Aaron Rouse, 11.06.09

Q. Anytime there is a change in the starting lineup the replacement is being put in there for a reason, to correct something. How much extra pressure does that put on you knowing that you are being put in this spot?

A. This is the NFL, pressure comes week in and week out. As a team and as a member of this team, everybody has to be prepared to play whether you are a starter or not. We look at it as if you are first or second string you are going to be a starter because it only takes one play for you to come up in that starting 11. Regardless whether or not I was starting this week, that is how I practice. I’m looking forward to the opportunity.

Q. What was your reaction when you found out?

A. It’s OK. I practice as if I was the starter. It is something that I pride myself on, practicing hard. When coach finalized it, it wasn’t a big deal. I make sure that’s how I practice and carry it over to the game.

Q. This defense has given up a lot of big plays over the three-game losing streak. What do you think you can add to this defense to help stop them?

A. Not to give up the big play, play solid football and get back to the things we were doing weeks one through five. Playing the ball well, running to the ball and making sure that we don’t give up big plays.

Q. Do you feel like you are completely up to speed on the defense?

A. I completely feel up to speed. If I wasn’t, I don’t think the coaches would make me a starter. That shows the confidence they have in me. I am just trying to go out there and live up to it.

Q. Was this a tough transition to this defense?

A. You go from three different coordinators in three years it is going to be different. Coach Dave Merritt brought me along smoothly. My teammates, (Antonio) Pierce, Michael Johnson, C.C. Brown, have been talking to me constantly. (Corey) Webster, making sure that we are on the same page. When you have teammates out there that constantly talk to you and make sure that you are on the same page, it works out well.

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