Special teams have been your bread and butter so far. What does it take to excel on special teams?
It's complete effort and 'want to.' Unlike defense and offense where you have a specific assignment on a certain play, special teams you just have to want to make a play, get your block, make your tackle. It's all about determination. **
Check out the best photos of Pittsburgh Steelers safety Robert Golden.
Do you need to have a little bit of an edge, be willing to lay it all on the line?**
Definitely. Again, it's not like defense and offense where you have first, second and third down. You get one opportunity. You have to take advantage of it and go out there and give it everything you have every play.
How do you take advantage of those opportunities?
It's all about hustle. If you are going 100 percent on special teams, good things can happen. If you are flying to the ball, wanting to make the tackle and get the blocks, things can happen. It's all within you.
What's the feeling like when you down a ball near the goal line, or stop a guy deep in his own territory on a return attempt?
It's a great thing. Special teams are a huge part of the overall team game because you are helping the offense and defense with field position. That plays a big part in the outcome of a game, especially when you are playing good offensive and defensive teams. You want to get a good offensive team pinned behind the 20-yard line and you want to set your offense up with good field position outside of the 20-yard line. We all work together as a team and whatever we can do to help the team we do it. If we can give the offense or defense the field position they need, we know they appreciate it.
You scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery on a punt against the Panthers. First, talk about what was going through your mind when the ball was loose?
It's just complete hustle and going 100 percent trying to get to the ball, make the tackle. It just so happened the ball came out and I was there to get the ball. It was a great special team's effort overall. Brad Wing made a great punt, the guys blocked and we all hustled down there. I got the ball and it was a blessing.
What's that emotion like when you make that kind of play?**
It's a blessing. It was great. I was mindful to thank the Lord above for letting me be in that position to make that play for the team. I got a lot of high-fives from the guys, a lot of good jobs. It was a critical point and it gave us a momentum boost. I was happy to be a part of it.
Have you gained a greater appreciation for how important special teams are since you arrived in the NFL?
A lot of guys earn their living on special teams. If that is what it takes to be on a team in the NFL, a lot of guys take full advantage of that. I feel like I am one of those guys that got the special teams opportunity. I took full advantage of it and it's allowed me to be here the last three years.
The last two years there wasn't a special team's captain. How does it feel to emerge as one?
I never really looked at it like that. It's definitely an honor for my teammates to vote for me as a captain. It's speaks a lot about you and I want to live up to the standards of the guys that selected me. I want to lead by example more than by what I say.
What would you hope others would take from you as a leader?
Just that they see I give 100 percent effort, that every time I am out there I am giving it my all. I want them to see if you hustle and work hard good things can happen. I am always running to the ball, hustling, trying to make something happen.
While you take pride in your role on special teams, are you always working toward being a part of the base defense?
I came into the league feeling that I can play safety and coach is using me as a special teams' player for the most part and I take pride in it and full advantage of it. I am happy to do it. Playing on defense is always the ultimate goal, but I take advantage of every opportunity.