Maurice Drew Interview, Part Three

UCLA's Maurice Drew talks about his special relationship with his grandfather, one of the reasons he connected with Colts head coach Tony Dungy, and why he's a good fit for the Colts offense in the final installment of our three-part interview.

Question:  I know you had an incredibly sad situation with your grandfather passing on last year, and out of respect I'm not going to ask you to go through that story again. Instead, I'd like to ask you what you'd like to share with people as a tribute to your grandfather's life and what made him so special to you.

Maurice Drew:  Oh, man. Well, let me put it this way. I've been playing football since I was eight. And up until he passed on, he never missed a practice or game all through Pop Warner. When I got to high school he never missed a practice or a game. And when I got to college, he only missed one game, and that was only because they couldn't get a ticket out of the airport for some reason. He watched that one on T.V. and was so upset that he couldn't be there to see me play. He made sure he was at every game after that. And when you've got someone like that who critiques you after every game, tells you what you're doing right and wrong, he's like your eyes helping you see yourself out there. I could look up at him and he would give me a thumbs up or a thumbs down. And I know I've got to pick it up or I'm doing good. You have somebody like that, you have no choice but to fall in love with him and treasure him because that rarely comes about. I lived with him from when I was eight until I was 14 or 15. My mom asked me, "You want to stay with your grandma and grandpa? Okay, that's fine." It was just my grandma and my grandpa, just us three and we were road dogs from then on.

Q: Do you recall anything he told you that you felt was some of the best football advice that he shared?

MD:  Yeah, don't get caught (laughs).  That was it, basically that was it (laughs).

Q:  I know you met with Tony Dungy of the Colts at the Combine. Have you had much contact with the Colts since then?

MD:  Not really. I haven't really talked to too many teams though. I took a couple of trips and a couple of teams worked me out. But that's the way this goes. From what I hear you don't ever really know because some teams don't like to show their hands.

Q:  What was it like for you to sit down at the Combine with Tony Dungy? How did the two of you click?

MD:  We clicked very well, partly because I had a death in my family and he had a death in his and we both knew how that felt. He told me he respected what I've done on the field and how after what happened I still came out and played. And after what had happened to him, he still came out and coached. It was pretty cool to be able to sit down and talk to him, because he's a great guy. He's one of the most professional coaches out there. He doesn't do to much yelling. He expects you to go out there and get the job done, and if you don't he'll put somebody in your place. Here's more of a personal, players' coach I think. He'll try to help you before he would degrade you or just kick you off the team.

Q:  The Colts have a very high-powered offense. What would that be like for you -- knowing that they've lost Edgerrin James -- and that you could be in an open competition against Dominic Rhodes for that position, to end up being a part of that Colts offense?

MD: That would be very exciting. Because I believe that offense is built for a player like me. I can catch out of the backfield, I can pass block, I can run the ball and do the play-action fakes. When you're able to be a threat in all of those different ways, and you have a great quarterback like Peyton Manning who sees the entire field and can tell you where to block and where you need to go, that makes it even better. I think I can help them a lot -- and I don't like to say too much stuff, but I think if I get the chance to start, I'll be able to produce.

Q:  Where are you going to be on draft day? What will you be doing?

MD:  I don't want to do too much. I don't want a lot of people there, because when you don't get picked people start looking at you. So just me and a couple of friends are going to hang out, relax, and play some video games.


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