Q&A: Deshea Townsend

Deshea Townsend is one of the wise men of the Steelers' defense. Today the soon-to-be 33-year-old corner talks to Jim Wexell about the team, the rookies, and growing up but not old.

Deshea Townsend, CB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Q: What do you think about the ball club after the weekend?

DT: It's always good to see different guys come in with the same mentality that you have. A lot of these younger guys have the same attitude that I have. That's one thing they always do upstairs (front office). They'll find a good group of guys.

Q: Who do you like?

DT: The guys everyone's been talking about: Sweed, Mendenhall. Sweed's a big guy and he's got the personality everyone said he had. I talked to Mendenhall. I tried to talk to a lot of the young guys. All the DBs they brought in are pretty sharp.

Q: How's Ryan Mundy picking it up?

DT: Aw, man, very smart. He's picking up the defense a lot quicker than most. Coach is putting a little pressure on him, too. He's had to call out all the defenses, and when he comes on film he's been on him.

Q: What about the talk of you playing free safety?

DT: I haven't had that talk. That's you guys. I'm talking about playing corner (laughs). If need be I know what to do. Like always it's your job to do whatever they have you do. That's how we've approached it anyway.

Q: Aren't you getting old for a cornerback?

DT: No such thing. No such thing. I don't know. I don't know at what age you're supposed to be old. Who made that up?

Q: Darrell Green played for a while.

DT: Into his forties.

Q: How do you feel?

DT: I feel good. That's one thing you learn here, how to take care of your body, what to do, what not to do, and then you try to understand the game. If you can learn something every day you can get better. I'm sure there are a lot of things I didn't do when I was younger that I'm doing now that's helping me out. That's what it's about: growing every day.

Q: How's William Gay coming along?

DT: He's good. He's good. He understands the defense, good talent, can get people in line, does what's needed.

Q: (James Farrior joins conversation) And how's the leadership?

DT: Oh (laughing) we have great leadership. We have this guy named James Farrior. He's been in this game a long time.

JF: What's his number?

DT: Fifty-one.

Q: A real long time.

DT: He's been in the game longer than me. I don't understand why they're not saying he's old.

JF: Yeah, but HE's good.

DT: That age thing, people put so much on it. James Farrior has very much defied those odds.

Q: Won't they have to start taking him out on third downs?

DT: He has the wheels.

JF: Ain't no wheels. I'm rushing.

DT: He's coming off his most productive year of sacking since he's been in the league. People don't talk about all the ins and outs, they just want to look at your age and say ‘He's too old,' because I guess they're at home and when they turned 32 they couldn't shoot the jumper like they used to.

JF: I'm a young 32.

DT: Right. Like I've been saying, I didn't play until my fifth year in the league, so I'm 27.

JF: Me either.

DT: So I've got a chance to play for five more years. I didn't have to bang my first five years. I wanted to.

JF: That's how it went for me. My coach extended my career.


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