August 07, 2008
Shutdown Corner has conducted some interviews with some very nice people, some hysterical people, and some really admirable, likable people. But after this most recent one, The Corner might have a new favorite. When I grow up, I want to be just like Kansas City Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards.
Among the topics covered are Dwayne Bowe's future, DaJuan Morgan's poetry, fantasy football, training camp fights, and the usual get-to-know-you questions that are becoming standard fare in Shutdown Corner interviews.
MJD: Coach Edwards, it's nice to talk to you.
Herm Edwards: Nice to talk to you. How you doing?
MJD: I'm doing great, man, I really appreciate you taking the time today.
Herm: No problem.
MJD: How excited are you about the progression of Dwayne Bowe this year?
Herm: Oh, very. I thought he had a great rookie year. And now, going into the second year, that's always the toughest year for guys, after they've played well their rookie season. I think he's come to camp with the attitude that he wants to continue to get better, and that'll help us, because he's a tremendous football player.
MJD: I'm really just asking because I want to know if I should take him on my fantasy team. What do you think?
Herm: Ohhhh (laughs). I don't know about fantasy football. I have no idea, but yeah, he'd be a good guy to take.
MJD: We talked to DaJuan Morgan before the draft, and he was nice enough to share some of his poetry with us. I was wondering if you've heard any of his poetry, and we wanted to check and see how he was doing in camp.
Herm: He's doing well. He's a very good football player. He's going to get a lot of playing time for us this year. As far as the poetry goes, I did not know he was a poet.
MJD: Oh yeah, he's quite a poet. You should ask him to share some.
Herm: I will. I'm glad you told me that. He's on your fantasy team, too?
MJD: No, we don't have defensive players.
Herm: Okay, I gotcha. Just offense, it's all offense.
Herm: I gotcha. Okay.
MJD: It seems like the Chiefs are in a little bit of a rebuilding phase, so what kind of expectations do you have for the season:
Herm: Like all teams, you'd like to win. When you rebuild, that doesn't mean you can't win. So I think our expectations are like they've always been for me, personally. You like to win football games. And I think this young set of players we have--we drafted twelve guys, and prior to that, the two drafts we've had--that's basically our football team. But their hunger to win in this league doesn't change, and that's what they'll be expected to do.
MJD: With the Steve Smith fight just happening at Panthers camp, I'm sure you've seen your share of that type of thing in your career. How do you deal with it as a coach, and what kind of effect does it have on a team?
Herm: Well, I think a lot of times, things like that just happen. I just heard about it, I didn't see anything. At times, I mean, there's always going to be some fisticuffs. Hopefully, it never gets that far. But you know, it can bring the team together, too, those types of things. You finally realize, "Hey what are we doing out here?" and you come together as a football team. Generally when that happens, players leave it there. They leave it on the football field. It doesn't linger, most of the time. Generally it's done with, and you move on to the next day.
MJD: Do you want to tell us a little bit about what you're doing with Gatorade today and the Beat the Heat program?
Herm: Yeah, this is the third year that Gatorade and the NFL have come together with the Beat the Heat program. It's really a prevention awareness program to let parents, along with coaches and players to know the importance of hydrating themselves before they practice, and really, after they practice, too. Gatorade's done a great job with the supplement drinks they have now. And when you think about prevention, it kind of goes unannounced, but since 1995, there have been 35 players that have died from a heat illness situation. So I think the more we can really make people knowledgeable-- coaches, parents, and players-- that you must hydrate, we can prevent a lot of it.
MJD: If you don't mind if we switch to some non-football questions right now ...
MJD: If you could have dinner with any three people in history, who would they be and why?
Herm: Ohhhh. Um ... One would be Mother Teresa. I just think her concept of life and what she brought, the mindset of helping others, and really making a life of giving, rather than receiving, that would be one. The second person would probably be Martin Luther King. For all he did for the movement, back in the 60s. His non-violent approach solidified a non-violent approach for a lot of people. And then probably President Kennedy. He's kind of fascinating. Those would probably be the three people.
MJD: Those are pretty great answers. I know you're busy right now, but what's the last movie you went out and saw?
Herm: The last movie?
Herm: Oh. My goodness, that's a good question. The last movie. Wow.
MJD: It's been a while?
Herm: Yeeeeeaah. Probably ... ooh. You know what, I don't even know. I haven't even gone to a movie in about a year or two now.
MJD: Oh wow.
Herm: I couldn't even remember. Yeah (laughs), that's how bad it is, I'm sorry.
MJD: That's okay. What do you like to do when you're away from the football field?
Herm: I have two little girls. I have two daughters that I like to spend time with, along with my wife. When you're a football coach, there's a lot of days during the course of the season and training camp, you don't see your family. I like being around them, and they're at the ages of 2 and 3, so they're growing up. I think the more you can be around them, the more you can find out about their personalities, and things of that nature. And then besides that, I like exercise and golf. I like those two things also.
MJD: If your house caught fire, and all your loved ones are safe, and you had the chance to go in and grab one thing, what would you grab?
Herm: (long pause). Hm. Good question. One thing, huh?
Herm: I've gotta grab one thing?
MJD: You can make it two if you want.
Herm: No! Do I have to grab anything?
MJD: (laughs) I guess not. I guess you don't have to, no.
Herm: Well, as long as everyone's safe, you just said it. That's what they are, they're safe.
Herm: They're just possessions, they're things. That's it.
MJD: You know, that's probably the best possible answer to that question.
MJD: If you could wake up tomorrow with one superpower. If you could have one superhero power, what would you like to have?
Herm: Ah, for me, to create a society where there wasn't poverty.
Herm: To help people. That would be mine.
MJD: Man, that's a good one. Okay, one last question for you. Why do the Kansas City Chiefs play the game?
Herm: Real simple. Someone said this a long time ago, probably about three or four years ago. You play to win the game.
Herm: That's why we play. That's exactly why we play. That's what everyone plays for when you're in athletics. If you don't have that mindset, it's tough. I was taught that, and that's what you've gotta be able to do.
MJD: I gotta tell ya, that's like my favorite interview clip of all time.
Herm: Ha. Okay.
MJD: Alright, thanks a lot coach, I really appreciate your time, and good luck this year.
Herm: Okay, thank you very much.
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