A conversation with Curtis Martin

Q)How do you explain your high pain tolerance?

Martin: I have been through mental and emotional things in my past, but this is physical. This is dealing with something every second of the day. You just learn how to push through it and take yourself to a different pain tolerance, or take your (pain) threshold to another level.

Q)Is playing hurt a pride issue?

Martin: A lot of people, when I get injured, say, "He'll be alright," and they take it for granted that I'll be out there. It's just that I learned from one injury to another how to get better at dealing with it.

Q)How are you able to play with so many injuries, others can't play with?

Martin: I feel obligated to be out there because of the role I play on this team, a leader. I want to be out there. For me to not be out there would have to be [catastrophic]. It would have to be stupid for me to not be out there.

Q)You guys seem to have a tough schedule for a running back?

Martin: I believe that this is the toughest schedule defensively against the run that I have ever gone up against in my entire career. This streak of games that we have coming up nobody can say that we're at least going to get 100-yards. There are no teams like that. KC, their defense played incredible, Miami, Jacksonville, Baltimore then Tampa Bay. I mean, we don't play any slouch defenses, especially against the run. If you had to pick your own schedule, all of these teams that we're playing are teams you wouldn't pick.

Q)Is it important to stick to the run against good defenses even if you are only gaining two or three yards at a time?

Martin: That's good. I'm glad last game that was the way it was. Thirty carries for 70 yards, or something like that, is good for you. I'm not worried about yards and I never have been worried about yards. I'm worried about what's going to help the team win. If me getting the ball 50 times for 50 yards is what we have to do, I'm fine with that.

Q)Can ignoring pain caus more serious damage?

Martin: I think I'm smart enough. I'm not some gladiator-moron out there that's going to try and do something. I definitely take care of my body. I still want to be able to walk my kids to school. I'm always going to be smart about it.

Q)What was it like watching from the sidelines in 1998?

Martin: It's the most miserable time, for me as an athlete, when I'm not out there practicing and I have to walk around and watch everyone practice. That's almost as bad as watching the game that I'm supposed to playing in also. That's just something that I don't like, it's almost like a pet peeve of mine.

Q)How did you feel after the game last Sunday?

Martin: I think my body, from taking all the hits; I didn't pay attention to the knee. Everything was kind of in pain right after the game; you don't know what hurts the most. It's the next day where the injuries kind of surface.

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