Ken Harvey - Chat Transcript

A big thanks to Ken Harvey for taking the time to discusss his views on the Redskins and to fill us in on his new life not only as President of the Redskins Alumni Association, but as an author of books for children. Enclosed is the chat transcript for those that didn't make the chat and for those that just want to relive the experience.

Stephan: Hi Ken welcome to our humble online chat room

Ken Harvey: Hello Everyone! How about those 'Skins! I'm ready for questions any time. For those with kids, here's information on my books. When Chocolate Milk Moved in The Story of the Eggsters are available on and will soon be at Border's and Barnes & Noble.

Stephan: Ken before we get into skins talk, what ages are your books for, and what made you write kids books?

Ken Harvey: The ages are for 4-9 and the reason I started writing the children's books is just to one, I started doing it for my kids and two to plant a seed of something good in kid's lives while they're young. Something good without preaching.

Doggmatica: Ken, what was it like coming to the Skins from Arizona? We were awfully excited to have you, I can tell you that. What was the difference in atmosphere?

Ken Harvey: It was exciting coming here. It was a little bit cooler! The atmosphere here, the people here were used to winning and the fans were excited about any opportunity to win and that excited me. We only had 25,000 diehard Cardinal fans. Coming here where you had a stadium full of Redskins fans was exciting.

NortTheSport: Ken, what was your most memoriable play as a redskin?

Ken Harvey: I'm trying to think if I have just one. Probably my first sack against Aikman, just because my family was Dallas fans and hitting him was kind of nice.

Doggmatica: Ken, here is a similar question... Do you remember your hardest fought game as a redskin, and what was it? Be it a win or loss.

Ken Harvey: I think it was against the Cardinals and we had to go into overtime and play and I think as a unit we played 90-some plays and we still ended up losing. It was a tough game. We were dying, but you keep going. There were some games I was so tired. You don't want to take off a play but your mind has to go into overdrive to keep going.

Terry: Ken, you were arguably the best pass rushing linebacker the Skins ever had. Now we are trying to get Lavar to perform a similar role in certain situations. What differences do you see between him and yourself as rushers, and do you think he will be successful?

Ken Harvey: First I think he'll be great as a rusher. I think I probably had more moves coming right off the line, but if he's standing up and they let him go he's a better pass rusher. From zero to 10 he has unbelievable closing speed, way better than I ever had. When you go all out you either make a big play or miss a tackle. He doesn't miss tackles. That's a huge advantage. A lot of his sacks will come from blitzes. He should be like LT. One time come from inside, one time come from outside. Then he'll make things happen.

Ken Harvey: And what do you mean arguably!

Terry: :)

Bleachers: No argument here, Ken....keep me on your good side...

Bleachers: First, thanks for your contributions to the Redskins. You were a big part of how I survived the mid-90^`2019s as a Skins fan. You always came to play. Tell us about your role in the Alumni Association^`2026Does that role allow you much access to the team today? How would you assess the chemistry you are feeling from the 2002 team?

Ken Harvey: It gives me access to the club and as an alumni, it's like looking at your parents. That's why it's good to have someone young and not that far removed. There's a lot of chemistry, starting from the head coach. They like the way he coaches and they want to play. Marty came out as a dictator. It'll be a huge help. It's not an atmosphere where the coach has no control. There's repsect and everyone is having a good time. You don't want to let your buddy down. That makes a huge amount of difference. I liked LaVar after the game saying he was mad that he didn't do well. That was always my attitude.

Rat Boy: Ken, I recently read an article that had direct quotes from defensive players saying that all players take plays off to ""save themselves"" for key parts of the game. How true do you think that is and did you take plays off? :)

Ken Harvey: I never took a play off to save myself. Every part could have counted. Every play counts. The one play that you take off might change the game so I would never take a play off. Maybe it's a lifestyle. If you take a couple plays off maybe it becomes a habit. I don't think that's true.

riggoranger: Hey Ken, honor to have you here! How do you see this defense ending up this year? Does Arrington become the beast we know he can be? by the were AWESOME MAN! Thanks for the great play!!

Ken Harvey: Arrington becomes the beast and I think the defense will do extremely well. THere's a lot of talent on the defense. Everyone is excited about the offense but the defense will be a beast. I like the defense's aggressiveness. They're willingto let them blitz to make a couple plays and one thing that I noticed on every tackle you see more than one person around the ball. That's a good sign. It means people are hustling. The defense, there's a good combination. The talkers, guys who pump everyone up. It's a good combination of leaders and that makes a difference.

Bleachers: Tell us about going to the pro-bowl as often as you did...

Ken Harvey: It was an awesome thrill and an honor. In the Pro Bowl I was a big kid in a candy store. I got to see players that I used to watch and I was like, Man I'm a part of this. So it was a big thrill. But it got expensive! I'd bring my family out and by the time you get their room and pay for their travel and food and we'd stay for a week afterward. It added up. But it was fun. I have time for a couple more!

riggoranger: Ken, just gotta say thanks for all your great plays! I wanted to ask you you about the difference you see between Norv Turner and Steve Spurrier's coaching methods.

Ken Harvey: Easy. Norv was a self-motivator. His belief was that every man at that level should desire to be the best possible. That's the way he felt players should be. Push yourself. Spurrier is that even though you're grown men I have to convince you that what you think your best is is probably only halfway there. He belives in getting everyone on the same page. The system will force you to be the best. If not you'll be out of a job.

Terry: Ken, how do you go from the mayhem of pro football to the relatively calm of a writer of children's books? Was it a big adjustment for you, or were you mentally ready for it? Also, how do you know when it's 'right' - do you test it out on some kids first?

Ken Harvey: It's not a big switch because I have kids. Once you stop playing football or when you'd come home from practice you have to become a dad. That was my life and it just spilled over into doing children's books. When I retired I wasn't mentally ready. It took me a couple years to move on and church was the biggest thing to help me stay calm in the whole thing. I test it out on my kids and my wife and if my wife likes it, I know I got something. If my kids like it they let me know. They brutally honest. They wouldn't say they didn't like it, but might say it doesn't sound good. I'd rather them tell the truth. But so far they like most of them.

riggoranger: Ken let me ask you this: DO WE BEAT DALLAS THIS SEASON???! No, really, do you see us ever breaking the voodoo spell the Cowboys have over the Skins?

skinsmaniac: who will win the psychological battle on Thanksgiving in your opinion

Ken Harvey: I think we will this time because we'll be a whole lot more confident and we have more guns. And Dallas is going downhill. I'd type in a whistle for how fast they're going down. We're just a better team. Even at their best Dallas can't win. They don't have the weapons. Troy and Emmitt were two weapons that fueled the offense. ...Bye everyone! Thanks for coming out and look for the books on When Chocolate Milk Moved in and The Story of the Eggsters. And in January, look for The Leftovers and The Fridge Games. Go Redskins!

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