Join Date: Dec 2006
Brandon McGee Interview Transcript
We will be talking with newly acquired DB E.J. Biggers today, as well as Virginia Tech Hokie Bruce Taylor, and Jonathan Cyprien from FIU.
| Evan Redmon: In a little over a month, youíre going to be drafted by an NFL team. Thatís a huge, life changing event in a really positive way Ė very few people ever get to experience anything like that. Can you describe what your emotions are right now? Is there a day that goes by that you donít think about it? |
Brandon McGee: Iím really just taking it all in. Itís a once in a lifetime thing, and Iím just enjoying it to the utmost. Itís really and truly a blessing. I give thanks to God, because without God, I know this wouldn't be possible. It really makes me appreciate everything Iíve been through.
ER: Do you ever think about how fortunate you are, or why you are so lucky to be in this position where the NFL is going to pay you quite a bit on money to take your game to the next level?
BM: Absolutely, I definitely feel fortunate. There are a lot of guys who grow up playing this sport at an early age, but through various circumstances, they canít continue to play the sport they love anymore. To be a guy whoís able to continue doing what I love to do, been doing my entire life, itís really a blessing. Iím definitely praying for my good fortune.
ER: You said this is something youíve been doing your entire life. Does it feel like this is your destiny at this point, like this is what you were meant to do?
BM: I feel like my destiny is to inspire kids, inspire the youth, and inspire the boys and girl that grew up in my neighborhood. Just to show them that if you chase your dream and stick to the plan, you can accomplish the same thing. I really think thatís what my main destiny is. God is just using me on a football platform to spread that message.
ER: You mentioned stuff thatís going on there locally. Obviously, youíre a guy from ďThe UĒ [The University of Miami]. Over the last 10 years, the Redskins have had quite a few players that they've either traded for, signed as free agents, or drafted from The U. Is that something youíre aware of, and something that players down in Miami are aware of?
BM: Absolutely. I think that, for the most part, everybodyís aware of it. They know about certain teams with players [in the NFL] that have played for The U. But going through the job process, itís a tricky process and itís really out of my control at this point. I feel like Iíve done as much as I can to aid myself. But now itís in Godís hands, and itís up to the teams.
ER: Speaking of other guys who were down there [at Miami], the Redskins have Santana Moss and Brandon Meriweather, who were a little before your timeÖ. and correct me if Iím wrong, but you were a sophomore when Leonard Hankerson was a senior - is that right?
BM: Yeah, I was.
ER: So have you guarded Hank before?
BM: Yeah, I had a chance to cover Hank.
ER: Tell us a little about that Ė what kind of receiver is Hank?
BM: Hank was definitelyĖthe biggest thing for meĖwas that Hank was just smooth in his routes, had a great set of hands as well and was real knowledgeable of the position. As a sophomore, seeing how much work he put in to it, into his craft, it definitely motivated me to put in much more in to getting better. Because I really saw Leonard Hankerson transform from his freshman year to his senior year. He was a totally different player. I commend him Ė heís always been that hard worker, someone that definitely inspired me as well.
ER: Has he reached out to you at all and said anything like, ďHey man, the Skins might draft you. It would be cool to see you up hereĒ?.
BM: Nah man, we havenít spoke. We havenít spoke at all. But if he reaches out to me, Iíll reach out to him. Either way, it will be all positivity.
ER: Sticking with the theme of The U, that university has played a big part in the Redskinsí recent history. While your positions arenít exactly the same, itís kind of hard to think about a guy playing secondary at The U without thinking about Sean Taylor. Without living up here and being a Redskins fan, thereís obviously no way you could know how beloved he was to the Redskins fan base, and how difficult it was for everybody when he passed the way he did. Does he have a similar legacy down there? Do people still talk about him? What kind of influence did he have on the culture down there?
BM: Sean Taylor is legendary. You carry a lot of weight when you wear the #26 at the University of Miami. Every safety, every defensive player Ė every player period is inspired by Sean Taylor. Even offensive guys watch Sean Taylor highlights when he was in college. Itís definitely like heís still looking at us. As players and coaches just as much, they go out into the community and visit the Sean Taylor Memorial. His legacy is still there.
ER: We feel that up here as well, and itís really cool to hear you say that. Moving on, letís talk about what kind of cornerback are you, what your strengths and weaknesses are. Iíve looked at you on film, and you can see the speed, you can see the good cover technique. What would you say your best asset is, and what do you need to work on?
BM: I feel like my best asset is not something physical, itís something intangible, and thatís the knowledge of the game. Being able to learn the position, being able to grasp the game plan, and being able to understand Xs and Os, I feel like thatís my biggest attribute. Obviously the speed and cover abilities Ė but, just to harp on something, the key is the knowledge. Thatís what I really harp on. And I can improve on everything. Thereís not one area where I say ďOk, I gotta improve on thisĒ and not worry about everything else. Overall, I think I can improve on everything, whether itís covering, tackling, understanding defenses, understanding offenses. I continue to learn all aspects.
ER: You mentioned something that I was curious to ask you about, and thatís the tackling aspect. Everyone thinks about, when you draft a corner, heís going to shut down receivers. Obviously thatís job #1. But tackling is, I think, an underrated aspect of being a cornerback. If you watch the Redskins, you see Jim Haslett puts an emphasis on guys being able to tackle. How much of that aspect do you think is part of your game, and how much emphasis do you put on coming up and tackling running backs?
BM: Our defense was a base cover-2 defense, so the corners have to be aggressive. They have to come up and tackle. I made 54 tackles on the season this year. I didnít shy away from contact at all.
ER: Thatís a lot [of tackles] for a cornerback. How many of those would you say were you tackling the guy you were covering versus you tackling a running back?
BM: Oh man, rarely the guy I was covering. I probably had about six tackles on coverage the entire year.
ER: Wow, thatís a pretty small number. Is that because [opposing quarterbacks] threw away from you?
BM: I definitely thought that people threw away from me. Some teams did throw at me, but [most of them] definitely shied away from me for the majority of the season.
ER: Another thing that I noticed you do when looking at the film was, you were definitely on special teams a lot. You were the gunner on special teams [kick coverage] for a lot of the film that I looked at. Is that a position you take pride in? I noticed you were usually the first guy down the field. You could see returners would peek up the field and see you coming, and that caused a lot of fair catches. Is that a role you would like to take on at the pro level?
BM: Absolutely. It was key for me at the University of Miami because, being a senior and being a captain of the team, the young guys see me giving my full effort on special teams, and then they do so as well. That will definitely translate over to the NFL, because special teams is key. A lot of guys stay in the NFL a long time just off of special teams. Itís just as important as offense and defense.
ER: Itís funny that you should mention that, because the Redskins just lost one of their big locker room guys and one of the fan favorites in Lorenzo Alexander. He just made the Pro Bowl on special teams. He just got a big contractĖcomparatively for a guy primarily on special teamsĖ from the Arizona Cardinals. So yeah, you can make a living on special teams. Being a young guy, if the [NFL] coaches tell you we need you we need you to play teams, is that something youíre excited about?
You can read the rest by clicking here: Miami CB Brandon McGee Interview Transcript - Son of Washington