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Patriots Report: 15 Minutes with Jarvis Green

<P>Patriots defensive lineman Jarvis Green took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to speak with Patriots Insider reporter Chris Shepard. Green, a third year pro out of LSU, stepped in to help the team when fellow lineman, Richard Seymour went down with an injury against the New York Jets. Jarvis answers questions about college, the NFL and his outlook on the future.</P><P>Not an Insider?<A HREF=""> <B>Get the Free Trial</B></A></P>

15 Minutes with Jarvis Green
Tuesday March 1, 2005

PI: What has been the biggest change for you since the Patriots drafted you out of LSU?

Jarvis Green: Well the biggest thing for me I can say this; is that I’ve been to two Superbowls and two Superbowl wins. But, coming to LSU my first year I did not play, I was a red shirt freshman and we had a big year. Then we had two losing seasons and then Coach Saban came in and changed it around. And just the things he taught me as a player, him coming from the NFL ranks before he got to college. And then coming over to the Patriots and learning their system. Even though I need a little about the system because Belichick’s system is similar. Still it was tough for me to get everything and learn everything because everything moves so fast as far as the learning process compared to college football.

PI: The learning process, the learning curve is much bigger in the NFL, isn’t it?

Jarvis Green: Yeah it is big. It took time for me; two years for me to really know the defense like the back end of my hand. When the coach tells me one thing I know what to do. My first two years it was hard because I was putting myself down because it felt like I was back in school. At the same time even though it is a profession it felt like I was in the classroom trying to learn something that I thought I had done all my life but to learn the first two years just because of the teams we play each week. We’re together playing so much week in and week out. And just learning that by my third year coming into it, well by the second year it felt like everything was coming together in one piece and knowing what I was supposed to do when it was all given to me.

PI: Obviously you really spent a lot of time studying because when Richard Seymour went down you had to step up. So what did the coaching staff tell you?

Jarvis Green: You know what they didn’t tell me anything. Because they know what is expected as far as playing and then coach, to me, is on a different level than I’ve seen other teams. I mean you got guys who have back-up roles. You saw the last few years we’ve had all the injury problems, this year also. And I mean as many of these guys are in the game and play like there’s not really a drop off. That says something about the coach and not just the players.

PI: When Seymour went down you had to step up and fill a big role there, what did you expect?

Jarvis Green: When Seymour went down it was tough. I kind of saw the injury as it happened you know? I was like oh baby, my knee, you know.

PI: You felt it?

Jarvis Green: I’m like, Seymour get up. I looked at him then I said, oh man he’s not getting up right now. It was serious. We were watching him and we’re like he’s done. He’s done for the season, well for this game for sure. And for me no extra pressure was added. I had a job to do. I was playing the back-up role already and I was playing third down inside already so it wasn’t a big change for me. And it’s funny because after the Jets game, I think I had a pretty good game, but after the Jets game I was like this is my time.

PI: Would you say it worked out well for you?

Jarvis Green: It worked out well even though in football things happen. I was sad about the way it had to happen.

PI: No one wants to see an injury.

Jarvis Green: Yeah, no one wants to see that happen. But for me it was great for me the way it happened. I mean hey, thank God he (Seymour) played in the Superbowl and he played a great game. And then he was at the Pro Bowl hanging out. I mean he’s going to be back and he’s going to be healthy. But for me as far as the experience it was that 49ers game and that Colts game and the Pittsburgh game, and even the Eagles game. It was a big jump, leap, for me as far as my time to get my stock elevated and I know that. But during the process of my contract, during the season I wasn’t thinking about that. During the season I wasn’t thinking about anything but winning. In the playoffs I was thinking about my contract.

PI: What changes do you expect on defense now that Romeo Crennel has gone to Cleveland?

Jarvis Green: I can tell you this. Coach Belichick has been coaching 30 plus years and he’s a mastermind at what he does. People look at him and praise him to the point to where he [Belichick] is pretty much the best coach in football right now. But we all look at him like, at the present time, he’s [Belichick] the coach in our minds that he’s been doing it in many ways and I think he’s going to have another guy under Coach Romeo to come in, like Coach Eric Mangini, and fulfill the role. It might take some time to learn, but just the way the head coach is it is tough and the coaches learn under coach Belichick. I mean he comes from under coach Parcells and he’s great. So I think he’ll be fine even though Romeo is not here.

PI: Defensive backfield coach Eric Mangini has been named the Patriots Defensive Coordinator, what do you expect any changes in defense or do you feel pretty comfortable?

Jarvis Green: I don’t think anything is going to change he’s been in the system just like Coach Romeo was. We’re going to be going with the things that have gotten us this far, so far. It has taken three or four years to know the guy. If it ain’t broke, why are you going to fix it?

PI: This question might hit a bit closer to the heart. Tedy Bruschi was recently released from the hospital, have you heard much about Tedy's condition?

Jarvis Green: I went to see him the day he got released from the hospital. I went to see him and he sat down and talked to me and it was very emotional. His health comes before the game of football. He’s played for nine years. He has three Superbowl rings, been there four times I mean what else..

PI: Interceptions too. He has played incredible.

Jarvis Green: Yeah he is incredible. But it is tough man. Him and his family have to make it. They have three kids now and I mean it will be a tough decision. But hey, everyone knows that football does not last forever but you want to live as long as you can, you know.

PI: Your performance and contribution in the playoffs has been amazing. How do you mentally prepare to step up and fulfill a starting role for the playoffs?

Jarvis Green: You know what, I can tell you this. I wish I could do that for the entire season. It’s a long season and some people don’t understand what we go through in the season coming through middle school to high school to college. In college you have some free time, but this is a job and we know that. And just as far the attention span and trying to play a consistent game. That is like, I am kind of going off a little bit, but you can look at basketball and baseball and hockey they play so many games that they can go play 3 horrible games in basketball and come back the next four or five and be phenomenal. But with football, I mean, in a 16 game season you have to try to perform as best as you can every time you get on the field.

And for me in the playoffs it has been the last two years for me you know. It has been special. I wish I could do it through the regular season but I don’t have an answer for that.

PI: You brought up basketball so I have to ask you. LSU beat Alabama recently do you follow basketball?

Jarvis Green: I follow it, but it has been tough up here. But somebody told me the game was on TV and I didn’t even know.

PI: It was a phenomenal game. Alabama has a tough time on the road, how great did it feel for LSU to beat them?

Jarvis Green: It felt good for me. I felt proud that I came from a program like that and also because I know the head coach, John Brady, not Tom Brady, Mr. Brady and the assistant coach and you know what it has been tough for them. Its been up and down for them and you know what? Every year in basketball toward the end of the season LSU all of a sudden goes into overdrive.

PI: Right now, they have an at large bid for the NCAAs. What do you think their chances are?

Jarvis Green: I don’t know, but they have a chance to get into the big dance. Well it’s great for Coach Brady and the team. I hope they do their best, you know because you know what when their games come on this time I am going to make sure I am watching to support those guys. They play tough down there and it feels good for me. Coming from a big school as far as the football team did and are doing now and the baseball team every year for a long time. They have a tennis team and gymnastics and swimming and everyone there is putting their share into it as far as dominance in the SEC as all conference. It is a great privilege for me to walk around and be a part of that collegiate school.

PI: How did you feel when you heard that your former coach, Nick Saban, became the head coach of division rival Miami Dolphins? What type of effect do you think this will have on you when you play the Dolphins next year?

Jarvis Green: You know I don’t think this will [have any effect on me]. It’s a game and everybody, even from the coaches to the players, it’s a game. It’s different from college, and hey, we get paid and they get paid on the other side of the field you know. And so we have to come in and play ball. You’ve got your friendships, but when game time comes you put that off to the side and play football.

PI: You were considered one of the most dominating defensive linemen in LSU history, what do you think it takes to be a dominating defensive end in the NFL?

Jarvis Green: You know what? I am trying to get to that point, but I think that is a question you have to ask Seymour because you know I am trying to get to that level. I think to be dominant you have to go back to the guys in the old days. As far as performing and being consistent and pretty much destroying your opponent who is in front of you and making them game plan around you. To me that is dominating. Like what Lawrence Taylor did when he was playing, or Jerry Rice when he was in his prime-I mean that is dominating. Bruce Smith, Reggie White – that is dominating you know. Those guys for the stuff they’ve done they are on a different pedestal. But me, I am trying to get to that position.

PI: Did you have one guy you always looked up to? Someone you wanted to emulate when you got to the NFL?

Jarvis Green: Well in college I looked up to LT because I watched him in high school and I watched him and watched him and in college that is what I wanted to be you know. I wanted #56 but I wore #59 my freshman year in college, but that is the guy I wanted to be. And then coming into the league the biggest thing was, “be myself” and “pick a number for myself.” It was hard for me coming from college. I played four years in college and had, my first two years in college I had 15 sacks my last two years I had five.

PI: Speaking of sacks, I have to ask you about Peyton Manning? How did it feel getting 2.5-3 sacks?

Jarvis Green: You mean as far as the defense sharing the sacks? We have an unselfish defense. We don’t have any guys who come out with 17-18 sacks, but we got a lot of guys come the playoffs that you can’t give one person the sack. If you do that you are making a mistake. As far as the past two years it has been great because, well as far as this year, with the sacks being spread out among the front seven, and even Rodney Harrison getting in on that free sack it is crazy. And to me that is a plus because we have guys on this defense, who people might call average defensive players, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, even on the team, who must be doing something right to get this done over the last two years.

PI: You guys are doing something right. In fact, you got your first career NFL TD against the Ravens last November, what did that feel like? Have you worked on your TD Dance since then?

Jarvis Green: You know what? I don’t know what a heart attack feels like, but man my heart was throbbing after that. And I saw the guys coming and I wanted to do a dance, I wanted to do something and the guys took the ball out of my hand. They hugged me and I was looking for the ball and Ted Johnson brought the ball to give it to me and he said, “Take the ball kid, this is your ball.” And I felt warm on the side. The camaraderie and the feeling and it is my third year. I already had one Superbowl under my belt and at the time I wasn’t thinking about getting my second Superbowl, but to get a TD in the NFL in my third year I cannot complain.

PI: Patriots’ cornerback Leonard Myers’ ring for Super Bowl XXXVI - the Patriots' first Super Bowl win - is up for sale on the online auction site, eBay. The starting bid? $25,000. Do you have any plans to sell your rings?

Jarvis Green: God lord willing I hope not. If I am in that position something is very wrong. It funny how people complain about their jobs, so why are we complaining about our jobs and the money we make? We have enough money to make and save to be fine. I mean to see that there, I heard that at my

PI: At Rolls Royce, right?

Jarvis Green: I’d been going there for two weeks and my co-workers told me that and I was like, I didn’t know whose ring it was for, and then I heard whose ring it was for and I was like I can’t believe this.

PI: You brought up your internship, and this wasn’t on my list of questions, but tell me about it?

Jarvis Green: Well this is my second year and they have me doing a lot more work. I mean when I walk in I clock in.

PI: Do you punch a clock?

Jarvis Green: I don’t punch it, but I have a badge that gets me in for security. They’ve been giving me a lot of work since I have been going back there. A lot of phone calls, but we also use email a lot, you know, with the customers and talking to the after-market. I am a program manager, like a GC, a general contractor building a house.

PI: That was your major at LSU was contracting?

Jarvis Green: Yes, that was my major. Yes. I try to compare it to that a little bit although it is like night and day building ships propellers. It is a different ball game for me. The transition as far as leaving football and coming out there has been great as far as my co-workers they have been there. They are always there for me. If I need any answers they are there. And I feel so much better now as far as getting my confidence. I am starting to speak their lingo when I am around the plant because a lot of people use acronyms when they speak.

PI: It sounds like you are really taking advantage of everything the NFL has to offer?

Jarvis Green: I’m trying my best because you know football does not last forever. It’s not long; it is a short road for the average player. I have been trying to prepare myself so if anything were to happen; in the worst-case scenario I’ll be OK.

PI: My last question is what are your plans for the off-season? Sounds like you are pretty busy right now?

Jarvis Green: Yeah, you know I haven’t been on a vacation since I’ve been in the NFL. In three years I haven’t been on a vacation. My vacation is when I go back home. And you know what? Things might change because of my contract. I don’t know but I hope I can stay here and continue my experience with Rolls Royce. They are five miles from the stadium so it has been great.

PI: So you’d like to stay here?

Jarvis Green: Yeah, I’d love to stay here. My wife loves it. As far as the kids, I mean the schools have been great for my son. It’s been great. It has been a plus and you can’t take that away from anyone, the education up here also.

PI: What about the snow? The Weather?

Jarvis Green: Well you got to deal with it man. My Mom and Dad lived up here for five or six years and they told me people up here don’t even complain about the weather. You can do nothing about it. It is Mother Nature so deal with it. Put a raincoat on.

PI: Well that is about it for my questions. But recently I know that with Ty Law, Roman Phifer, Troy Brown there is some heavy news coming out of the Patriots camp, would you care to comment on that?

Jarvis Green: No. Not at all man that is the nature of the business.

PI: Well, I’d like to thank you for spending some time with the Patriots Insider and good luck next year.

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