Update: The following interview took place prior to Larry English being drafted by the San Diego Chargers
One of the keys to any successful 3-4 defense is having outside linebackers who can pressure the Quarterback and cause havoc in the backfield. Pass rushers are valuable additions to any team, and you can never have enough. The Chargers are blessed to have one of the best pass rushers in the league in Shawne Merriman, but he is coming of a serious knee injury and is in the last year of his contract. The Chargers always position their roster with an eye to the future, and so it comes as no surprise that they've talked with one of the most fearsome pass rushers in this year's draft, Larry English...
I had the good fortune to get a hold of Larry and ask him a few questions:
Larry, you've emerged as one of the best pass rushers available in this draft class. With so many teams looking for 3-4 outside pass rushers, your talents are certainly in high demand. What teams have shown interest in you so far?
"I've met with pretty much all of the 3-4 teams out there including the Chargers... they along with a few 4-3 teams have all expressed a considerable amount of interest. It will be interesting for me to find out where I will end up."
How would you feel about playing in San Diego? Are you familiar with the team and some of the
things they like to do on defense? How would you feel about playing along side Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips as an Outside Linebacker?
"I think it would be a great opportunity for me to play in San Diego, I have watched Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips play a lot of football. I feel that I would be a great asset to the defense and would love to play along side those guys."
I've seen you rated anywhere from a mid-first round pick to a second round bargain pick-up. What sense are you getting for where you might be drafted?
"When it comes to draft day i think that there are so many factors that go into it that you just never know for sure how things will play out. I will say that I definitely feel that with my desire and love for the game I am well worth a team's first pick."
You absolutely terrorized the MAC...describe how teams would gameplan for you. Do you look at it as a compliment that offensive coordinators had many sleepless nights trying to prepare for you?
"Well it is always an honor to have the respect of your peers. These past two seasons I definitely saw a good amount of double and triple teams but in all honesty I thrived on the opportunity to take on that challenge."
Some would have you believe that playing in the MAC inflated your stats a bit, but the way I see it if you can ball, then you can ball. You showed scouts at the Senior Bowl that you are for real. But do you think you'd be more hyped if you had played in a different conference?
"Well I have found that in most cases the players in the MAC tend to fly under the radar to a certain extent, mainly from a media standpoint. At the end of the day I realize that if you can play ball they will find you, and i feel that is a kinda what happened with me."
What would you tell NFL scouts about yourself to help separate you from the all the other talented pass rushers in this draft?
"I definitely think that there are some talented pass rushers in this draft. On the other hand I feel that there are only a hand full of players that have the ability to play as hard as I do and also I feel that I have a great upside mainly due to my maturity level and desire to become the most well rounded football player that I can."
Who are you most looking forward to playing against as a pro?
"That is in some ways a hard question to answer due to the fact that I have no way of knowing where I am going to end up. I will say that I am looking forward to playing against the best blockers in the league and also at the same time refining my game from a technical standpoint."
Now for personal stuff... favorite team?
Favorite free-time activity?
"Watching a game with the guys."
What would your last meal be?
Free trip any in the world...where would you go?
First thing you'll buy after signing your deal?
"Celebration dinner with the family that helped get me to this point."
Larry English Career Highlight Video (Part 1)
I want to thank Larry, Todd, and Jennifer more making this interview happen!
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