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In His Own Words: Justin Smiley

On Friday, some of us from different Miami Dolphins websites/blogs had the opportunity to take part in a conference call with starting guard Justin Smiley.  There were 11 or 12 of us and we each got to ask Justin one question.

Unfortunately, my recording equipment crapped out on me after the first 4 or 5 questions.  So below I've transcribed Smiley's responses on the questions that I was able to record.  I'll look around some of the other Dolphin sites to see if any of them have the other half of the call which I wasn't able to record.

(On what it felt like to beat the Pats like they did)
"It was an amazing feeling; one, because really nobody in the world gave us a chance.  And we were 0-2 and going there, they’ve won 24 straight at home and they played in the big game last year.  To go there and win in that fashion, to dominate the way that we did was really the most pleasing part of it.  Honestly, if we’d have won by a point, people would have said, ‘Oh, that was a lucky win.’  But to go there and spank them like we did and dominate on both sides of the football, there’s really nothing nobody can say about it."

(On the “Wildcat” formation)
"We put that formation in a long time ago, back during training camp.  So it’s been around and we kind of pulled it out of the archives and we kind of shook the rust off it and we ran a couple plays – which reminds you, there’s a lot more to that formation than people seen.

…That’s a wrinkle in there, but I don’t think [the Patriots] were ready for the kind of game that we were going to play.  We made up our mind during pre-game that we were going to go out there and hit them in the mouth, and if they hit us back, we were going to hit them again.  That was kind of the gameplan that we had.  And we just needed to execute better."

(On if he has any superstition or set routine before he goes onto the field)
"Honestly, I’m scared senseless of getting over worked up before a game.  It’s already nerve-racking as it is.  Every game that I’ve played, my nerves are just going.  I’m on the edge of my seat the whole time.  I’m just really honestly trying to control my breathing.  I think, more than anything, when I sit there I’m like, ‘Man, I just need to calm down a little bit.’ 

When I go out to pre-game, I kind of look around and I look at all the fans and I always say to myself, ‘Man, this is my dream ever since I was a little boy.’  And I’m living the dream.  I just need to go out there and play the game like a little kid would play."

(On the loss of Donald Thomas and how they’ve dealt with it)
"Well I’ll tell you, I really liked Donald from the first day that I met him as a person because he was a hungry rookie.  He was very respectful and a very humble guy.  Obviously, being drafted in the sixth round, ont many people knew much about Donald Thomas.  But to come in and quickly earn the name of either ‘Mini Brian’ or ‘Brian Jr.’ for Brian Waters of the Kansas City Chiefs; he looks like him, plays like him.

I mean, the guy is an amazing player as a rookie.  I never dreamt of playing as well as he did as a rookie.  And to lose him, it hurt us, it hurt us.  But it opened up some doors for some other people and people stepped up.  It’s one of those things in the NFL, injuries are going to occur.  And it may happen to your best players, but you got to march on."

(On his pulls on those “Wildcat” plays)
"It was good to kind of get back into the rhythm of it.  It’s always been my forte or my strength.  Don’t get me wrong, there are other things that I want to do to better myself.  But it was nice to kind of get out there in the open field and block a little bit."

A big thanks to both Justin for taking some time out of his off-day to answer our questions and to Scott Stone of the Miami Dolphins for giving us website/blog guys an opportunity to take part in this.