One on One with Steelers FS Chris Hope

<b>GVB: </b> Three in a row for the Steelers going into Dallas, but you get a sense in this locker room that yeah, you're happy about the three wins and more, but you just want to keep things on an even keel, not get too high or get too low with anything.

Hope: We're trying to keep everything in perspective. We only played five games and have a long season left. We could easily lose a couple and be right back at the bottom of the bracket, so we definitely have to keep everything in perspective-continue to work hard, continue to stay focused, and just continue to try to win the games that we know we're supposed to win.

GVB: Talk a little bit about what's happened with this defense. Last year everybody said it was a little bit of an aberration, what happened to the Steeler defense. Coach LeBeau comes in, and from the start, from the get-go, he said we're gonna get back to aggressive Steeler football. You're leading the AFC in takeaways with twelve right now, a lot of good things in statistical categories…has it been Coach LeBeau putting a spark under you, or was this always there?

Hope: I definitely think he came back and put a spark back in us, letting us do what we like to do, and that's play physical, play fast, play aggressive. The thing he implemented that I see as the difference was that he's a player's coach, he puts his best players in a position to make plays, and he definitely relates you to what you do best: if you're a great pass rusher, he lets you blitz; if you're a great cover guy, he puts you in a position to have the opportunity to make interceptions. He definitely took all the confusion out of the defense. Everything is simple, plain, so we don't have to think about nothing.

GVB: You mention that he's a player's coach. He was a great player in his own right. Some of the players may not remember that, but he was an All-Pro defensive back with the Lions. Do you think that rubs off a little bit on the secondary when he talks to you guys?

Hope: Oh yeah, he always mentions how good he was and what he did, can we be better than him?, and how he played the game, so we definitely look at it as a challenge. He's a fun guy to be around, he's a motivator, and we definitely try to feed off of what he does-every day he comes in with a different theme and we just try to build off of it.

GVB: Looking ahead to Dallas this weekend: Testaverde, a veteran quarterback, they have a pretty good receiving corps…it's gonna be an interesting challenge. What are the keys to victory, as you see it?

Hope: Definitely on defense, continue to be aggressive, continue to play fast, continue to play smart. Keep everything in front of us; eliminate big plays; and continue to try to create field position and takeaways for our offense.

GVB: Chris, I appreciate it.

Hope: Alright, thank you.

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