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.