MJD: First, congratulations on your first Pro Bowl. How was that for you?
D'Brickashaw Ferguson: Very fun. I enjoyed that a lot, man. I really did.
MJD: So tell me honestly. During the whole game, the commentators on TV are trying to sell the idea that you guys really care you and you really take this game seriously, but on a scale of one to 10, where 10 is the Super Bowl and one is a game of Scrabble with the neighbors, how much do you really care about winning the Pro Bowl?
Brick: Oh, it's huge, man. It's more of a pride game, you know. You get a chance to go against the top athletes, and it's fun to go against those guys. It's just a pride game, man, so you don't have to worry so much about all the calls, or how this game is going to affect you in the regular season. You can just go out there and play because you're having fun. I think that's what makes it so fun.
MJD: Obviously, it was a great year for you and for the Jets, and I don't think that's something everyone expected. When did you know that this year's Jets were a team that could get deep into the playoffs?
Brick:I think it was a thing where our goal at the beginning of the year was to go to the Super Bowl. To win the Super Bowl, actually, and that was something that Rex was passionate about the whole season. And the fact that we were able to get really far and deep into the playoffs really just shows his faith in what we can do, because he never really wavered, and he was really consistent in saying what we need to do as a team.
MJD: I wanted to ask about Mark Sanchez(notes), and really, rookie quarterbacks in general. Because you're a veteran guy now, and when a rookie quarterback comes into the huddle, how long does it take before he really has command of the huddle, and the respect of all the guys in there?
Brick: You know, I think he has a lot of poise and a lot of great leadership characteristics. That's not always common for young guys to have. But I think he was able to do that, come in, and when adversity struck, he was able to handle that well, also. And I think that's one of the reasons why we were able to follow his lead a little bit, and it's one of the reasons why we ended up having a lot of success towards the end.
MJD: Was there one particular moment where it kind of clicked for him, and you said to yourself, "This is our guy, we believe in him"?
Brick: It was during training camp. Even though he's a young guy, he has poise. He's not -- he doesn't waver. In tough times during the game, he doesn't show fear. He's got a lot of confidence, and I think that really speaks volumes when you're a young guy in a big-time situation.
MJD: So I read that you're a black belt in karate?
Brick: Yeah, that was something I did in high school. I finished up in high school, but through my elementary years, my dad really wanted me to do something like that.
MJD: Does the karate experience help at all on the football field?
Brick: I think it really helps with the discipline. Understanding what it is to achieve different goals, to go from level to level. You know, there's a number of years that went by going from a white belt to a black belt. And I think in a similar respect, years go by with your maturation process, and it's just as important to be disciplined with that, as it was in karate.
MJD: We just saw Herschel Walker this weekend in an MMA fight. Would you ever consider taking your karate experience and--
Brick: No, I would never do that.
Brick: Nah, that's not me.
MJD: Who are the three toughest guys in the league to block?
Brick: The three toughest guys. I would say ... hm, that's a good question. Obviously, Freeney's very difficult. He does a lot of different things, and he's challenging. I would say Julius Peppers(notes), he's another strong guy. Savvy veteran. And the Patriots. They always provide issues because of their fundamental attack, and I think those are probably the three guys or groups that are very challenging.
MJD: You mentioned Rex Ryan earlier. It seems to an outsider that he sort of walks a fine line between brilliant and crazy. What's it like playing for him, compared to some of the other coaches you've had in your career?
Brick: One thing that's very noticeable about Rex is that he's extremely passionate about what he does, and his passion allows him or pushes him to do certain things. I think that's what's most notable about him. His passion -- they often times call it "swagger" -- is at such a high level, that when he's around, people notice.
MJD: You want to tell us what you're doing with Gatorade today?
Brick: Sure! I just had an opportunity to check out their G series and kind of work in their lab a little bit. Their G series is something that's really critical in aiding athletes in refueling and replenishing things they lose before, during and even after activities. I think that's something that's going to be really good in the offseason, because that's when you're trying to get better and really trying to build for the season. And these are things that are really going to help in the process.
MJD: Cool. You mind if we switch to some non-football questions?
MJD: Conan O'Brien or Jay Leno?
Brick: Let's go O'Brien. Conan O'Brien.
MJD: If you could have dinner with any three people in history, dead or alive, who would they be?
Brick: I'll say Barack Obama. I'll say ... Michael Jackson. And let's say George Washington.
MJD: Interesting. Why George Washington?
Brick: You gotta have, you know, from the beginning -- the president for the beginning and then the president for the end, and then you can kind of bridge the gap between all that history and all that knowledge. What would he say seeing Barack as president? And even vice-versa. That would be a very interesting convo. You just sprinkle in a little Michael, and you've got some nice entertainment.
MJD: What's the last movie you saw?
MJD: Oh, how'd you like that?
Brick: I thought it was good, man. I think Denzel's always trying to re-invent himself as an actor, and I think as long as he continues to do that, people will flock to him because he's not scared of trying new projects.
MJD: Yeah, I liked that movie, too. I just thought it looked really cool, they way they shot it.
MJD: What's on your iPod right now?
Brick: I got a little Diplomats, I got some Wayne. But I also got some Sade. I got Maxwell. I got some Linkin Park. I got a little variety.
MJD: What's one hobby you have, or one thing you enjoy doing that you might be surprised to hear that a football player does?
Brick: A hobby that I have. What hobby do I have? I've been cutting my hair ever since college. I try to do that whenever it gets rough. I'm not too cheap to go the Barber Shop, but I mostly try to do that by myself. I try to keep my skills sharp.
MJD: You cut anybody else's hair, on the team?
Brick: I used to, back in the day, but I've had some bad experiences. So I've stopped doing that, but mostly, it was just for fun.
MJD: Say your house catches on fire, and all your loved ones and pets are safe, and you've got the opportunity to go back in and grab one thing. What would it be?
Brick: I would grab my Pro Bowl jersey.
MJD: Is that right?
Brick: I worked so hard to get that, man. I can't let that burn up.
MJD: If you could wake up tomorrow with one superhero power, what would it be?
Brick: I wouldn't mind being like X-Men, and having the claws. I mean, I don't think they'd let me play football, but it would look cool.
MJD: What's the best thing about being D'Brickashaw Ferguson?
Brick: Other than being in the National Football League, I think just having the ability to be on this stage and this platform. To be able to say certain things, and have access to certain things not everyone has a chance to.
MJD: You've played the Colts twice this season, and you played the Saints earlier in the season, so you've got a pretty qualified opinion. Give us a prediction for the Super Bowl.
Brick: I'm gonna go with the Saints. Let's do 27-21.
MJD: Why the Saints?
Brick: Other than the fact that I'm still bitter that the Colts beat us, I do think they have a good chance. I do think they're a very competitive team, and they play well as a team. I think different athletes have been stepping up, whether it be Reggie Bush(notes) or one of the receivers. Their defense, you know, they got a lot of hits on Favre when they played the Vikings. I think it might be their time, so why not?
Gatorade Performance Lab at Super Bowl XLIV
The Gatorade Performance Lab is a sports science facility which provides an inside look at the real research Gatorade conducts with elite athletes. Throughout the week scientists from the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) will use the specially designed lab to conduct athlete performance tests on a host of elite football stars like Eli Manning(notes), Maurice Jones-Drew(notes), Ray Lewis(notes), Sam Bradford, and many more. The cutting-edge tests will measure various fitness levels, and the athletes will use the new G Series of products to maximize performance before (Prime), during (Perform) and after (Recover) activity. Gatorade designed the G Series, which hits stores this spring, based on the science, performance testing and feedback from athletes that you'll see firsthand this week testing with the sports performance innovator.