The Landry Hat Podcast’s co-host and resident Philly fan, The Tobes, had the privilege of interviewing Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive end Jason Babin late last month. And regardless of how most Dallas Cowboy fans feel about our NFC East rival, we can all agree that Babin is a beast on the field. He has an engine that never seems to quit and you have to respect the man’s work ethic. Babin is one of the best defensive players in the NFL and he was gracious enough to grant a Cowboys’ site an exclusive interview. That’s says a lot about the man he is. Find out more about said man/beast, below.
Tobes: Philly fans and the press are notorious for being some of the worst in the league. How have you handled the transition from Tennessee back to Philly and dealing with the press and the fans?
JB: The fans and press are very vocally strong; it’s one way or the other. They either love you or you are garbage, it really depends on whether you won or lost. They are going to let you know one way or the other. The thing I have learned is you have to have thick skin.
Tobes: I have seen tweets of posters of you on the streets of Philadelphia in the Mr. Olympia pose. So I guess right now you are the super star.
JB: Right now I guess I am getting it done for now, you know? It takes everyone, the players, coaches, trainers, the weight lifting coaches the general managers.
Tobes: Describe to me the mood of the locker room this year as opposed to last year given the recent passing of Andy Reid’s son passing.
JB: I think the overall mood of our locker room, without coming off insensitive, it is the same as it should be. Obviously, at the time, it was a shock. He was one of the guys and was around all the time. It hurt a lot of the fellas who were pretty close to him. It caught everybody off guard.
Tobes: Given the closeness between Michael Vick and Garrett Reid, do you think that may be playing a part in Vick’s struggles? He isn’t playing his typical self.
JB: There is only one person that can answer that. I don’t want speculate on something I know nothing about.
Tobes: Describe for me your off season training regimen.
JB: I think a lot of guys take time off. I transition into using lower impact, a little more cardiovascular cross-fit yoga type activities. I just like to stay fit, it makes me feel better.
Tobes: It’s obvious you are an avid hunter. During football season are you able to sneak off and hunt or do you go during the bye week?
JB: A little bit of both. We are over on the Jersey side and there is an area Trent Cole and I can sneak off a do a little bow hunting. I have to balance football, being a husband and father. Other states out west go past the first of the year. I am able to go to Alaska and do some hunting in May.
Tobes: I noticed on your Facebook page you have a photo of a bear you had killed. Most people have their gun or bow lying on the bear but you did not have one. Do you practice sacking quarterbacks by jumping bears and killing them with your bare hands?
JB: Up in the Michigan area there is a small island we hunt and the tide moves in at dusk. I had recently shot that bear with my bow and the tide was coming in. We had to move quickly to get the bear back on the mainland. I left my bow on shore and we ran out there and took a quick photo before we hauled it back in.
Tobes: There were some rumors on the internet that you were planning to run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. What happened to those plans and is that still in your future.
JB: Well, I will say this. I didn’t see the big deal about running with the bulls but ESPN starting having polls about how crazy that was. Then Coach Reid called me into his office and suggested it was a good decision not to do it. At the time, he asked me to wait unit I finish my football career and I agreed. And my word is my bond.
Tobes: From 2009 to 2010 your sack count exploded. Did you get a new trainer or did you learn to shape shift. Tell us what happened.
JB: The biggest thing for me was opportunity. I started getting extra playing time. I wasn’t the only one that had increased sack count, look at Chris Clemons, he had double digit sacks the same year as I did.
Tobes: Last year, there was a lot of controversy with defensive coordinator Juan Castillo transitioning from offensive coordinator to defensive coordinator. How did the defense handle the transition and was there an issue of respect for Mr. Castillo or was it business as usual.
JB: No, it was business as usual. Last year we had to deal with the lock out, a new coach and it took longer than Juan wanted it to. The biggest thing that Juan preaches is to win your one on ones and you will be successful.
Tobes: I notice you start in different positions on the line of scrimmage. Was that a particular challenge for you or is that how you play?
JB: That is what got me drafted. The style I play now, inside or outside that is how I played in Western Michigan under the great Jim Knowles.
Tobes: Who is the one quarterback you are looking forward to sacking this year?
JB: Whoever the last quarterback of the year we play. The last official sack of the regular season.
Tobes: Do you have a favorite sack or game last year?
JB: I think the Jets game for me, personally. I couldn’t do any wrong. It was a fun game to play and everything was working for me. The second favorite was when I stripped the ball from Eli Manning to end the game against the Giants.
Tobes: On a scale from 1 to 10. 1 being your first kiss and 10 being the birth of your sons where does last year’s sack of Tony Romo lay?
JB: Well, I think it wasn’t the sack that ranks. It was when I hit him and hurt his hand that took him out of the game. That was little more momentous taking him out of the game and forcing the backup in.