NFL Players In Their Own Words

Mental Mastery

Fred Beasley:

"I don't think [football is so much about] skills. I think it's more mental -- being consistent. You don't want to have up and down games. You want to do it so they can always count on you. So I think it's more mental than physical, skills-wise. This game is 70 percent mental and 30 percent physical."

Jonas Jennings:

"I study, and I know my strong points, and I look for their weak points. When we're studying the opponents, I don't look at the opponents as much. I look at the players who are playing the opponent -- what a player tried to do to the opponent, and how did the opponent react to what the player was doing. So I pick up a lot of tendencies, knowing if I do that same thing, he's going to do this, and I know how to counteract."

Willie Anderson:

"I'm a pretty good athlete, but at the same time, I work real hard at getting my technique, because there's going to come a time when I'm not going to be as strong as I am right now or as quick as I am right now. The thing that is going to carry any player through -- whether you have an injury or slow down due to age or whatever -- is your technique. You have to be a fundamentally sound player. That's one of the things I would tell a young guy playing sports: Learn how to play your position. Learn how to master your position."

Takeo Spikes:

"[If I'm having a hard time on the field,] I talk to myself: 'Spikes, you're a better player than that. I know you're better than that. I know you're better than that, so let's prove it.' And I always think, you have one opportunity. Now are you going to tell me, you're going to blow this opportunity? If you walked away from this game, you would be walking away saying 'If I did this or that.' And I don't believe in walking away from something saying 'if.'"

Jonas Jennings:

"I try to keep going. If you miss a block, and you dwell on that block, more than likely, you're going to miss another one. You've got to flush it -- you've got to choke the negative. I start laughing, when I do something bad, or something that's out of the ordinary for me. You laugh it off, trying to get to the next play."

Carlos Emmons:

"I don't think there's anything you can do to make anyone be able to handle pressure situations. Some people can handle it, and some people can't. You always have those people that, when they're put under a pressure situation, they won't come through for you. And there are some people that, no matter what the situation, they'll always come through for you. I think that's something that's instilled in a person at birth. It's not something you can teach."

Willie Anderson:

"The good players and the good teams are able to shake themselves out of that rut and get out of that funk, and just get to a rhythm. Coaches talk about keeping your tempo up -- getting the play in, getting out of the huddle, running the play with speed, getting back into the huddle. The faster we can get the play off, the more confused the defense is going to be. When you're not focused, when you're not in the rhythm, when you're in that rut, that's when see a receiver jump outside on third and one, when he doesn't have anything to do but just stand there."