Q&A With: Dexter Manley

He dominated offensive lines for nine seasons and filled notebooks the entire time as well. Dexter Manley won over hearts with his personality and his play. Then came the troubles. But Manley says he's on the right path now. And he's attended three Redskins games this season. As we talked, he saw a fan in the stands wearing a Number 72 jersey. With Manley on the back. That made the big man smile.

Q: What are you doing now?

A: I'm a motivational speaker. I go around the country and do motivational speeches and I do card shows. I've been up here doing card shows and doing work with American Red Cross in Houston, where I live.

Q: What's your theme?

A: I usually talk about overcoming obstacles. I talk about teamwork. I also talk about all the things one goes through, the ups and downs and the trepidation and I talk about prevention and literacy. I keep motivating kids and adults that they can overcome things in their life as well.

Q: Is it hard to believe how much time has passed?

A: It goes by fast. I'm surprised but we must move on. But I can promise you this: If they suit me up today, I could do what I need to do.

Q: What's your take on Darrell Green?

A: He's a phenomenal player. He went to the podium way too soon. He says he's coming back, but he never left. I've always admired Darrell Green's moral and physical courage.

Q: How amazed are you that he's done what he's done for so long?

A: If anyone can do it, Darrell can do it. He has a faith that's untouchable and I think that has a lot to do with his belief system and the fact that he's a workaholic. He gets himself prepared.

Q: When you look back at the Super Bowl years, what stands out?

A: What stands out most is the impact that Joe Gibbs impressed upon us as a team. He built our character and he's the greatest coach that will ever wear the burgundy and gold. What I really like about it was that we were prepared and motivated and took on challenges.

Q: What did it mean to be a Redskin?

A: It meant everything. Everything. What I appreciate most about this whole area is that the Redskins burned the consciousness in people's minds and that's a powerful act. There's no other team in the NFL that has a fan base support that we have. Dan Snyder has inherited that. Now it's about putting the players on the field and producing. I bleed burgundy and gold.

Q: People compare LaVar's enthusiasm to yours. Do you see any of that?

A: I see a lot of similarities and that's what I brought to the game wsa a real passion. You have to play with a high level of energy and he's the only one that seems to play with that high level of energy. I can appreciate that because that's what the fans like.

Q: We saw you working for a Washington station when the Redskins played in Dallas. Do you want to do more of that?

A: I want to be involved in football somewhat. I feel that I can trust myself and the people can trust me more. I had fun doing it, sure I did. Stephen Davis wouldn't talk to nobody. I was the only one who got him to talk.

Q: And we thank you for that. We're just not as intimidating as you.

A: You're welcome, you're welcome.

Q: What do you think about the defense?

A: They have to come on with the pass rush. It's been very suspect the whole season. Twenty second in defense does not cut it.

John Keim covers the Redskins for The Journal Newspapers and is a correspondent for Pro Football Weekly.

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