Exclusive: Q & A with Adam Seward, pt 2

Pantherinsider writer Matt Edwards recently spoke with Panthers linebacker Adam Seward. Part 2

Part 2 of 2 -- In case you missed it, click Here for part 1.

Edwards: Back to you and your experience, how do you feel you did in mini-camp? Do you feel you stood out and showed the coaches some good things?

I don't know if I stood out. I think I did what was expected of me; I think I'm learning a lot. Obviously I only got to play four games last year, so I don't really know the system as well as I would like to, but I think that after this summer school that I really thing that I'm getting the system down pretty well. I feel great. I think the strength of my game is contact. It's a little different when you're running around in shorts and t-shirts and not hitting people. I mean, some people [in that situation] look great, but then you get them in pads and they look terrible. So with me, contact is definitely something I look forward to and actually last year people were telling me to slow down and take it easy that we have 16 games. But, I just love to hit people and just run around and have fun. It's something I've been doing since I was a little kid and hopefully that I can continue to do, but as far as standing out – I try to go out there and play the best I can and move around and I think I played pretty well. The coaches seem pretty fired up about me. A lot of them are pretty tough on me because they know and they can see my ability and they know what's there, they just try to get it out of me. Sometimes that gets frustrating, but if I really step back and look at it, it's flattering. It's something that I want and I want the coaches to believe in me because I believe in myself.

Edwards: Speaking of contact, weren't you a state champion wrestler in high school?

Yeah! I was the 4A Nevada state champ, yeah! Haha!

Edwards: I guess that was the heavy weight division?

Yeah, 275. I actually weighed about 225 when I did it, but I had a buddy that wrestled in the weight class below me and you know, I had no problem wrestling heavy weight. It was actually kind of interesting because you'd get to some big tournaments and you'd be wrestling against guys that were all cutting weight to get to 275 and there I was weighing 225. But, you know it was fun, it was good experience and winning a state title, getting a state ring is something that not everybody does and not everybody accomplishes so it was special. Especially since everyone had all labeled me and everyone knew me as such a good football player in the state of Nevada. So, to win a state championship in another sport turned a lot of people's heads.

Edwards: Do you think the wrestling helped you at all with the football?

Oh, I definitely think so. Wrestling taught me how to compete in general. Sometimes in football, because it's such a team sport, a lot of times you may know you made a mistake but a lot of people won't see it. Because it's such a team sport, you can start pointing fingers at a lot of people on the field. In wrestling, if you lose a match – you lost it, there's no one to blame out there. That taught me how to compete and take responsibility for my actions and to be accountable for what I do. It taught me how to train; it taught me how to stay in shape. A lot of people don't know a lot about wrestling because it's not really a big sport anymore. You know, football and basketball, especially, I mean in other countries soccer takes over. But, you know I love wrestling and I think I definitely carry a lot of that tenacity and aggressiveness over into football because a lot of time I'm out there playing football and I kind of just lose myself out there and kind of feel that it's me against whoever has the ball because wrestling was such an individual sport. Obviously in football you have other guys helping you out, but I take that same individual mentality and I think that helps a lot when I play.

Edwards: How do you think it helped you out coming from a football family? Your dad was a player and a coach and your brother played college football.

It's definitely an advantage just to have a dad that not only coaches but my mom was also a Chicago Bears' cheerleader – she was a Honey Bear – in the late 70s and early 80s, so that helped too. When you have a family that understands sports, I think a lot of kids these days just don't know any better and sometimes the parents have to kind of help them out and kind of guide them at first and a lot of times parents don't get their kids into sports just because they don't know any better and then their kids don't end up doing a lot of that stuff. But with my parents, they did a good job of getting me into different sports and different activities and that's one of the reasons I am who I am today, because I was always playing football and was always around a dad who was always at football practice and my mom was always promoting that. She was always proactive in getting me out there and involved in sports and getting me active and having things to do. I could name the whole NFL when I was five years old, I mean I could do a lot of things other kids couldn't do and I played football and wrestled around with my brother. We're just a big football family. I mean my dad doesn't really take any days off. He takes a lot of his sick days off during football season. That tells you right there how big of football fans we are and that definitely helped out and still does to this day.

Edwards: Out of the games you played, did you have a "welcome to the NFL moment"?

I would say that first game… well, let's see… I would say the fourth game – I mean I had played in defensive plays before – but in my fourth game, Dan Morgan went down for about four or five series and I had to step in and play. One play it was like third and one and they ran – I mean I'm out there and you know Brett Favre is under center taking a snap and it was just a simple play, you don't really think about it because you're just playing football. But, you know I went over the top and I met Ahman Green in the hole and I mean I laid into this guy about as hard as I could – I mean any college running back would've just went on his back from that hit, but I probably hit him and just stood him up and he just kept driving and it took me about every ounce of energy I had just to bring him down. Thankfully I stopped him, I mean I had team mates helping me, but we stopped him for a loss of one. But when I got up, heading back to the sidelines, I was just shaking my head like "My God, that guy is big!" I think that's when I realized how much bigger NFL running backs are than the college backs. And before that on the play before that, I had the tight end covered about as well as I thought I could have and I mean Brett Favre just looks and this guy and I think "No way is he going to throw this ball in here" and he doesn't even hesitate – he just throws the ball right to where I couldn't get it. I mean right when the guy caught the ball, I was so close that I immediately made the tackle, but I got up and I was like, "My God, how did he fit that ball in there?!" It's definitely a welcome! I mean those kind of jitters are out now after my first year but definitely that game and playing against New England and my first tackle was against Corey Dillon, stuff like that it's just kind of like "Wow", it's just really cool to think about things like that. But, hey, you're in the NFL and you're getting paid just like these guys.

Edwards: It's definitely cool to go out there and compete against guys you grew up watching. It's definitely an experience.

Oh yeah, definitely. I mean even in practice when Keyshawn Johnson comes in, I played at UNLV under John Robinson and he was a coach at USC when Keyshawn was there and he used to talk about him all the time in our meetings at UNLV and during my freshman year, he was actually on the sideline at a UNLV game and I never thought I'd actually be covering this guy in practice. You know, like I said, I'd be lying if I said that everything is cool about things and it doesn't really bother me, not that it bothers me, but it's just, you know it's just kind of eye opening to say anything about it. I mean, it's just kind of like "Wow". I think about a lot of that.

Edwards: Is there anything else you'd like to say in closing?

Uh… I'm trying to think of something here, you know, what do you think? What should I go along the lines of? I don't know what to say. You know, my family, like you said – you know if it wasn't for my family being so into football and so into sports – I mean my sister is a cheerleader at Nevada – Reno, my brother is a running back for Nevada – Reno, I play football, my mom's a former cheerleader, my dad coached and played for 27 years. You know, so hey, we're football, we bleed football, we eat football, we sleep football, we're a football family. So, I guess I didn't really have a choice. You know, my mom, the first piece of clothing I ever wore as a baby had "defense" on it. My mom always jokes around saying, "You know, you didn't really have much of a choice! You had to play football!" I'm glad I did though, you know I could've never made it this far. It's just been really cool.

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