Insider Exclusive: Q&A with Tim Hightower

AZRedReport.com's Dusty Wittig continues his interview with rookie RB Tim Hightower, this time for insiders only. Hightower talks about playing under Edgerrin James, his popular comparison to Marion Barber, what makes him look up to Barry Sanders and Walter Payton, why he hasn't fumbled in more than 700 carries and much more inside...

Click here for Part I of the Tim Hightower Q&A

Dusty Wittig: Is there an upcoming game for the 08 season that you are specifically looking forward to?

Tim Hightower: Not one in particular. Every single one is huge, I just want to go in there and play one game at a time.

DW: Is there a veteran on the team who has eased your transition from college ball?

TH: Edgerrin James has helped me out there in mini camp a lot. He has helped me with the playbook and with taking care of my body. He has really helped me get adjusted and showed me what to look out for.

DW: As a college player expecting to go pro, did you have any friends or contacts in the NFL you looked to for advice?

TH: Stacey Tutt who is now with the Jets and played QB for Richmond in 05. I have spoken with him about the NFL.

DW: You have been compared to a Marion Barber type running back, how do you think your guys are similar?

TH: I don't like to compare myself to other people, but probably our tough running, style. We both run aggressively, and are always fighting for extra yardage.

DW: Have you patterned your game after any one particular?

TH: No, I haven't. I do have a great deal of respect for Barry Sanders and Walter Payton. I have watched a lot of film on those two players, and love the way Barry Sanders seemed like he could create magic on the field. Every time he touched the ball something great was going to happen. Walter Payton would do whatever he could to get the job done. He could run, catch, and was tough. I just wanted to combine Barry's playmaking ability with Walter's toughness.

DW: You have the opportunity to play with proven NFL veteran Edgerrin James, what are you looking forward to most in playing with him?

TH: Just competing with him. I have a lot of respect for him, but at the same time I am here to make him better and make the team better. I am going to learn as much as I can from him and pick his brain. It will be really fun to get a chance to compete and play with someone who has established himself and has had great success in the NFL.

DW: You have never lost a fumbled in more than 700 carries. Do you have a different way of carrying the ball that lead to this impressive stat?

TH: No, I just don't think about fumbling. A lot of the times when guys think about not losing the ball and they try to prepare for it, they will fumble more. When you go out and focus on making a big play, you're not even conscious about it. It is something that is natural for running backs to do, to protect the ball. So when you work so hard in practice to take care of the ball, you don't even have to think about it in the games. It just comes as second nature.

DW: You had a monster senior year with over 1900 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns. What is your favorite memory from that season?

TH: I would have to say the whole season. Every single week we had to overcome so many obstacles. I have never been on a team that has had so many injuries in a season. Every game a different player would step up for the injured guy. We would have third string cornerbacks intercepting balls, and fourth string receivers catching touchdowns. We showed resilience and it was a lot of fun.

DW: What is the favorite run you have ever made?

TH: My sophomore year against William and Mary. I don't know how it happened but it was a draw play and I bounced outside. Somehow I had broken about seven tackles and the next thing I knew I looked up and I was in the end zone.

Click here for Part I of the Tim Hightower Q&A


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