Outside Linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux
Q: From Week 8, like halfway through the season. What do you think this defense has improved most at?
A: Minimizing mistakes. I feel like we've had our fair share of mistakes throughout the season, throughout the game. We've figured out how to minimize them and make plays.
Q: Is that part of becoming more familiar with what he (defensive coordinator Wink Martindale) wants to do? It's his first season, too.
A: Yeah, and guys just getting comfortable in their positions.
Q: What's it like playing a team a second time in three to four weeks?
A: I think that's one of the good things about the NFL, just being able to play guys multiple times.
Q: What are you expecting from your first playoff game? What do you expect from the atmosphere, the environment?
A: I think it'll be fun. It'll be a big game. There will probably be a lot of fans. I think it'll be exciting.
Q: Do you think it'll be any different from any of the games you've played so far?
Q: You said primetime games love you. What's the relationship with playoff games?
A: No clue, especially in the NFL. So, we'll see how it goes.
Q: The first game, if there was something you can have from the first game. You always hear players say, 'I'd like to have this play back or that play back.' What would you want back from that first game?
A: I think I'm satisfied with how it ended. Obviously, we wanted to win. But we're in this position now because of the trials we went through. Just being here now and knowing what we've got to do, we're in a good spot.
Q: I know you're not one-on-one against (Vikings wide receiver Justin) Jefferson, but what can you do to help slow him down?
A: Affect the quarterback. That's what us as edge rushers are brought here to do, and that's what we're going to continue to try to do.
Q: When you're playing a quarterback like (Vikings) Kirk (Cousins), who is a little bit more of a stationary, pocket passer, as a pass rusher, is that one where you're licking your chops at all going into it thinking like, 'We might have the opportunity to get home here,'?
A: It definitely is a different situation than playing a mobile quarterback, but you never want to take anything for granted.
Q: What are the specific things that Wink has done to get the best out of you and the entire defensive group?
A: Wink doesn't really have to do much. I think it's really on the players. This will forever be a player's sport and a player's game. So, we've just got to continue to build the camaraderie and continue to keep our focus on the next game.
Q: I'm sure you would be happy to play whoever because you're in the playoffs, but is it extra energy to get another shot at them because of that ending?
A: I think it's always a good feeling when you can play a team again. Going back out there, a lot of guys got a chip on their shoulder. So, being able to play with a little fire and a little passion.
Q: Is there a balance that you guys have to walk knowing that what happened in the past, on Christmas Eve, has no effect on this game.
A: Yeah, nothing (in the) past, yesterday or last week, has anything to do with the rest of the season. So, just got to have that 1-0 mentality and keep chipping away.
Q: The vast number of rookies, toward the tail end of their first season, they usually tend to hit a wall. With you, though, it seems like you've been playing your best ball of the season the last couple of weeks. Why have you been able to get through that without ever really having any hiccups towards the end here?
A: Just being consistent. It's different when you've got a team depending on you and you're depending on the team. Just being able to be in these good positions and really battling at the end of the season has really given me that extra notch to keep going and continuing that consistency.
Q: How much studying has there been on this offensive line? It's a little different offensive line than the first time you played them because they've been banged up. I think Wink used the term before the Colts game, 'blood in the water.' Is there blood in the water for this because they are so banged up?
A: I would definitely say you never want to take a team for granted, but we are definitely looking to watch the offensive line and see what we can kind of take away and what I can use to my advantage.
Q: You guys have grinded all year to have this extra opportunity for another game. How meaningful is that?
A: When you talk about it, I think there are only six games going on this weekend. It's an opportunity that a lot of people, even myself included, have never been in. Just to be here now, you've got to be grateful for it.
Q: Have you taken the chance to kind of sit back and breathe, because I imagine you had pre-draft process, draft process, then you're going into rookie mini camp and all that, now all the way through to now you're in the playoffs.
A: No, I definitely haven't. I think I won't take any rest until it's over. We're just going to keep going and keep trying to stack them.
Q: If your next-door neighbor (outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari) comes back, will that help this team?
A: When you're at full health, we're a great team. I'm excited to see everybody back. I'm excited to see guys go out there and play.
Q: It's one thing just to get here. But the opportunity to keep this going and to have unfinished business, do you feel that way?
A: I think that's the greatest part about the sport that we play because once you conquer that adversity, you're just blessed with another opportunity and more adversity. Just leading up to this point, being able to get here, has been a blessing. Now just (inaudible).
Q: Wink uses the term a lot, 'position-less defense.' I've asked several different guys this, what does that mean to you?
A: There's a statistic out – I think like 19 different guys (have) sacks. I think that attributes to the work that everybody puts in and understanding that I'm not always going to be the premier guy to make plays, but I might be setting up somebody else. You've got to have that selfless mentality to make it actually work.
Q: You said you relish the big moment. What goes through your mind and your body during those moments? You're gearing up for a snap that you know is going to decide the game. What are you doing? What are you thinking?
A: You've got to dig deep. I think that's something where you really tap into a different level of dog you got. You try to call upon it. Just having that relentless, just knowing that no matter how tired you are, it's only one or two more plays that you've got to dominate.
Q: For a playoff game, do you say to yourself every play is that?
A: Exactly. I think that's that next step. That's what makes it different.
What bozo asked that ?.
'If you stop drinking for a year, will that help your liver?'
Like come the fuck on.