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Helmets Off: Perrish Cox

Posted Sep 23, 2010

Perrish Cox sits down with DenverBroncos.com to discuss the start of his NFL career in this week's edition of 'Helmets Off.'

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Throughout the summer, Perrish Cox made an impact on the Dove Valley practice field, establishing himself as one of the team's top young playmakers.

Cox has continued those efforts into the regular season. In the Broncos' first two games, the team has entrusted the 2010 fifth-round pick with most of its punt- and kick-return duties. And in Sunday's home-opening win against Seattle, the cornerback stepped in front of a Matt Hasselbeck pass late in the fourth quarter for his first NFL interception.

With a matchup against Indianapolis looming, Cox sat down with DenverBroncos.com to discuss his quick start and how his veteran teammates in the secondary have helped make it possible.

Now that you've played two NFL regular season games, what's the biggest lesson you've taken from that experience?
"The biggest lesson is everything is quicker. The smallest mistake can hurt you. It can be the smallest. It can be the wrong step the wrong way, not getting your hands on a receiver, turning the wrong way -- those kind of things. I'm going to say the smaller things in the NFL."

You got a chance to play in front of the home fans for the first time on Sunday. What were your first impressions of the INVESCO Field at Mile High gameday atmosphere?
"It's great. The fans are lovely. They've got a lot of intensity. They give us a lot of motivation. It's just a great feeling to play in front of your home fans. They give you a lot of motivation and enthusiasm. You just get hyped up and ready to play."

Now that you've had a few days to let your first NFL interception sink in. What's that mean to you?
"It's great. I just got my interception ball brought to me in the locker room (Tuesday). It's a great feeling. It's something that you have to break into. You're always trying so hard, so hard, so hard and then you finally get it. It's great to finally get my first one during first one at home -- just my second game in the NFL. It's something you can talk about for a long time."

What will you do with the interception ball?
"I'm going to keep it. My parents are actually coming down this weekend, so I might send it home with them. They keep everything that I got -- my jerseys from college, my high school jersey. Everything that means a lot to me in sports they keep everything. I'll probably send the ball home with them."

I'm sure you got a lot of text messages and phone calls after that game. What was your favorite?
"I don't think I had a favorite one. They all were great. I'll have to get back to you. After every game, there's usually 60-some text messages waiting for me. After this one, I think it was 84."

Brian Dawkins said he challenged the secondary to create some turnovers against Seattle. What did you guys do as a unit to make that happen?
"Just stay focused. We basically put the game on our backs. That's what type of dude Dawk is. He likes to challenge every player in the locker room. That makes us want to have a little battle. 'Who's going to be the first to get (a turnover)?' 'Well, I'm going to get it.' You scream out confident. Then, the next thing you know the other guy says, 'No, I'm going to get the first one.' That's one of the things Dawk does. He's a big-time motivator. He gives you that feeling like, 'Now I've got to make a big play.'"

You impressed a lot of people with your play during training camp. What are you going to remember most from your first NFL training camp?
"The interceptions -- all of them. They all were great. That's one of the main things on defense -- to create a turnover, get the ball back to the offense. That was my goal going out every day -- 'I'm going to get three interceptions today.' I told myself that every day. Even in games, I tell myself 'OK, I'm going to get two interceptions today, probably get a run back.' I try to make my goals high."

You talked in OTAs about how important playing special teams is to your game. What does it mean to you that the coaches are trusting you to handle return duties?
"It means a lot. There's a lot of punt and kick returners out there. To put a lot of faith in me kind of showed me how the coaches look at me. Even though I had a little trouble in college or whatever, they built my confidence back up and made me feel good about myself. I just want to go out and play ball every day. They make me feel good."

What's the best piece of advice one of the veterans has given you along the way?
"Champ (Bailey) makes the game so easy for me. If you don't have that person to bring you back down to earth, I probably would've been out in every game nervous. If you're nervous, you will mess up, regardless. Champ kind of made it easy for me. He told me to go out and look at everybody like I did in college. He said, 'Just do what you do. Play ball. You're good.' He kind of brought me back down to earth."

What's your favorite part of living in Denver?
"Man, everything. It's totally different than being down south. The people, the places, the altitude, the weather -- everything is totally different. This is my first time being away from home like this. I've always been down south. I went to school in Oklahoma. That wasn't too far away from home. I'd never really seen mountains like that. I saw them once when we played Colorado and I was amazed, but actually to live right next to them, it's different."

Have you done any exploring of those mountains?
"Not just yet, but I plan to pretty soon. Actually, my parents are coming this weekend to the game, so this will be their first time seeing this type of thing also."

I know you've been asked about this a lot this week, but how do you approach a matchup against Peyton Manning?
"Peyton is a great quarterback, hands-down. I just prepare myself like I prepare everything else. I'm trying not to look at anything different. I don't want to change how I go into the game. I want to go in the same way with the same attitude until they show me it's different. I approach everything the same way until the team we play shows me different. He's a great quarterback, don't get me wrong. It's my first time ever going up against him. Hopefully, I can come up with one (an interception)."