How does he do it?
Just a few days after talking with Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan, NFL RUSH Kid Reporter Jake caught up with one of the top pass catchers in the league, New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr.
How cool is that? You go, Jake!
Kid Reporter Jake spoke with new Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan about the upcoming NFL Season.
Q: You came to Buffalo this offseason. A team you know very well. The Bills are coming off a promising 9-7 season. What do you think the strengths are of this team?
I think the obvious strength is the defensive line. You have four guys, three of them went to the Pro Bowl and a fourth could have easily in Jerry Hughes. So I think that obviously is the strength. Some of the weapons that we have, LeSean McCoy as our running back, Charles Clay, Percy Harvin, already to a team that has Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods. So I like our skill position players on offense and I think our defensive line is the strength of our team on defense.
Q: After spending six seasons with the Jets, what will your emotions be when you return to Metlife Stadium?
They are just another opponent. So it is an opponent we want to beat just like anyone else and they are in our division so that always adds a little more to it. I am not sure I will feel any differently, but you never know until I get there. But I know one thing--I want to win that game.
Q: The Bills have not made the playoffs since 1999. You took the Jets to the AFC Championship game in your first two seasons there. How far do you think the Bills will go this year and what will it take to get there?
I think we will be in the playoffs this year. I think the big thing is we have to stay healthy and get a great grasp of our new systems on offense and defense. I think when we do that, I think our guys are going to be able to play against anyone in this league.
Q: How do you think having LeSean McCoy will help EJ Manuel's growth this year?
Well not just EJ Manuel's but everybody's growth. Whoever plays at the quarterback position is really going to benefit from LeSean being our running back. Meaning that it is a lot easier to throw against man coverage or one-on-one coverage than it is double coverages and loaded zones and stuff like that. So I think all the quarterbacks will benefit will LeSean being back there and I think our receivers will benefit by getting the kind of coverages they are going to get because you are going to have to play us in eight man spaces.
NFL RUSH Kid Reporter Jake R was able to go fourth and goal with with Cincinnati Bengals star defensive lineman Domata Peko.
1. Would you ever think about cutting your hair?
No it's out of the question. I will grow my hair for the rest of my life. It really shows my roots and culture of my Samoan people.
2. What are some of your responsibilities as one of the captains of the Bengals?
Always setting a great example to my teammates through work ethic , style of play, and being a true professional on and off the field.
3. What is your favorite offseason activity and why?
My favorite offseason activities are spending time with my three lovely kids and my wonderful wife. We love traveling together to places like Jamaica, Hawaii and back to American Samoa. We also love going to theme parks like Disneyland, Universal Studios and Knotts Berry Farm. We also love barbecuing and playing soccer, my second favorite sport.
I love to spend time with my family because my family is my everything and that's why I play football; for them. Also we love to go to church every Sunday to give thanks to God for all he has done for us.
4. How different was it when HBO's Hard Knocks documented training to camp than other years?
It was cool because it brought the fans closer to our everyday life as an NFL player. I loved it because I can always go back and watch it when I am a lot older and show my grandkids that I played in the NFL.
1. You are the leader of the Carolina Panthers' defense and
Cam is the leader of the offense. Do you ever talk to each other about the
direction of the team, and what are your expectations for the team this year?
Cam and I talk about what we see and what we need to do to move forward. I thinkÂ we'veÂ got a good group of leaders on our team.Â We'veÂ got Thomas Davis and Charles Johnson on defense, and Greg Olsen and Ryan Kalil on offense.Â We'veÂ got a good group of guys that understand where the team needs to go, the hard work we need to put in. They're able to set a good example just by being who they are.
Our expectations are to improve our team as a whole.Â We'veÂ added some good pieces this offseason. Obviously our goal is to win our division, get to the playoffs, and win the Super Bowl. Before that though, our first goal is to come together as a team this offseason and make a push when the season rolls around.Â
2. Being the youngest player to ever win The Defensive Player of the Year Award, who are the people you look up to and who inspires you?
I look at Thomas Davis and what he's doing, what he means to the team, how hard he works (and) his passion for the game. He's one of those guys when I first got here that I was able to look to for direction. He comes in every day wanting to work. It's not about him, it's about the team.Â
3. What is your favorite offseason activity and why?
For me, it's fishing. It's relaxing and it's outside. I enjoy being outside. I can take my mind off of things and usually go fishing with somebody, have good conversation, hang out and have a good time.Â
4. You guys fell short in the end this past season, but what were some takeaways from last year that you can apply to this year?
We'veÂ had two years of back-to-back experience in the playoffs. We understand what it takes to win in the playoffs now. We won one game and then we lost to Seattle, but I think we gained some valuable experience in the playoffs and we'll be able to take another step this year.
Bonus Question: I heard you were working towards your college degree this offseason. What are you majoring in and with all of your success why do you feel a college degree is still important?
I'm majoring in marketing. I'm in my final class right now and I should be finishing in a few weeks. It was a promise that I made to my parents to finish my degree if I left school. Hopefully in three or four weeks I'll have the degree and fulfill the promise I made.
I had the distinct privilege to sit down with Chris Harris Jr. Here is what he had to say:Ã‚Â
1) You have been on a roller coaster lately. You tore your ACL and missed the Super Bowl in 2014, recovered and came back to have your best season yet and then sign a 5 year extension. What has this all been like for you?
The injury was a roller coaster for sure. It was a lot of hard work and patience recovering from my knee injury. I've always been one to try and speed up the recovery process. I had to learn to be patient and take my time to come back and play.
2) Does your mindset have to change as a player when a new coach comes in?
New coaches mean lots of changes to a team. You have to build a
relationship, chemistry and lots of trust. I'm really looking forward to coming
back and establishing that. I've heard incredible things about Coach Kubiak and
am really looking forward to forming a bond with him and the rest of the new coaching staff.
3) What is your favorite offseason activity and why?
Bowling, vacationing and spending lots of time my wife, daughter and family.
4) How did you get that nickname Pitbull and who first gave it to you?
Elvis Dumervil (DT, Baltimore Ravens) gave me the name my rookie season.
He saw the way I played and practiced on the field and just began calling me
Our very own Jake Robinson had a sit-down with NFL Network's own, Rich Eisen to talk his Combine experience and the upcoming NFL Draft.
1. After running a sub 6-second 40 yard dash last year, you ran a 6.10 this year. What happened and have we seen the best of Rich Eisen?
I didn't train, is what happened. I just figured I'd get out there and run and, due to my healthier eating habits over the last year, run faster than I did the year before. At age 45, I need to do a better job of getting off the line and running in a straight line! The 40-yard dash is harder than you think! I surely don't think you've seen the best of me, though.
2. Since running a 6.77 in the inaugural Run Rich Run in 2005, how has your training changed and can you share with us how you train for the combine?
Well, I guess I just shared with you how I train for the Combine. I work out and I do some agility drills, but need to actually start sprinting on occasion. Part of me feels the reason why my 40-yard dash resonates with some people is that I look like most people my age might look like if they attempted to run the 40 at the Combine. And in a full suit and tie, no less.
3. What do you think the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should do with their 1st pick? Who stood out at this years combine and were there any surprise players?
I think the Bucs should take Jameis Winston. But only if they do all their due diligence on how he's conducted himself off the field and feel comfortable that the more dark portions of his past won't become part of their future. I really liked Vic Beasley of Clemson and also Byron Jones of UConn. I truly enjoyed watching their workouts and look forward to seeing how they turn out as pros. Same with Brett Hundley of UCLA.
4. This year you ran for St. Judes Hospital and fans submitted their own 40's. Did you receive many submissions and how much money did you raise for this great cause?
We got well over 100 submissions to Run Rich Run this year, which is the most we've ever received. And thanks to the matching 25K donations from the NFL, DirecTV (which is the partner of "The Rich Eisen Show") and Under Armour, we were able to raise over $105,000 for St. Jude.
Bonus Question: You running in your suit has become the logo for The Rich Eisen Show. Have you spoken to Roger Goddell about becoming the Jerry West of the NFL?
I have yet to speak to the Commissioner about changing the logo of the NFL to reflect my running style! I think I'll just have to be happy with it being the logo for "The Rich Eisen Show"! That's enough for me! For the moment...
NFL RUSH Kid Reporter Jake was able to speak with New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin. Yes, two-time Super Bowl winner Tom Coughlin.
1. The Giants have the 9th pick this year. What are some needs you are going to try and fill in the draft?
We are like every other team. We have multiple needs, and our objective in the draft is the same as it always is, to pick as many good players as we possibly can.
2. Can you give us an update on how Victor Cruz is recovering? What can we expect to see from him and Odell Beckman Jr. both playing together?
Victor has worked very hard. He looks good. It is a very regimented rehabilitation program. He has done a good job with it. He is where he should be. I think very shortly he is going to start running.
Victor and Odell are two very, very talented individuals, two guys that have been extremely productive. Obviously the more weapons you have, the better the opportunities are. The only thing any of these guys are interested in is winning. That is all we talk about. The complementing each other, complementing our team, helping our team win - that is what it is all about.
3. What is your favorite offseason activity and why?
From a football standpoint, it is trying to improve your team and building the sense of team and the camaraderie that a groups needs to be successful. Otherwise, it is the work we do with the Jay Fund and spending quality time with my family.
4. The Giants have let many great tight ends go in the past (Jeremy Shockey, Kevin Boss, and Martellus Bennett). After a breakout season, what are your plans for Larry Donnell in the future?
Well, we haven't just let those people go. Change is the nature of our business. And the ability to adapt and adjust is essential if you are going to be successful. Larry has been very, very productive in one area. I think he has learned an awful lot about what it is to play in this league over an extended period of time.
The entire season, the ups and the downs, I think he realizes he physically has to do a better job of preparing himself. We would like him to be a little bit better blocker. He has had huge games as a receiver and does complement a lot of what we are doing and continues to improve and get better in that regard.
NFL RUSH Kid Reporter Jake spent some time with Pittsburgh Steelers super cool defensive end Brett Keisel. Check out what he had to say:1. You just had shoulder surgery this week, how are you feeling? When will you be back? And what are your expectations for the upcoming season?
Thank you I feel great! My shoulder is healing well. I have been rehabbing and will continue to work with our trainers. I am excited about this young football team. We have a lot of potential.
2. Recently, you cut your beard for charity. Who first gave you the idea to do that? How long does it take DA BEARD to grow back?
I did just cut my beard for Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pediatric Cancer. My wife and I came up with the idea after watching our close friends Aaron and Jamie Smith's son Elijah battle Leukemia. I started growing this year's beard last March 2014 and shaved it February 4th 2015. Since starting Shear Da Beard, we have raised over $250,000.
3. Why is it so hard for a defensive end to get in a rhythm when a quarterback is getting rid of the ball as fast as Brady was in the Super Bowl?
Getting to the quarterback is complicated, but great defensive ends never get deterred and continue to stay after the quarterback no matter the circumstance.
4. What is your favorite offseason activity and why?
I enjoy spending time with my family doing many different things such as basketball, sledding, hiking to name a few. We like to stay active and outdoors. I also enjoy hunting and fishing.
Read Jake's report from the Patriots media day.Now that I had a better understanding of how Media Day worked, I wanted to get off to a good start with the Seahawks. In the first 10 minutes of the Seahawks' Media Day session, I got questions into KJ Wright and Jermaine Kearse. I made my way to Marshawn Lynch's podium. Unfortunately, I missed him by about 3 minutes. Marshawn was gone. All of the players who don't have podiums walk around the arena floor. I spotted John Ryan who is the Seahawks punter who threw a touchdown pass in the NFC Championship game against the Packers. I asked him how long he thought the ball hung in the air on that play. He replied, "Everything in football happens so fast but when I threw that pass it felt like the ball was in the air for a very long time."
I made my way over to one of the most crowded podiums of the day, Russell Wilson. Joining him on the main podiums were Pete Carroll, Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, and Kam Chancellor. As I had seen earlier, there were no holes to Russell Wilson's podium. Luckily, Brett Keisel spotted me. He helped me push my way to the front of the podium. With the clock ticking, Marshall Faulk from the NFL Network came over to Russell Wilson to do what seemed like a long interview. Then, backup running back Christine Michael was with a Spanish TV station and had their host salsa dance with all the Seahawks players including Russell Wilson while I was standing there. I asked Wilson what advice he had for the younger players. To which he replied, "I told them to have fun with it. But at the same time when you get between the lines on the field you have to be in tune with the situation."
Time was running out and I still had questions for some big names. I saw Pete Carroll with a crowd around his podium. I found my way to the front of his podium. I asked him what he was doing to prepare his team and he told me, "This is harder than it sounds with all of the attention to the Super Bowl, but we are just trying to keep the same routine we have been having all year long. As I said earlier, it's much harder than it sounds." I still had 10 minutes left and I wanted to take a crack at Richard Sherman. I got to the front with about 5 minutes left in his session. There was a minute to go and I didn't want a repeat of what happened with Tom Brady so I bee-lined to Offensive Lineman Russell Okung's empty podium. I got my question in just as time expired. I asked him the same question as Russell Wilson about advice to young players. Okung said, " I tell them this is the same game you have been playing your whole life. The field doesn't get any bigger. Just keep preparing the way you have all season. It's just a football game." As he said that we heard over the loud speaker, "That's the end of Media Day. Thanks for coming."
As I was walking out I got a quick picture with Cliff Avirl and thanked Brett Keisel for his help. One of the biggest things I noticed throughout the day was the energy in the building when each team had its session. The Seahawks fans were much louder and the players had cameras and GoPros. The Patriots fans were not that loud and the players were all business with no cameras.
In all, it was an amazing day in my life.
Read Jake's report from the Seahawks media day.About 15 minutes before the Patriots' Media Session started it became very crowded with media. The reporters stood almost shoulder to shoulder. The Patriots had Gronk, Vince Wilfork, Darrelle Revis, Tom Brady, and Bill Belichick as their main five people in the middle at podiums. On my way to Legarrette Blount's podium, I stopped to take a picture and talk with the guys from Dude Perfect who were there making a video for their YouTube channel. They were nice, funny, and cool in person.
At about 10:30 the Patriots Media Day was finally underway. As I pushed through the crowd to get to Legarrette Blount, I realized Steeler's Defensive End Brett Keisel was right next to me! I said, "You are the only guy I wouldn't try and push out of the way!" He laughed and we started talking. He was there reporting for Head and Shoulders and he asked me if I ever wanted to grow a beard. I told him I don't even have a mustache yet! He was so helpful throughout the day helping me navigate through the crowds and get to the podiums of the big name players.
After asking questions to Legarratte Blount and Brandon Browner, I decided it was time to take a swing for the fences. I made my way through the swarm of reporters and cameras to the front of Bill Belichick's podium. After what seemed like forever, I was finally called on. I asked, "With all the distractions how has this been a challenge to prepare your team this week?" He gave me a classic Bill Belichick answer, "We are only worried about the Seahawks right now."
At Media Day, each team gets an hour for their media session. With 15 minutes left to go after the Belichick question, I tried to fight my way through the crowd of reporters to get to Tom Brady's podium. I finally made it to the front of his podium with 7 minutes left in the session. For 7 minutes, I called out to Tom Brady and for 7 minutes, those calls went unanswered. The session wrapped up and there was a 45 minute break before it was the Seahawks turn.
Read Jake's report from the Seahawks media day.