Bob Sanders: Playing Harder, Playing Smarter

Bob Sanders talked about being a big hitter, the task of tackling Jerome Bettis and much more when he spoke to the media this week.

(on when he became a big hitter)
"Since I can remember, I have tackled the way I tackle now. I have always been a very aggressive football player. Once I put the pads on, I have this love for being aggressive, to just throw my body around. My biggest hit was probably against Michigan State my sophomore year in college. I hit this guy coming down on a kickoff, we squared up and his feet went flying over his head. "

(on talking with Coach Tony Dungy about the Colts' defense after he was drafted)
"We talked about being fast, about being physical. Everyone on our team is fast. Everyone on our team is physical. This year shows how good we can be if we just play together."

(on the major differences between this defense and previous defenses)
"I would say the chemistry and the new guys we have in. Everybody knows and understands what Coach Dungy wants out of the defense. Once we figured it out, it was easy for us to go out and play fast, play hard. This year everyone is playing harder, playing smarter."

(on whether he lobbied to Coach Dungy for the defense to blitz more)
"I haven't said anything about it. My job is to worry about doing what they want me to do. If they would have other plans for me, I would be ready to step up to the plate."

(on sneaking a peek at Troy Polamalu while watching Pittsburgh film)
"I have a little bit, but it's not something I normally do. It is also good to look at other safeties around the league. A lot of us have different styles. I have been able to help out here and hopefully I can continue to do it."

(on tackling Jerome Bettis)
"The way our defense is set up, it puts me in situations where I am one on one in making tackles on the running back. When I go into it every time, I think I am going to win. It really doesn't matter the size, height, weight, whatever. I'm not of afraid of putting my body in there and making a tackle on a big guy."

(on continuing to carry on the excitement he had about this team in training camp)
"When you are winning, everything is good. Having that long streak we had helped keep the energy going. It helped guys stay focused on our plans and goals this year. I knew in training camp that if we just focused in on what our goals are, the sky would be the limit for us."

(on the defense being healthy)
"It means a lot getting everybody back. The guys who were injured had time to rest. Think about the situation we are in. We are excited about our opportunity."

(on whether it will be difficult to keep the energy in check and not get too excited)
"You don't want to get too crazy. You want to make sure you focus in. You want to practice hard and study hard. We want to rally around each other. The chemistry has gone up since last year. We need to stay calm, to stay focused on winning."

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