MG: "Holy Cow." I just could not believe it, it was a surge of adrenaline just running through my body. The first thing I remember is looking up and waving to my family and my wife, it was an unbelievable feeling and so exciting.
ET: So you get out there and kickoff and then what happened on that play? What did you see as the play unfolded in front of you?
MG: I was on the right side of the field and I was seeing the play develop. At first I thought we had him in his tracks because Adam (Vinatieri) kicked a great kick, it was perfectly placed, right where we wanted to be. And you just have to tip your hat to that guy because he made a couple moves and made a couple guys miss. I saw him turn on his jets and it was just instinct after that, I just tried to go after him and go get him. It was an amazing play on Devin Hester's part.
ET: I was impressed because you certainly turned on some jets chasing him down…
MG: (laughs) Yeah, that was a lot of fun. It's easier to catch someone than to run away from someone. I was focused and wanted to catch him, I really wanted to see how fast he was. Some people say he was jogging the last five or ten yards, but that's tough to say. It was fun to chase him down, I wish it wasn't for the first play of the Super Bowl, but I guess everything happens for a reason.
ET: What went through your head after he scored that touchdown?
MG: The first couple of seconds it was, "I can't believe this. This is like something you see in a movie, this opening kickoff returned for a touchdown." But when I got to the sidelines, for me, it was just like "all right". Coach Dungy had told us there were going to be some storms that happened in the game. We weren't expecting a storm the first play of the game, but after that happened I think it relaxed everybody, especially the special teams. At the same time, it kind of woke us all up. It was a good thing for us because it basically slapped us all in the face and told us we're not going to have anything easy, we're going to have to work for everything we're going to get. Overall perspective, I think it was a great thing.
|Matt Giordano dives to trip up Devin Hester as he prepares to score on the opening kickoff of the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)|
MG: Honestly, I think it was at the moment when Kelvin Hayden made that great interception and ran it down the sidelines for the touchdown. In my eyes I think that was the backbreaker. I think that was the biggest play of the game and at that moment I think everyone on the sidelines could taste victory after that.
ET: How big a factor were the field conditions?
MG: I thought the field was really good actually. I don't remember anybody slipping. I remember a lot of wet balls, a lot of fumbles and that, but I would have to say the field was in pretty good shape.
ET: Anything else from the Super Bowl experience you think the fans would find interesting?
MG: It is an awesome game. If you could go and see that game one time I would encourage everyone to try to go see it. The tickets are outrageous, so I totally understand that other people can't go, but it is an unbelievable experience.
ET: You guys had a heck of a time keeping safeties healthy this past year...
MG: Yeah, we kind of got plagued at that position this year. Usually you'll have a couple injuries at one position and one at the other position, but we had two or three guys go down this year and that was unheard of.
ET: Having different personnel out on the field all the time can really disrupt a team's chemistry. How did you guys keep it flowing out there?
MG: I think you have to give credit to our coaches because they got us mentally and physically ready for those games we had to start. They prepared us very well and I think when it was time for the game, everything was tattooed on our minds so we had no little surprises. So our DB coach, Alan Williams, and of course coach Dungy helped us to prepare for that.
ET: Were you proud of what you accomplished that night you started against the Bengals on Monday Night Football?
MG: I was pleased with it. I thought I could have made one or two more plays, but as a whole against who we were playing, I thought Dexter Reid and I did a good job.
ET: Football really slowed down this year compared to your rookie season last year didn't it?
MG: Oh absolutely, it was so much slower. I just can't wait to see what this season feels like. Everything slowed down, I felt like I had forever out there to make adjustments, it was totally night and day from my first season to my second.
ET: You came out of Cal with the reputation of being a big hitter. Do you still approach the game with the same mentality or have you changed some things about the way you approach the position?
MG: I think if I have the chance for the big hit I'm going to take it. What I realized from college to professional is that you're not always going to get the big hit. These guys are professionals, too. They get paid and they're good at their job. They're not going to just stand there and let you blow them up, so what I've learned in the last two years is that I need to be patient. When I have my shot I need to take it, and in other cases I just need to bring the guy down so we can play another down.
ET: What's it like coming into the season as one of three veteran safeties?
MG: You bring up a good point. This year everyone has a fair shot at starting and I have to make sure I do my job out there every play and also enjoy it and have fun. My wife and I will definitely pray about it and we're excited to see what God has in store for us this season and hopefully it's a lot of great things.
ET: Is there anything you'd like to say to the fans to close out the interview?
MG: All I have to say is, "Go Colts" and thank you for all of your support last year. We hope to see it again this year.
|A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the Scout.com network and syndicated through FoxSports.com's NFL team pages.|