FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Catching up with rookie linebacker Dont'a Hightower, as he drew a large crowd of reporters in the locker room on Friday.
Part of the Q&A:
How much have you learned about putting the previous game behind you?
“Just like during the game, if you have one bad play, you can’t hold it against yourself. You have to forget that play and make up for it. This week, I’ve been trying to do a little extra, more than usual, and maybe watch a little more film, maybe a little more time in the weight room, to hopefully come away with the W.”
Any extra excitement playing in a game like this?
“I’m living my dream now, just being able to play in the NFL. I’m definitely looking forward to this game. It’s going to be a big game. Those guys got a chip on their shoulder from this past season.”
Facing Ray Rice, what is the mentality for you as you enter this game?
“The mentality is the same for any game, regardless of the running back. Every running back is in the NFL for a reason. Ray Rice is a great running back in all different aspects -- running, catching out of the backfield, making guys miss. So I’m definitely watching film close on him, what he likes to do, his tendencies. But I’m coming in with the same mentality I have every game -- be disruptive.”
How much of this challenge is mental as opposed to physical?
“For me, I really like to get all the film study and tendencies in my head, so I can know what they’re going to do by formation, by downs. ... So when I go out on Sunday, I know what they’re going to do and how they’re going to do it, what players are in, so I can go in and play hard and aggressive and not so much think about it.”
What are your impressions of Tavon Wilson so far?
“Definitely a steal. He’s a great player -- athletic, smart, fast, hard-hitting, definitely a guy behind me that I can depend on to be a safety, a guy back there who is going to stop them from making big plays. I feel like he’s definitely doing everything everyone in this organization has asked him to.”