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Darren Sharper Talks About Super Bowl XLIV

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    <span>S DARREN SHARPER  

(On the mentality he brought to the Saints improvement with turnovers) "I think a play-making mentality, being able to attack the football, and finishing plays. A lot of things, and I always believe this, what separates an average defensive back from a good defensive back, is one that can finish the play and when they get the opportunity, make that play. When the ball is in the air or when they have the chance to make a tackle in the open field, just being able to finish the big play. On the defensive side of the football, I think it has been the biggest difference from previous years to this year and I hope I have been able to contribute to that."

(On how he teaches the younger players to create turnovers on the field) "Just to believe in what you see. Everyone studies a lot of tape, but when it comes to game time some people don't trust exactly what they see during that play or that route or that quarterback read starts to materialize, they second guess themselves. The main thing that I do is that I tell them to trust what they see and be able to attack the football. Then, when they get a chance to make a play, finish the play and make it."

(On if he thinks it is a risky way to play defense) "No, I don't think so at all. If you have the ability to see and you trust your instincts, more often than not you will make the play and you are going to be right. Many times after games, you always think back and say, 'Man, I saw that coming, but I just didn't pull the trigger." When you pull the trigger, you will be right more often than wrong."

(On transitioning from Media Day to a football mentality) "It is a welcome transition. Guys are looking forward to getting out on the practice field probably as much as that first day of training camp when we were ready to get out there and finally get into it. That is how we feel now and we are ready to get back, get into our regular regimen, work, the schedule that we are used to and put the pads back on. It will be good to get a little bit of a sweat and get back into regular football activities."

(On DT Remi Ayodele noticing 12 men in the huddle in the game against Minnesota and if he noticed it as well) "It was a changing point in the game and then the interception by Tracy Porter. It was one of those drives in which you are like, "Can we get something to help us out?" Because it looked as though they were getting into position to finish the game off with a field goal and at that time you are just sort of praying that something will happen to help you. It just so happened that our prayer was answered by Minnesota having 12 guys on the field. It wasn't surprising to me because I have seen that happen before. Remi is a smart guy. He likes to look around and is very aware of everything. When you have a haircut like he has, you have to be aware of your surroundings."

(On what makes Colts QB Peyton Manning so good) "He is accurate, very intelligent, can make every throw in the book, has a strong enough arm to get the ball down the football field and has enough touch for short, intermediate passes. He knows how to work with his receivers. Whatever attribute you want to give to a quarterback, he has all of those. He is tough and has been in every game. He says he can't move too well, but really he doesn't have to because his arm is so good."

(On if he thinks his team plays dirty) "We don't know if we want to call ourselves dirty, but I think I said this before – it is like taking a shower when you get up in the morning and are going to cut your grass. You are nice and fresh when you cut the grass, but at the end you have a little griminess to you. We want to call ourselves a little grimy; not dirty all the way, but just maybe a little grimy. That is how we like to play."

(On how it feels to be playing in the Super Bowl) "It feels great. You kind of miss being under that Super Bowl spotlight because it is so tough to get there. My rookie year, I was definitely was not in the position that I am today, being one of the leaders on the team that is in the Super Bowl. I feel like this year I have the opportunity to kind of cherish those memories. My first year we lost and I want to make sure this trip is better than that one was. It was so long ago I forgot how that was. I want to make sure I remember this one.

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