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Helmets Off: Darcel McBath

Posted Dec 23, 2010

Second-year safety Darcel McBath shares his experiences battling through injuries and talks about a taste of Texas Culture in the latest installment of 'Helmets Off.'

After growing up in Gainesville, Texas, and earning All-Big 12 honors in his last three years at Texas Tech, Darcel McBath left his homestate for work in Colorado last year when the Broncos came calling. In his first season, McBath led the team with 11 special-teams tackles despite missing three games due to injury.

The former second-round pick made the first start of his career at Oakland last week. In the week leading into the team's home game against the Texans, McBath took some time to talk with DenverBroncos.com about his growth as a professional and his role as an ambassador of Texas culture in the latest edition of 'Helmets Off.'

What was it like to take the field as a starter for the first time against the Raiders?

"It was good. It was a long time coming. I've missed a lot of opportunities to do that with being injured, so it was a great feeling."

You've been in and out of the lineup with injuries this season. How important is it for you to ened the season on a high note?

"It's huge. Any momentum you can get going into next year helps. If I don't it's going to be a long offseason thinking about it, and you don't want to drive yourself crazy in the offseason thinking about that. We want to finish off strong as a team and go 2-0 in these last two games."

In your second year, how beneficial has it been to learn from Brian Dawkins and Renaldo Hill?

"It's been great. They've been great. For any questions I've had, they sit down and talk to me. Just watching them work, I can learn a lot. I've learned a lot from them and I plan on learning a little more from them."

What have they taught you about being a professional every day?

"Being just that, a professional, coming in and putting the work in. They really showed me what it takes to win. There's a lot of preparation that goes into Sundays."

What has it been like to come up in the same draft class with another safety, David Bruton?

"It's good. Bruton and I are neighbors and we're really good friends. We've grown together these last two years, so it's definitely good to have somebody who can relate."

You had two interceptions last season in your rookie year, including one off of Peyton Manning. Did you do anything special with those footballs?

"Yeah, I've got them painted up and getting ready for my trophy case. Hopefully I can get a few more to put in there, but I've got them ready to go."

Does it give you confidence when you pick off an MVP-level quarterback?

"Playing well on a consistent basis last year and whenever I've been there this year definitely helped, and picking off Peyton Manning doesn't hurt (laughs)."

What has it been like working in Colorado after living in Texas your whole life?

"My whole life I'm a Texas boy through and through, but Colorado has been great. It's been a different experience with a lot of different things and different culture, but I've enjoyed it."

What have you taught your teammates about Texas culture?

"I taught them how to dance. They don't know how to dance out here. I show them how to dance in the locker room, and I show them how to eat well. They don't know anything about that Texas barbecue yet, but I've been trying to put them on a little bit."

You do a lot of your training down in Houston. Have you run into any of the Texans at all?

"When I came out, I trained with James Casey, a tight end for the Texans, so I know him pretty well. I don't know too many other guys. A lot of guys train down there. I know a lot of other guys from different teams. Cassius Vaughn trains down there, so we've got a nice little group."

When you were growing up in Texas what football team did you root for?

"Growing up I was a huge Dallas Cowboys fan. I hate to admit that now, but yeah I was. Everybody in Texas was at that time, and I'm a Broncos fan now."

Do you have any big plans for the Holidays?

"I'll be laying low key, skyping with my fiancee and my daughter. I'm just trying to ring in the holidays and come out with a win. That's my Christmans present. If we get this win everything will be alright."