An Interview with Jerrell Freeman
Published: Monday, Jun 19th 2017, 2:06pm
This weekend saw the NFL come to Regina for the NFL Canada Play 60 event and I had a chance to talk to Chicago Bears Linebacker, former Saskatchewan Roughrider Jerrell Freeman about the event and a bit about the CFL and NFL games.
Alex: Jerrell, thanks for your time today. You’re in Regina for the NFL Canada Play 60 event and this event is to get kids active, learn teamwork and to have some fun. What is it that makes you want to be involved in an event like this in Regina?
Jerrell: I think it makes it even more special that I get to come back to Regina. Love the city, love the people here, the people have always been great to me. I feel like family here, so it’s good that I can do something to be able to give back and just helping kids get active here and stay active here and develop early good habits and I think it’s good just for, not for kids here, just for kids everywhere man, just to try and get them off the couch and outside playing around.
Alex: What does it mean to you to be an ambassador for the NFL to come do events like Play 60?
Jerrell: I mean it feels good that they would you know, bestow that upon me. I think it’s a big responsibility, you know just going to a different country and representing the NFL and representing your team and just being able to come out and just help out and do what I can to like I said, continue to get these kids active and have a great time doing it.
Alex: Did you ever have events like this when you were a kid growing up in Waco, Texas?
Jerrell:(chuckles) We had camps, mini football camps and little things. LaDanian Tomlinson from my city, went to my high school and everything, so him coming back made a real impact on me, so me doing the same thing hopefully I can, you know reach some of these kids to continue to stay active and I think that’s a great thing to make an impact on the young kids
Alex: If you could give one piece of advice to young kids about being active, what would it be?
Jerrell: One piece of advice would probably be just to develop these early habits because it’s a long run, instead of trying to do things when it’s too late. You know, back in the States we have the obesity problem and if we develop these habits early, then you can save yourself a lot of heartache and a lot of mornings that’s for sure.
Alex: Doing this event in Regina, what memories come back to you about your time with the Riders and in Saskatchewan?
Jerrell: A lot of memories. Everytime I come back, I get to talk to the Assistant General Manager you know J.O. (Jeremy O’Day), and Schultzy (Scott Schultz) and (Mike) McCullough and those guys that are still around here. I have a good time reminiscing every time I come back here, they always take me out to dinner, go out to sit in the back yard, it’s always good to come back and reminisce about old games and going to the (Grey Cup) Championship even though we ended up losing, but having a great time winning, and just enjoying myself being a young kid and (chuckles) not knowing anything and trying to be a sponge and yeah, it was… I had a great experience there and it kind of helped shape my career as a whole.
Alex: What is the difference between playing in an atmosphere like Saskatchewan to what you find in the NFL?
Jerrell: (laughs) I mean the passion is there. Passion is always going to be there. I think I’ve been blessed to play for organizations that have that family atmosphere and I think it started here in Saskatchewan where anything you do or say, the city has your back and they’re riding with you and you wanna do any and everything you can to make the fans happy. And here they took me in like I was family and it’s been the same for two organizations that I played in in the NFL, but it definitely started here with Saskatchewan with the great group of fans and great group of people and that’s why I love coming back.
Alex: Finally, we’ve seen players like yourself have success in both leagues, but we’ve seen more often than not players not pan out in the CFL, notably Vince Young for the Riders this year. Just how difficult is it to find that success in both leagues?
Jerrell: I mean it’s… it’s a different league. It’s a different type and style of football, you kind of have to forget everything you know about football, well I had to when I came up here. Vince Young is a great Quarterback, I mean I’m from Texas so I watched him on TV doing great things and he was a great Quarterback. It’s such a different league, you gotta be able to do different things and, I don’t know, you gotta learn the game. There’s still some moves now that I still don’t know in the CFL (chuckles), so you gotta change your way of thinking, but it’s going out and playing, man. Definitely a different game so you gotta humble yourself and be able to take everything in
Alex: Jerrell, thank you so much for your time, enjoy the NFL Canada Play 60 event.
Jerrell: I appreciate it, thank you for having me.
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t the best for Jerrell and the kids involved in the NFL Canada Play 60 event on Saturday as it rained most of the day, but I hope that everyone had fun and it sounds like it’s a really cool experience for both the kids and the players.
To hear some of this interview, make sure you listen to Piffles Podcast and Piffles Sports Nation this week.
Make sure you give us all a follow on Twitter @PifflesPod @PifflesSports @RealAlexD @Safimod @Fernie635 @GregOnSports and @CFLHottieBowl and like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/PifflesPodcast!
– Alex Dormuth
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