Welcome to 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 linebacker Nick Greisen, who was a team captain and started in a five-linebacker defense last week against the New York Giants.
[Ed. note: Questions may have been edited for clarity.]
Shawn Elmer, Townsend, DE: Hi Nick. What's your favorite thing about working with defensive coordinator Rex Ryan?
Nick Greisen:"Playing for Rex is a great thing because he takes his job serious, but at the same time he makes it fun for you so it doesn't wear you down. He doesn't wear you out with everything that he talks about and everything that we do. He makes it fun so you want to show up to work and play hard for him."
Scott Solano, Orlando, FL, but from Frederick, MD: After having a season and a half with the Ravens, do you feel that you have adapted well to living in Baltimore and if so, how do you feel the fans differ from those in New York and Jacksonville?
NG:"I've adapted to anywhere I go. I can live anywhere in this country. New York and Baltimore have similar fans. People in north know football and understand it. Down in Jacksonville, it's night and day. There's not much tradition. It was a newer franchise. Florida is huge into college football, so you find a lot of [Florida] Gators fans or [Georgia] Bulldogs fans down in that area. They're having a hard time even selling out that stadium, so home games are being blacked out down there. So, it's night and day coming from Jacksonville to here with the fans."
Cole Natterman, Reisterstown, MD: What running back have you hit the hardest in your career?
NG: "Probably the best hit I had wasn't a running back. It was a wide receiver coming across the middle. It was Keyshawn Johnson when I was in New York. I would probably say that's the hardest hit that I've delivered on somebody."
Zach Krueger, Glen Rock: Did the Giants do anything differently with the ground game in order to accomplish what no other team has accomplished on the defense this year?
NG: "No, I don't think it was. I mean, yes, the Giants have very good players, and give them credit. But, at the same time, we beat ourselves when we didn't tackle well. We weren't necessarily gap-sound on what we were trying to accomplish, and the Giants made plays when they had the opportunity to, and we didn't."
Steven Highsmith, Baltimore, MD:How can you bounce back from so many injuries?
NG:"It's not really about bouncing back, because obviously you've got guys that are injured and out for the year. You have the people that either back up or basically have started before and are considered back ups now. They've prepared themselves every day like they are going to be the starter on Sunday. It gets them mentally prepared to step in for someone that's hurt.
"Give credit to Ozzie Newsome and the coaches for putting this team together that there is so much depth at different positions because I have been on teams that, you lose a couple starters and the level of play really drops off, and your team is affected by that. You have to just make sure that your backups are ready to play and that they have guys that know the system, know the plan and are ready to go."
Timothy Driscoll, San Diego, CA:What do you miss about Wisconsin football?
NG:"Ooh, great question. I just probably miss the traditions. There's just a certain excitement about college games. In the NFL, you're playing for the love of the game. You're playing for the fun of the game. But it's a business and it's a paycheck, whereas in college, you're there with your roommates, basically. You're out there having a great time. You're not getting really paid for it.
"Honestly, the most fun I've ever had in my playing days ever would be high school. I don't think there's anything better than playing high school football with the kids that you grew up with your whole life, and then college and on to the pros. The pros is something that is an unbelievable thing to experience, to be able to get here. It just makes it tough to enjoy it as much when it's such a business. Yes, I'm playing for the love of the game, but at the same time, if there were no contracts or politics, it'd make it even sweeter."
Mike Jackson, Washington, D.C.:You've been a regular starter before, so do you still prepare the same way when you're not starting?* *
NG:"You have to because you are only one play away, and you don't want to be that guy to come in and hurt your team. There are guys who have been fighting out there for half the game or three quarters of the game, and then if you have to play in the fourth quarter, you can't let them down by not knowing your responsibility."