15 Minutes with Jarvis Green
Tuesday March 1, 2005
has been the biggest change for you since the Patriots drafted you out of LSU?
Green: Well the biggest thing for me I can say this; is that I’ve
been to two Superbowls and two Superbowl wins. But, coming to LSU my first year
I did not play, I was a red shirt freshman and we had a big year. Then we had
two losing seasons and then Coach Saban came in and changed it around. And just
the things he taught me as a player, him coming from the NFL ranks before he got
to college. And then coming over to the Patriots and learning their system. Even
though I need a little about the system because Belichick’s system is similar.
Still it was tough for me to get everything and learn everything because everything
moves so fast as far as the learning process compared to college football.
The learning process, the learning curve is much bigger in the NFL, isn’t
Jarvis Green: Yeah it is big. It took time for me; two
years for me to really know the defense like the back end of my hand. When the
coach tells me one thing I know what to do. My first two years it was hard because
I was putting myself down because it felt like I was back in school. At the same
time even though it is a profession it felt like I was in the classroom trying
to learn something that I thought I had done all my life but to learn the first
two years just because of the teams we play each week. We’re together playing
so much week in and week out. And just learning that by my third year coming into
it, well by the second year it felt like everything was coming together in one
piece and knowing what I was supposed to do when it was all given to me.
Obviously you really spent a lot of time studying because when Richard Seymour
went down you had to step up. So what did the coaching staff tell you?
Green: You know what they didn’t tell me anything. Because they know
what is expected as far as playing and then coach, to me, is on a different level
than I’ve seen other teams. I mean you got guys who have back-up roles. You
saw the last few years we’ve had all the injury problems, this year also.
And I mean as many of these guys are in the game and play like there’s not
really a drop off. That says something about the coach and not just the players.
PI: When Seymour went down you had to step up and fill a big role there,
what did you expect?
Jarvis Green: When Seymour went down
it was tough. I kind of saw the injury as it happened you know? I was like oh
baby, my knee, you know.
PI: You felt it?
I’m like, Seymour get up. I looked at him then I said, oh man he’s
not getting up right now. It was serious. We were watching him and we’re
like he’s done. He’s done for the season, well for this game for sure.
And for me no extra pressure was added. I had a job to do. I was playing the back-up
role already and I was playing third down inside already so it wasn’t a big
change for me. And it’s funny because after the Jets game, I think I had
a pretty good game, but after the Jets game I was like this is my time.
Would you say it worked out well for you?
Jarvis Green: It
worked out well even though in football things happen. I was sad about the way
it had to happen.
PI: No one wants to see an injury.
Green: Yeah, no one wants to see that happen. But for me it was great for
me the way it happened. I mean hey, thank God he (Seymour) played in the Superbowl
and he played a great game. And then he was at the Pro Bowl hanging out. I mean
he’s going to be back and he’s going to be healthy. But for me as far
as the experience it was that 49ers game and that Colts game and the Pittsburgh
game, and even the Eagles game. It was a big jump, leap, for me as far as my time
to get my stock elevated and I know that. But during the process of my contract,
during the season I wasn’t thinking about that. During the season I wasn’t
thinking about anything but winning. In the playoffs I was thinking about my contract.
PI: What changes do you expect on defense now that Romeo Crennel
has gone to Cleveland?
Jarvis Green: I can tell you this.
Coach Belichick has been coaching 30 plus years and he’s a mastermind at
what he does. People look at him and praise him to the point to where he [Belichick]
is pretty much the best coach in football right now. But we all look at him like,
at the present time, he’s [Belichick] the coach in our minds that he’s
been doing it in many ways and I think he’s going to have another guy under
Coach Romeo to come in, like Coach Eric Mangini, and fulfill the role. It might
take some time to learn, but just the way the head coach is it is tough and the
coaches learn under coach Belichick. I mean he comes from under coach Parcells
and he’s great. So I think he’ll be fine even though Romeo is not here.
PI: Defensive backfield coach Eric Mangini has been named the Patriots
Defensive Coordinator, what do you expect any changes in defense or do you feel
Jarvis Green: I don’t think anything
is going to change he’s been in the system just like Coach Romeo was. We’re
going to be going with the things that have gotten us this far, so far. It has
taken three or four years to know the guy. If it ain’t broke, why are you
going to fix it?
PI: This question might hit a bit closer to the
heart. Tedy Bruschi was recently released from the hospital, have you heard much
about Tedy's condition?
Jarvis Green: I went to see him the
day he got released from the hospital. I went to see him and he sat down and talked
to me and it was very emotional. His health comes before the game of football.
He’s played for nine years. He has three Superbowl rings, been there four
times I mean what else..
PI: Interceptions too. He has played incredible.
Jarvis Green: Yeah he is incredible. But it is tough man.
Him and his family have to make it. They have three kids now and I mean it will
be a tough decision. But hey, everyone knows that football does not last forever
but you want to live as long as you can, you know.
PI: Your performance
and contribution in the playoffs has been amazing. How do you mentally prepare
to step up and fulfill a starting role for the playoffs?
Green: You know what, I can tell you this. I wish I could do that for the
entire season. It’s a long season and some people don’t understand what
we go through in the season coming through middle school to high school to college.
In college you have some free time, but this is a job and we know that. And just
as far the attention span and trying to play a consistent game. That is like,
I am kind of going off a little bit, but you can look at basketball and baseball
and hockey they play so many games that they can go play 3 horrible games in basketball
and come back the next four or five and be phenomenal. But with football, I mean,
in a 16 game season you have to try to perform as best as you can every time you
get on the field.
And for me in the playoffs it has been the last
two years for me you know. It has been special. I wish I could do it through the
regular season but I don’t have an answer for that.
brought up basketball so I have to ask you. LSU beat Alabama recently do you follow
Jarvis Green: I follow it, but it has been tough
up here. But somebody told me the game was on TV and I didn’t even know.
PI: It was a phenomenal game. Alabama has a tough time on the road,
how great did it feel for LSU to beat them?
Jarvis Green: It
felt good for me. I felt proud that I came from a program like that and also because
I know the head coach, John Brady, not Tom Brady, Mr. Brady and the assistant
coach and you know what it has been tough for them. Its been up and down for them
and you know what? Every year in basketball toward the end of the season LSU all
of a sudden goes into overdrive.
PI: Right now, they have an at
large bid for the NCAAs. What do you think their chances are?
Green: I don’t know, but they have a chance to get into the big dance.
Well it’s great for Coach Brady and the team. I hope they do their best,
you know because you know what when their games come on this time I am going to
make sure I am watching to support those guys. They play tough down there and
it feels good for me. Coming from a big school as far as the football team did
and are doing now and the baseball team every year for a long time. They have
a tennis team and gymnastics and swimming and everyone there is putting their
share into it as far as dominance in the SEC as all conference. It is a great
privilege for me to walk around and be a part of that collegiate school.
How did you feel when you heard that your former coach, Nick Saban, became the
head coach of division rival Miami Dolphins? What type of effect do you think
this will have on you when you play the Dolphins next year?
Green: You know I don’t think this will [have any effect on me]. It’s
a game and everybody, even from the coaches to the players, it’s a game.
It’s different from college, and hey, we get paid and they get paid on the
other side of the field you know. And so we have to come in and play ball. You’ve
got your friendships, but when game time comes you put that off to the side and
PI: You were considered one of the most dominating
defensive linemen in LSU history, what do you think it takes to be a dominating
defensive end in the NFL?
Jarvis Green: You know what? I am
trying to get to that point, but I think that is a question you have to ask Seymour
because you know I am trying to get to that level. I think to be dominant you
have to go back to the guys in the old days. As far as performing and being consistent
and pretty much destroying your opponent who is in front of you and making them
game plan around you. To me that is dominating. Like what Lawrence Taylor did
when he was playing, or Jerry Rice when he was in his prime-I mean that is dominating.
Bruce Smith, Reggie White – that is dominating you know. Those guys for the
stuff they’ve done they are on a different pedestal. But me, I am trying
to get to that position.
PI: Did you have one guy you always looked
up to? Someone you wanted to emulate when you got to the NFL?
Green: Well in college I looked up to LT because I watched him in high
school and I watched him and watched him and in college that is what I wanted
to be you know. I wanted #56 but I wore #59 my freshman year in college, but that
is the guy I wanted to be. And then coming into the league the biggest thing was,
“be myself” and “pick a number for myself.” It was hard for
me coming from college. I played four years in college and had, my first two years
in college I had 15 sacks my last two years I had five.
of sacks, I have to ask you about Peyton Manning? How did it feel getting 2.5-3
Jarvis Green: You mean as far as the defense sharing
the sacks? We have an unselfish defense. We don’t have any guys who come
out with 17-18 sacks, but we got a lot of guys come the playoffs that you can’t
give one person the sack. If you do that you are making a mistake. As far as the
past two years it has been great because, well as far as this year, with the sacks
being spread out among the front seven, and even Rodney Harrison getting in on
that free sack it is crazy. And to me that is a plus because we have guys on this
defense, who people might call average defensive players, I’m sorry, I’m
sorry, even on the team, who must be doing something right to get this done over
the last two years.
PI: You guys are doing something right. In fact,
you got your first career NFL TD against the Ravens last November, what did that
feel like? Have you worked on your TD Dance since then?
You know what? I don’t know what a heart attack feels like, but man my
heart was throbbing after that. And I saw the guys coming and I wanted to do a
dance, I wanted to do something and the guys took the ball out of my hand. They
hugged me and I was looking for the ball and Ted Johnson brought the ball to give
it to me and he said, “Take the ball kid, this is your ball.” And I
felt warm on the side. The camaraderie and the feeling and it is my third year.
I already had one Superbowl under my belt and at the time I wasn’t thinking
about getting my second Superbowl, but to get a TD in the NFL in my third year
I cannot complain.
PI: Patriots’ cornerback Leonard Myers’
ring for Super Bowl XXXVI - the Patriots' first Super Bowl win - is up for sale
on the online auction site, eBay. The starting bid? $25,000. Do you have any plans
to sell your rings?
Jarvis Green: God lord willing I hope
not. If I am in that position something is very wrong. It funny how people complain
about their jobs, so why are we complaining about our jobs and the money we make?
We have enough money to make and save to be fine. I mean to see that there, I
heard that at my
PI: At Rolls Royce, right?
I’d been going there for two weeks and my co-workers told me that and I was
like, I didn’t know whose ring it was for, and then I heard whose ring it
was for and I was like I can’t believe this.
PI: You brought
up your internship, and this wasn’t on my list of questions, but tell me
Jarvis Green: Well this is my second year and they
have me doing a lot more work. I mean when I walk in I clock in.
Do you punch a clock?
Jarvis Green: I don’t punch it,
but I have a badge that gets me in for security. They’ve been giving me a
lot of work since I have been going back there. A lot of phone calls, but we also
use email a lot, you know, with the customers and talking to the after-market.
I am a program manager, like a GC, a general contractor building a house.
That was your major at LSU was contracting?
Jarvis Green: Yes,
that was my major. Yes. I try to compare it to that a little bit although it is
like night and day building ships propellers. It is a different ball game for
me. The transition as far as leaving football and coming out there has been great
as far as my co-workers they have been there. They are always there for me. If
I need any answers they are there. And I feel so much better now as far as getting
my confidence. I am starting to speak their lingo when I am around the plant because
a lot of people use acronyms when they speak.
PI: It sounds like
you are really taking advantage of everything the NFL has to offer?
Green: I’m trying my best because you know football does not last
forever. It’s not long; it is a short road for the average player. I have
been trying to prepare myself so if anything were to happen; in the worst-case
scenario I’ll be OK.
PI: My last question is what are your
plans for the off-season? Sounds like you are pretty busy right now?
Green: Yeah, you know I haven’t been on a vacation since I’ve
been in the NFL. In three years I haven’t been on a vacation. My vacation
is when I go back home. And you know what? Things might change because of my contract.
I don’t know but I hope I can stay here and continue my experience with Rolls
Royce. They are five miles from the stadium so it has been great.
So you’d like to stay here?
Jarvis Green: Yeah, I’d
love to stay here. My wife loves it. As far as the kids, I mean the schools have
been great for my son. It’s been great. It has been a plus and you can’t
take that away from anyone, the education up here also.
about the snow? The Weather?
Jarvis Green: Well you got to
deal with it man. My Mom and Dad lived up here for five or six years and they
told me people up here don’t even complain about the weather. You can do
nothing about it. It is Mother Nature so deal with it. Put a raincoat on.
Well that is about it for my questions. But recently I know that with Ty Law,
Roman Phifer, Troy Brown there is some heavy news coming out of the Patriots camp,
would you care to comment on that?
Jarvis Green: No. Not at
all man that is the nature of the business.
PI: Well, I’d like
to thank you for spending some time with the Patriots Insider and good luck next