As it nears the end of June, most, if not all, NFL teams have shut up shop for the Summer break. The OTAs and mini camp practices were just enough for those football phenes to get a quick fix, but now comes the cold turkey stretch; practice for NFL teams will not resume until late July, when Training Camps around the nation will kick off.
This stretch is usually the time when most writers and journalists will grab any rumour or tidbit they can find and try to run with it. Instead, I’ve gone back to basics, and organised myself a quick Q & A with Cowboys’ All-Pro Nose Tackle Jay Ratliff.
After having double elbow surgery this offseason, how is the rehab coming along?
Things are great
Do you believe that being what some may call an ‘undersized’ player at your position (NT), that you are more likely to wear down due to the constant double teams you have to put up with, as opposed to a Vince Wilfork or Pat Williams-type of Nose Tackle?
Well I take pretty good care of my body so not so sure about wearing down. Me moving (positions) is up to the coaches.
Most pass rushers have a favorite or signature move they love to use. Dwight Freeney’s got the spin move, LaMar Woodley’s got the straight up bull rush. So if you had to choose what your favorite or signature pass rush move was, what would it be?
Chop, club and Rip, but I usually rush according to the protection.
I recently heard Tony Gonzalez say in an interview how he is concerned about players in the NFL not doing enough to prepare for life after football, and should start searching for a passion to pursue while still playing. Have you planned or thought about what you would like to do when you finally close the book on your NFL career?
That’s what I’ve been preparing for since I’ve been in the league. I’d like to go into the medical field.
All the division rivalries in the NFC East are heated, but is there one team that gets you more fired up than the others?
The Giants. They know us and we know them. But no one likes each other.
Who’s the toughest center or guard you’ve faced during your career?
Andre Gurode and Leonard Davis. I know they are on my team, but it’s hard to find someone to match their intensity.
Do you have any specific goals for the season?
Super Bowl of course, but there are a few private goals that I have not accomplished yet.
Greatest moment of the 2009 season?
Finally winning a playoff game.
Some people (Jamie Dukes) think you would be better suited as a 5-technique defensive end ( and I thought being a First Team All-Pro would be enough)…Do you agree or disagree with this statement and why?
No. I like where I’m playing. Me switching my position is something I’ve dealt with my whole career. There is talk about it every year
In your opinion, who’s the best player in the league right now?
Peyton Manning. He does everything right both on and off field.
Also, be sure to visit Jay’s website, http://www.jayrat.com, he’s giving away two tickets to a Cowboys game during the 2010 season, so be sure to check out the details.