We recently had the opportunity to talk with Ryan Totka, the co-founder of Athlete Promotions. Athlete Promotions books sports speakers for corporate appearances, speaking engagements, autograph signings, golf tournaments and endorsement deals. They work closely with numerous Redskins such as Joe Theismann, Charles Mann and Gary Clark, who Ryan graciously allowed us to do a Q & A over email with:
Hogs Haven: Are the techniques for beating offensive tackles that you (and others) used while you played the same ones as today? Is it just a matter of the individual and their ability to execute, or have you seen any players out there the last few seasons that have kind of evolved the position?
Charles Mann: Yes and No. There are only about 5 moves to beat an Offensive Lineman and these young guys don't hardly know the techniques, because no ones working with them at the college level and by the time you get to the pros, they expect you to know the moves and the coaches my not have even played the position they're coaching. Most athletes have God given talent and a lot of them only rely on that! No one has evolved any more than Reggie White, Clyde Simmons, Charles Haley, Coffer in Detroit, Chris Doleman, Dexter Manley, etc.
Hogs Haven: The current Redskins team boasts a top 5-defense. Are there any comparisons you see with the current defense from the best ones you played on in your time in burgundy and gold?
Charles Mann: During my career we had the top-10 defense every year I played with the Redskins; eleven years in all. People have a hard time looking back in history, but I can tell you the defense in the 80's and early 90's was the best!
Hogs Haven (to #7): When you were the starting quarterback for this team, what did your off-season consist of? How much time did you spend around the team's headquarters and how much work did you get in with teammates between February and July?
Joe Theismann: I really didn't have a lot of guys that stayed around. We were in the playoffs quite a bit. I use to throw the ball around with Jay Brunetti (J-Bird), our equipment guy. He is now the equipment director with the Houston Texans. He was a great guy and the guy I trained with from Feb-March. I mostly worked out by myself in mid April. I lived close to the facility. Loved practicing, loved training camp, I loved playing.
Hogs Haven: When you came to the NFL, you had to really fight for your spot on the team, resulting in a blue-chip QB playing special teams while Sonny and Billy kept your seat warm. This offseason, JC has had to deal with a lot of talk and even some action with regard to his "spot" on the team. Given the relatively minimal griping out of JC this offseason, are you proud of the way he has dealt with it, or are you fed up with the way both the media and the modern day player has this sense that players are entitled to their starting roles, or are so fragile that they seemingly can't handle the thought of someone coming in to challenge them?
Joe Theismann: This past offseason Jason Campbell had to deal with the question on whether they wanted him or not. They talked about Mark Sanchez, Jay Cutler and contrary to the way Jay Cutler handled the situation, Jason Campbell showed great maturity, great professionalism and realizes that a job is to be earned, got given. I was very proud of the way that he handled the situation and I think he is gonna prove to the organization that they were wrong if they got want out and got someone else. That could not have done any better with Jason Campbell. To a degree, I think some of the players in this league do believe of a right on entitlement. Jay Cutler wanted out of Denver. The coaching staff provided him that opportunity. I was surprised the ownership provided gave it to him. These kinds of situations, I think are more the exception than the rules in this league. Most guys understand that there is competition to keep your job. Some guys, the salary keeps them around longer than they should be there. I think overall the guys understand the importance of being a professional football player and how privileged they are doing it. Some guys think that they belong and its everyone else's fault that things don't right. Fortunately for the Redskins, Jason Campbell is not one of those guys.
Mann's response regarding the techniques certainly makes sense, especially when you look at the great defensive ends of today who have their lowest sack totals their first year (Mario Williams and DeMarcus Ware come to mind).
As for Campbell, now that Vick and Brett Favre or spoken for, we as fans can finally move forward with the QBs we have, assuming of course 10 fan posts asking for Jeff George to be the signal caller don't begin. I am still working diligently on getting a Q&A with Jeff George. Hopefully I can get on a field with him and have him throw balls to me. Stay tuned for that!