just pretty much riding the wave.
What did you take away from that Pittsburgh game last year? I know they got a few points against you guys. What do you take away from guys like Mendenhall and Roethlisberger and stuff like that?
They’re a very talented team. They've got good players. But I think the most thing I can take away from that game is that they can be beat. And, I mean, everybody can be beat. So we're going -- it's a little familiar with who they are and what they can do. So all we really have to do is go out and execute our part of the game plan and we'll be all right.
I mean, you know, I think we pretty much had them beat except for the last play. So I think that gives us a little bit of confidence. There’s no moral victories or whatever, but I think we can take back from the game that we can play with them.
Do they hold an advantage, though, over your guys because this is their third trip in the last six years to the Super Bowl? Has that got to be somewhat of an advantage for the Steelers?
I guess so. I guess you could say that. Throughout the course of the season, I think especially in the playoffs, all the statistics and who is more likely to win or lose, it's all like -- none of it matters. It's like any given Sunday, whatever team shows up that particular Sunday and executes the game plan the best wins. And no matter if they have a lot of experience and we have none or vice versa. So I think it just comes down to that Sunday, who wants it more.
What was the better performance by the Steelers offense, the ability to build an early lead against the Jets or to come from behind against the Ravens?
I think both of them. I think the combination of both games kind of shows what kind of character they have. And I don't think one outweighs the other. I think it's just a combined, just shows that it's the reason why they're in this game like we are. They've come through their trials and tribulations, and to win those two games shows what kind of character they have and what kind of resilience. So they're a good team.
You played on special teams with JB a lot. And there was a time when fans really got on him and were pretty mean toward him. What have you seen from him this year, what kind of difference has he made to special teams, and maybe did you talk to him during those times when he was taking a lot of grief?
I would be lying to say when people get hit hard with the fans like that they just kind of brush it off. We're human. So I could see in his face that he was affected by it a little bit. But shows the kind of character he has. He didn't let it affect him in a negative way. He really got hungry. And throughout the offseason, this offseason, in training camp, Jarrett, you could see the fire burning in his eyes, the hunger, and he worked hard. And he's always been a hard worker, and he’s come out this year and produced.
What's the week been like for you guys this week, before you head down to Dallas, the things you want to get done, or is it time to rest and recover, what are some of the things on your checklist to do?
Rest and recovery is definitely number one on the checklist. Get all the administrative things out of the way with the tickets and family and dealing with all that. But I think for the most part just rest and recovery and just getting quick snippets of what Pittsburgh, their offense and getting a little, their tendencies from run/pass and formation standpoint.
Do the coaches take a tackling dummy, put 45 pound weight plates to try to simulate tackling Big Ben, a guy bigger than you? I'm being sarcastic, but what do you do to simulate tackling a quarterback that's bigger than you?
I think it's just a mental note in your head. You know when you get to him you can't go for his play fakes, and when you do get a chance to hit him, bring everything you have. You see it a lot. We actually watched film today on things, what not to do. A lot of guys are going for his pump fakes or not wrapping up fully when they have him. So I think it's just a mental or a subliminal note that when you get your opportunity to get him, you gotta hit, you gotta wrap up and bring all your technique, and all your weight with you, because he's definitely a big guy to bring down.
How long did that video last?
I'm sure it could have lasted longer, but I don't think Dom wanted to be too redundant on it. It was a couple, about five or six plays.
Other teams or…?
No, other teams -- I think our video was how to do it.
Every week everyone seems to be asking you about a good tight end. They have another one. Is this another one of those bailout guys for the quarterback?
Yeah, he is. You know, I hadn't really watched him this year too much. I watched him on film a little bit yesterday, and he's actually -- when I thought of him he's kind of a bigger guy, so you don't expect him to go vertical too much. But I was watching him. He goes vertical and he’s got nice little wiggle in his hips at the top of his routes. And I’ve seen him get a few DBs on him, so I noted that. It's just another challenge for me. I'm fully confident that I can cover him, get the job done. It's just embracing the competition on the highest stage, and I'm taking on the challenge.