Some people are genuinely concerned about your long-term health. Is that something that concerns you, or not?
Bollinger: I'm just going to say what I said at the beginning. I have full trust in the medical staff here and the trainers and I always have and I'm going to follow what they tell me and the stuff that they come up with. I feel great right now and feel as healthy as I ever have.
Is it tough to be a leader when you're not playing?
Bollinger: It really is. It's a difficult situation because you can't really say too much because you're not out there with the guys, you're not going through it. You really have to, I think, find a way to get yourself extra involved. I don't know if that makes any sense, but it's very easy when you're just, all of a sudden you're not in the huddle, out on the field and involved, to kind of back away and just sit down and watch everything. It's important to get in there, stay as close to the guys as you can in warm-ups, stuff like that. I tried my best to be a leader even though I wasn't playing. But it's a difficult situation. You kind of see some of the stuff Lee (Evans) has been going through this season.
With all of the things that went on last week too, was it even more difficult?
Bollinger: Yeah, because you want to be in there and you want to be able to make a difference because things aren't going so well. It's just frustrating when you can't really do that and you have to try to find other ways to do it. But that's exactly what you have to do. You just have to do everything in your power to try and get us a win and try to get things turned around.
Can you summarize the importance for you, as a senior, of getting to a bowl game this year?
Bollinger: I think it's important on so many levels. Number one, for this football program. I think this is a great football program and it has been ever since we got here. As seniors, we want to leave a legacy. We want to end on a good note, a positive note and get back to a bowl game, and hopefully build for these guys in the future, kind of working our way back to the top of the league year in and year out.
Do you feel like you've given a lot of yourself for this program?
Bollinger: Yeah, I hope when I'm done I can say I gave everything I had. The last seconds of that Minnesota game, if they have to carry me off, that's fine with me…well, as long as I'm healthy for the bowl game. But once the bowl game is over, I don't know what's really going to happen in my future, but I just came here and I hope I can say when I'm done that I gave everything I could to this program.
Has any of this interrupted your hopes of playing in the NFL?
Bollinger: I want to play football as long as I can, and I'm going to do everything I can to get a team to give me a shot, and after that, I'm going to work as hard as I can to stick around and play as long as I can. And if ever an injury came in the way and the doctor said you can't play anymore, I'd say okay.
Do you feel like the clock is kind of ticking right now? Does it put more pressure on you?
Bollinger: Yeah, especially when we're playing for so much in these last couple of games. These are really important games because a) we need to win, b) because they are the last games you have a shot to play in and you don't know what's going to happen after that. You can't look too far ahead in this sport. I think that's one thing I've learned regardless if you're a freshman, senior, rookie in the NFL, you never know if it's going to be your last game. But especially when it gets this close, you really want to make the most of every opportunity.
Brooks Bollinger Q&A: Part 2
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