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1.8 RB Derrick Ward

How excited are you for this week?

I am real excited.  This will be my first playoff game.  I have been here for five years, we have been in the playoffs for four years, and this is actually my first time being able to play and contribute.  It will be fun.

Injuries always kept you from participating in the playoffs?

Yeah.  The last three years injuries have set me back from not playing in the playoffs, but you know things happen.  I was healthy all year this year and able to contribute, so it will just be a great time for me out there.

How did you get through last year's playoff run? Were you watching?

I was watching at home just rehabbing my leg.  I broke my leg versus Chicago and wasn't able to make it through the playoffs so I was at home cheering and just being a fan and just getting the leg right.

Does it make you more anxious this year that you didn't get to play in the Super Bowl run last year?

Oh most definitely.  When you are a kid you always dream about playing in the Super Bowl and contributing and doing all the things you need to do to get there, and unfortunately I wasn't able to do that last year, but that was last year and this is this year.  We are pretty much healthy, we have the Eagles, and it will just be a great game to play in and to watch.  I will be out there giving it my best.

How do you feel about where your game is this year heading into the playoffs?  Is it more special that you contributed so much this season?

It is always good to feel that you helped this team get to the point where we are.  We are in the playoffs and I would like to think that I had a good part of dealing with that.  It will just be fun.  My first playoff game, I feel like a little kid right now.  I am happy, we have had a good week of practice so far and it will just be fun to get out there on Sunday and put it all together.

Did you wonder if you would ever get a chance to play in the playoffs?

 No, I had confidence.  We have a great team.  We have had a great team since I have been here.  We have been in the playoffs the last four years, so we just couldn't put it together until last year and it has all worked out.  It worked out last year, we set our goals high this year, and we have completed a couple of them and we still have a couple more to go.  We are here and it is that time of the year again.

Do you have a different feeling about your Super Bowl ring since you didn't get to play in the game?

It means the world to me, but I wasn't able to help my teammates in the playoffs last year to get it.  It still feels good to have it.  I look at it from time to time, but I would like to get another one this year and actually help contribute to getting one and actually playing in the games to get up to that point.

What does Madison Hedgecock add to the running game?

Madison, he is been a big part of it.  Without him we wouldn't have as many yards as we do.  We call him the preacher because he likes to baptize people, he says.  He is a great teammate, a great football player, he is smart, and he does all the little things that nobody else sees, but we see, and I am glad he is on my team and I am glad he is lead-blocking for me, Brandon, and Ahmad.  Hopefully it will continue to be that way throughout the course of these playoffs.

How impressed are you with the Eagles' linebackers?

They are underrated and they play a great style of defense.  It all starts in the middle with Stewart Bradley.  He is an up and coming middle linebacker.  They have done some great things this year on defense.  They pretty much showed in the Dallas game at the end of the year that they can hold their own against anybody.

Do you think they have improved as the season has gone on?

Oh yeah, most definitely they have improved.  They didn't start off very well during the first part of the season, but for the last part of the season they are one of the best defensive groups in the NFL, and it is going to be a challenge for us this week, but we are up for it. 

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