Colorado's Brian Mullan met with the media after the game today, to discuss his reckless tackle on Steve Zakuani that continues to cloud both of their careers almost a year after it happened.
Mullan spoke quietly, seemed near tears and needed to gather himself a couple of times.
Here's what he had to say:
If he's glad it's over: Very glad.
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His feeling before the game: Very apprehensive. Leading up to it, apprehensive is the best word for it. It’s a lot of great fans in this city. A lot of nerves leading up to the game. I applaud the fans. They did a good job and conducted themselves professionally and consistent with their reputation of being very good.
If he met with Zakuani or tried: Through intermediaries I tried to set up a face-to-face apology. He was very open to it. It has not happened as of yet. … I’m very hopeful (it will happen).
On if Zakuani's injury progress helps: I wouldn’t say it’s easier. Don’t get me wrong: I’m pleased. I want him back on the field more than anybody. He’s a great player. For that to happen to him on my watch was something that I will never live down.
On Zakuani's unhappiness with Mullan's comment last season that it was a routine tackle he would make again. And does he still feel that way: I don’t know if you’ve watched me play since then, but it’s completely changed my game. When I made that comment I had no idea of the extent of his injury. Right after the tackle, I didn’t even see him. I was swarmed by their team – rightfully so. I had no idea of the extent until I was actually leaving the stadium and the team chaplin told me the extent.
On when this might be over for Mullan: I don’t think it ever can. (whispered)
On if having this game behind him helps: The only thing it helps is I know what to expect now. That’s about it.