Q&A: Safety Darnell Bing

Jon Scott, who writes for PatriotsInsider.com on the Scout.com network, asked Darnell Bing about getting prepared for the draft, including what his head coach thought about his leaving school early, what teams are talking to him, and what it meant playing in the footsteps of former Trojan safety Troy Polamalu, along with many other topics. These answers and much more in this exclusive interview.

Q: What did coach Carroll say to you about coming out early?

DB:
He said it would be ok if I left, but that I would do a lot better if I came back for my senior season. He said he'd give me the opportunity to try some running back, which might help my draft status as well.

Q: Has anyone else talked to you about being a running back beside Coach Carroll or your high school coaches?

DB:
No, not really. They know I've played it before. We talked about it, but mostly they want to see me on defense.

Q: From a football perspective, who would you say was the biggest influence in college?

DB:
That's a tough one. I basically want to say that I have my own style. Some guys played true free safety always in the back. In our defense we do both [come up for run support]. Both safeties will be in the back or they'll be in the front, it depends on the call. I don't really model my game after anybody. I basically go out there to do what I'm capable of doing and make things happen.

Q: You've been compared to players who have come before you and had success in the league. How did you go about developing your own sense of style on the field when you've had to follow in the footsteps of a guy like Troy Palomalu, who played before you at USC?

DB:
I had to go out there and study hard each week and make sure I had our game plan down and go out there and try to make plays. Because Troy Palomalu, he was a playmaker, he always made things happen, I just wanted to make sure I could go out there and live up to playing behind the name of Troy Palomalu, and maybe be labeled as another Ronnie Lott. I wanted to make sure I could cover my ground and make sure I didn't give up anything that would hurt the team's chances to win. I just tried to play as hard as I could.

Q: Does anyone on the coaching staff, or others in the program, hold up names of the players who have gone before you to tell you 'this is how it's done,' or 'this is how you should do it'?

DB:
Yeah. We watch film of some of the guys. Actually, the film we watch is of the plays that we run. They show us how some of those guys would hit the gaps, or play cover. So yeah.

Q: Do you talk to any of those former USC guys?

DB:
I talk to some of the older guys who aren't in the NFL anymore. The guys who are in the NFL don't really have time to come around much they're so busy.

Q: Speaking of older SC guys, have you met Willie McGinest?

DB:
Yeah, I talk to Willie a bit. I talk to older guys like Ronnie Lott and players like that.

Q: You've mentioned Ronnie Lott's name a couple of times, and it sounds like you admire him. Do you look up to him?

DB:
Of course, you've got to. He was a wonderful player, he always played hard and was a big-time hitter. He always went 100 perceont, so you have to admire the way he played.

Q: Tell us what you think is your greatest attribute, and maybe something you think you may need to work on as a player.

DB:
I would say my greatest attribute is reading my keys and being able to jump routes, because of the amount of film that I've watched and knowing what the quarterback's main keys are. And also being able to see what he sees on the field at the same time. If I had to work on anything I would say that I tend to launch [leave his feet to make the hit]. It's only sometimes when I have to make a desperate tackle. It's only sometimes though. I think maybe I may need to breakdown a little more.

Q: How did you feel about your performance on your pro day?

DB:
I felt it went great. I don't think it could have gone any better than it did. I did very well in all my positional drills and all my cone drills as well. I feel I did as good as possible.

Q: How do you feel about your 40?

DB:
I did pretty good. I got clocked at a 4.53, which they say is really a 4.45 because the electronic timing adds .08 seconds to your time. Because, weighing 225 and running that time I think that's excellent. I'm not like any of those other guys who weigh 200 or even 180 and are out there running 4.4s or even 4.3s. I would say [my time] is pretty fast for a guy that's my size. So I was pleased with everything.

Q: So what do you weigh now?

DB:
I'm about 222 lbs and about 6-foot-2.

Q: You've already had a number of visits including the Patriots. Tell us a little about who you met with and how those went.

DB:
I met with the Patriots, the Panthers and the 49ers. I met with them around my pro day. Those went pretty good. They seemed to like me a lot. I talked with the Jaguars and the Packers at pro day. They seemed to like me too.

Q: Were there any player beside Ronnie Lott that you admired or followed through the years?

DB:
Barry Sanders was my favorite running back as I was growing up. Then I would say on defense it was Deion Sanders.

Q: Hard not to like prime time.

DB:
[laughs] ... yeah.

Q: What is it about Darnell Bing that you want people to know about you that they may not already know?

DB:
That I'm a pretty good kid, and got my head on straight. I'm a straight and level guy. As far as being on the field, that I'm giving back to my teammates and helping them out, and the crowd. I want to make sure they're coming out to see a good game instead of coming out seeing something so boring like something you could watch at home on TV and if you got tired of it you could just flip the channel.

Q: Anything else?

DB:
I read my keys very well and am capable of jumping a route keep my eyes on the ball to make an interception and things like that. I'm a good tackler and I like to come up to make a big hit from time to time.

Q: Where are you going to be on Draft Day?

DB:
I'm going to stay at home with friends and family. Maybe have a barbeque or something like that.

Q: Sounds like a good idea. Thank you for your time Darnell and good luck on Draft day.

DB:
Thank you.


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