Chad Mustard Interview

Of the many cool things about the Internet is how it makes distance nearly irrelevant. In the last week, we've talked to folks in Germany and Scotland via email and they've helped a writer friend of ours get some time with intriguing tight end Chad Mustard, allocated to the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe. Here is George Pate's interview with a player who may be able to make an impact for the Browns in the coming years...

Chad Mustard, a tight end from North Dakota State acquired late last year, was allocated by the Browns this year to NFL Europe. Mustard was drafted by the Rhein Fire in the 11th round off the NFL Europe allocated player draft. George Pate from our St. Louis Rams affiliate,, had a chance to speak to Chad after the Fire's disappointing 33-0 loss to the Scottish Claymores.

How did you feel today's game went personally?

Chad Mustard: I've had a tough couple of weeks.  I just got back to the team on Wednesday, my father passed away two weeks ago, and I've been back home. I arrived Wednesday, practiced Thursday, then went down with the flu from Thursday till this morning - and I'm still feeling sick. I had two weeks away from practice and I think it showed... I don't think I played very well today. But I think most of the guys would say that they didn't play well today.

How has the NFLE season been going for the Rhein Fire and yourself?

CM: I think the team is going in the right direction. Obviously, today was a set back but we are still in line for a World Bowl spot. For myself, it is a learning experience, a chance to learn from new coaches and to take things back to Cleveland that will help me in training camp.

Did you know anything about NFL Europe before you came across?

CM:  Very little. I spoke to Riley Kleinhesselink who played in Europe with the Fire last year after being allocated by the New York Jets. He was a friend of a former team mate of mine and he was able to give me some idea of what to expect.

How does the coaching in NFL Europe compare with the coaching you received in college?

CM:  It's just a step above college. The coaches over here know where we are at and what we need to develop as players to make it in the NFL. Not just in technique but also our knowledge of football.

What are the parts of your game that require the most work?

CM: Technique: I need to work on my footwork and the height at which I play. I tend to play too high at times... that goes back to playing basketball in college. I've only played two years of football, so while other athletes will have been  learning the fundamentals of their technique over the years from High School, I was spending time on the basketball court. Those are the things I need to learn now and Rhein Fire is giving me the ideal opportunity.

At 6'6" and 290lbs , you are a big Tight End!

CM: Well, I'm a kind of different tight end from what teams have been using the last few years, in terms of being smaller, faster, receiver type players. But there are also teams who are looking for players who are big enough to block on the line of scrimmage and still catch passes.

Have the Browns given you any idea of their plans for you?

CM: Not really. They sent me here to get more experience at tight end, when they signed me in December, they signed me as a tackle. But when I got there, I practiced at tight end for five weeks before the season ended. Now they've sent me here as a TE. 

Does coming from a smaller school make it harder to get a roster spot in the NFL?

CM:. Oh, definitely.  I wasn't scouted out of college, so I went and played for $200 a game in the Arena League. Then after Arena, I sent out a tape of my play with Omaha Beef  as well as film of my college basketball and football career.  Pittsburgh and Cleveland both showed interest. After I had worked out for Cleveland, they phoned and offered me the chance of a place on their practice squad. So I thank the Browns for finding me and giving me the opportunity to play in the NFL..

Have you had any feedback from the Browns regarding your play in Europe?

CM: The scouts I've spoken to at the Browns just say I have to keep working and improving. Obviously, at this point they won't say anything that is too positive or too negative. My goal is to improve every week and that is all that I focus on.


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