There were a lot of people who plan instrumental roles in getting (his contract grievance settlement) done. It just seemed as more people jumped on board to get it done, the closer it was getting to going to arbitration, the better it made me feel, like I had a level of importance.
Was it good to just get back to football?
Not that I'm hurt, not that I have a grievance, not that LaVar is unhappy, it was just team, you know, wherever I fit into that, that's what it was about.
Can you describe how it felt to be back out there?
It's an indescribably feeling. It almost makes me feel sorry for people who don't get to experience the kind of adrenaline rush that you get when the fans support you to the level that they support you. The magnitude of it all, it almost makes me feel sorry that most people will never get to experience that.
Did you know how much you missed it?
I knew. I knew that I was kind of on the fence about how my teammates felt about me, about how the fans felt, but there was such positive energy out there. There were so many people just coming up to me and say that they were happy to see me back.
How were the butterflies before the game?
They were big, man. They were birds, they weren't butterflies. It was cool, I had a relaxing morning and I tried not to think about it so much. I prepared so hard for so long to try to get back to this point, there was not point in sitting there and worrying myself out of being able to play.
Did you take a moment just to look around at the fans at any point?
I haven't yet, man.. It's probably starting to set in a little bit now. It's been so long. I came back and played last year, but it wasn't here (at home) and, not only that, but it wasn't me last year. Those two games that I played I was trying to help and be a part of the team. Tonight I made some good plays and the support was there. It'll probably set in later on. When I see my family upstairs and see their faces, I'll probably have to (go compose myself) because it's been a long road and such a rocky road because I didn't know where I stood in the organization any more and I didn't know where I stood as part of the team. That's a tough place to be, that's a lonely place to be. Even though you have a lot of people supporting you, it's a lonely place to be. It seemed like a lot of that melted away tonight. I thank God for that, because it's been tough.
If it wasn't "you" last year, what made you know it was "you" tonight?
I could move! I was out there last year, I couldn't really move. I was trying to press through it; I could barely bend my leg.
It sounds like you really felt emotion from the crowd tonight.
Yeah, man, it was good, it was good. I expect to feel it in Baltimore, too. I think we'll have a good fan base there, too.
In Baltimore, are you looking forward to getting about the same amount of action as you did tonight?
Whatever, I'm just there to play. I'll be there.
What did Marcus (Washington) say when you came out there?
You see that there (pointing to a flesh wound on his left forearm)? That was my worst wound of the night and that came from Marcus, so I've got to go get that cleaned. We jumped in to one another and his braces got caught on my arm.