Patriots Draft: Q&A DE/OLB John Chick

Utah State has a few former players hoping to hear their name called this weekend. Defensive end John Chick could very well be one of them. Chick, a versatile player has been doing drills at linebacker for teams that run the 3-4 defense. The Patriots were not only on hand for his workout, they were the ones running the drill. Get inside for more on Chick and his thoughts on the Draft, who he knows in the league, the teams talking to him and more.

Q: Tell us a little about your background and how you got involved in football

John Chick: Born and raised in Gillette Wyoming, playing football as long as I can remember, some basketball and baseball and a little bit of track. I have a brother and a sister. My sister Jessica goes to school here, and my brother Jake is just graduating high school.

Q: Everyone's a J?

JC: My parents are John and Julie Chick.

Q: So tell us a little bit about football.

JC: I always loved it. I missed one year in junior high. Played every year, and knew I loved it. Played all through high school. Utah State, the first time they called me, they offered me a scholarship. I didn't have a better offer on the table, so I accepted that. I've been happy with my career here.

My first year, I played defensive end, then the staff changed. Then the defense changed to a 3-4 defense. The first year in that defense I played tackle. The second year in that defense they moved me to outside linebacker. Then the staff changed again this year, and the defense went back to a 4-3 and they moved me back to a defensive end.

Q: What position(s) did you play in high school?

JC: I played defensive end and tight end.

Q: What do you like better, defense (defensive end) or offense (tight end)?

JC: I love defensive end. But, I'd play anything.

Q: When you were recruited for college, did you have many offers?

JC: As far as division I, no. I went to a Missouri camp and did pretty well there. That's when I think Larry Smith was there. Some division II schools made me offers, and Wyoming asked me to walk on, but I had already decided to go to Utah State.

Q: You said that you moved around on defense a little. What was the reason for your position changes, was it schemes, or personnel or something else?

JC: It was both. The first year at defensive end that's what they recruited me to play. The defensive coordinator left, and my new coach (defensive coordinator), knew me as a lineman and the D-line coach was still there so they kept me on the line that first year. So after that season, we were short personnel at outside linebacker and they asked me if I would play there. So that's what I played my junior year. Then with another coaching change, the D-line coach - who kept his job - wanted me back on the line.

Q: In 2004 you were an outside linebacker and in 2005 you were a defensive end. Do you enjoy playing linebacker?

JC: Oh yeah. I love it all. They're different. I enjoyed playing linebacker, you get to make some bigger hits it seems like. In our scheme, sometimes I was dropping back, sometimes I was coming, and it's fun to play in games like that.

Q: Would you say that the experience [of playing outside linebacker] helped your versatility? Did it affect your understanding of the defense?

JC: It made a complete difference in my game, especially when I first got here as a D-lineman, I didn't care what anyone else behind me was doing, unless they were blitzing and trying to go through the gap I was supposed to go.

Once I played linebacker I kind of understood where everyone was supposed to go. I had to know what the guys behind me were doing, and what the guys in front of me were doing. It helped make sense of the whole defense

Q: Have you graduated already or planning on finishing up?

JC: No I haven't graduated yet. I'm in PE and Health Education. I'm at the point now I just have to get my teaching certificate, and whenever I get started I'll be able to get it in about a year and a half. I'm just waiting to see what happens with football before starting on my teacher certificate which I won't be able to finish if that happens [playing in the NFL].

Q: Who else is up at Utah State working out with you?

JC: Donald Penn, he's an offensive tackle. Jarrett Bush, he's a safety/corner. Cornelius Lamb, a corner, is also planning on trying out I think.

Q: Did you have any favorite teams or favorite players?

JC: Well I grew up in Wyoming. The two closest teams are University of Wyoming and the Denver Broncos. I always grew up and watched them. Growing up I had some friends who were Rader fans, so we always had fun.

Q: Was there a player that you watched and said to your self, "that's who I want to be like?"

JC: John Elway. That's who I watched and who always inspired me. As far as his ability and his work ethic, I always respected that.

Q: Are there any defensive players that you strive to be like, model your game after or who impress you?

JC: As I've watched over the last several years, a guy like Jevon Kearse or a Julius Peppers are guys who are working hard every play, and making some big plays. You know, guys like Ray Lewis. I love watching those guys.

Q: How would you describe yourself as a football player?

JC: First off, I try to outwork everybody, at practice or wherever. I lead by example at work, not so much by talking. And doing everything I can to make plays.

Q: Would you say your style of play at the end position is more technique?

JC: This last year -- I don't know if it was from playing linebacker -- I felt I had a lot more tools so I was able to do a lot more. Before it used to be mostly my power. I've always had really good speed, so I'd use my speed and power to try to move my self around. This past year I still did that and was successful with the power, but I used a lot of speed rushes and finesse type plays to get a better position to get a sack or make a play, whatever it may be.

Q: You had a Pro Day recently, March 7th. How did that go?

JC: It went really well. We've been training, trying to get ready for it, since about a week after the season ended. I weighed in at 265, I was about 6-3 ¾. I benched 225 30 times. I jumped a 35 vertical, 10-foot-1 long jump. I had a 4.59 and a 4.63 forty time.

Q: Did you work on anything in particular getting ready for those drills?

JC: No, basically everything. Our trainer is pretty good and he knew what to do. We spent as much time in the weight room training as we did running the drills, trying to stay strong and flexible. We just kept practicing the drills as well. The combination of everything I think it helps. I don't think we empathized any one thing over any other.

Q: Did you talk to any teams during your Pro Day?

JC: We had 23 teams here. One team interviewed me individually and then there were a few other teams that interviewed me all together asking general questions. Then when the testing was all over, some teams had their own individual questionnaires.

Q: Do you have any visits lined up?

JC: I have one visit scheduled. Dallas [John visited Dallas on 4/17-4/18] Article

Q: So your workout on campus was for who?

JC: That was for Dallas. The Chiefs interviewed me individually. There were a bunch of other teams that interviewed me in a group as well.

Q: Were the Patriots one of the teams that met with you?

JC: The Patriots had a guy out here and he was the one who actually put me through the position work. After all the testing they had me do some position work. He was in charge of that.

Q: How did you feel it went, and did you feel like you made a good impression on the scouts there?

JC: I think so. This is all new to me, but I was looking up on the Internet, and the numbers they had on me before my Pro Day were actually numbers from before my sophomore season. They had me at 240-pounds, and outside linebacker. I don't mind the outside linebacker thing, but I've been a lot heaver than [240] for over a year now. A lot of guys came up here expecting some skinny guy, so when I weighed in and tested the way that I did, I think it shocked some of them.

Q: Did you feel you needed to put on weight and work on your agility to impress scouts, or have you been fairly consistent at this level for a while?

JC: Yes, put in effort to gain weight, but no more than anything else. I mean I had to eat right and put time in at the weight room.

Q: Did anyone give you any pointers during the drills?

JC: I know some of them had some concerns, maybe some flexibility. During position work I got the feeling they all thought I moved pretty well, they liked the way I caught the ball. The Patriots guy was the one who put me through the position work. He had me do some linebacker drills. No one said anything specific, they all seemed happy with the way I looked.

Q: What are you going to be doing on Draft day?

JC: We're just going to hang out with the baby here. I have some family that is going to come down to watch the Draft with me. We'll have a barbeque. My wife's family lives here too, so we'll just have a bunch of family here.

Q: Have you talked to any guys who are in the pros or guys who give you advice on that?

JC: Not really. I got some good advice from my agents, and when I was looking for agents a couple of guys gave me some general advice on looking for an agent, and what [the Draft] was like. And there's a could of guys here that have gone on to play in the pros.

Q: Can you tell us who they are?

JC: Chris Cooley is one guy I was know who is in the NFL. He plays H-back for the Redskins right now.

Q: What is it about John Chick that people don't know about you that you want them to know about you?

JC: I'm an family guy and always have been. I've grown up and loved being with my family, my uncles all those who supported me and helped me. Especially my wife Catherine and kid (Camryn), who I love more than anything in the world. Those are probably the biggest things in my life.


Be sure to check the archives for Part One of this interview along with interviews from other prospects the Patriots worked out or have shown interest in.

Related: Draft Database || Mock Draft Muncher || More Visitors and Workouts

Patriots Insider Top Stories