By Bryan Cox
Special to SuperBowl.com
NEW ORLEANS (Jan. 29, 2002) -- It finally dawned on me: We're in the Super Bowl. After the AFC Championship Game, I was smoking a cigar and it finally hit me: For the first time in my 11 years in the NFL, I'm going to play in the Super Bowl.
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It must have dawned on everyone else, too, because I had 36 messages on my cell phone. Everybody wanted to congratulate me, and a lot of them wanted to come to New Orleans. Everybody wants to go to the Super Bowl. It's where every NFL player wants to be.
There were so many things to get done Monday. We had a team meeting, then flew down here and now it's time to get ready. But I think I'll need another day or two to get all the travel and tickets and family stuff settled and get focused on the game. There's just too much going on.
We put all of our focus and energy into playing the Steelers, so we didn't look ahead to which team we might play in the Super Bowl. We have only six days to get ready for the Rams, but I don't mind. It's like a normal week in the NFL, except the game is bigger.
We played the Rams once this season [a 24-17 loss in Week 10], so we've already spent a week preparing for them. But the Rams are such a talented team and they can do so many things, we won't be able to use the same game plan. They change things up, add plays, and throw a lot at you. We played them pretty close during the season, but we're playing even better now.
The media is making a lot out of who will start at quarterback Sunday. Whether it's Tom Brady or Drew Bledsoe, it really doesn't matter to us. We don't worry about it and we're not going to get caught up in that controversy. Compared to most teams, I see it as a luxury for one team to have two quarterbacks who are so talented. If one gets hurt, the other steps in, just like Drew did on Sunday. How can that be a bad thing?
Instead of worrying about which quarterback will play, we need to focus on playing well no matter which quarterback starts. We might even need both of them before it's over.
-- As told to Tim Polzer