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Inside Answers: Haloti Ngata


*For the latest edition of Inside Answers, where we've taken questions from fans and brought them to a top performer in the Ravens' most-recent game. *


Here's defensive tackle Haloti Ngata with his answers to your questions.


[Ed. note: Questions may have been edited for clarity.

Matt Brandt, Severna Park, Md.:How does it feel to finally make it to the Pro Bowl? I think you have been one of the best D-linemen in the league for a while, but did not get recognition. Is that something you think about – being snubbed?

Ngata:"I didn't worry about not getting in. But it definitely feels good. I've dreamed of the Pro Bowl for a long time. But it's kind of like a group reward. I have to credit our D-line coach [Clarence Brooks] and our other D-line guys. It's great that one of us gets to get recognized, but it's also about them. We'll have fun, but hopefully I don't get to play in it."

S. Walter, Laurel, Del.: Haloti, congratulations on your selection to the Pro Bowl, you deserve it!!! We're so proud of you & grateful for all you do for the team!!! Who, in your life, have been your biggest fans and mentors? And who will be going to watch you at the Pro Bowl?

Ngata:"My parents were big when I was growing up. They are both deceased now, so it's my wife, my kid, my sisters and my brothers. They've been my biggest fans. I'm going to take them to the Pro Bowl, along with the D-line.

"Some of my mentors have also been guys in the locker room like Ray [Lewis] and Ed [Reed]. Some of the veterans in the locker room. They've always been good role models, just in the way they approach the game and the way they take care of their bodies. I look up to them and the way they prepare themselves. It's great to have those guys on the team to look up to and help you with your career."

Gary Jones, Pasadena Md.: I wanted to congratulate you for that big hit and sack on Roethlisberger. But knowing you play defensive line and knowing that you used to play rugby, would you ever want to play tight end or fullback?

Ngata:"I never wanted to play tight end, but I'd try fullback. You get handed the ball and then you can just run. As a tight end, you have to catch it. That's not for me. I'd rather just go and have people try to tackle me. I played a little fullback in high school during my freshman year, when I was smaller. Then, I played tight end as a sophomore. I was an offensive lineman as a junior and senior."

Perry Schaffer, Millersville: Hey Haloti, I heard on 98Rock that you never curse, so when a player talks dirty on the field, how do you usually respond to them, or how do you get them back?

Ngata:"Well, I don't curse a lot, but I don't want you to think I don't get angry. I'll talk back to anyone out there when I get riled up. A lot of times, when people talk, I just try to beat him that much more and see if he still talks. They don't talk a lot after that."

Blake Newberger, Crownsville: Hey Ngata, I know you're a big reggae and Bob Marley fan. Just wondering how does those mellow moods bring out such a fierce warrior? Much respect and good look to you for the rest of the season and you're my number one pro bowl candidate. Good Luck!

Ngata:"I think I definitely flip a switch when I get on the football field. If you play just chill, you can end up getting hurt. I learned from playing this game for so long that I can turn it on and off when I need to. You have to play with malice, because if you don't, you're going to get bullied out there."

Larry Simmons, Baltimore:It seems like the D-line has been getting after the quarterback more. What are you working on to make sure you can take down Big Ben and other quarterbacks?

Ngata:"I think it's us finally getting adjusted to Greg Mattison's defense. He wants a lot of pressure with the four-man front, and we do that more often than Rex [Ryan] did. Rex blitzed corners and linebackers from all different sides. We're more of a straight rush to see if we can beat a guy one-on-one. When we got that sense that he wanted us to do that, we really worked at getting to the quarterback with a four-man rush. It's a sense of pride for us."

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