Scout NFL Q&A: Antoine Bethea

Colts starting safety Antoine Bethea talks about his Super Bowl experience, his teammates in the secondary and more in this exclusive interview.

Ed Thompson:  Hard to believe, but you and I haven't done an interview together since you won the Super Bowl. Does that seem like a distant memory at this point or are the memories still very vivid?

Antoine Bethea It does seem like a distant memory in many ways. And we've put that in our rear-view mirror, because we have to be looking ahead and focusing on repeating this year.

ET:  What was the most fun you had during the week leading up to the game?

AB:  For me, it was just enjoying the whole experience with my teammates. Our coaches kept harping on the fact that we weren't going to have this same team again next year, so to be able to enjoy everything with those players while we were in Miami was a really great time.

ET:  What was running through your head just minutes before you went out there?

AB:  For me, knowing that I was going out onto the field with my family there in the stands to watch me play in my first Super Bowl in my first year, it really made me think about what a blessing it was to be out there.

ET:  What are some of the things you remember the most about that game? What comes to mind right away when you think back on it?

AB:  One thing I remember the most is when they ran the first kickoff back, which wasn't a good memory for us. The next one would be when I had a pick, but I dropped it. After that it would be when Bob [Sanders] got an interception, and then when Kelvin Hayden got an interception and ran it back for a touchdown. Just talking about it, I can really replay that whole thing in my mind right now. Even though it's been a few months, when I start talking about it I can replay it all in my mind, all the moments, the sixty minutes of the game. It was just a lot of fun out there.

ET:  Did you get to go back home after you got your Super Bowl ring?

AB:  Yeah, I went home with my ring to show some of my friends I grew up with and some of my coaches, some of the people my mom and dad work with. That was really enjoyable as well. 
Antoine Bethea celebrates as the final seconds tick off the clock at the Super Bowl.
Mark Humphrey/AP Photo

ET:  Do you still have it and wear it? Or have you tucked it away?

AB:  No, I don't wear it anymore, I tucked it away. I probably won't wear it that much until I retire and when I want to think back on the days when I was playing.

ET:  Last year you went into training camp as a sixth-round pick. This year you're the incumbent starter at your position. That had to feel a lot different out there in Terre Haute.

AB:  It was a lot different. Last year I came in not really knowing what to expect. I was just trying to fight for a roster spot. Coming in this year, being that I played a lot last year, I was able to come in and -- not really be comfortable, but I knew what to expect.  I'm the kind of person who always wants to get better. There's always somebody behind you trying to take your spot, so I'm always going to continue to work hard, be humble and try to better myself out there on the field.

ET:  Until the third week of the preseason you were paired up with Matt Giordano while Bob Sanders finished his rehab on his shoulder. Talk a bit about how the two of you work together out there on the field.

AB:  We work well together. We worked together last year during the OTAs and training camp and then last year during the season we worked together as well. It's Matt's third year and he's a great player and a student of the game. Matt's been playing great during the preseason. The safeties are a tight-knit group, and we can all get it done. 

ET:  Every player has different strengths. Do you do anything differently to match up with Bob's strengths versus Matt's when each one is out there?

AB:  No, not at all. You just want to go out there and play your game, you don't want to have to switch it up when somebody else is out there. You've got to go out there and play your game every single down, every single second. 

ET:  The Colts used a fourth-round pick on Brannon Condren out of Troy this year. What have you noticed about him so far as a safety?

AB:  He's been hurt, so I haven't seen that much of him out there. But from what I have seen, I can tell he's going to be a very physical player, and we love to have those kind of players in our secondary. So I think Brannon's going to be a great fit.

ET:  Are you and the team feeling any added pressure this year knowing that every time you're stepping on the field you're doing so as the World Champions?

AB:  Well, we aren't the World Champions anymore. We're the World Champions of last year. It's a new season, so everybody's going to start out 0-0 and everybody's going for that same prize like we did last year. So I don't think there's going to be any added pressure, if anything, it's going to be added pressure on the other team who is coming in to try to beat us. We're just going to go out there and play football.

ET:  Have you set any goals for yourself this year or are you just going to go out there each week and see what you can make happen?

AB:  Everybody sets personal goals. I want to go out there and establish myself as one of the upper level safeties in the NFL. I don't want to set any outlandish goals, but at the same time I want to get better out on the field, make plays and help the Indianapolis Colts win. 

ET:  Anything you'd like to say to the Colts fans?

AB:  Just that I'm ready to get back out there and hopefully they're out there rooting for us this year, and we'll just try to do it together again this year.

A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the network and syndicated through's NFL team pages.

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