Senior Staff Columnist David Teel of the dailypress.com had the opportunity to interview Antoine Bethea and ask some important questions about Bethea’s growing role in Indianapolis, his goals for the 2010 season, and how he ended up playing for the Colts. Below is an excerpt of Teel’s story.
On the difference between winning a Super Bowl, which the Colts did in his rookie season of 2006, and losing a Super Bowl, which they did last season: “You’ve got an extra chip on your shoulder. You thought possibly you were the better team [Indy lost to New Orleans] but came out on the losing end. You go into the offseason thinking about that one game. Even though we had a great year, it’s that one game.
“Every weight that you lift, every sprint that you run, you’re thinking, ‘We have to get back to that Super Bowl and get another ring.'”
On starting every game the last two seasons and emerging as a team leader: “Feel that I am, not be cocky or anything. I like to lead by example. When it’s time for someone to speak up, I feel like I can speak up.
“You have to earn that respect. I feel I’ve earned it. I’m pretty sure my teammates would say, ‘If he says something, we’ll listen.'”
On the Colts’ front office’s decision not to pursue a perfect season despite a 14-0 start: “Of course, you always wanted to go for that 16-0. But then again, the coaches and the higher personnel, they had a vision and insight as well.
“They’ve been in the game much longer than I’ve been in the game. As players we said, ‘Whatever decision they make we’ll support 100 percent,’ and that’s what we did.”
On Peyton Manning, the team’s iconic quarterback: “He’s a humble dude, real down-to-earth. That’s why everybody likes 18.”
On playing for a franchise that’s won at least 10 games each of the last eight seasons: “On draft day in ’06, sixth round, I really wasn’t happy with it. … First of all, I never thought I’d be in Indianapolis, Indiana a day in my life. … But it’s an organization anyone would die to play for. A good core group of guys.”