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DT D.J. Reader


Q. Can you elaborate on your quote? (Indiscernible).

D.J. READER: Why not us? I feel like we've been getting slept on all year, disrespected. It's something we take pride for in this locker room. We've got a lot of guys that go out there and fight every day. You all see it. We take it as disrespect every time. All year it's been something. 'We won't do this, we won't do that, we won't do this.' We don't worry about outside noise. We read it. We're not worried about it. We're confident in us. We feel like we're the people. We're going out there every game feeling we're confident, we need to be the ones to be beat.

Q. Logan (Wilson) was talking about the buy-in and OTAs. How did that translate in a game like this? Where do you see it?

D.J. READER: Everybody competed, put in blood, sweat and tears with each other. And we hold that true. In times of adversity, you've seen it. Two-minute, we get the ball back because we're confident in us as a team. We knew our offense will go out and do their thing. And if they don't, we don't worry about it because we play defense and our job is to get the ball back for them.

Q. In the (inaudible) and as defense did you guys say this guy's won us the game so many times, it's our turn to put him on our backs?

D.J. READER: Every week we go out there try to get the ball back to 9 (Joe Burrow). That's what we believe in as a team. That's who we're trying to get the ball to. No matter what's going on with him, we'll go out there and get the ball back to him. That's our jobs. He's the toughest guy in the league, though. He's tough. Just gritty. Love it. I love that about him. He's a super tough guy. He doesn't complain. Goes out there does his job. I really appreciate Joe (Burrow).

Q. Why was there so much buy-in since the beginning of the season?

D.J. READER: Because there's so much doubt every year, year in and year out. There's doubt. A lot of guys came to this locker room wanting to change it. That's what they're doing.

Q. Did you feel the doubt throughout the week that you all would be able to (indiscernible)?

D.J. READER: You've seen the clippings. You've seen what's on Twitter. You all see what's going -- the NFL, what is it, Good Morning Football, where only one team -- you know what's going on. It's not a surprise. I get it. I get it.

Q. Does that matter to you?

D.J. READER: It's personal. Yeah. It matters to you all the time. You're a man, human -- man, woman, anything. You want somebody to doubt you, your ability to do your job? As a journalist, you want somebody to doubt you to do your job? No, it's disrespectful. You've got to go out there and take it. You got to earn respect, so we get it. We'll keep chopping at the wood like we've been doing.

Q. Did you feel like you guys have earned the respect?

D.J. READER: I don't worry about what everybody else (has) got going on. We respect each other in the locker room. Everybody respect each other and that's what matters. I know the guy next to me respect me. I respect him.

Q. How happy were you to (indiscernible) have that interception?

D.J. READER: That's my dog. That's my dog. He called it earlier this week. He said it was going to happen. I believe in the power of words. You've got to speak things into existence. He did that.

Q. What did he say?

D.J. READER: I can't tell you the direct quote but he said he's going to get one. That's what he said.

Q. You were talking about (inaudible) and talking about a guy that flies under the radar because of your position. Having a game like this (inaudible)?

D.J. READER: It don't matter to me. I know who I am. I'm confident who I am as a player. I know what I do. You all seen it. Everybody's seen it. I know what I do as a player. I don't worry about it. I read it. I go on Twitter all the time. Read it, type in "D.J. Reader" to see what's going on. But I don't worry about it. It's just fuel to my fire. Been doubted my whole life. I spent seven, eight years old running around in a trash bag trying to make pee wee football weight limits. People don't grind like me. That's what I care about.

Q. You were the first guy brought in. Seems like they built it around you. Kind of the thing (indiscernible), fourth-and-one, (indiscernible) two-pointer. You guys (inaudible) defense that is?

D.J. READER: I think the guys who were on this team when I came in, we brought in an attitude of, 'We're going to play defense and worry about our job and worry about what we're going to do, we're going to go out there every day and grind.' And it translates. You're not complaining, you're not this, you're not that. We don't have an indoor. Nobody out there complaining. Four degrees couple weeks ago. Nobody said nothing. It's what we do. Guys are out there playing. Guys want to play football. They want to go out there and grind. There's a lot of guys on this team who have been passed on or moved from team to team and whatever, not good opportunities. You know how many free agents we got -- the old team didn't want them. So that's where we come in and take the attitude with it.

Q. How important is a win like tonight on the road against No. 1 seed, knowing you're going to into Kansas City hostile environment, or Buffalo which is a hostile environment?

D.J. READER: It's good to get a win. In the playoffs, we're still dancing. So we're going to keep going out there dancing, being on the floor and just doing what we do. We're going to see who wins, see who we've got to play and prepare for them.

Q. Do you think the disrespect is still going to continue?

D.J. READER: Yeah. Yeah. You've been around the franchise. You've all been around here. It's going to continue. But we don't care. We don't care.

Q. On that, Joe Burrow said that he's tired of the underdog mentality, and that you guys are a really really good football team. Do you stick with the underdog narrative?

D.J. READER: I've been an underdog my whole life. I was a three-star recruit. Told I couldn't do this, couldn't do that. I ain't worried about it. A lot of guys in there with me been underdogs. They don't look at themselves that way. How can you look at yourself as the underdog when you overcome all that? You can't. I tore my quad tendon last year. I'm back in the playoffs. This is great. I don't look at myself as an underdog. I'm overcoming everything.

Q. (Indiscernible) rolled their eyes at kickers. Probably don't do that now. What's your thoughts?

D.J. READER: I love Evan (McPherson). I never rolled my eyes at kickers. I've been around some good ones. I came in with a pretty good kicker in Houston. And I saw Evan. I saw him in camp. I see his demeanor. Kickers are about demeanor to me. I see his demeanor, his confidence, how he feels, how he is in the locker room. He's one of the guys. He's not on no weird stuff. He's not finicky. It's appreciative. So we appreciate him. We've got all the confidence in the world in him.

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