T.J. Rushing: It was a dream come true; I know that sounds so cliché, but that's definitely how it was. It hit me on media day that this really is the Super Bowl, this is as big as it gets in my profession or this game.
ET: What's your best memory from the Super Bowl?
TJR: Probably the expression on everybody's face when we realized we are Super Bowl champions. When Kelvin got that interception and returned it, that right there, that whole adrenaline rush, that's probably what I'll remember forever.
ET: Now you guys begin thinking about repeating…
TJR: Exactly. After that night I went in and I'm watching SportsCenter the following morning and they were already talking about next season. As soon as the season's over they're on to the next -- and that's the same thing we have to do.
ET: With Terrence Wilkins still a free agent, you could be heading in as the number one guy this year. How does that effect your thinking and preparation for this season?
TJR: It's same as it always is. I'm trying to workout hard everyday, workout thinking I could possibly be the number one guy knowing there are tons of guys out there who are going to get invited to camp and be battling for my job also. Just because you start at number one, there are no guarantees in this league, because there are guys out there working just as hard as I am trying to get that job.
ET: Were you ever gutsy enough to poke fun at Terrence about the age gap between you two?
TJR: (laughs) No, I never really joked around much about his age. I was happy I had an older guy there teaching me the ropes. I might have called him old man a little bit.
|(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)|
TJR: Oh yeah, I'm definitely glad the rookie thing's over. No more rookie dinners, no more special treatment for Nick Harper and the older DBs -- even though Nick's gone now -- but no more just having to run out and do the chores for everybody. I'm definitely glad that's over.
ET: What impact does it have on the team as you gear up for another season having 15-16 guys that are not signed back yet?
TJR: Guys are definitely going to be missed, the guys that have signed elsewhere already and the possibility of another 15 that might sign somewhere else, that will definitely hurt the team. But from what I hear this is routine in the NFL -- every year having that turnover, looking for a sense of stability and security. You'll have a core group of guys that will always be around like Peyton, Marvin, Tarik Glenn, those guys will be there, but I guess that's just the nature of the beast as people say. That will definitely hurt our team, losing that many guys off of a Super Bowl Championship team will definitely hurt us.
ET: Have you had a chance to talk to any of the guys that have left?
TR: I did actually. Me and Nick stayed in contact all season. I wanted to know when he was going to start working out again so I could do everything he was doing and he texted me on the day they told him they weren't going to be able to sign him back. And I texted him as soon as I heard on NFL Network that he had signed with the Titans. He told me it was just what he had to do from a business standpoint and wished me the best of luck and I wished him the same.
ET: And now he could draw the happy assignment of facing Marvin Harrison twice a year…
TR: (laughs) Yeah, exactly, which will be an interesting battle. They always had good ones in practice. They went against each other every day one-on-one, so that'll be a good one.
ET: Are you anticipating that you'll be getting into the thick of things in the cornerback position this year as well?
TR: That's something me and Nick were talking about and he told me just to stay focused and keep working hard because now there is an opportunity. That's definitely a huge opportunity for me this year and I'm trying to do everything in my power to make sure I'm ready for it and ready to take advantage of it.
ET: Is there anything else you'd like to tell the fans?
TR: Thanks for the support during the season and know we're out here working hard all over again, trying to be successful again.