Maurice Drew Interview, Part Two
Question: You sound like you're very optimistic when you're on the field. I'm hearing you say things like you always feel you can make the play out there. Is that pretty representative of who you are off the field as well?
Maurice Drew: Off the field I'm a little bit different. I don't want to say I'm gentle, but I'm a guy who likes to have fun, who likes to hang out -- just a happy-go-lucky guy. It takes a lot for someone to be able to make me upset. But when I'm on the field, I'm already upset because I know people are out there doubting me and my ability, doubting the team that I'm on. Playing behind USC for three years is kind of tough. At the beginning of this year, someone had us only winning four or five games, or something ridiculous like that. And I just want you to be reasonable with me. So I really took that to heart when I played – that people are going to underestimate me and the team the whole time. So with every team we played, we tried to out-hit them, play more physical.
Q: I also understand you're pretty competitive when it comes to video games…
MD: Oh yeah. I guess that's just something about me. During the season it was football, school and video games. Now it's football and video games. (laughs) I'm kind of different when it comes to video games. A lot of people say I'm cocky, but it's just fun…
Q: I saw a stat that said sixteen of your scores were from at least 40 yards out. That big play ability, the ability to score from practically anwhere at anytime, is that something that scouts are bringing up with you often?
MD: Not really. But a lot of the scouts didn't know I was fast. And that kind of hurt because that's something you gotta be if you're shorter than everybody else – you gotta be faster. I ran the fastest forty-time (at the Combine) and that impressed a lot of scouts and coaches.
Q: Let's talk about touchdown celebrations. You get to the NFL, you score your first touchdown. Are you going to hand that ball to the referee or are you going to do some crazy dance?
MD: I don't know yet. Me and my friends are discussing that right now. They want to know all the celebrations I'm going to do. The first one I'm going to keep the ball and give it to my grandma and my mom. I might spin it, or do a cartwheel or a backflip. Or I might just dunk it so everyone knows I can jump.
Q: Well if you do that with the Colts, that's a sight that fans there are used to seeing. Former tight end Marcus Pollard always used to dunk it over the crossbar, so that'll bring back some good memories for folks in Indianapolis.
MD: (laughs) Yeah.
Q: Let us get inside your head for a second. I'm going to put you in a hypothetical situation. You've broken through the line, you've got to make a touchdown for your team to win the game, and there's one guy – a safety – at the five yard line. What's your instinct going to tell you – to try to make a move that leaves him flat-footed, or are you just going to try to take him on?
MD: If we need to score, I'm going to do whatever it takes, even if it means trying to jump over him. But most of the time I'll try to set him up. If I'm about 5 or 10 yards away, I'll make a move that will force him to commit, he's got to commit. DB's don't want to tackle anyway, so they're going to commit to the first way you go. And if he doesn't commit, I'm just going to keep running. But most of the time they're going to commit and give you the opportunity to embarrass them in the open field…
Q: Was Barry Sanders one of the guys you really admired as you were growing up?
MD: Oh yeah. A lot of people think that offense takes everything, that the defense is more aggressive and the offense is more passive and people would get beat up on the offense. But he turned that around. He made it seem like when he got the ball – you watch him on tape and the defenders' eyes get huge – and he would get into open field it was impossible to grab him and get a hold of him. That was so funny to see that. When I would watch him with my grandpa when I was growing up, that's something that I wanted to do – turn the offense into the aggressive side. So when I get out there, I might just go after one guy the whole first quarter, just keep going and if he's in the way I'm just going to run him over. A lot of DB's don't like to tackle. Now if it's a linebacker, I might try to run over him a couple of times and then make a move on him. But if it's a DB, I'm going to just keep pounding him and pounding him until he breaks. And I know he's going to break. Everybody breaks. I see it on film where a DB will be hitting and hitting, and then he'll start to shy away from a hit. And once a DB starts to hit that breaking point, they don't want to hit anymore and he'll start backpedaling, just grab at you as you go by or try to just chase you down.
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