Catching up with Wayne Chrebet - Part 1

Wayne Chrebet hasn't talked a lot about his first season of not playing football in many years. But No. 80 was in Miami making personal appearances before the Super Bowl when Randy Lange of Jets Confidential and The Record caught up with him.

Chrebet talked about how closely he followed Gang Green, his lingering post-concussion health issues, and how his soon-to-be-opened restaurant is coming along.

Q: How were you able to handle this past season, being away from the Jets for the first time since your rookie year in 1995?

Chrebet: It was really strange. Training camp, I hadn't been home that time of year since high school. Everybody would be getting into their summers, going away to the shore, and I was getting ready for camp. It was good, refreshing to be able to spend more time with my family and friends, but I would've loved to be out there. The year they had, as successful as they were, I was proud of them. I'm back to being a fan. I was rooting for them. I went to the New England [playoff] game. If they could've gotten a break here or there, they could've won. I think they had a tremendous year and they have a bright future. I'm happy.

Q: How did you feel Eric Mangini did in his first season as an NFL head coach?

Chrebet: I know reading and talking to some of the guys, it was one of the tougher camps, kind of like how it was with former coaches. When you win, the reward is going to be there for all your hard work. You don't question it. You know it's going to pay off in games, in fourth quarters. It was the same kind of mentality we had when [Bill] Parcells was there.

Q: Could you have played for Mangini?

Chrebet: Yeah. I could've played for any head coach, know what I mean? The offensive system they brought in is exciting to watch. I'm sure I would've loved playing in it.

Q: You announced your retirement in the summer after suffering another concussion in 2005 against the Chargers. How has your health been this past year?

Chrebet: Healthwise, honestly, everything except my head is fine. I still have a lot of struggles. It still gets gradually worse at times. I just try to talk to as many people as possible, talk through it with doctors about my long-term future, to see if it's going to get better or continue to get worse.

Q: What have doctors told you so far?

Chrebet: It's kind of a generic, case-by-case basis. Head trauma is not an exact science. It's kind of wait-and-see -- which is not good, not to have a definitive answer. It's frustrating, to know it's getting worse at times, it can get worse. Certainly, it's more of a concern than it was when I was playing. I really didn't care what was going to happen down the road. But I'll deal with it. I'm never going to complain about it.

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