Nfl St Louis Rams Sign Cortland Finnegan


Cortland Finnegan Says New Contract With St. Louis Won’t Affect His Motivation

Some people like to label Cortland Finnegan as a bit of a dirty player. Others simply look at him as a hard-working, hard-hitting, undersized defensive back. Whichever side of the fence you sit on, don’t expect Finnegan’s attitude or mentality to change just because he’s signed a five-year, $50 million deal to join Jeff Fisher in St. Louis. The new Rams’ cornerback says that the money he just signed for hasn’t sunk in yet, but that it won’t because that’s not who he is. Finnegan, who played his first six seasons in the league with Tennessee, might be known as much for his physical plays on the field as he is for his 2010 punching match with Andre Johnson. Cortland Finnegan joined ESPN 101 in St. Louis with The Fast Lane to discuss what he needs to get better at, playing bigger than his stature would indicate, how he makes up for his lack of size, being a leader in St. Louis, the $50 million deal, how he’ll remain motivated and who he looked up to growing up.

What do you think you need to get better at going into this season?:

“Everything. Technique is always important. I wholeheartedly believe in that. And just learning the scheme. If I can learn the scheme right off the bat, I can just go out there and play football and there’s no excuses. That’s something that I’ve already got the playbook and I’m already going through it. Now it’s just fine-tuning my skill set and looking forward to the season.”

On scouting reports that say he’s undersized but plays a lot bigger than he really is:

“I hope I’m as big as I need to be that day. Ultimately I’m 5-10, 185 pounds and that’s all the good lord gifted me with, so I’ve got to make the best of it.”

What do you do to make up for that?:

“I think any man can say when you love something wholeheartedly, you go out there and give everything you have. I ultimately love football with everything I have wholeheartedly and I go out there and put that on wholeheartedly. If somebody’s just tuning in and has never seen me play, I want them to see not only a scrappy football player, but he’s doing it with all his heart.”

On helping a group of young cornerbacks already in St. Louis progress as football players:

“That’s something that I look forward to doing just by setting the example — by getting there early, by watching film, by being coachable. All those things that they see and they take heed to will definitely make them a football player. They’re talented in their own right and they’re going to help this football team win just like I hope to.”

Has basically having $50 million in your bank account sunk in?:

“Well, you know, ultimately that’s just window dressing. It hasn’t sunk in and it won’t sink in. When something as much is given or acquired, now it’s a chance to go out there and re-prove myself and continue to get better. I look forward to that. I look forward to the huge challenge that awaits me. I’m super excited about it, so it hasn’t sank in and I don’t think it ever will.”

What will help you stay motivated, especially to keep doing the little things?:

“I play, first of all, for the love of the game. But my single-parent, Irish mom, with a military background, she won’t allow me settle for anything but the best. She’ll always push me. My tight-knit circle, my wife, my friends and myself. Just reproving myself and going out there and still playing with that same passion and love. I want somebody to say, ‘Man, this guy’s still hungry.’ I want that to be said every game.”

Were you ever a Rams fan back during the days of the Greatest Show on Turf?:

“I wasn’t. Honestly I was more of a Baltimore Ravens fan. I loved Ray Lewis. I just loved what he brought to the game and what he stood for and just how he played the game. I just thought I was a mini Ray Lewis, always, growing up. So, I was a Baltimore Ravens fan. One day I’m definitely going to root for all the teams that I’ve come in contact with, but Ravens is always at heart.”

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