Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Kerry Rhodes Interview

I recently conducted an interview with New York Jets Safety, Kerry Rhodes, and am pleased to be able to post it here on the site. I hope you all enjoy this one.





Alright Kerry, how are you feeling (physically and mentally) about yourself and the team heading into the upcoming (2009-10) season?
- I feel good about where we left off after minicamps and the outlook for the season for us definitely is one we are excited about.


How have you spent your offseason outside of OTA’s so far?
- I did some traveling outside of the country and that was great and I have also been on my grind with my own personal trainer and feel real good.


How does it feel to be working under Coach Ryan? And what does it mean to have someone who has been that dominant in defensive coaching guiding you into this season and hopefully more?
- Coach Ryan has been great so far. He gives us so much freedom to be the people we are and I think that’s a great trait to have to be a successful head coach in this league, so he has been great. And having a guy that’s a defensive guy makes you not want to disappoint and that’s how we feel.


You stepped up vocally during the entire Favre retirement debate situation and voiced your opinions, but you’re generally a quiet guy; how has that situation reflected in the locker room for you?
- People respect when others step up to the plate and voice your opinion only if you are a guy that is respected first and foremost, and I think I am one of those guys that is respected. (I was voted captain so I think that speaks for itself.)


You’ve probably had a better look at Mark Sanchez than others may have. What is the most important standout about the guy that you’ve seen so far?
- Just his approach with everything that has been thrown at him. He knows how to handle the media and he knows how to fit in with his teammates as well, so he’s plus 2 in my book just from those qualities! AS FAR AS PLAY we will see here coming up in a few days!


In today’s league, safety is one of the most crucial positions and there’s a lot of glimmering talent in the likes of Polamalu, Reed, Wilson, Sanders, Landry, etc. How does Kerry Rhodes define himself amongst this group?
- All the guys u have mentioned are good and what’s funny about it is that we all do stuff better than the other and that’s what makes it so hard to define the best safety in the game, because we all are different.


Who are some of your biggest influences past and present, in the league (players and coaches)?
- I was a Steve Young fan and as far as coach it would have to be my first coach Herm Edwards.


Your size is obviously one of your most intimidating qualities; have you thought of moving up to linebacker for situational purposes?
- I do come up in the box and people always mess with me in the offseason workouts cuz that’s when I’m my biggest (muscle wise) and they tease me by calling me line backer.


What is your favorite positional matchup? Do you enjoy facing WR’s, TE’s, or occasionally a back?
- I like when I face slot WR’s because they think they gone kill, but when I shut them down (occasionally) lol I’m pumped.


And to carry on, who is your favorite player to line up and play against? A guy who you know that also knows you probably just as well and always puts up a good game against you?
- That player for me is Tom Brady. We always talk a lil b4 the game and I always tell him to throw me a pick but he never obliges!


Well Kerry, it’s been my pleasure to host this interview with you, and hopefully we can follow up later in the year. Any last words for the Kerry Rhodes and Jets fans?
- Jet fans get ready for a great ride this year and stay positive and back us all year!!!


Thanks a lot Kerry. Best of luck this season!





Any re-publication of this interview without permission from myself or Mr. Kerry Rhodes is not allowed and will be dealt with through the proper channels. If you want to post this interview elsewhere, please contact me for details, and you must directly link back to this blog post.

R.I.P. Jim Johnson


As you all can see from my previous blog post, I paid my respects and wished well Coach Jim Johnson of the Philadelphia Eagles. I was truly saddened to learn yesterday that Jim Johnson passed away at the age of 68 to his battle with cancer. My thoughts, prayers, and condolences go out to his family, the Philadelphia Eagles, players and coaches who have worked directly with him, and the entire NFL who had to deal with playing against his schemes or just are a part of that family. I hope the NFL does the right thing and finally puts a defensive coordinator into the Hall of Fame, as he is truly deserving of such an honor. One of the best to ever do what he did. May he Rest In Peace.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Respected Enemy Troubled

This is a column I wrote over on a Redskins blog site, and the link can be found here:
http://fans.redskinsrule.com/_A-Respected-Enemy-Troubled/blog/283151/54110.html

Just so you know this is legit and back from a while ago... figured I'd post it here in light of the Philadelphia Eagles signing a new defensive coordinator in Johnson's absence.






As a fan of football, we’re conditioned and groomed to almost “loathe” those who oppose us. If a great leaves our team or organization, returning cloaked in enemy colors… we don’t share the same love as we once did in our days of battle with that person.

But no matter how much we may not like an opponent, many, especially those in our own division, are respected evenly to all in our very own organization. And those of us who share in fandom of the sport, not just our favorite organization, we respect the few who show class, respect, and love for their own teams, their opponents, and the game itself.

As a Redskins fan myself, I’m saddened to hear about Jim Johnson’s current status in his personal life. Even as an “Eagles hater”, I’ve always enjoyed watching Johnson’s defenses on Sundays (or Mondays or Thursdays, or even Saturdays). I appreciate what goes into a good defense, but even more-so, I respect those who consistently remain among the elite. Jim Johnson is perhaps one of the top 5 defensive coordinators in the history of the NFL. A guy who many would argue should always have been a Head Coach… he’s remained loyal to his craft and goal to be one of the best defensive coordinators in NFL history.

Mentioned with the likes of a Dick LeBeau, Monte Kiffin, Jim Schwartz, etc., Johnson is highly respected and admired. His defenses have ranked in the top 5 in almost every statistical category (including overall defense) in each of his years as a defensive coordinator for the Eagles, and are among the best ever over a stretch of seasons in comparison to other coaches throughout NFL history.

My hope, especially considering the level of competition his schemes produce and the fact that an offense that beats his defense can consider themselves a good offense, is that Johnson ends up healthy, out of his wheelchair, and back to doing what he does best (and better than most). Get well soon Jim Johnson!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Look At Washington Redskins Defense, Possible 3-4

Looking at the depth chart for the Redskins defense, I see a glaring possibility of this team moving to a 3-4 Scheme. Greg Blache has used 3-4 schemes in the past (particularly with the Bears) but still remained faithful to a 4-3 and 46 Scheme. But the Redskins have weapons which would match with any 3-4 in the league, including the Steelers and Ravens (prior to this upcoming season).

We start at DE, and Andre Carter is a great pressure-guy, who is more powerful than he's given credit for. On the opposing side, you can shift between the veteran Philip Daniels, young Chris Wilson (who is also showing signs of taking to OLB), and then the young rookie Brian Orakpo. All of these guys are physical, the younger 2 of them also being a lot quicker than average DE's.

Then at DT - arguably one of the best in Albert Haynesworth. The guy is an animal, and if he plays to form, he'd be double or triple teamed constantly. Alongside him, Cornelius Griffin (known mainly for his ability as a run-stuffer), and the young, huge duo of Kedric Golston and Anthony Montgomery (both of these kids are bulls, and have a bit of speed for their size).

Then we move to OLB... and the glaring light there is Rocky McIntosh, who is silently building himself as one of the better OLB's in the NFC East, if not the league. On the other side, as I mentioned before, you throw Brian Orakpo out there, and hope he learns how to stop the run as well as he can rush the passer (and with OLB's leading in sacks in recent seasons, there's no reason to believe he won't shine just as well on physical skill alone).

At MLB, you have the games most underappreciated and overlooked in London Fletcher, who has logged more tackles in a span of years than any other player in the NFL, and rarely missing even a down. With him comes a guy who is a physical clone in youth to Fletcher, who has experience in the OLB position, but would definitely shine with Fletcher-esque stats in the middle, creating a duo of havoc.

At Corner.. Carlos Rogers has proved to be one of the better strap corners in the league, and has covered some of the leagues most diverse and talented receivers in his career (TO and Plaxico twice every year). Aside from his issues with catching the ball... Carlos may be in the top tier of corners in the league. Across from him, you can plug either DeAngelo Hall (who has proved he can play the zone coverage a lot of 3-4's apply), or Fred Smoot, who could be a #2 on many teams in the league. With the front 7 the Redskins have... these corners (and even young Kevin Barnes out of Maryland) could easily fill the role.

At Safety, we have a guy who fits into the Rodney Harrison, Troy Polamalu, Ed Reed category by physical ability in LaRon Landry, and he's at FS, not SS. Kareem Moore could easily fill either position with his incredible speed, size, and hard hitting... but you still have Chris Horton who has proved he can ball-hawk, stuff the run, cover a receiver or TE, or even blitz the QB.

There's no telling if it'll even be hinted at this upcoming season, but this defense seems to have been built methodically in hopes of the transition, and may even be used to flirt with the 3-4 Chin... Bill Cowher, if Jim Zorn doesn't work out.

How do you feel about the chance of the Redskins transferring to a 3-4 scheme, and what do you think they'd need to overhaul or just slightly tweak?