I had the pleasure of eating lunch with Ken Harvey yesterday chatting about Cerrato, Larry Centers, his bad hands, Norv, Orakpo, and Tiger. He's a busy man with all his community work; his latest endeavor promoting SoberRide, which is a free cab service running now through January 1st 6AM in the DC/MD/VA area. You can't beat a cab free ride. Seriously, just add this number (1-800-200-TAXI) in your phone now and you're ready to go for the holidays.
Ken Harvey: It's an opportunity where you may not see a result, but it could save your life. It could save someone else's life. It makes a difference. The worst thing would be to hear about somebody who's been in an accident for something that could have been prevented ... and it's free.
What I've learned about football is to take the opportunities that are in front of you. It's not judgmental that you can't drink. It's about being responsible and that goes for everything in life. You might as well take advantage of it.
Kevin: You should get the Fun Bunch to promote this! OK...so what's your thought on Vinny's firing?
Ken Harvey: I knew it was going to happen. I didn't have inside sight, but by the way things were going, they were going to make changes. Even if things this season ended well, they may have kept him, but he wouldn't have stayed in that position.
Kevin: And Bruce Allen?
Ken Harvey: I don't know him, but I know his brother. It's a strategic move on Snyder's part. We'll see how it plays out. The talent is here on the team. It's obvious what they need for the future. It's just are you going to get the right people in the future? If we keep Jason, it's about how can we get young guys that are hungry and want to play offensive line? That's up to the scouts to find the gems.
Kevin: It's hard to believe with your 4 Pro-Bowls you only had 1 career INT. Can you walk me through it!?
Ken Harvey: Well, one during the regular season. My biggest one was during the Pro Bowl and I ran it back for a touch-down. I had hands of stone...couldn't catch.
Kevin: Carlos Rogers!
Ken Harvey: (laughs) Something like that. It goes back to when I was kid playing softball in 5th grade. Someone hits a high fly ball I go to catch it...miss it...it hits me dead in my nose. Tears coming down my eyes. I was fine. Next play...someone hits a high fly again. Same thing. Because I'm freaking out from the first time, I moved my head out of the way then I moved back into it. Ever since then, whenever a ball's coming at me, you know. Football is about confidence. I never really developed confidence on catching the ball, In retrospect, I should have gone back and practiced on catching the ball, but instead I focused on rushing the passer. And that was my true love...getting to the Quarterback.
Kevin: What was it like playing with Larry Centers?
Ken Harvey: He's one of the best, most under-rated backs. Even when I played against him. I was with the Redskins and he was with Arizona he destroyed me. I almost broke a rib at the time. He was great at sneaking from behind the tackle. Pow. He'd light you up. Chip block. Really good. Lot of the games we lost even to the Cardinals, he gave that second effort on second and third downs.
Kevin: What was the Heath Shuler versus Gus Frerotte controvery like?
Ken Harvey: When you play on bad teams, you try to be nice, but you get pissed at your players. I'm busting my butt...then here we go again, three and out. I was always an optimist, but you can see it in the players. Everyone is going to play 100%, but you see it subconsciously....Brian Orakpo said it best, "Now that we have the chance to be spoiler, we can go out there and have some fun." And teams play better when they know they're not going to be in the playoffs because the pressure is off. Good teams find a way to overcome pressure. The Redskins just need to overcome the pressure.
Kevin: What do you think of Norv's chances with San Diego?
Yea, they have leaders on that team. For one, Norv came here when it was his first time being head coach. Sometimes you get head coaches that are head strong and head coaches that are so behoven to the owner to give them the opportunity, that it affects their calls. "Man, I got the lead...I don't want to mess it up."
Kevin: Like Zorn now.
Ken Harvey: I think Norv was a good coach he just wasn't experienced as a head coach. Now he has enough leaders and the talent to know how to win. He's a smart enough coach.
Kevin: Being a motivational speaker, what advice would you have for Tiger?
Ken Harvey: He's doing what's he's supposed to be doing. Wait it out a little bit. Unfortunately in this world there's always a greater story than yours. When he comes back, he'll have to endure it. The worst thing sometimes is being a loner. Your mind will start playing tricks on you. Hopefully he's talking to someone. Anything you read about me don't believe! (laughing)
My chat with Ken about Orakpo as a Linebacker is Part II....