Ex-Vol Lott no Spurrier fan

During his tenure with the Washington Redskins, former Tennessee Vol Andre Lott was not impressed with his coach.

Lott, a fifth-round pick by the Redskins in 2002, said many players disliked Steve Spurrier.

``I just don't think he knew the difference in college athletes and professional athletes,'' Lott said. ``You're dealing with grown me. He tried to treat players like children. He didn't have a lot of respect from a lot of guys. A lot of guys just didn't like him.''

Andre Lott remembers the time it rained for a few minutes at the start of a practice. Spurrier called off practice. Veteran Bruce Smith had a question: ``Why aren't we practicing?''

It was clear to Lott that Spurrier had lost his team.

``I think (defensive coordinator) Marvin Lewis took over the team and guided us the rest of the season,'' Lott said.

Lott described his relationship with Spurrier as OK.

``The only name he called me was `Tennessee,''' Lott said. ``It didn't bother me.''

Lott was bothered by injury last year. He suffered a hairline stress fracture in his tibia during a June minicamp and missed last season.

He signed recently with San Diego, reuniting with former Vol receiver Eric Parker, who has had a surprisingly productive pro career. Lott described Parker as a ``great friend'' who will help him make the transition to the West Coast.

Lott hopes to follow in the footsteps of long-time friend Cedrick Wilson. Lott and Wilson were teammates at Memphis Melrose. Together, they won a state high school championship and a national championship at Tennessee.

Earlier this year, Wilson won a Super Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Lott's goal is to do the same in San Diego.

``I talked to Cedrick a week after the Super Bowl and congratulated him,'' Lott said. ``He was all smiles. He was saying he's a state champion, a national champion and a Super Bowl champion. I've got two. Hopefully I can get a third one.''

Lott said the Chargers are ``absolutely'' a playoff team. ``I think (quarterback) Phillip Rivers will step in. He has a great arm. He's confident in what he's doing and he's a great leader.''

When it comes to leaders, Lott has never been around a better one than Al Wilson, who helped will the Vols to the national title in 1998.

``He demanded everything from guys,'' Lott said of Wilson. ``My freshman year, he demanded I practice hard, that I make tackles on special teams. When guys expect a lot from you, you try to give your all for them.''

Asked if Wilson was encouraging or intimidating, Lott said: ``Encouraging. It wasn't intimidating at all. He definitely wanted you to be a good player.''

Lott did admit he was a ``little bit'' scared of Wilson.

Lott, who can play corner or safety, said he's gone against some outstanding receivers in the NFL – Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson, Keyshawn Johnson, Joey Galloway, Issac Bruce, Terry Glenn.

Who's the best? Not T.O.

``Chad Johnson,'' Lott said.

Despite Owens' run-ins with teammates and management in San Francisco and Philadelphia, Lott said he would like to play with Owens.

``I think he's a great player,'' Lott said. ``I have nothing against Terrell Owens. I don't know (why he had problems in Philadelphia). I just think he wanted to get paid what he's worth.''

Lott's getting paid to play one of the NFL's toughest positions – cornerback.

``In the NFL, it's such an offensive friendly game,'' Lott said. ``Just playing corner in the NFL is so hard. You have to have quick feet. You have to be smart. You can't do the things you did in college because you'll get penalized.''

Asked if he liked all the NFL rules, Lott had a simple answer: ``Of course not.''


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