Tag:5Q
Posted on: August 5, 2010 2:20 pm
Edited on: August 5, 2010 2:36 pm
 

5 Questions (or more) with Jerry Rice

Posted by Andy Benoit

Jerry Rice, the greatest wide receiver of all time will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend. We had a chance to chat with the legend. Here's what he had to say.

CBSSports.com: You’re going to the Hall of Fame this week, which means you’ve been out of football five years. So what has been most surprising to you in your post-football life?

Jerry Rice: The most surprising thing after football is that I’m still hungry. I’ve teamed up with Proctor and Gamble (for the Take it to the House program ). I’ve done Dancing with the Stars. The Nationwide (Golf) Tour. Getting ready for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. So, I’m busy, I’m enjoying life and I’m just living each day one at a time.

CBS: Have you had to shift your expectations as a competitor, or have you been able to scratch the competitive itch with these new things?

JR: I miss football. I miss it – I miss it with a passion. When I did Dancing with the Stars, there was a competitive nature there. Same with the Nationwide Tour. Anything I try, I’m always looking for perfection. I never had that ultimate game. I could have so many great things – 10 or 12 receptions, whatever, 20 touchdowns and still it would boil down to missing a block or blowing an assignment or something like that. So, I’m always searching for it (perfection) and hopefully one day I’ll get it.

CBS: You have a son playing at UCLA.

JR: Yeah, my son got redshirted his first year, so I’m hoping to see him on the football field this year.

CBS: Talk about your relationship with your son football-wise. Imagine it’d be both a blessing and a curse to be Jerry Rice’s son and play wide receiver.

JR: You know, I think my son does a great job of dealing with “Ok, yeah, my dad is Jerry Rice, who played for San Francisco and accomplished so many things”, but he’s just trying to be himself and I never try to put pressure on him. More than anything, I just want to support – just like a father. When I go to his ball games, I don’t try to critique him, but if he wants to talk about scenario, I’m willing to give him my input.

CBS: How often does he come to you for advice?

JR: He’ll call me up and say, “Hey Dad, what happens when you get a defensive back that wants to be physical at the line of scrimmage?” And I will tell him, “You have to win at the line. You have to dictate to that defensive back what you want to do. If anything, you have to be aggressive. That was my approach for 20 years, and I think I had some success doing it.”

CBS: You have a lot going on. But we both know, no matter what you do for the rest of your life, people are going to see you as a football legend first. Whenever you meet someone, that’s their image of you. Very few people have that in their life. How do you feel about that?

JR: I feel very fortunate because I was able to play the game for 20 years. That’s a long time. I think it shows my dedication to the game and how I would prepare myself in the offseason. A lot of guys are lucky to play for four years; I was able to exceed that by 16. I just feel honored.

CBS: Do you ever feel like part of you just wants to be treated as Jerry Rice Human Being rather than Jerry Rice Football Legend?

JR: You know what, I’ve never looked at myself as "the football legend". I had an opportunity to live a dream for so many people. I think a lot of guys can relate to me – even a lot of women – because when I stepped on a football field, you could tell there was a lot of appreciation there. If I’m walking through the airport or I’m doing whatever, I have people come up to me and say, “Hey, thank you for bringing so much gratification to my day just watching you play football on television or at the stadium.”

CBS: What’s something about yourself as a football player that you appreciate that other people maybe don’t appreciate – something you never got credit for that you’re proud of?

JR: It’s easy to become complacent, but I never gave in, I was always like a rookie trying to make the team and I continued to work hard. I would go training camp early with the rookies, and I felt like I had to prove myself every year.

CBS: What’s your single greatest accomplishment as a player?

JR: Oh my God. Ah….(laughs)…well, I would say the Super Bowls that we won. That’s why you play the game. Not the records, but having the opportunity to play on that stage and win it – that’s something I’ll never forget.

CBS: Wes Welker is coming back from a knee injury. You came back from a knee injury in the 90s. What’s it going to be like for Welker?

JR: I think with Wes Welker, it’s going to take him a second to gain the confidence he needs to be on the football field. He’s out there practicing right now and he’s probably doing everything. But after I came back, it was all about taking that first hit, being able to step up after that first hit and walk back to the huddle. It’s like “okay, I’m okay, I can go now.” I’m sure he’s waiting and anticipating that first hit, and I hope everything goes well for him.

CBS: Darrelle Revis shutdown a lot of No. 1 receivers last year. If you went up against him in the height of your career, what kind of numbers do you think you would have posted against him?

JR: You know, I never really would predict how many balls I would catch or how many touchdowns I would score. I think it would be the ultimate challenge for me. I enjoyed rivalries like that. Say like the Darrell Greene’s or the Deion Sanders’s. I would just go out there and try to dictate the game, and not wait on him for him to get his hands on me. I would be the aggressor, and hopefully come out with some catches and score a couple touchdowns.

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Posted on: July 23, 2010 12:03 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2010 12:17 pm
 

5 Questions (or more) with Josh McDaniels, Part 2

T. Tebow (US Presswire)
Read Part One of our interview with Josh McDaniels here .

(Ed. Note: Yes, we are also annoyed that we got off the phone with McDaniels a few hours before Dumervil signed his extension , thank you for asking.)

CBS Sports : [Laughing a little] I'm sure you're gonna be sick of this question fairly soon, but, um ... Tim Tebow -- he seems to almost be the biggest story in the NFL sometimes. How early is he gonna see the field in 2010?

Josh McDaniels: [Laughing a lot] We're excited about having Tim here on our team. And he understands that he's got a lot of improvements to make and a long way to go to be exactly what you want an NFL quarterback to be in terms of experience and all those things. And he's got a solid player ahead of him in Kyle Orton , and Brady Quinn has also done some good things in the spring, so we feel like we've got a great group of QBs that are different in their own way, so it should be a very competitive situation.

Kyle's certainly out in front and had a great spring for us this year, but Tim's got some unique skills and there's certainly no boundary on what we may try to do with any of our skill players, and Tim may allow us to do some things a little differently. So we'll kind of see how those things unfold during the course of training camp and the preseason and I think that'll all -- how productive he can be and what other skills he presents us with -- that'll all … time will tell how we'll use different packages and that kind of thing. But he's in a competitive battle right now and he's got a long way to go and I'm sure he'll keep his head down and keep working, but we're happy to have him here in Denver.

CBS: Alright, reader Joe Schlobotnik submitted the top question on our Facebook page (Ed. Note: Go here and like CBS Sports on Facebook and you too can have your questions asked in interviews!) , and it fits well here: Tebow -- hypothetically if he's on the field -- would he be the type of guy that you'd want as the triggerman in the "Wild Horse"?

JMcD: [Chuckling] No, the Wild Horse is different -- it's a different element for us. It's a little different than the Wildcat and if we were using the Wild Horse package, which we certainly used some last year, it would certainly be a halfback back there and it would likely be Knowshon [Moreno] or [Correll Buckhalter ]. But like I said, Tim's got some different skills and that's what training camp is for, to really kind of poke and prod on your football team and to find out exactly what you're going to look like when you ultimately unveil it the first few weeks of the season and then grow from there. We're gonna experiment a little bit with a lot of different things in terms of our system, and we've made a lot of different changes both offensively and defensively and we'll see how Tim factors in.

CBS: Good deal -- one more Tebow question and I swear I'll stop. I've seen several local media members -- I believe mostly local -- who have tied your legacy as Broncos coach directly to drafting Tebow in the past draft. Do you think that's a fair statement or a fair approach to take?

JMcD: I'm not really concerned with my "legacy." I think any coach's or player's story will be told by how much they won, how much they didn't, how many championship teams they were a part of, did they happen to get to a Super Bowl and win one, or multiples. We're focused on trying to get our football team to play as well as we can and Tim is just one small part of that -- we know that. It takes 53 players on the roster and a ton of people in the organization, coaching staff and personnel department to make a team successful, and we're certainly not going to put that burden on one player, and I'm not worried about what somebody else says my legacy is. I know if we win, that's the best solution for all of us, that's the best medicine we can all have, and certainly that's what we're gonna try to do.

CBS: No, that's fair. People have used the word "brash" to describe -- I guess it's attitude -- do you think that being honest and direct, and if you want to use the word "brash," to the media, do you think that's something that benefits you as an NFL head coach in the short term or long term?

JMcD: I think I just … try to do the best I can at my job and make the decisions that we feel like are in the best interests in putting the best team on the field. You know, that's somebody else is coining those terms and most of the people that may say things like that maybe don't really know me. And I'm not really concerned about that -- as I said, I'm focused on trying to win. And as I said before, if we win, I don't know that many people are gonna call you anything other than "successful," so, we're hoping to put a team out there that can do that and be competitive each week and we've got a long way to go in training camp to get ready for 2010.

CBS: Good deal. I'll get you out on this -- aside from the obvious names we've mentioned so far, give us one name to watch in training camp, whose performance in training camp you guys are anticipating might surprise the general fan.

JMcD: Well, there's a lot of players that are looking to improve. One player that really stood out in the spring because of his versatility, and because of some of the things he added to our defense is Nate Jones. We signed Nate as a free agent from Miami -- he can play inside as the nickleback, he played outside at corner, we moved him to safety … he's a very smart player, a very cerebral guy who fits in great with our veteran players in the secondary and we're really excited to what he may bring to our defense and how we can use Nate's skills to really improve our team.

-- Will Brinson

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Posted on: July 23, 2010 9:22 am
Edited on: July 23, 2010 12:18 pm
 

5 Questions (or more) with Josh McDaniels, Part 1

T. Tebow (US Presswire) Josh McDaniels' first season and a half as head coach of the Denver Broncos has been one of the more spectacularly bloggable things in recent NFL history: whether it's trading his biggest name stars, or starting 6-0, or beating his old boss, or confidence, or drafting Tim Tebow in the first round ... the list goes on and on.

Fortunately, we were able to speak with McDaniels about all of these things in a recent interview, thanks to the kind folks at Gatorade, the NFL,  and a group of charitable foundations who are partnering in the "Beat the Heat" program, dedicated to raising hydration awareness during training camp.

Read Part Two of our interview with Josh McDaniels here .

CBS Sports : Wanna ask you first -- you're working with Gatorade and the NFL on the Beat the Heat program. How big a factor is hydration awareness in your training camp preparation?

Josh McDaniels : Well, it's huge for us, and you're right -- the NFL and the Broncos have partnered with Gatorade on the Beat the Heat program. We certainly understand the importance of hydration and refueling our athletes in the summer months and really, that's the entire purpose of the program, to really focus on how to prevent heat-related illnesses and fight them. It requires us to constantly remind our athletes to hydrate before, during and after all their activities that we put them through in training camp.

And we have Gatorade all over the building -- in the cafeteria, in our locker rooms, in our meeting rooms, they have it at the hotel they stay in during training camp and we encourage them to drink as much as possible. And for any athlete or parent that wants to learn more about what we're doing with Gatorade, they can go to NFL.com/trainingcamp and for every download [of the awareness packet] Gatorade will donate $1 to fight heat-related illnesses.

CBS : Well, it's a fantastic program -- raises awareness and reminds us that football's on the way ... Speaking of which, you shipped Brandon Marshall to South Beach in the offseason and then drafted Demaryius Thomas in the first round. Can he step up and replace Brandon as a No. 1 option for you?

JMcD : Well, we certainly aren't going to necessarily place that burden on one player as we go into this training camp in 2010. Brandon's certainly a special player and he'll do good things for the Dolphins. But we have a pretty diverse group of receivers: DeMaryius certainly is going to add speed, length and size to that group and we're really excited about his future here in Denver.

We've also got some football players that were productive for us that are coming back: [Jabar] Gaffney , [Brandon] Stokley , [Eddie] Royal ... Brandon Lloyd had a great spring, Kenny McKinley is a kid that's up and coming, Matt Willis and certainly Eric Decker who we drafted in the third round too. We've got four or five players now who are over six feet tall, we're probably bigger than any wide receiver corps that I've ever been a part of in the NFL, and we're excited about some of the things we're gonna try to do with those big players.

DeMaryius ... we're gonna coach him hard and give him the opportunity to learn our system and be productive in it, but we've got some players -- along with him, that he'll be competing with -- that we feel also can be productive and hopefully there's a bunch of them that'll make plays for us this year.

CBS: One more thing on DeMaryius -- he played in Paul Johnson's system at Georgia Tech ... is him adjusting, especially in terms of route-running, because it's more simplistic there, is him adjusting to your system a big concern?

JMcD: It's certainly something that's gonna take some time for him to adjust to some of the things that we'll ask him to do. But he's a big receiver, and I think anyone would be lying to you if they said big receivers had a route tree that consists of 25 routes. We're not gonna try to do things that don't make sense to do with our bigger receivers and we certainly have some smaller receivers that aren't going to do some of the things that he can do. So, we're gonna try and put him in a position where he can use his strengths to help us, and we're certainly not going to shy away to try and work with him on improving his route-running in different areas, but, you know, we feel like he can be a productive player for us and we'll constantly try and improve every area of his game.

CBS: Alright, last season was a rollercoaster in terms of the way you guys started ... it was the story of the NFL and then obviously a disappointing finish. How do you manage expectations coming into 2010?

JMcD: Well, we're just focused on ourselves. We know we've got a lot of practice ahead of us before we enter into the regular season. And we're gonna try and take our football team as far as we can in the month of August and the beginning part of September before we start at Jacksonville. We can't really worry about the past and we can't focus too far into the future -- we're gonna try and take it day-to-day and we feel like we've put a solid nucleus of players in the locker room that will lead us this season and into the future and we're really excited about our opportunity to improve in areas we struggled in last year and we feel like we made some key additions both through free agency and the draft, and we're excited to see how it all unfolds this year.

(Stay tuned for Part Two of our interview with Josh McDaniels later today)

-- Will Brinson

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