Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Q&A: Courtney Greene, S, Rutgers

Click to listen to NFL Draft Bible Player Spotlight with All Big East safety Courtney Greene. Hosted by Bo Marchionte.

We are 18 days away from the NFL Draft. You have been pretty busy with workouts. Can you take us through how your Pro Day was?

Greene:
It went real well. I think I started well at the Combine. I ran a good time in my 40 and did all the drills I wanted to do good. So I just wanted to go to my Pro Day and do drills and my broad jump. I felt like my broad jump wasn’t far enough at the Combine where my legs where kind of tired so I did it again and jumped 9’11. I was proud of that one. I looked real good in the drills so now I'm just trying to go out there and show them that I’m moving my hips and stuff, showing the guys that I can move.

Have you been talking with any teams since the Combine and your Pro Day? Any teams showing an interest in you?

Greene:
At the Combine I had three interviews with the Broncos, Browns and Jacksonville. The Broncos came out here and worked me out. Atlanta came out here and I was just at the Jets yesterday and I’m going to the Giants on Thursday.

Anyone who loves football loves guys who play with that smash mouth mentality. Growing up, did you follow guys with that style or was that just a instinct and you just falling into that role?

Greene:
I think I just fell into it growing up at the same time as Ray Rice. Not too many running backs growing up were going to run for touchdowns with Ray on the team so I had no other choice but to play defense. At a young age I just grew into it and figured I’d the best on defense and he would be the best on offense.

What kind of honor was it being named team captain at Rutgers, and what kind of leader where you?

Greene:
It was a big honor. There was a whole bunch of guys on our team that could have been named captain. Then there was six of us and you don’t see that happen at too many programs with six captains in one year. So it was a honor, all six of us being named captain. It was just a honor to just lead the guys. Starting 1-2, then 1-5, and that’s when leadership had to kick in. We got all ours guys together and just understood that the coaches were giving us the right game plan and it was us that weren’t putting in the time or effort to it done on Saturdays. We turned that around and won seven straight.

Since the season ended you had your Combine and Pro Day. When is the next time you think you’re going to be able to relax?

Greene:
I don’t know to tell you the truth. (Laughs) On the 17th all the visits and stuff stops so I will get to relax from then until the Draft. I’m just going to take it in with my family and just enjoy the moment. It's my childhood dream and I'm just excited with what God has put in front of me.

Talking about that childhood dream. Talk about when the realization of becoming an NFL player started to take root.

Greene:
I think in high school. Growing up with Ray, we always spoke about it. We decided to go to the same college and in our first year we were both freshman All Americans. From that moment on we both knew we had what it took to get it done in college. It just wasn’t a high school thing where we were just dominate in high school. So from that moment on I knew this dream was going to come true, it was just a matter of when. Ray took his chance last year and I stayed in for my senior year to stay with these guys and get my degree. Now it's my turn.

Actually I was going to ask you that. You could have went pro last season. Earning your degree, was that a big reason why you returned?

Greene:
That was the main reason. I spoke with my mom and she told us growing up that anything you start, you have to finish. I think that set in when I had to make my decision with Coach Schiano. I just wanted to finish what I started. I think I owed it to Rutgers and to my mom to come in and finish what I started and I'm finishing school right now. I’m coming from class, so it’s kind of different. But I’m just taking it in and enjoying the process right now.

Speaking about your former teammate Ray Rice, do you guys stay in close contact?

Greene:
All the time. We always call each other, hit up a few jokes. Actually, we hung out last week. I went down to Baltimore to just get away for a little while for three days to be with him.

Are you going to miss the college life or are you ready to move on to the next level?

Greene:
I think I’ve been out of college for a year. I think I when I decided to make the decision to come back my mind was in the NFL. So I prepared like I was in the NFL, did some partying and no one ever told me (Laughs) so yeah, I’m ready for the next step.

How about some teammates like Kenny Britt and Tiquan Underwood, facing those guys in practice. How was that?

Greene:
Exciting, because you never know what’s going to happen with those two guys. Two great players that just made us better. I think they made our defense better each year. It showed in the end results—every year we were among the top teams in the country and those guys made it possible. Going against a guy like Kenny, he’s so physical and fast and just wants to catch every ball that’s up in the air while going against Tiquan, who’s flashy and fast, makes it troubling for a defense and that helped us out the last seven games. We all put it together and they played well and we played well and won seven straight.

Speaking a little Scarlet Knight football. Who are some of the more flamboyant and fun guys on the team?

Greene:
(Laughs) I don’t know...Ah, I’d probably say Joe Lefeged, a sophomore safety who’s going into his junior year now. He's the real clown on the team but he’s going to be a great player. If people don’t know him yet, they are going to know him this coming year.

With the Draft being 18 days away, what are your plans when April 24 rolls around? Are you going to spend it with family, are you going to get away from the television set, or are your eyes going to be glued to it?

Greene:
I really don’t know what I’m going to do yet. (Laughs) Probably the first day with some friends and see what my status is. I'm not going on the first day...I doubt I'll even watch it. I'll probably just go out with my family to eat and have fun a little bit. Then the next day, wake up and wait for my name to be called. I'll just sit around with my family and just have fun that day.

You played under three secondary coaches while at Rutgers. Has that helped make you more well-rounded? Can you share your thoughts on that?

Greene: I think it helped me. I think there are two different style of coaches. One was more aggressive and one was more X and O’s. I think that helped me out a lot. Coach Pinkham made me a smarter football player this past season. He explained to me that it’s not just about your position but about everybody and everything that’s going on on the field. That made me a better player. I was just excited for the opportunity to be coached by him.

Playing in the Big East, who were some of the stand out offensive players that come to mind?

Greene:
Obviously I think about Pat White when you think about a guy from the Big East, and West Virginia and what they have done at that program. He had a tremendous season. I remember him when we played him as a freshman, we played him out here and he had 199 (yards) against us. I told them it was a fluke then he came out the next three years and did the same thing to everybody. That’s a guy to think about. Another to think about is Kevin Malast (linebacker), who is on our team and actually got to chill with him a couple times. He’s a cool guy, I'd look for him to be nice pick.

During your downtime what are we going to find Courtney Greene doing?

Greene:
Probably just go home to my mom. I'm at school a lot and when I’m not in class, I'm probably doing workouts for the teams and visiting teams. So probably just go home relax with my mom. I can’t wait to go home and go to church with her and just relax.

You plan on getting mom anything special when you finally get to the NFL?

Greene:
(Laughs) I’m sure I’m going to get her something. This is our goal. It’s been our goal for awhile. I’ve been the one doing it but without her I wouldn’t be in this position. So definitely have to get her something nice.

How are your workouts going? You said you worked out with the Jets yesterday
and you're working out with the Giants later this week. You doing mostly the same drills on each visit, or do they change things up on you?

Greene:
Each one is different. I think they mix up the schemes and stuff, and what techniques they teach. They try to make you do different things to see if you will fit and do the drills they actually want you to do. It’s all been different but it’s football and everybody back-peddles, everybody brakes, and everybody has to have smooth hips as a safety. So it’s the same stuff, just different techniques. I think all of them have been going real well so we'll see what happens.

Growing up, were there any teams you rooted for?

Greene:
(Laughs) Actually, it’s Green Bay.

Really?

Greene:
I actually liked watching Brett Favre He wasn’t even a defensive player, it was just Brett Favre, and I liked watching him play, the way he played the game.

That’s pretty neat, a physical defensive player like yourself saying Brett Favre. That would be a good trivia question.

Greene:
(Laughs)

If we put you under the helmet of a NFL team, who would you remind us of out there?

Greene:
I don’t know. My favorite player was Sean Taylor before he passed away. Butif there was someone I look like, I’d probably pick him.

With a couple minutes left here, I like to shut things down with something I call Quick Slants. You ready to go?

Greene:
(Laughs) Yeah...

If you had to pick one of these occupations would you rather be a lead singer of a boy band or a male runway model?

Greene:
Runway model.

Which competition would you get farther in, Dancing With the Stars or American
Idol?

Greene:
Dancing With the Stars.

Pretty good dancer?

Greene:
Yeah.

Or can’t you sing?

Greene:
No, I can’t sing.

Would you hold a live tarantula in you hand?

Greene:
Yes.

Wow, we usually get a “no”. Okay, last question. If one of these embarrassing things was going to happen to you, which one would you pick—would you prefer to get laid out on a kick return by a kicker, or get beat deep by a offensive lineman for a touchdown on a trick play?

Greene:
(Laughs)

So imagine going to the game tape where they are going to show you getting laid out by a kicker or be beaten by a tackle.

Greene:
Laid out by a kicker. At least we didn’t give up a touchdown.

Great answer, spoken by a true defensive-minded player.

Photo Credit: College Press Box (Rutgers)

1 Comment:

lazy said...

nice interview. C Greene is the man.