I had a really neat opportunity yesterday to have lunch with Jacob Ford and his manager at Urban Flatts here in Nashville (really good food by the way). All of this was brought about when I asked his marketing people to link to us because they were using August's 2008 review of Ford on his official site. After they did that, they asked if there was anything else they could do, and I asked for an interview with Ford. I was expecting them to either ignore the request or just ask me to submit some questions via email. Instead they suggested we meet for lunch and do an interview (and were very flexible in dealing with my schedule).
Click through the jump to read the interview..
How will the defense change with the loss of Albert Haynesworth?
Honestly I don't see a real big difference. We've got guys that are capable of stepping in and making plays. I mean Jason Jones was just a back-up player last year. We will see a more balanced rotation. Tony [Brown] played about 80% of the snaps last year. Albert played about 60%. I think it will be more balanced all around. I think that will be the biggest difference.
So you think the rotation will be able to replace him?
*My thoughts: He seemed genuinely confident that the guys they have in that rotation will be able to replace Albert.
What differences have you seen between Chuck Cecil and Jim Schwartz so far?
I can't really say in terms of differences. We've only had a couple of team meetings, but everything we are doing right now is pretty much the same as we did last year with a few slight adjustments. We are pretty much running the same things we have been running. There hasn't been that big of a change.
Do you think he will blitz more than Schwartz did?
No because I think our secondary is good enough that they can play with no blitzes. Our pressure up front is good enough that we can get by without it.
Do you think you will see more time in the rotation this year than you did last year?
I honestly don't know. I'm prepared for a high workload so that way if it comes that way I am ready. If it's 20 snaps or 30 snaps I'm fine with it. If it's 40 snaps or 50 snaps I'm fine with it. As long as I am contributing I don't care.
What do you like about Jim Washburn?
That he lets us play. A lot of schemes in the league are built towards reading, and when you read it takes a lot of your instincts away. It just allows you to play fast and one of my main attributes is my explosion. If I am sitting there reading I don't have the opportunity to use my athleticism to my benefit. His system allows me to flourish. (He also mentioned that when watching Clint Eastwood's character in Gran Torino his first thought was they made a movie about Coach Wash.)
There was an article last year on the offsides penalties and how they don't hurt the Titans as much because of that style of play. Is that why he is willing to forgive those more?
Well he's not forgiving of them. I would say he's more understanding of it because of the style we play.
Have you been able to learn some stuff from Jevon Kearse because ya'll both have the speed style?
I've watched Jevon do some things. I've mostly been studying Kyle and some of his stuff. Some of his moves and the stuff he tries to do. I try to add a little bit of everything I see from other players. Like Robert Mathis, he has a similar skill set so I try to use some of his stuff. James Harrison, I try to watch and see what he does. Pass rushers watch pass rushers to see what they are doing; to see if they can add some of their stuff to their own repertoire.
How is KVB's health?
He's fine. He's good. He is completely healthy.
Do you try to emulate his motor?
(Laughs) I don't try to emulate his motor. I am not going to do that, but certain moves he does like stab and choppin, that's his move. I emulate that some times.
Other players like Mathis, he likes to spin, in and out, I try to do that. James Harrison, like I said before, he likes to stunt down inside to the tackle and then bounce outside and bend around the corner, I try to do that.
Any comment on the back and forth between Chris Johnson and LenDale White?
I'm not into any of that. As long as they run the ball and score touchdowns that is all I care about.
What are the differences between this year's team and last year's team?
I think defensively we will be pretty much the same. We will probably be able to rotate a little more.
Offensively we will be more balanced. I think we will be able to pass more often with teams respecting are run game just as much. We have better targets as opposed to last year.
I haven't had much of an opportunity to see Kenny because he's been a little bit dinged up early on, but Nate looks pretty good. I think he will contribute a lot to us.
Do you think your adjustment to the NFL was harder than the guys that come from the bigger conference schools?
I really can't say. For me, it wasn't that difficult because I am in a system where I get to use my speed to my benefit, so I didn't have a lot of things holding me back.
What position did you play in high school?
Defensive end, wide receiver, tight end, offensive tackle, linebacker, defensive tackle. Pretty much everything.
Who was your favorite NFL team and favorite player growing up?
I followed Deion. I followed players more than teams. Back when Deion was with the 49ers, I was a 49ers fan and after that year he went to the Dallas Cowboys I became a Cowboys fan. Then he went to the Washington Redskins, and I was a Redskins fan.
I want to again really, really say thank you to Jacob Ford, his manager, Kellie Robinson, and Jenna Menking for making this thing happen.
Gramsey and I agree that Ford is now the Official Favorite Player of MCM.