- Graham Bensinger, Contributing Writer, ESPN.com
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Editor's note: Graham Bensinger will talk to Colts running back Dominic Rhodes for five minutes every day during Super Bowl week to get his thoughts leading up to the big game.
Graham Bensinger: How was your Tuesday night?
Dominic Rhodes: Well, it was a curfew night. My teammate Terrence Wilkins and I went and checked out his condo. We ate at this hole-in-the-wall restaurant, but it was pretty good. They had some good grouper there. We went on South Beach and caught some scenery. It was a pretty eventful day.
Bensinger: How was South Beach?
Rhodes: South Beach was something that I'd never seen before. All those restaurants and everybody was trying to get us to come and eat at theirs. You see all these beautiful women. That's what I'm looking for all those beautiful women out there.
Bensinger: What'd you do?
Rhodes: We just walked up and down the beach. Terrence and I looked around and familiarized ourselves with South Beach so this summer I can get myself a condo down here.
Bensinger: How did Wilkins' condo look?
Rhodes: It was real nice, man. I saw Jim Brown coming out of there. Lil Wayne was there, too. They both have condos up there.
Bensinger: Did you get a chance to talk to Jim Brown?
Rhodes: He was walking with some people and he was just like, "What's going on, young man?" I was like, "Hey, how you doing?" That was pretty much the extent of that conversation.
Bensinger: When did you call it a night?
Rhodes: I came in pretty early. I got in around 11 p.m. Our curfew was 1 a.m. and I didn't want to get in no kind of trouble, man! I'm basically here for a game. All that South Beach stuff will be here this summer and whenever I'm done playing football.
Bensinger: When did you have to get up this morning [Wednesday]?
Rhodes: We had to be up for the 10:45 a.m. team press conference. That was another circus right there. That was crazy, man. I'm amazed by all of these interviews. Everyone is just trying to get a story.
Bensinger: How did Wednesday's media session compare to media day?
Rhodes: It was pretty much the same except that we weren't at Dolphin Stadium. There were a bunch of the same questions and a lot of cameras and microphones in your face. I don't know if it's just that I wasn't expecting it, or what, but I'm just ready to play the game. I was so happy at practice today that I didn't have to answer no questions and just got to play football.
Bensinger: How was practice?
Rhodes: Practice was pretty cool. We were just trying to familiarize ourselves with Chicago. It felt great out there, especially coming from Indy. That sun was nice. We're practicing in a great facility [the Miami Dolphins' practice facility].
Bensinger: What does the team most need to work on?
Rhodes: Everything. We have so many days left until the game. We need to make sure we get every detail and point possible. You'll never know everything about a team because they're going to change things up, but the things that we do have on film we need to repeatedly practice. It's going to be a tough game.
Bensinger: You signed with the Colts as an undrafted free agent. The expectations were low yet you became the first undrafted free agent in NFL history to rush for over 1,000 yards in your rookie season. What was that like?
Rhodes: It was a year of satisfaction and silencing a lot of people. I let people know that I was here to stay. It was a blessing. The Lord gave me an opportunity to play even if it was at the expense of a great player going down [Edgerrin James]. I always knew that I could play in this league and I took advantage of my chance.
Bensinger: How did your success that rookie year change how people viewed you?
Rhodes: After my first year, people realized that I was going to be able to play in this league. They realized that even though I came from a small school I could still play football. Coming out of high school, I was supposed to go D-I, but I messed up with my grades. I'm glad I had to prove myself and show people the hard way.
Bensinger: When you tore your ACL in your second pro season, what was the biggest hurdle that you had to overcome?
Rhodes: It was getting myself back together and realizing that my career wasn't over. I just had to work hard to come back. That was the biggest hurdle. I wouldn't wish that injury on my worst enemy. After you tear your ACL, it really forces you to decide whether or not you want to continue playing football. In order for you to come back from that type of injury, you've got to really want something.
Bensinger: This season you finally got the opportunity to start 16 games. What was that like?
Rhodes: Awesome, man. This year has been an outstanding experience. After Edgerrin left, the torch was passed to me. It allowed me the opportunity to show people that I could hold up and contribute.
Bensinger: How was splitting time with rookie Joseph Addai?
Rhodes: We feed off each other, man. It's keeping both of us healthy. So far, it's been a great situation because we've made it to the Super Bowl. I love Joseph. He's a great person. We're both two unselfish people that are learning how to play together.
Bensinger: Obviously, since you're a football player, you're the ultimate competitor. You want to be out there for every play. What effect does not playing every down have on you?
Rhodes: Sometimes, as a running back, you have to get into the flow of the game. Me being a competitor and the type of player I am, I do want to be out there all of the time. That's why I started playing this game. I want to be on the field. I feel like I give my team the best chance to win, but this has still been a great situation. My coaches knew what they were doing. Joseph and I are both fresh right now.
Bensinger: How strange is it without Edgerrin?
Rhodes: It's been strange without a lot of guys. We're missing Mike Peterson, Marcus Washington, Marcus Pollard, and others. All those guys were once here. They were my teammates and helped lay this foundation. It's strange not being able to share this with all of them. I share a piece of my heart with all those guys. They should all be able to be a part of this.
Bensinger: Considering how Edgerrin and the Colts parted ways, in addition to him living in Miami, it has to be especially tough on him.
Rhodes: God had other plans for him and us. I'm pretty sure he'll get his day. For Edgerrin, it's a bittersweet deal. He's getting to see his teammates play in the biggest game of their lives. He gets to cheer us on, but he's not playing with us.
Graham Bensinger is a regular contributor to ESPN.com. Visit his Web site at: TheGBShow.com. You can e-mail him at email@example.com
From the constant media circus to enjoying South Beach, Dominic Rhodes talks about his experience so far at Super Bowl XLI.