Exciting rookie T.J. Rushing got the Colts pumped-up with a 63-yard kickoff return against the Rams.…
ColtPower Insider Q&A: T.J. Rushing
TJ: (laughs) I was pretty pumped, after the game I thought I did all right, but now it's time to move on to the next game and try to get a little bit better before we play Seattle. But I thought all-in-all my effort out on the field was pretty decent.
ET: Yeah, I would say so -- a 63-yard kickoff return that really electrified that sideline. I was able to see on television the expressions of a lot of the players and I think you impressed a lot of guys that night.
TJ: Yeah, that's what I wanted to do because you come in as a rookie, you have to do something to earn respect and get people fired up about you coming in and playing on their team. So I got my opportunity and it worked out well for me.
ET: What happened on that play TJ, what did you see and what happened that allowed you to break that run?
TJ: I just saw them over-pursuing to one direction. I saw a couple guys lay a couple key blocks. I was able to get around the kicker, but he did a good job of deterring me, so I couldn't score -- but I couldn't let him tackle me.
ET: Now I think if I remember correctly, on one of the punts did you also have a little bit of a muff?
TJ: Oh yeah, I muffed that one. That's why I'm not too thrilled with my overall game performance, because that's all I can think about right now is that I dropped a punt.
ET: How big of an adrenaline shot did you get when that ball slipped through your hands?
TJ: Aw, unbelievable (laughs). I mean, everything just froze for a second and I was like "I've got to get this ball!" Luckily for me the punter kicked a good one -- about 60-65 yards -- so I had time to pick it up before anyone was there.
ET: What's your first impression of playing in a real game in the NFL versus college in regards to the speed and the hits that you saw against the Rams?
TJ: Oh, wow… Everybody on the field is fast. Like in college, the skill guys were fast, but in the NFL lineman are fast, D-lineman are fast. Every single position can run, so that's the biggest difference. The collisions that occur -- they're vicious. We were watching special teams tapes and guys were knocking each others' helmets off and just full-speed hitting each other.
ET: What was the reaction when they played your big kickoff return. What happened in the room?
TJ: Everybody was like, "Good job, T.J., that's the way to run." Coach slowed it down and showed where the kicker was trying to get me and sure enough as soon as I got rid of him I got to the corner. So I've definitely got to find that extra gear. There were a couple of really big blocks that everybody got excited about. James Mungro made a key block and Kelvin Hayden had a pretty vicious shot also.
ET: Anything else you want me to pass on to the fans for you T.J.?
TJ: Tell them to stay tuned (laughs). We're out here practicing and working hard. It's going to be a great season and we're going to get it done.
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