Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Asked and answered: Deltha O'Neal, Patriots cornerback

Deltha O'Neal played four season with the Broncos, but he won't be thinking much about that on Monday night -- he'll be thinking about preventing the big plays that burned him in the Patriots' 30-10 loss to the Chargers last Sunday.

On the first play of the game on Sunday (a 48-yard bomb from Philip Rivers to Vincent Jackson), what happened on that play?
"Oh, man, they tried to take a shot. I guess it was a good call for them. As a corner coming in, you would never expect that on the first play, so it was a good call. It was a good call on their part. ... It was just fortunate that I got him down and he didn't score because that would have really been embarrassing. But it was just a good play."

What did you see on the film on that play?
"I had a chance to get the ball out of his hands, but he fell on his back, so it just fell right in his lap. I just saw that they made a good play. I didn't. ... I was in great position to make a play; they just came out with the ball. My experience in the NFL, nine times out of 10, if I'm that close to the ball, I'm either picking it or knocking it down, so good job on their part."

It's a copycat league, so do you expect more teams to air it out against you guys?
"Most definitely. Until we get it stopped, yeah, that's what you've got to expect. We're going to work hard at that, of course, and just keep trying to put 'W's up."

How did you feel after that game?
"I felt embarrassed. I felt down. I felt like there were things I could’ve did that probably could have changed the outcome of the game. But I’m my worst critic. I sat there and thought about it these past couple of days, that whole flight home. I’m over it now. It was just one game."

Did you say anything to the team or your teammates?
"I talked to a couple of my corners, and they helped me out on the plane: 'Don't worry about it. It happens. At least you didn't just get blown away -- you were right there,' which is true. It happens. The way I look at it, they get paid, too. My job is, don't make it a recurring event. Try to stop that from happening."

Are you looking for some redemption on Monday?
"Most definitely. Most definitely. They've got some good receivers over there, so it's going to be another challenge."

What have you seen out of those receivers on film so far, (Brandon) Marshall and (Eddie) Royal?
"Good receivers -- Marshall is big, and he's good at catching the ball and running, after catching the ball, running with it. The quarterback has a strong arm. They're in sync right now, so it'll be a good challengef or the secondary."

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