Karlos Dansby (as a Cleveland Brown) switches Ohio unis.
It might have been the Super Bowl for Karlos Dansby, the newest and oldest Bengal. Yet he believes that bitter loss seven years ago puts him on just the right team.
"I know it's going to push them to another level," said Dansby Wednesday of the Bengals' excruciating last-minute loss to the Steelers in January's Wild Card round.
In a conference call with the Cincinnati media from his home state of Alabama, Dansby reflected on his one-year deal with the Bengals and how, at age 34, the Cardinals' last-minute loss to, yes, the Steelers, still hangs with him.
"When I lost the Super Bowl, it pushed me to another level. So I know my expectation level coming in," Dansby said. "These guys are going to be ready to go. They are going to be itching to get back on the field."
After finishing his second season in Cleveland last year, Dansby said he watched every snap of that AFC North post-season game.
"It was a tough way to end because they had the game won," Dansby said. "Play here, play there. Flag here, flag there. And you lose the game. It's a tough pill to swallow. But it's the truth. They gave one away."
But as heads into his 13th season and his fourth stop on one of the most productive NFL tours of this century, Dansby believes he knows how the Bengals are going to react.
Just like him.
"They're going to have a certain kind of passion, a certain kind of drive for the game that they didn't have before," Dansby said, "because they were so close and they know they had an opportunity to win that game they lost. I fit right into that boat. I want to be around guys that have the same kind of mindset. It's just going to be a better outcome. I know it is."
If it sounds like Dansby is a wise and seasoned veteran, he is.
Born on Nov. 3, 1981, he is 39 days older than the oldest Bengal, left tackle Andrew Whitworth. His 180 NFL games lead the roster. He's the only active NFL player with at least 40 career sacks and 15 interceptions in the regular season and with one more pick he'll be just the fifth player in NFL history with 40 sacks and 20 interceptions.
But he wants the ring. That's why he said about a month ago when the Browns cut him he wanted to come to Cincinnati. When it finally happened, he had trouble finding the words.
"I really can't put it into words. You just can't draw this up every day with the talent level you have on this team and the guys being so close last year," Dansby said. "It's a great opportunity with a great team. With a great team, man. Like, you know what I'm saying? Oh, man, this is going to be awesome. I, I, really can't put it in words, this situation, man. You can't … you can't …"
Oh yeah. Dansby is here for the ring. But he doesn't see it as a one-year-last-shot-Peyton-Manning-ride-into-the-sunset job.
"This team definitely gives me an opportunity to win it all," Dansby said with a qualifier. "For sure this won't be my last shot trying to win the Super Bowl."