<
>

Five minutes with Dominic Rhodes

Editor's note: Graham Bensinger is talking 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. Here is their conversation from Friday.

Graham Bensinger: How was the day?

Dominic Rhodes: The day was good. I'm up in this room with my family now. I had practice a little earlier and I've basically been relaxing. I just got up from a nap.

Bensinger: How was the nap?

Rhodes: The nap was pretty good. I needed that. I haven't slept very well the past couple nights so I needed to take a good nap.

Bensinger: Why haven't you been sleeping well?

"They have a great blitz package, man. They confuse you with it. That's pretty much been the toughest part. A lot of teams haven't been able to pick up the free guy. We're working hard so when that free guy comes loose, we got him. Everybody is going to be able to block up their man."
Dominic Rhodes on the Bears defense

Rhodes: I'm just anxious and ready to get on that field to play this game. I've got a lot of emotions built up right now that I guess can't wait to come out.

Bensinger: What have you been thinking about?

Rhodes: Everything. I'm thinking about how I can make big plays for this team and stuff like that. I'm thinking about how to help us win the game.

Bensinger: How was practice today?

Rhodes: We work on the same thing everyday. We're just trying to figure out what the Bears are going to do to us and work on it the best as possible. Then, when it comes to game time, I'll be ready and nothing new will pop up.

Bensinger: What have you seen on film from the Bears that concerns you?

Rhodes: They have a great blitz package, man. They confuse you with it. That's pretty much been the toughest part. A lot of teams haven't been able to pick up the free guy. We're working hard so when that free guy comes loose, we got him. Everybody is going to be able to block up their man.

Bensinger: What's Head Coach Tony Dungy like?

Rhodes: He's even-keel. He keeps telling us that we need to do everything that we've done in the past to win football games. He's just like he was before we made it to the Super Bowl. I don't think the Super Bowl has really changed anybody's focus. Granted, it's the biggest game of our lives, but we're still looking at it as one football game that we need to win.

Bensinger: What do you most respect about him?

Rhodes: I most respect how he treats players and coaches. He treats everyone like a man. He doesn't belittle anybody. It's a team and he knows everyone has a role.

Bensinger: People have obviously talked about the racial significance of this Super Bowl. It's the first time there's ever been an African-American head coach in the Super Bowl and there are two in this game. How surprised are you that it's taken this long?

Rhodes: The surprising part is only that it didn't happen sooner. The head coaching opportunities for blacks have been few and far between. Usually, when a black head coach gets a hold of a football team -- the team turns into a great, well-coached, physical football team. We don't get those [head coaching] opportunities often, but when we do, we take advantage of it.

Bensinger: Has all of your family come in?

Rhodes: Everyone is in but my 11-year-old son. He'll he in tomorrow.

Bensinger: What's he have to say about daddy being in the Super Bowl?

Rhodes: He's another analyst. He has a lot to say all the time. He probably knows more about football than I do. He's pretty happy about us being here. He's trying to tell me what we need to do better, what we should do better, what we can't do, and stuff like that. He's excited about the opportunity to watch his dad play in the Super Bowl.

He's already been counting the years to when he gets chance to play in the NFL. I'll be 38-years-old then.

Bensinger: What will you do with him before Super Sunday?

Rhodes: We'll get to talk, go out, and get a little something to eat. That will be it because Saturday we have to go to a different hotel at 7 p.m and shut things down. We'll be getting ready for the big dance!

Graham Bensinger is a regular contributor to ESPN.com. Visit his Web site at: TheGBShow.com. You can e-mail him at graham@thegbshow.com