Q&A with Tank Johnson

IRVING, Tex. - TheRanchReport.com checks in with Tank Johnson as the Cowboys get set to face the Packers Sunday night at Lambeau Field.

TheRanchReport.com caught up with defensive tackle Tank Johnson, who addressed a number of subjects, including the mental makeup of the team to the team's first-hand view of Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers to the challenges of chasing a mobile quarterback:

The team came back against the Eagles the other night — what are your thoughts about the mental toughness of this team?
A: I think we get stronger every day. I think coming into this season, that was one of our main concerns, our main focuses — our mental toughness. I think we showed that we have a backbone, and we can play well when we really have to. I think it's just knowing that the guys next to you are going to give all they can. These guys are going to sell out for each other, and you don't want to let a guy down by not doing what you're supposed to do … especially late in the game, with the game on the line.

What advantage is there having played against the Packers with Rodgers last year?
A: The advantage is, we know how good he is. He seemed to come in, and in a very short amount of time, he was very successful. He didn't do anything out of the ordinary — he just did what he was asked to do. So that gives us a leg up, knowing that he's not going to get a small package, as far as his gameplan.

How much did Felix (Jones) electrify you guys?
A: Oh, man, he gave us a real big boost. The way he runs that ball so hard, it just makes everybody get fired up.

You go from Monday night, primetime, to Sunday night, primetime — it never ends.
A: You're right — it never ends. That's what you do when you play for this team. You come to Dallas, and you play in big games. Even in a short week, you've got two big games.

Does that help get you back, get you re-vitalized?
A: Yeah, it does. Knowing that you've got to come out Sunday night and perform on the big stage again, it's key, but we're up for it.

Who does Jay Ratliff remind you of, with that build, that height and that center of gravity?
A: There's not a player I can think of right now, off the top of my head. But Jay's explosive, and he's instinctive. He really uses his instincts well. You know, sometimes, in this game, ability is not all. It also takes instincts, and he has great instincts. He's very mean — on the field, he's very mean.

Have you had a game like that … where, you've got McNabb, and then he's gone. When you were in Chicago, did you face anybody like that?
A: Back in the day (Daunte) Culpepper was like that. He's a big guy. You could send a DB on a blitz from 20 yards away and hit him, and he wouldn't fall, so it's kind of the same feel.

Does that get frustrating, to get your hands on these guys, and all of a sudden, they're gone?
A: Oh yeah — when these guys have the legs to get out of what seems to be great defense, it's one of those things that beats a defense. (McNabb) is a playmaker, and his legs make some plays for him. But you know, it's a long game, and a lot of those guys get hurt like that.

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