In conclusion to our James Sanders story, we had some great questions submitted by fans via Twitter and Facebook for the Patriots safety. James was more than happy to answer, and he didn’t disappoint with what he gave us! We thank the fans that submitted questions and encourage you to keep checking in at The Meat Locker!
Obviously Fresno State prepares players for the NFL, What did you learn there to prepare you for the NFL? While on the other hand, what could you have gotten from playing football at a BCS program, that you may not have gotten at Fresno State?
Sanders: “With the BCS programs, simply the level competition was different. At Fresno State we played a lot of tough teams in the WAC. There were also some teams of lower ranking that weren’t as tough, versus playing in the SEC. In the SEC a lot of those teams are extremely tough, so you have to have your A-game ,week in and week out. With the coaching staff that we had in coach Randy Stewart, who was a great defensive backs coach. The whole starting secondary that we had coming out the year I got drafted, we all got drafted. Head Coach Pat Hill worked with the Cleveland Browns when he first got into coaching, he instilled a professional atmosphere and a professional program within the college guidelines. Just having that coaching staff, and that type preparation really helped prepare me for life in the NFL.”
Which one sticks out in your head more… The pick six against Roethlisberger or the game saver against Peyton Manning?
Sanders: “Oh man, I’m going to say the game saver against Peyton Manning. I’m glad Tom (Brady) is on our team, and we just have to go against him in practice. But going against Peyton, you’ve got to give everything you’ve got because he’ll get you if you’re not prepared. To go out there and have the opportunity to help the team win in the closing minutes of the game, I’m always going to remember that one. I have the ball, and to be able to pick off a future hall of famer and to help win the game… I’ll never forget that one.”
What’s the significance of the number 36 that you wear?
Sanders: “To be honest, that’s just the number they gave me when I got there. I wore number 23 in college, and when I got into the league yah know, I walked into the locker room first day and saw they gave me Lawyer Milloy’s old number. I just never changed it. Plus a lot of people told me I looked good in it, so I just had to keep it moving.”
In all honesty, who is the best basketball player in the Patriots secondary?
Sanders: “I’m not sure, there’s a few guys that can really play man. Darius Butler, Kyle Arrington, Leigh Bodden, as well as Jarrad Page. A lot of us can really play, I can play as well. Jarrad Page… he’s my homeboy, and we played against each other in college. But I havent really seen him hoop yet. He claims he’s the best player on the team. So I don’t know, once we end this lock out we will all get together and play, and see who the best player is.”
A question that we asked about one of our good friends at The Meat Locker, and recent 3rd round selection of the San Fransisco 49ers, Chris Culliver.
What kind of advice can you give Chris as he transitions to the NFL, and how can he put his best foot forward to getting on the playing field?
Sanders: “Give it everything you got. Especially to the young guys on special teams. You got to go out there and dominate the special teams. That’s how you’re going to get noticed. A lot of veteran guys have established themselves as starters in this league, and a lot of the rookies get thrown out to the fire. You really have to get your head in that playbook and learn the safety/ corner position.”
As we were wrapping up the interview, James stopped us to make sure that he could deliver this message to the fans.
“We’re going to try to get football back, we know all you fans want to see football. This whole lock-out is starting to get frustrating. It’s frustrating to the players and it’s frustrating to you guys. We just hope to get back out there soon and give you guys football again!”
We personally would like to thank James for the time he gave us for an interview, and we wish him the best of luck for a healthy and successful 2011 season with the New England Patriots!