via KC Chiefs
Branden Albert of the Kansas City Chiefs spent the last week in his hometown of Rochester, NY. Other than spending some time with the kids at the local YMCA, he talked with 1280 WHTK about growing up, being a first round draft pick and his mentor Brian Waters.
First things first. On the YMCA event:
Had a good turnout. A lot of kids came and we had a lot of support. We had good sponsorship.
Maybe an NBA player instead of NFL player:
I had a passion for basketball. Growing up my brother told me to play basketball. But I said no I'm not playing football, I'm playing basketball. He said 'If you grow to 6'10", I agree with you'. I grew to 6'5" and said 'Okay, I'll play football."
On coming out of school early for the draft:
Some people said I was the #1 ranked player at my position and I couldn't pass that up.
On mentor Brian Waters:
I have a good mentor in Brian Waters. He was up for the Man of the Year award in the NFL. He has a lot of charities and events. He works with the United Way. He's been in a lot of commercials for that. He's a good mentor for me. Me and him sat down and he wants me to take cover some of his things coming to the end of his career. He's that type of guy. He wants me to start investing in the community.
Difference between NFL and NCAA:
I think the biggest difference is getting a paycheck now. It is a cutthroat business. You gotta understand that and appreciate what's going on around you and don't take things for granted. In Virginia, people were there on scholarship and no one was getting cut from the team but now people are getting released every day. You know it's a business and your time will come sooner or later, first round draft pick or not.
On the new regime of Todd Haley and Scott Pioli:
We're not their guys but for a guy like me or Glenn, we are kinda stuck there. We were 1st round draft picks. I don't know how you were going to get rid of us. But honestly it's a good set up right now. We're working hard and they've got a good program set up and I think we're gonna surprise a lot of people this year.
On the 2008 draft:
I know a lot of people said we had the best draft in history. During the games, we used to hear people when we were losing, 'You're supposed to have the best draft in history' but we're young men coming into the NFL into a rough situation.
On newcomer Matt Cassel:
Puts a lot of pressure on left tackle, doesn't it? Karma....That game he got hurt against us. Tom Brady went down in our game then Matt Cassel comes in. WE thought we had them beat then here comes Matt Cassel. He starts throwing the ball and another guy coming in making plays.
He's making $60 million dollars so there's a lot of pressure on him too.
He's been a guy that comes in and he's been showing people I wanna be that guy. He's been getting here early, staying late and saying I'm doing everything with you guys. He's a good guy.
On Todd Haley and being in shape:
I actually like Coach Haley. He's a young, tough coach who wants to implement his ways. He's doing that very well right now. A lot of people felt we were out of shape last year but we're not out of shape this year. We've been training and working hard. He's been running us hard after practice. He's a tough coach that wants to win.
On Herm Edwards:
Coach Edwards is a great man. I owe him a lot. Him and Carl Peterson because they did draft me, they did select me and I'm one of their guys so to say. Things didn't work out so it's time for a new regime to come in and start winning football games.
On losing weight:
I lost 30 pounds. I was 325 last year I came in from the offseason at 340. Then I got down to 310. I'll be playing at 305.
Worked with Coach Cedric Smith at the team at the offseason program. I got a nutritionist.
Toughest players to go against:
Albert Haynesworth. Got a $100 million. He deserves it, he's a very good football player. Richard Seymour my first game of the season. Guys like Abraham. This year I play against probably the most elite defensive pass rushers. The whole NFC East. Shawne Merriman coming back. Shaun Phillips. Osi Umenyiora, DeMarcus Ware. I got all those guys.
What are the defensive players like in the NFL compared to NCAA?
As strong and just as technical. That's one thing I learned last year. I over compensated things in college by being stronger than everyone. I can't do it now. So I gotta use my technique and be smart while knowing at the same time what's going on.
On Larry Johnson:
Larry Johnson is a good guy. He's a misconception. Things happen in the media you read about, people make mistakes with outside influences or whatever but he's a pretty good guy and a hell of a running back.
And we've got Tamba Hali as well (another Penn State guy). He's a good guy to go against because he's a hard worker.
On throwing out the first pitch at a baseball game in Rochester just a couple days after the President's first pitch:
No disrespect to the President but I think I'm a little more athletic. (It wasn't bad) but it wasn't great either.
Influences in his life:
My mother is a great influence and my brother is a great influence.
Growing up poor:
One time, it was me and my mother, my brothers were off to school and my sister was living on her own. We were out of lights for a month. We had to use candles for a month.
Good guy. Buying his mom a house:
I got her a nice house out somewhere. I can't say where.
On the Chiefs fans:
Great tailgates. It's like a college atmosphere and they love their football. Their fans are rough but for the most part they're good and have great food and great barbecue. Jack Stack barbecue is one of the restaurants around there and some of the stuff I had to lay off of.
Who are you a fan of?
(I'm a) Cowboys fan. My favorite player was Emmitt Smith.
Check out Branden Albert's Facebook page for the interview.