Draft Q&A: Tim Castille

The Bears have two pretty good fullbacks on the roster in starter Jason McKie and backup J.D. Runnels, but neither one of them is considered a true lead blocker. With Thomas Jones traded away and Cedric Benson now atop the depth chart at tailback, expect to see a more physical rushing attack in 2007. But they might need a bulldozer up front, so could Tim Castille be in their plans?

Ed Thompson: Let's talk about some of the important relationships in your life. Obviously, one of the biggest ones is your relationship with your dad, Jeremiah Castille, who played for Alabama and the Bucs and the Broncos. I saw that you switched to your dad's jersey number back in 2004. Talk a little bit about that and what that meant to you.

Tim Castille: Well, my number was 19 in high school. When I was in 8th grade, I thought 19 was pretty cool, and with the kind of man my dad is and the life that he lives, I would like to emulate everything about him. So that is why I made the switch. I hope I can live up to his standards.

ET: What is it that you admire so much about your dad?

TC: First off, my dad is the most Godly man I know. The way he raised me, my brothers and sisters in a home of peace. My childhood was great, and it couldn't have been any better. As a father, he couldn't have been any better in the advice he gives me -- the way he walks, not the way he talks. It's the way I want to live my life and the way I want to raise my family. The way he did those things just mean the world to me.

ET: How much of and influence did he have on you going into football? Is it something that you felt like you needed to do, or is it just something he allowed you to do and gave you his support?

TC: I just wanted to play football ever since I was real young, and he had a rule that I couldn't play until I got to the 7th grade. He never put any pressure on me or my brothers to play football. We kind of just inherited those genes. Once we decided to play, he showed us what it was going to take to make it and the work ethic and the hard work it was going to take. We got that from him. Any advice he could give us I just latched on to like gold and just ran with it. He has been great and supportive about everything me and my brother have done.

ET: Let's talk about your brother for a minute. Simeon's been a teammate of yours at Alabama. How special has that been for the two of you?

TC: Oh man, It's really been great. When he was in 8th grade, I was in 9th grade and we played four years of varsity together and then I went to Alabama for a year and he wasn't there. Then he came down. My brother is one of my best friends and to have him and my dad there was wonderful. I was always on the sidelines talking to my dad and my brother.

ET: You guys set a little bit of history. I saw that you were the first brother tandem since 1987 to score a touchdown in the same game for Alabama.

TC: Yeah, I think it was his freshmen year. We're real competitive siblings and every interception he got, I needed to score a touchdown. He scored before I did, so I knew I had to get a touchdown or I wasn't going to hear the end of it. I think this year we ended up tied. He got six picks and I got six touchdowns.

ET: What do you think you do better than he does as a football player? And what do you think he does better than you?

TC: Oh, that's a good one. I think he is more instinctive than I am as a football player. I am more consistent. I am going to be very consistent in what I do while my brother is going to be more of a risk-taker. But I think you have to have that trait playing DB like he does.

Ed Thompson: I think you've really had an interesting and unique college career. 161 carries, but 21 of them touchdowns. That's a touchdown about every 7.7 carries. How have you become so effective down at the goal line?

Tim Castille scores a touchdown against Arkansas (AP Photo/John David Mercer)
Tim Castille: Really, the position that Coach Shula put me in, they told me I was going to be the short-yardage goal line guy. And I really took it upon myself that this is my job. Anytime I got my hands on the ball, I really made it a point to be productive. I think that is what really helped me be more effective in scoring touchdowns and picking up the yardage when I needed to do it.

ET: Thinking back over those 21 touchdowns, if you had to just take a guess, how many times would you say you plowed through there versus diving to get the score?

TC: To me, diving is my last option. If I don't have to leave my feet I won't. When I am in the air, I don't have control of what is going on. I would probably say I went straight through 16 or 17 times maybe. If I don't have to jump, I am not jumping (laughs).

ET: Talk about your work as a third-down back.

TC: I went in when we were in shotgun, long yardage, or short situations. When we would go four-wide, I would still go in because I could catch and block. I think that is really going to help me in the long run because of all the schemes that teams run and the blitz packages that I have seen in those third-down and fourth-down situations.

ET: Is that primarily how you see yourself contributing (short-yardage) at the pro level, Tim?

TC: I believe that's what they will have me doing, being that short-yardage guy. But my hands are probably one of my best assets. I can come out of the backfield in third-down situations. That's really what I would like to do at the next level. I'm just waiting now to see. I will do whatever they tell me to.

ET: Those receiving skills were no accident. You were a receiver in high school, right?

TC: Yes, I think I ended up with like two hundred and forty-some catches in high school. I played receiver my first year and then receiver and running back from then on.

ET: You went through an experience that no running back wants to even think about. You tore your ACL and LCL back in 2004. What did you learn about yourself during that experience?

TC: I think that was probably my biggest time of growth as a person because you don't know how your leg is going to react to the surgery. Thinking about your life without football is not something you really want to think about, but you have to at that moment. It really gave me time to grow and grow in my relationship with the Lord. It really taught me patience because as a player you want to do a lot of things and come back and play now, you don't want to wait. That recovery period is really a two-year period. All you can do is wait and work, and wait and work. It taught me to be patient and that good things are going to happen.

ET: During that time period while you were healing up and getting better, it opened a door and an opportunity for Le'Ron McClain who was the starter at fullback this past year. What was your relationship with Le'Ron like?

TC: Le'Ron is a lot like a brother to me. When I came in, I was playing tailback and they needed a fullback because the other guy was injury prone. I moved to fullback and Le'Ron was coming in. So he comes in about the second week of camp and we are both in the learning process together. Coach Woods is getting on us and we have to keep each other up. From our freshman year even up through last year, when he was on the field, I was like "How are they playing? What are they looking like?" And he would tell me things that were good to know for when I would go in. At the same time, while I was on the sideline, I am watching him and telling him what's going on. So we kind of just bounced things off of each other and we kept each other up. We really have a great relationship.

ET: I notice that you recovered an onside kick your senior year. Talk a little bit about your special teams experience because that's an area where a rookie can come in and contribute right away to an NFL club.

TC: They really didn't have me on a lot of special teams when I first got there because I was a starter. My last year, they put me on the kickoff return team and they put me on the punt team just because I think they needed a little more speed. I really enjoyed the punt teams because I was able to run down and tackle guys and get in the mix. I knew I was going to have to do it at the next level, so when the opportunity came, I really wanted to do a good job.

ET: What did you do that helped you earn the Derrick Thomas Community Award back in 2005?

TC: We have a great lady, Karen Lee, that does our community outreach for the university. I am really close to her. People would just call her and ask for help. I love reading books to kids and going to speak at different events. It was a pleasure because that doesn't happen for everybody where people will listen to what you have to say.

ET: When you speak to groups, what are some of the topics you talk about?

TC: One of my main things is being successful and the things that I have learned from my dad. One of my big things I share is the four "Ds" of success. You have to make a decision, you have to have a dream, you have to be dedicated to your dream and the last one is don't quit -- whether it's in the classroom, in sports, at your job, being a husband, anything.

To learn more about Tim Castille, visit his profile page at Scout.com.

A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the Scout.com network and syndicated through FoxSports.com's NFL team pages.

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