Q&A With: Darrell Green

Redskins cornerback made it official on Monday: he's coming back. Here's Green's conference call with reporters on Monday--he did not attend practice because he had to take his daughter to the hospital. She was involved in a car accident Saturday and complained of neck and shoulder pain Monday. She's OK and her father is excited about coming back.

All right, why are you coming back?

Well, I have, as I mentioned, I decided to take this seriously and give it the proper thought. Both from a standpoint of the fans' rallying cry, which was quite frankly, very touching. I haven't spent a lot of time on Darrell Green in my career. I've been very focused, very vision driven and so this begins to happen. And it affects my wife and kids so I said let's stop and look at it. September 11th does have some affect on us, being able to be as successful as we would like to be. I guess just between that and my teammates, the coach, certainly. Matter of fact spoke with the coach this morning and Mr. Snyder a week ago. Obviously I was communicating with my wife over a period of time. Last night we got right down to the nuts and bolts of it and then decided I move forward with it.

The other thing too which woke me up was, there's a lot of people that think a lot of what I've done and my efforts. Some who would like to honor me and I've heard word of that, whether it's the media or privately. It takes preparing and so that's why I got a sense of urgency to say wait a minute, this is all fine and dandy, but it doesn't ... Also, most of all what we're trying to do we've got things involved in the city. We have different situations in the making and it's very time sensitive so I decided to move quickly and move forward with it.

How did you convince your wife to let you go one more year?

That's very interesting. I met my wife my rookie year so this career belongs to her as much as it belongs to me. She was there from the beginning and her life is affected by me being a football player as well. We were both excited about retiring. However, my wife just officially told my son this evening and my daughter on the way to the doctor's office and I not tell her. I was talking to someone on the phone and she jumped out of her seat even with a strained muscle in her neck. My kids were pretty enthused. My wife and I because we're the ones who have to make things go for our family and I'm always gone, always trying to raise money, trying to raise the foundation. I've missed most of my 6 o'clock church meetings this year because it was too tough. And the reason is, which isn't involved in that but as I was looking at options I got involved in more media, radio and TV. Just to see if that's something I'd like to do in the future as well. That's taken up a lot of my time. And football has taken up a lot of my time. So this is more complicated as it relates to my personal life. Also as it relates to people outside of my family. This wasn't something to take lightly. That was done. We never looked back. This wasn't motivated by me or my wife or my kids or anyone in my circle. I'm very comfortable with it.

There's a couple things that comes with this. People would say, 'Can you play.' Well, I think I'm pretty confident I can play the game. People say what about you and the coach. The coach made a very interesting statement to me this morning that revolutionized this whole process. When I met with him back when he first came here I said a couple of things. I said you don't know me, but let me tell you about who I am. In this conversations I talked about the importance of chapel service on the team.

The second thing was that I had these learning centers and that's my life. That's important to me. I said you don't owe me anything. But what I didn't say, 'Coach, I want to win a Super Bowl and I want to be an All-Pro.' He made that point to me today. I put myself in his shoes and I said I understand your point. As a new coach, you're saying I want to win a Super Bowl. He didn't say this. But he's saying, 'Here's a 41-year-old guy who has his life and has his plans. He can help us, but maybe he'll not be necessarily in the forefront.' It was like I took for granted that he did know me in my football. I took him for granted that he did know me, an 18-year player and Pro Bowls. That was the mistake I made which is how everything got started. He had a responsibility and that wasn't just to me, it was to the team. That set the tone of how we moved forward from there. I honestly can tell you that I can understand why he moved the way he moved. He didn't know me. But he did know that I was 41 and I wasn't a starter last year. That was eye-opening to me today. I don't know where the future goes, but I do want to make sure the revelation I got from him that you know about it. As well as the fact that he was very supportive. Dan Snyder is very supportive and the Big Boss, my wife, says, 'All right if that's the way you want to do then do it.' And our community is saying come and do it. We can really try to make the 20th season something special. Not only for my foundation because yes that is still important to me, but also for the team. That said, I'm committed to winning the next three games. I would love to be going to New Orleans with a chance to be in the playoffs.

When did this enter your mind as a possibility and how did it develop?

For weeks and weeks I have a publicist traveling all over the country doing stuff, San Diego, New York. Trying to execute our plan and our plan wasn't going as strong as we'd like it to go. I live a focused life, I don't life a cross-your fingers life. I live a life where I feel I get guidance and direction from above. When the rings of the community and different individuals in the community began to talk to me about that and the big thing that put me over the top when my wife made mention to the type of response she was getting and just by bringing up that said it was important. I need this community. I've given my life to this community and if I'm going to be successful in life for what I have in mind, then I can't just think it was nice because the people were going beyond saying it was nice. They were saying, 'You have to do this.' So I did have to listen and in the last two to three weeks I began to try and really make heads or tails of it. And if it makes sense what are the pros and cons to it. There is a lot that goes into it. I don't half-step when it comes to training. If I did I couldn't remain as fast as I am and able to cover. I put a lot into football so I couldn't say I'm going to play football and take it lightly. My daughter will be 16 in July. I have to take that seriously. My son will be 13 other daughter will be 12. That's important. Over a period of time I tried to take them one at a time and look at it for what it was and how would it benefit the big picture.

Is next year really it?

Absolutely, unequivically guaranteed. You can count on that. You can take this to the bank because I do have plans for my life that goes beyond football. But for the coaches sake I won't be half-stepping, just like I had the previous 19 years.


Breaking Burgundy Top Stories