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Player Q&A: Shaun Ellis

How did you get the "Big Katt" nickname?

I actually got it from a college teammate [at Tennessee]. I made a play — got to the quarterback and chased down the screen. And he was like, "Oh, you're quick like a cat." And he just started calling me "Big Katt" from then on.

Lane Kiffin is making his presence felt throughout the SEC at your old school.    What do you think about that?

It's good. I like it. It's good to beef up that tradition again in the SEC with Alabama, Florida and Georgia, counting back to the days when we were there.

Do you take care of your body differently now, at 31, than you did when you entered the NFL?

Yeah, of course. Yeah, I just get a little massage and a little bit more therapy, hot tub, steam room — things like that.

*You need to play in just eight more games to have played more games than any other D-lineman in franchise history. How does that make you feel? *I didn't know that. I guess it's a good accomplishment. It's good.

The team is headed in a new direction with Rex Ryan as head coach.   What do you think about him?

I like him. He's a straightforward guy. He loves to have fun and the team believes in him. We have a great system, so it's going to be fun. He causes a lot of controversy from what people say. It's a good thing. It gives us that extra "oomph" that we need.

*Have you always watched the Ravens' defense and respected what they've done from afar? *Oh, yeah, anytime you want to watch a defensive team you look at the Ravens. Now that we have him as our coach, I can see why they were playing like that.

You've played in six playoffs games but haven't been to the dance in the past couple of seasons. How bad are you itching to get back to the postseason?

Oh, yeah, very much. You want to just have the opportunity to be a part of it, and then just go as far as we can and hopefully get to the big show.

Quietly, you had a real nice season last season in the sack category with eight sacks. How challenging is it to put up big sack numbers in a 3-4 front?

It's very challenging because mostly you're doing a three-man rush and you get double-teamed a lot. It's a lot more fighting and clawing in the 3-4 to get the sacks.

*Do you think you'll get moved around a bit more this year? *It looks that way. We'll have a little bit more freedom this year.

The Dolphins are defending division champs, but the Patriots get Tom Brady back. Is New England the team to beat in the division?Yeah, New England is still the team to beat, but Miami is a great team. You can't take that away from them and Buffalo is strong too, so it's going to be a tight race.

Who's the most talented player you've played with and against?Played with? I'd have to say Abraham — John Abraham. Most talented player I've played against? I'd have to say LaDainian Tomlinson.

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