Will you workout?
No, I'm just going to lift. I won't run because I've got a right strained hamstring.
Yeah, I'm going to run on March 16.
How has Sean Gilbert helped you?
He's my uncle. Before games, after games, he's one of those guys who keeps me motivated, keeps me confident in my game and tells me what I might need to do better as a player. He's just there for me.
What's the best advice about the draft process he gave you?
It's a long process, just be patient and have fun with it.
Do you enjoy press coverage?
Yes, I love to get up in peoples' face and jam them and disrupt wide receivers' routes.
How many times have you been beat this year?
None. I'm not a cocky guy, I'm just real confident about my game. When people look at Darrelle Revis, I want them to look at me under the category of He Never Gets Beat. That's one of the things I take to heart and I work well at it, too.
Is that why you came home?
I went through a whole process. I didn't even know I was going to come out or not until I sat down with Coach (Dave) Wannstedt and my family and we went through the process. I was still enrolled in school. I waited for my grade and it came back first-round, second-round grade and I told Coach Wannstedt I was going to take the jump.
Could you have gotten better had you returned to college?
Yeah. You can always get better. But to me I just think I'd done enough at the University of Pittsburgh. There's nothing wrong with Coach Wannstedt and his schemes, or what we was doing at Pitt. I just think it was time for me to go.
Did you play both sides?
Yeah. At first, at camp, I wasn't very comfortable. Coach Wannstedt and Coach (Paul) Rhoads told me to try it out and just told me to go out there and play off my ability, and that's what I did. I played off my ability. I started getting comfortable. One practice I'd stay on the left side the whole time and then another practice I'd go to the right side and be there the whole time.
Were you taking false steps on one side?
Basically, yeah. Once you play one side for a long time, you get so comfortable in breaking off this foot. I wanted to get my game comfortable so either side I go I can be comfortable breaking off either foot.
What do you attribute your return skills to?
Just coming out there early before practice, getting time in. Coach (Charlie) Partridge is basically one of the main guys I attribute. It's just working hard on special teams, man, getting there early, watching film, even watching film on teams that punt and trying to find something I can accomplish.
Will the five-yard contact rule hurt you in the NFL?
No. I know a lot of guys just like me had to adjust in the NFL. And that's one of the things I'll have to do is adjust. You've got to get your hands off after five yards and run with the guy.
Could you ever have a better day than the day you did in the state championship game?
I don't know. I probably can.
What was that like?
I don't even know. I was so focused on getting a win, getting a championship. It hit me after the game when all these reporters came up to me saying I scored five. I wasn't even, in the moment, thinking I scored five touchdowns.
What about your punt return against WVU? How many times did you watch that and hear about that?
I watched it a couple times, not a lot, maybe five or 10 times. But it's crazy. I don't know, man. I sat there and pump faked. I don't remember doing that. And I got a couple guys to stand still and Kendro (sp?) made a great block, man.
Were you blazing or just using your blockers?
I don't know. I say I've got field speed. People tell me I don't run fast, I don't look like I'm running fast, but once you play against me and I'm out there on the field you might not catch me. I don't know, that's just how I feel about my speed.
Did you block the kick you picked up and returned for a touchdown in the state game?
No, it was another player. I just picked it up and ran with it. I remember I wasn't going to pick up the ball, but we did this drill in practice in high school where if the ball is behind the line, and you block a ball, just pick it up and run and that's what I did.
Did the lack of passes thrown your way this season contribute to you coming out early? Was it boring?
Yeah, it was a little boring. What I had to do as a player was don't put pressure on yourself because the ball's not thrown your way, just go out there and try to make plays doing different things, showing different aspects of my game. One of them was tackling, basically getting up in there and tackling big running backs and just making key tackles.
Did Cincinnati throw at you at all?
Yeah, they tried to throw one streak. It was incomplete, and then at the end of the game they threw at my side and I picked it off and scored.
WVU threw at you one time on fourth down. Did you intentionally drop that?
Yeah. Yeah. I had it in my hand, and I saw where I was at, and I knew it was fourth down, so I just dropped the ball. Coach Wannstedt said it was a great play, that's not being selfish. I could've easily got the pick and made my stats higher, but it would've been bad for our offense going 99, 98 yards.
Players don't do that anymore, do they?
I'm not a selfish player. I love to win, man. That's what I love to do. Guys around me I hope feel the same way. Those are the type of guys you want on your ball club. Guys who win don't need to be selfish. I mean, it's football. You're going to make plays, but it's making plays as a whole unit.
How many balls were thrown your way all season? (Looks down at one hand and begins counting fingers)
Laughs. Uh, I don't know. Maybe 10, 15. Maybe in there.
How many interceptions?
Did you get frustrated as the rest of your secondary was being shredded?
No. You get mad. I missed a couple tackles. H.B. yelled at me before. We believe in each other so much; we know we can make the play but if we don't make it that's when it gets a little heated.
Anyone offer you for basketball?
I had a couple small Division One basketball scholarships. I was thinking about going to Western Kentucky but I changed my mind.
(Inaudible about THE punt return)
It's just a play that happens one in a million times, man. It was just one of those plays.
You found out Josh Lay was your cousin at a funeral. Any chance you're related to another Aliquippa guy, Ty Law, since he has your body build?
I'm not. Ty Law, he's a great player. I got his number. He told me to call him anytime I want just to take anything I can. I'm a learner. I'm trying to be a sponge, trying to get anything I can, technique-wise, coming into the NFL.
Any interest from anyone?
No, not yet.
Can you become a shutdown corner?
With hard work and preparation, yeah. I think I'm one of those guys, I'm aggressive man. The thing receivers do not like is when defensive backs get aggressive and get up in your face and re-route their routes. It takes them longer. If you don't tough a receiver, he's eventually going to make a play. That's the mind state I'm in, just being an aggressive guy at this next level.