<span>New Orleans Saints K Garrett Hartley
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
(on what he felt before kicking the game-winning goal against the Vikings) "Just was telling myself, you know, I guess subtle things. I missed a kick versus Tampa, which I kind of rushed myself on. I didn't get to follow through and so I was just going to kind of relax a little bit more and really just make sure I'm getting through the ball and things work out. John Carney has been such a tremendous attribute to me learning. I'm 23, I know I'm young. I have a lot of learning and maturing to do and he's definitely helped me with that on an astronomical level. Just coming out there, just telling myself to come through the ball, slowing down my approach. Whenever it came off my foot, there was no question in my mind that that ball was going exactly where I wanted it to go."
(on how he feels about being at Super Bowl) "It's just an amazing feeling to be out here, knowing that we're competing for a chance to be world champions. Honestly, I've never experienced anything like it."
(on whether Colts K Matt Stover's experience gives him an advantage) "Yeah, they definitely have a lot of experience in the league. I can't worry about that, though. I just worry about myself and going out with the mindset, 'whatever it takes,' from extra points to field goals in order to help put points up on the board and, overall, help my team win."
(on what it means to him to join in the prayer circle post-game) "Growing up in a strong Catholic house with my mom and my brother and everything… It's so rewarding because there's definitely a higher power out there overlooking, and actually [New Orleans FB] Heath Evans and I prayed before when we stepped out on the field to hit the kick and just giving thanks to the person who makes it all possible."
(on his first media day) "It's kind of a crazy experience, I'm just glad to be out here and I guess we're kind of sitting outside, beautiful view. There's nothing like being around your teammates and just experiencing everything with the team on Super Bowl week."
(on if he's dreamt about kicking a game-winning field goal in the Super Bowl) "Absolutely. It's not just me, it's every kicker coming out there either high school, college, or even in the NFL to have a chance, but I'm not so concerned with that. If I have to hit extra points, so be it. I just want to be able to go out there and put up points to help my team win."
(on whether he'd rather kick the game-winning kick, or have the team win by a touchdown) "If I had it my way, just as long as we win. It doesn't matter. From the offense to the defense, I'm just another piece of the puzzle. If we all come together, then we're going to create the perfect picture."
(on how he feels about playing on a potentially soggy field) "Growing up in college and in Oklahoma, I've playing outside on grass and all types of weather games. You just have to adapt to it and in warm ups. Their kickers have to kick under the same conditions, and just go out there being confident and strong-willed. I just go out and do what I do every day in practice."
(on if he ever thought he would play in a Super Bowl) "Actually, I moved to Southlake to play soccer and that's how, actually, I thought I was going to go to college. Never did I really start thinking about [playing football professionally] until my junior year of high school after I committed to Oklahoma for football. Things worked out there and I was given the opportunity here and it's, honestly, been such a surreal experience."
(on if he thinks his youth gives him an advantage in the Super Bowl) "I don't think I'm naive about it. I understand the stage that we're on, but, once again, I can't think about it. I have no idea if I'm the youngest. Things like that, really, I don't think about I just know, starting tomorrow, we'll get into our normal routine and I'm going to get into mine."
(on if he thinks about the fact that he may never get back to a Super Bowl) "That's the harsh reality about this. I might not ever get back to this stage. Knowing that my preparations throughout the week will help me perform to the best of my capabilities is what I'm going to do. I think that's the mindset of the whole team."
(on if he has any superstitions) "I really don't, maybe simple stuff. I always tie my left shoe before my right. Other than that, I don't really have too many quirks or superstitions."
(on how his life has changed since he kicked the game-winning field goal against the Vikings) "It's kind of funny. Sometimes I'm at a restaurant and whenever I'm walking out now, I get a standing ovation and I'm over here like, 'For what?' I don't understand what's going on. I think we were at Outback the other night, and a 70-year old man busts out a harmonica from his coat pocket and starts playing 'When the Saints come Marching in.' It really just tickles me to death –people and how they perceive me now, but, at the same time, how would people have perceived me if things didn't work out that way. That's how I keep myself on an even playing field. Come Sunday, I'm going to go out there and perform and prepare the best that I can."