This week it’s an AFC North matchup, Sunday Night Football, and a lot at stake. What do you guys need to do?
Win. We have to come out with a sense of urgency. We need to come out with a win. They are coming in pretty hot right now but we have to get after them. We have to run to the ball, tackle well and be able to play for 60 minutes.
What does Andy Dalton bring to the table for the Bengals?
He has a lot of moxie and a lot of poise. He has a heck of a receiver in A.J. Green. Other receivers have stepped up too. They have a good scat back in (Giovani) Bernard. Their offensive line has taken a few hits the last few weeks, but they do a good job of rallying behind one another, making big plays when they have to and staying aggressive. We have to get after them and stop the passing attack, but first stop the run.
You had to wait for your time to come. Do you feel like now that it has you are taking advantage and what did you learn while waiting?
I don’t know if I am, but I am trying to. I am trying to make the most out of every play out there. I am just trying to be successful. I learned a couple of things. Patience is a virtue was the first thing. I also learned about the defense and more about my strengths and weaknesses. I was able to work on those so when my number was called I would be ready.
Is being patient a tough thing?
The NFL is not patient with you. My mom always preached to have patience. No one wants to be patient when you are in the situation you are. Coming from the school I came from, Ohio State, where I played right away it was humbling to wait here, but I got to learn from some great guys.
Did you learn a lot about yourself?
When you are trying to practice hard and not getting as many reps as you would like during the games, you learn about what you have to work on, trying to stay ready and being ready for the moment. There are times when someone is going to get hurt and you have to be ready to step up.
What are some of the things you improved on during that time?
I think in any situation there is so much you can work on. You are never going to be great at one thing, but you can be good at a lot. That was always my motivation. When you start thinking of yourself as good there is always something you can work on.
What is the difference for you this year, is it getting more reps, have you grown as a player?
I would say all of the above. It’s not how many reps you get, it’s what you do with the reps. I am just trying to get better, feeling more comfortable with what I am doing out there and trying to get better week in and week out.
You were all over the field against the Dolphins. Is that just a matter of want, always trying to make a play?
You never know what is going to happen. You just have to keep running to the ball. There were a couple of plays I should have kept running to the ball on and a couple I could have been making. To be a defensive lineman with the Steelers you have to keep running to the ball.
Are you a guy whose motor is always running?
Yeah. I think you want to prevent any big plays. You never know what can happen. I would rather be there and say I gave it all I’ve got instead of not being there and possibly missing being able to make the play.
Is getting a sack one of the most satisfying things for a defensive lineman?
It’s better than pressures and quarterback hits. I think it’s joyful you get to inflict a little bit of pain on the quarterback and it’s a momentum killer and momentum starter.