Q&A with Kelly Gregg

Editor's note: The Baltimore Ravens' new starting nose guard in the revamped 3-4 alignment is Kelly Gregg. He's a lineman from Oklahoma, a stocky player at 6-foot, 285 pounds. Gregg, 25 and a native of Edmond, Okla., was signed as a free agent by the Ravens last year. Gregg played in eight games last season, starting one to finish with 19 tackles, including 10 solos. In a 27-10 playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Gregg recorded four tackles, one for a loss, in just 15 snaps.

Prior to joining Baltimore, he played for the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe last year, leading his team with six sacks and three forced fumbles to go with 40 tackles and three pass deflections.

Gregg was picked by the Cincinnati Bengals in the sixth round of the 1999 NFL Draft, 173rd overall, was cut and then played on their practice squad. He had a short stint with the Philadelphia Eagles after being cut by the Bengals.

At Oklahoma, Gregg led the team and Big 12 Conference as a senior with 24 tackles for losses with 117 tackles overall. He also had nine sacks. Gregg majored in sociology.

He was one of the top heavyweight wrestlers in the nation as a prep senior at Edmond High School (Okla.), winning a national junior heavyweight wrestling title.

 Here's a transcript of his interview:

Ravens Insider: "What's the silliest thing, in your opinion, that you heard or read this summer as a reason why you wouldn't play well at your position?"

Gregg: "That I didn't have enough bulk. I'm one of the strongest guys in the weight room. Of course, guys are going to doubt me because of my height. People have been doing that since high school, saying I'm too short.

"If I was taller, I might be terrible, so you never know. You have to take the hand that's dealt to you and do the best that you can."

Ravens Insider: "Can a lack of height actually be an advantage in terms of leverage in the trenches?" Gregg: "The lowest man wins. You get under people's pads. You can never underestimate anybody."

Ravens Insider: "How much does your wrestling background help you in football?"

Gregg: "I was the No. 1 heavyweight recruit. I chose football, though, and it worked out great. You can't play football all year, but, for a lineman, being a wrestler is like being in the trenches."

Ravens Insider: "Are you a big pro wrestling fan? Any favorite performers?"

Gregg: "I watch it. Those guys are good athletes, too. I like watching them get thrown off that top turnbuckle.

"I like to watch anything entertaining. I like to watch the Rock. I like the Undertaker. Triple H is all right, too."

Ravens Insider: "As a big rodeo fan, have you ever been tempted to participate?" Gregg: "I love to watch the rodeo. I just go out there and watch stuff like that. I'm too scared to get out there.

"I like seeing somebody take on a bull. You get on an animal like that and you're in for a ride. Those guys that do that, those cowboys and roughnecks, they're putting it on the line."

Ravens Insider: "So, would you say you have the cowboy mentality on the football field?"

Gregg: "Yeah, growing up you go out there and work hard and play hard. I can't handle those bulls. I'm too scared. I can handle the centers."

Ravens Insider: "Do you still like your nickname, ‘Buddy Lee' from those jeans commercials?"

Gregg: "Tony Siragusa gave me that name my first day. I like it. As long as I'm hanging around, they can call me anything they like. I've been called worse."

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