• ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE EAGLES AND THE TITANS HE PLAYED FOR IN SUPER BOWL XXXIV We have playmakers all over the field. Before the snap we'll say, 'Who's going to make the big play?' And guys are saying, 'I'm making it! I'm making it!'
• ON PLAYING IN PHILADELPHIA, WHERE HE SIGNED AS A FREE AGENT LAST SUMMER Best time of my life. You hear about the fans being different, more aggressive. But we've been winning, so we get all the accolades. I was out in Philadelphia, and this little guy--he was barely 5'4" and he looked like an attorney or something--comes up and gets in my face and says, 'We're going to do it this year!' I said, 'That's right, we are!' Then he got even closer, and he's yelling, 'No. We are going to get it done this year!' I love it. So passionate.
• ON HIS GROWTH AS A PLAYER SINCE WINNING DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR IN '99 I understand more. At the end of that year and the next year I'd get frustrated when I was getting double- or triple-teamed and I didn't get as many sacks. I'd be down about it. Now I know that if extra guys are on me someone else is free to make a play. It's O.K. I realize I'm still having an impact.
• ON HIS COLLECTION OF TOY BOATS, CARS AND PLANES It started in Tennessee. We'd go to the parking lot and let 'em go. Now I've got about 25 remote-controlled things. On my off day I get things cruisin'. My airboat can go 65 miles an hour. You've got to stand back and watch that thing move.
• ON HIS BOYHOOD IN FORT MYERS, FLA. I grew up on the other side. My father wasn't around [he was killed before Jevon was born], and I grew up really, really fast. I was the second oldest, but I was the oldest, if you know what I mean. My big brother [J.J.] was out doing his thing in the streets, winding up in jail. I saw that kind of trouble, and I saw what it was doing to my mom [Lessie Mae Green]. She was working seven days a week, cleaning hotels, working in a restaurant. I told myself I was not going to make life harder for her. I was going to stay out of trouble.
• ON HIS HEROES When I was playing Pop Warner or Little League, sometimes I'd go back to a friend's house on the weekend. I'd see the family all at home together, spending time doing this thing or that thing. Those families were my heroes. I wanted to be like them.
• ON LIVING IN RURAL NEW JERSEY I never thought about living in a city. I wanted space. I've got five acres and a little pond stocked with bass and catfish. My happiest moments are driving around on my tractor, looking at things.
•ON FISHING Been doing it all my life. It started with a cane pole when I was young. For me and my grandmas, catching a mullet with the cane poll was a source of food. What I like about fishing is, when you're hot, you're hot. And when you are not, you most definitely are not. You learn patience.
• ON ADVICE TO PLAYERS FOR SUPER BOWL WEEK Take time for yourself. There's so much going on, you need to stop and think, I'm in the Super Bowl! Last time it all happened too fast. This year I'm going to take time to relax, to enjoy this. --As told to Kostya Kennedy
A THREE-TIME PRO BOWLER, KEARSE, 28, LEADS THE EAGLES WITH 91/2 SACKS, TWO OF THEM IN THE PLAYOFFS
"I don't know who bit me, but I had to get a [tetanus] shot."
--Brentson Buckner, Panthers DT,
Inside the Pile, page 38
"I WAS NOT GOING TO MAKE LIFE HARDER FOR MY MOM. I WAS NOT GETTING INTO TROUBLE"
photograph by al tielemans
THOMAS CROKE/WIREIMAGE.COM (KEARSE INSET)
CHRIS BERNACCHI/SPORTPICS (BUCKNER)