Archive for August, 2011

Q&A With Former Patriot Jarvis Green

Here’s the complete transcript of my recent interview with former Patriot, Jarvis Green. Green was drafted in the fourth round (126th overall) by the New England Patriots in the 2002 NFL Draft, and played with the Patriots from 2002 to 2009.

Thanks for taking the time out of your schedule to talk to me, much appreciated.

JG: No problem, any time man.

Are you officially retired from the game and filed your papers with the NFL?

JG: That’s funny you say that.  I remember them saying how Randy (Moss) filed retirement papers etc, and that was more the old way of doing things I thought.  Now it’s if you’ve been out of the game for so many months you are retired.

I noticed in your twitter feed a few nights ago it was nice to have a cold beer and watch some football.  Do you have any desire to get back onto the field?

JG: Not at all Mike.  I’m having back surgery next week and waking up with phantom aches and pains it just isn’t worth it.  I’m enjoying my time with my wife and kids and not getting beat up. I bought into a company 17 months ago and never made it public until it was established.  It is First Millennium Construction based out of Louisiana.    I’m still working 12-14 hours a day with my business and helping my son who is in 8th grade playing football as well.

What do you miss most, I’m sure the new CBA made a comeback a little more appealing with the big reduction of two a day practices?


“These young players don’t have a clue how hard it used to be, and how easy they have it now.” – Jarvis Green (FILE:Icon/SMI)

JG: Funny you ask that, I called into the training room the other day to check on the guys and I spoke to Matt Light.  I told him jokingly I sure picked a heck of a time to retire.  These young players don’t have a clue how hard it used to be, and how easy they have it now.

2007 ended in such a surprising and depressing way for the organization, how long did it take for you to get over that, if at all?

JG: I didn’t sleep for three weeks.  It was a crazy year, and we were unbeatable.  We were a perfect team, and it just didn’t work out.   That team was one of the greatest teams ever, even with the result at year’s end.

Last year’s team exceeded many people’s expectations in the regular season, but fell short yet again in the post season.  What was lacking from last year’s team, perhaps something the SB championship teams had that you were a part of?

JG: Faces change, coaches change, and people change.  When I was a part of the teams that won titles here, we had players like Bruschi, Seymour, Junior, Ty, Mike Wright, and Rodney.  There was a trust factor, a swagger when you looked into the eyes of those guys in meetings.  I could look at any one of those guys in a meeting and know  “it’s time to go get it”.  That is what I miss most about football, is being with those guys who will give you the shirt off their back.  I’m not sure if that is present in New England now, but that is what I felt was a big part to our success, outside of executing on the field.

The Patriots seem to have brought in some veteran presence onto the defensive line, some of whom comes with baggage from previous teams, how do you think Albert Haynesworth , Shaun Ellis, and Andre Carter fit into the Patriot system?

JG: They are all great players whom have had huge success in the past, but winning isn’t just on Sundays.  Winning is in the film room, weight room, and in training camp.   We will see week 1 how they fit into the system.

Explain to me your relationship with Bill Belichick.  Do you still keep in touch?  How was it to play for him whom is known as a guy who pays attention to the smallest of details?

JG: I have the utmost respect for Coach Belichick.  I’ve learned a lot from him but haven’t spoken to him since I went through free agency.  He moves a room when he talks and enters it, and pays attention to every last detail.

Whom from your time here in New England do you still keep in touch with?

JG: I keep in touch with Matt Light, Coach Peppers, and Ty Warren.  I have more friends up there then I do in Louisiana.   I will make it back up there this year to catch a game and see everyone from top to bottom in the organization.

After your stint in NE, you played for the Houston Texans, how was that different outside of the success ratio, to your experience in New England?

JG: It was different, it was very different.  I was homesick.   I mean that in seeing how guys show up on time, to the chemistry inside the locker room, and how when in New England we were all brothers fighting for one cause.

Do you think the internship you did at Rolls Royce in Walpole, while you were a Patriots player gave you some good experience that you might be able to use some way in retirement?

JG: This helped me incredibly.  I met with the CFO everyday of a 1.9 billion dollar a year business.  I was a sponge and always writing things down.  He taught me to “always be thinking” and to have a Plan B.  That is a main reason why guys 2-3 years after they retire are bankrupt and divorced. They didn’t have a Plan B.  I was an engineering major in college, but this was great business knowledge I gained while here.

How were you treated by the Patriots fans while you were a player?

JG: New England is a great place to play football.  Sometimes I think the fans were more into it than the players!   But I have many friends up here that I still keep in touch with.

I noticed via your website you are very involved in your charity.  Explain to me a little bit about the Jarvis Green Foundation and how it came to be and how our readers can help and donate.

JG: This can be found on my website www.jarvisgreen.com It is in place to help disadvantaged single moms.  Mom’s who have lost family members to Katrina as I did during that big tragedy.

 

VN:F [1.9.10_1130]
Rating: 9.6/10 (16 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.10_1130]
Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)

Preseason Opener – One Hitters

Some quick thoughts from last night’s game:

  • The quality of play was SLOPPY. I’ve seen preseason openers before, but this was borderline Pop Warner quality. No OTA’s and mini camps were very apparent last night.
  • The new kick off rule is making kickers look like Superman. However the rookie from UMass basically split the uprights. And WTF is up with guys taking it out from 8 yards deep?
  • Hoyer looked like very composed, comfortable and surprisingly has a great arm.
  • Reviewing every touchdown is going to be like watching paint dry. It is BAD for the game of football and takes a ton of the emotion out of a scoring play, knowing it is going to be reviewed and probably overturned. This rule will not make it to next season.
  • Seeing how fired up 3rd, 4th string, and spot players get after making a big play is a feel good moment all around. Seeing a guy wearing #3 waiting to receive a meaningless 4th quarter kickoff probably pissing his pants saying to himself  “Man this is where I gotta make my impression, my moment….” .
  • Dane Fletcher looked like a defensive captain out there. I loved him showing blitz, dropping into protection, shooting the gap and making tackles for a loss consistently.
  • Kyle Love missed a handful of tackles, but did show the ability to get through blockers and attack the ball carrier.
  • Aaron Hernandez won’t lose another ball the rest of the season.
  • Same goes for Danny Woodhead.
  • Julien Edelman worked his way down to the #5 WR last night and back up kick returner.
  • Did our Ridley get hazed, or is that his real haircut? Either way, he looked great running between the tackles, bouncing runs outside, and catching balls out of the backfield.
  • Seeing Kevin Faulk not just on the sidelines, but coaching younger players was a great thing to witness.
  • Ryan Mallett will pay much more attention to the play clock going forward. How many times in 2010 did Brady get a delay of game call? I can count at least three, painful to watch especially from a team like this.
  • Gary Guyton was a non factor.
  • Randy Cross doesn’t know his ass from his elbow.
  • Zolak had a six pack of Blue Moon before he got on the air last night.
  • Taylor Price did as much as he could last night to help his own cause. That comeback route and sprint down the sidelines was text book.
  • Nate Solder played amazing. I watched him specifically for about 10 straight plays, he man handled anyone who came his way.
  • What I said about Darius Butler in my last column remains true, he is as close to the hot seat as you can be after one preseason game. How on earth do you let 3rd and 4th string guys beat you on dig routes and deep slants?
  • We will see the starters for at least a quarter next week.
  • The Sam Adams guy is a definite stoner.
  • When the UNH and UMass coaches were getting interviewed, I wish someone slapped that wangsta kid in the background.

Remember everything we witness last night was from primarily backups and guys way down the depth chart against backups and guys deep down the opponents depth chart. That is all we have for comparison right now, but don’t put THAT much stock into it. Half the guys we saw last night, won’t be here come September.

Thank God football is back.

VN:F [1.9.10_1130]
Rating: 5.8/10 (9 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.10_1130]
Rating: +1 (from 5 votes)

Fantasy Football – Main Stream Phenomenon

I was driving down Route 1 the other day, because 93 is an absolute nightmare right now as all of you other North Shore readers know, and saw three signs that advertised hosting your Fantasy Football Draft here.  Hooters even promised a private war room with our own hostess.   The war room is more appealing than the hostess for any of you that have ventured into a Hooter’s anywhere in New England.  I’m running my league online this year, next year we’ll try an actual get together, but I was amazed at how commercial and in the public eye this hobby has become. 

Every year Fantasy Football becomes more and more mainstream and becomes part of almost every football fan and players conversation from late August until January.  When is your draft? What is your team name?  Who are you taking first round?  Why do they constantly give it to the back up RB down on the goal line?  Do I start Green against the Colts or Matthews against the Patriots?  Every one of us has had and will have this conversation over the next few weeks as the season gets underway.  It is amazing how big the NFL has become and Fantasy Football is a huge part of that.

Do you find yourself watching a meaningless NFC game in December?  I sure do when I have Steven Jackson playing (who is as consistent a yardage guy as there is in the NFL) and 10 points needed to make the playoffs.  Did you ever think you’d see the day you route for Reggie Wayne to have a big night in a Thursday Night game in Jacksonville?   Anyone remember that one?  What a heartbreaker for the Jags, and it definitely foreshadowed things to come for that God awful secondary.   The games become bigger for Fantasy buffs and when they become bigger, the ratings go up. 

TV contracts and revenue sharing were big pieces to the new CBA.  Ratings were and have never been higher for the NFL, and undoubtedly Fantasy Football has a decent hand in that.   Casinos, gambling websites, main stream sports websites all have seen dramatic spikes over the last half decade in football related activity.  The websites who give away free leagues and teams are all still making money in the long run.  Advertisement prices go through the roof during football season, so the ROI on offering free leagues is huge.  TV commercial airtime is at a premium with millions of viewers watching each Sunday and Monday rooting on players from their personally built franchises.  App Stores on Smart phones to manage teams and make last minute roster moves when a sideline reporter comes on during the “Start Em or Sit Em” Segment.  

Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning, Mike Vick, Ben Roethlisberger, and Tony Romo all face New England this season.  Will it not the biggest 60 minute emotional rollercoaster of the year?   Do you draft your home team guys?  Do you stay away from guys you know you’ll be facing in the regular season?  Could you care less about who you have as long as you win?  Everyone is different and has their own strategy on how to do things.   How do you handle situations like this?  I am interested to hear about it. 

I’d like to wish each and every one of you folks luck this year.  Some of you may find Fantasy Football a joke and annoying which is fine, everyone has their own take on it.  I’d like to hear some of your team names, and who you would take with #1 if you had it, also #6, as I have that pick in my draft.   Below is my mock first round. UNOFFICIAL of course, I’ll never use the word official on here again ;)

1) Adrian Peterson
2) Arian Foster
3) Ray Rice
4) Maurice Jones-Drew
5) Chris Johnson (I hear this guy may not show up until Week 11 Logan Mankins style, this pick may still be a stretch)
6) Michael Turner
7) Jamal Charles
8) Aaron Rodgers
9) Frank Gore
10) Mike Vick
11) Rashard Mendenhall
12) Andre Johnson

VN:F [1.9.10_1130]
Rating: 5.3/10 (4 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.10_1130]
Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)

Projected Starting Line Up

With the preseason about to get underway competition is going to be high with players fighting not just for starting jobs, but for roster spots as well. Here is my official 2011 Projected New England Patriots starting line-up.

Offense

QB: The MVP

RB: The Law Firm

WR: Wes Welker, Twitter Champion and Prius Advocate, Former SB MVP ‘preciate that boss’ Deion Branch (if they go 3 Wide)

TE: The Jacoby Elsbury of the Patriots ,  Aaron ’I faked Kyle Wilson out of his jock in the Jets Game so bad he is still looking for it’ Hernandez (if they go with a 2 TE Set)

C: Quietest Giant on the Field Dan Koppen

RT: Kick His Ass Sea-Bass Volmar

LT: Thankful to be here for 1 more year, maybe two Matt Light

RG: Special Teams Giant Dan Connolly

LG: Meanest Lineman in Football and resident farmer Logan Mankins

Defense

DL: Best Nosetackle in football Vince Wilfork

DL: Let’s hope the headaches gone Mike Wright

DL: Make sure you pay with cash and not credit card Albert Haynesworth

ILB: Camera phones and aderrol are no good Brandon Spikes

ILB: Gang tackle king Jerod Mayo

OLB: Resident Pandora autograph session king Gary Guyton

OLB: I’ve seen people come back from heart surgery quicker than a calf injury Jermaine Cunningham

CB: The Lions trash is the Patriots treasure Leign Bodden

CB: Taking reservations for McCourty Island Devin McCourty

SS: Good jams, and that was a champion play James Sanders

FS: So many cliche’s but I will go with Tigger, Bruce Springfield, and act like lil kids Brandon Meriweather

VN:F [1.9.10_1130]
Rating: 2.7/10 (10 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.10_1130]
Rating: -5 (from 7 votes)

Week 1 Preseason Preview

Week 1 Preseason Preview: Patriots vs Jaguars

Starters treat these games as an up tempo practice against opponents you typically don’t face on a regular basis. Do players get hurt? Sure. Did we all hold our breath when our newest defensive linemen planted the reigning NFL MVP into the turf a couple pre season games ago? I sure did. Seeing him do the typical MLB pitcher arm rotation stretch in visible pain, panic started to set in. This preseason may take a different approach with starters taking a few more snaps than usual.

With players only having two weeks of training camp under their belt and no OTA’s or mini camps, you will most likely see a lot more 70/75% speed from the first string guys. This will limit injuries, get some rust out, be a great visual for rookies and newcomers to the team, and slowly bring the players back into season ready football shape. Being in shape and being in football shape are two completely different things, I’m sure anyone who has played a sport can vouch for that.

For the game, I think you’ll see a very conservative approach both on offense and defense. If I was a betting man, I’d take the under on this all day. You’ll see a lot of the running game from a variety of backs. Our two new rookies will take a bulk of carries along with Sammy Morris. I think Bill wants to evaluate him closely to see what kind of role he will play. I personally and puzzled with the fact they are carrying a half dozen running backs this year.

From the quarterback perspective, you’ll see Tom Brady throw the proverbial bubble screen, draw to Kevin Faulk/Danny Woodhead, a slant or two to Wes Welker, and maybe if we are lucky, one deep ball. If they get close to the red zone, look for Rob Gronkowski, or a fade route or quick out to Chad Ochocinco. We’ll want to watch Nate Solder closely as well. I’m interested to see his highly touted footwork and how it translates into the NFL.

On defense, we will see Albert Haynesworthfor a few snaps. The coaches will take a very slow approach with him, and when he is ready, they will take the reins off. He has one full month to get into football shape, so these games mean nothing to a player like him. I would think we’ll see Jermaine Cunningham and Brandon Spikes a fair amount. Both of these guys, more so Cunningham, have to take a big leap forward this year and need to be a leader on defense. Jerod Mayo will be Jerod Mayo. He will make his 10 tackles a game, which somehow he gets credit for 20 of them, and be an animal going sideline to sideline. I am ready for him to make a big jump and a big play. He has yet to make one in a Patriots jersey that is a game changer, and he had a rough go of it in back to back playoff games.

The secondary will be competitive internally this year, with Leigh Bodden and Devin McCourty who seem to be locks to start. Who will be the nickel back? Will it be Darius Butler? I want to like this guy, I really do, but he is turning into a Jonathan Wilhite in my eyes, a more athletic Jonathan Wilhite for all of you Butler lovers. He NEEDS to make a big leap forward this year. At the safety position, let’s just say it is on SWOL and hopefully he plays smart, within the system, and clean. He also was Mr. Irrelevant in the 98.5 Toucher and Rich Criminal Fantasy draft, so please don’t get arrested.

Who to Watch: Nate Solder, RB’s, Edelman

Don’t Panic if They Suck: Brady, Ochocinco, McCourty

Be a Tad Concerned if They Suck: Butler, Tate, Morris

Also if any of you guys are looking for a DJ for a wedding, bar/bat mitvah, corporate event, fundraiser check out

www.bashentertainment.net or my bro @vinnieprocopio on Twitter

MVP

VN:F [1.9.10_1130]
Rating: 9.7/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.10_1130]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)