Jaguars OT, Kevin Haslam Interview
Kevin Haslam played college football at Rutgers University. He started 32 games throughout his collegiate career, and played in 43 games. He entered the 2010 NFL Draft, but went undrafted. He signed with the Jaguars and played in five games during his rookie season. Check out our interview that was conducted before the 2011 NFL season. [Update: He is now a member of the Oakland Raiders.]
Announcement : Hello, my name is Max Strauss with
. I’d like to welcome you to the interview with Kevin Haslam. Haslam attended the Rutgers University for five years. He was best known for his versatility on the offensive line while he played guard and both tackle positions. He then entered the NFL Draft in 2010, but went undrafted. He quickly signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars and by the end of preseason, he earned a roster spot. He appeared in five NFL games this past year. Here is the interview with Kevin, and I hope you enjoy the collages also.
Strauss : I know you have a Facebook, but have you ever considered making a twitter?
Haslam : I thought about it. Twitter isn’t’ really me. I guess it’s a cool thing for the fans and all that. It’s just that I’m so humbled for everything, I don’t think I’ll find time to do all that. I haven’t checked into the twitter world–yet. I am highly considering it, maybe in the future. [Since the interview, Kevin has joined twitter, and his name is @KHaslam72, please give him a follow.]
Strauss : What was your high school football experience like?
Haslam : Stressful… I mean during that time I was trying to get noticed and everything like that. Being an undersized offensive lineman, it is difficult. It all worked out. My senior year went pretty well for me. I think that overall it was a good experience for me.
Strauss : Throughout Rutgers, did you have a best friend?
Haslam : I wouldn’t say one specific person. I had a lot of good friends at Rutgers. Ryan Blaszczyk, our center, is one of my good friends. When Anthony showed up, him and I became really close friends. Anthony Davis was probably my closest. , he was the long-snapper on our team, I don’t know if you’ve heard of him. Those were my friends.
Strauss : At Rutgers you were known for your versatility on the line, how do you think that has helped you in the NFL?
Haslam : I think it’s helped me a lot actually. Coaches in the NFL have seen that I played both tackles and both guard spots. I haven’t been at center in a game yet, but I did play a little bit of center at one point. I think it helped me tremendously because teams could see that I played multiple positions. It’s versatility, and most guys only play one spot unless they’re a lockdown sprinters, most backups who are trying to make it are also playing multiple spots to get to that starting role. For me, it helped that I know multiple spots.
Strauss : Do you have a favorite memory from Rutgers?
Haslam : My fondest memory for me, would have to be when we came back and won the Papa John’s Bowl Game. I only say that because that was my first Bowl Game I started. It was just a good feeling of winning it, coming back and the way we did it and everything.
Strauss : Even though you were undrafted, what was your draft day experience like?
Haslam : It was stressful. Thinking that you’re going to be drafted at a certain spot, and it really did not work out that way. The process felt a lot longer than usual. It was a bunch of sitting around and waiting. A lot of phone calls. A phone rings it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to pick you. I got phone calls as early as the third round. They’ll call, and they’ll just trying to get a feel, ‘We’re thinking about picking you up with our next pick,’ so on and so forth. That started in the third round on, and it was me picking up the phone not knowing what was going on.
Strauss : What was your first training camp like with the Jaguars this past year?
Haslam : The first training camp… The weather is different down there in Florida, rather than New Jersey. They had me playing every position again. In preseason, I played every spot. I was competing for a spot so i played tackle and guard, even some center. It was a good experience. I think I learned a lot, and got better as a player.
Strauss : You were teammates of Courtney Greene and Tiquan Underwood, what’s it like to be with them on the Jaguars?
Haslam : It’s good knowing that people I played with in college are my teammates now. They helped me transition and Tiquan helped me transition into the offense and the perspective on the game. For Courtney to help me out with those rookie things that you have to do, to help move the transition along. They showed me where the ropes are. They definitely helped me out.
Strauss : Do you have a favorite memory with the Jaguars this past season?
Haslam : I don’t really have a favorite one because I got picked on all the time. Obviously, the rookie hazing was probably the fondest memory, not my favorite, especially what they did to my head.
Strauss : Who had the most impact on your pro career?
Haslam : I feel that there are a lot of people that have helped me get to where I’m at. My offensive line coach from Rutgers, Coach Flood, he helped me prepare to play all the different positions in college which helped me out in the pros I think. I also look towards Anthony Davis who came into Rutgers because I obviously had to elevate my playing level, because we both started the same position. We were battling it out since he got there. He went first round to San Francisco. We were playing off each other, one guy can do something better, we tried to make ourselves better all together. For him to come to Rutgers and help me compete, was really beneficial to me.
Strauss : Do you have a nickname?
Haslam : Not really… People just call me ‘Has’. that’s about it.
Strauss : Have you ever considered starting a foundation or do you support a charity in the offseason?
Haslam : I’ve thought about starting something like that after my second season. In my first season, I’m kind of getting a feel for everything, you know rookie stuff. When the second comes around, since I’ve been through more, I will be able to set up a foundation or a charity.
Strauss : Do you have a favorite quote?
Haslam : Not really. None of them really stick out in my head at the moment. I’m not really a quote.
Strauss : If you could describe yourself as any ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?
Haslam : Ice cream flavor… (laughs). haha. Ice cream flavor… Ben & Jerry’s “Imagine Whirled Peace”. I think it’s cookie dough, caramel, and like little chocolate pieces, whatever it is. I don’t know if it’s exactly that, but it’s my favorite ice cream, so I would just go with that one. Why… I don’t really know (laughs). It tastes good to me, it’s a good type of ice cream, I guess I’m a good person. I’ll go with that.
Strauss : For someone aspiring to play football in the NFL, do you have any advice for them?
Haslam : My best advice to make it into the NFL is that you need to be driven is the word I would say. A lot of people think, that there are very few that are given the god-given ability in life, no matter what you do, you’re the best player on the field at what you do. There are very few people that can do that. Most people work at it, they got to be in the weight room all day, you have to be watching film, working on your technique. That gets lost a lot because people see these great players out there, and they need to realize the hard work these players put in. It is watching a whole bunch of film, and it is listening a lot. It is working on your technique. These guys don’t get that good just out of nowhere. They work hard at it. I think the best thing you can tell somebody is that they’re going to have to work hard at it, they’re going to have to want it, so they are risking hours in the day. You got to rest, but then you got to watch film, then you got to do footwork, then you got to run. That’s just one day. You know what I mean. You got hit everything in one day and try to get better.
Strauss : Is there anything you want to tell fans across the nation that we haven’t really talked about?
Haslam : The fans need to give us their support. With the lockout out, we need you to support us, obviously as players. We’re trying to play football. This lockout situation is kind of a touchy subject for some people. We just want to play. That’s all it is. We want the fans’ support and that’s all we’re asking for.
Strauss : Thank you so much for your time Kevin.
Haslam : Not a problem at all. Thank you again. The work that you’re doing keep it up. It’ll be good at the end.
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->Here are the personal questions that Kevin Haslam answered.<-
Strauss : If you could meet anyone, who would it be and why?
Haslam : Hm… I always think as athletes we have to pick someone in sports. Who would I want to meet? I’d meet Achilles. I don’t know, it’s just that movie (laughs). He’s a warrior and there’s the myth, he gets shot with the bow in the Achilles, and that’s how he gets killed. I’d like to see what he was like in real life. I love the story behind him. I think it’s one of the greatest mythology stories ever.
Strauss : If you weren’t playing in the NFL, what would you want to do?
Haslam : Honestly, I like to cook, but I don’t think I’m any good, so I would like to go to culinary school. Or… I would like to go into something with sports marketing. Something along those lines, maybe with ESPN. Other than that, I am really interested in going to culinary school and learning how to cook.
Strauss : Who was your childhood star?
Haslam : I would have to say not childhood, but growing up, I was a big Mike Vick fan. I would have to say that I was not too young when he first started out. But, I was a big Mike Vick fan back in the day.
Strauss : Did you ever meet Michael Vick?
Haslam : I saw him when we played them in the preseason. He’s your competition now, so you don’t look at him the same way. Growing up and into high school, Mike Vick was one of my favorite players to watch and the entertainment as an athlete. Now that I’ve played against him, it’s not really like that anymore.
Strauss : Do you have a favorite type of pie?
Haslam : Sweet potato pie.
Strauss : Do you have a favorite TV Show?
Haslam : I love to watch TV. Right now, what am I going to go with… How about Californication.
Strauss : Do you have a favorite movie?
Haslam : I watch like five movies a day. I can’t really narrow it down to my favorite. Let’s go with City of God.
Strauss : What do you listen to before games?
Haslam : I change my song. I’m really superstitious. Let’s say if I’m listening to my playlist with the last song, we win the game, I’ll play that song last over. I think the last song I usually listen to on my iPod is Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” I think that’s the last song that always plays on my iPod.
Strauss : Thank you for answering these Kevin.
Haslam : No problem.