Seahawks practice squad TE, John Nalbone
John Nalbone played college football at Monmouth University in New Jersey. While he was there, he totaled 101 receptions, 1080 yards, and 9 touchdowns. He was an all-NEC selection during his sophomore, junior, and senior year. He entered the 2009 NFL Draft, and was drafted in the 5th round, 161st overall by the Miami Dolphins. He has been a member of the Vikings, Broncos, Eagles, Bengals, and is now with the Seahawks. He signed a futures contract at the end of the 2011 season. This interview was done right after the 2011 season.
Announcement : My name is Max Strauss with prointerviews.org/, facebook.com/ProInterviews/ and twitter.com/ProInterviews/. I’d like to welcome you to the interview with TE, John Nalbone. Nalbone attended Monmouth University in New Jersey. During his junior and senior year, he received All-NEC honors. He set numerous school records as a TE. Nalbone entered the 2009 NFL Draft, and was drafted in the 5th round, 161st overall by the Miami Dolphins. He has also been a member of the Vikings, Broncos, Eagles, Bengals, and is currently with the Seahawks. Here is the interview with practice squad member, John Nalbone.
Strauss : How do you connect with your fans?
Nalbone : I’m on Facebook and I have a twitter. People can find me on twitter at @JGN86.
Strauss : What was it like for you playing youth football?
Nalbone : Playing youth football actually was fun. I enjoyed playing all sports. It wasn’t my passion while I was young though. My passion was basketball. Growing up, I was a huge basketball fan. It was fun. I was very active playing basketball and hockey too.
Strauss : Did you play basketball in high school too?
Nalbone : I actually didn’t play in high school. That was when I got really serious with football. I didn’t enjoy football much until I got to high school, and then I fell in love with it. I just focused on that, and during the offseason, I was working. I went to the weight room all of the time, and tried to put on weight since I played tight end.
Strauss : What was your high school football experience like?
Nalbone : It was a great time. It was a lot of fun. It was the first time I really enjoyed football.
Strauss : Did anyone from your high school make the NFL?
Nalbone : Not that I played with. There was Scott Brunner who played with the Giants. He went to my high school back in the 70s. Funny story is that when I was coming out of college, he was a QB Coach where I trained. He worked with Flacco the year before. I believe he’s the only other guy from my high school I believe.
Strauss : What were you options for college, and why’d you choose Monmouth?
Nalbone : Coming out of high school, I didn’t have tons of offers. I had a pretty good high school career with a good amount of catches, size, speed, and stuff. I didn’t have many offers. Rutgers offered me a chance to walk-on. Towson had offered me a scholarship, but I chose to go to Monmouth. It was close to home. It was only 45 minutes away, and still in New Jersey. I decided to go there, and it all worked out.
Strauss : You didn’t play your freshman year, right?
Nalbone : When I got to Monmouth, during my freshman year, there were already two seniors there. Basically, I red-shirted that year. It wasn’t to big of a jump though from high school to the new level. It was a good experience though. I learned a lot in one year.
Strauss : What was it like having such an impact on Monmouth football?
Nalbone : The things that I thought that were cool at Monmouth were that we were a young program. We started in 1993. We weren’t an established program. They were all about winning though. I don’t think I had a huge impact on it. I definitely think I contributed though. I was a leader and stuff like that. I did make some really good relationships while I was there, so that was pretty cool.
Strauss : You set some all-time records at Monmouth. What’s it like for you to look back on that?
Nalbone : For me personally, I think it’s great when you have records that are probably going to be broken eventually. That’s the old saying, right? ‘Records are meant to be broken.’ It’s definitely awesome to have that to show how nice your career was, at a small school. It was something I didn’t expect. I grew up watching big-time college football, and ended up having a really successful collegiate career. It’s nice to have that opportunity.
Strauss : You were All-Conference a couple of times in your career. Do you have a favorite year at Monmouth?
Nalbone : I guess that’s hard to say because we had plenty success while we were there. My senior year we didn’t win as many games as we wanted to and we had a pretty good team. We had to overcome a couple of tough losses. I would probably my junior year when we won the conference. We went 10-2. That was pretty cool. I think it was 06-07.
Strauss : Do you have a favorite memory or favorite game from Monmouth?
Nalbone : I would probably say my last game even though it didn’t have a huge impact on our season. We were playing an away game. My whole family was there. It was a good game. I think I had a pretty good game receiving. I scored a touchdown. It was cool going out from your senior year with a big win.
Strauss : Did you have a Pro Day?
Nalbone : Interestingly, I did have a Pro Day but I didn’t get invited to the NFL Combine. I had some teams that came and scouted me and stuff like that. I had a Pro Day at Monmouth, but it wasn’t actually at the school. I had a representative from the Jets come and scout me and put me in this database. I had one at Hofstra that I attended. There were plenty of teams there. So, I had two Pro Days.
Strauss : What was your draft day experience like?
Nalbone : It was pretty cool. I didn’t do anything crazy. The Draft was split and in a different format. I watched the first day of the Draft. I obviously knew I wasn’t going to go in the first day. That weekend I had family over my house. They came over, and it was nice. I didn’t pay too much attention to watching it. The fourth round came and went, and then I got a phone call from Miami, and the rest is history.
Strauss : What was going through your mind when Miami selected you?
Nalbone : It was excitement. To go through all of that hard work, and it paid off. At the same time that I was excited and happy and anxious, I knew I had a long way to go. I have a huge responsibility being a drafted player. I can’t believe it happened. It was a dream for me as a kid to get drafted. I was more anxious and excited, and felt really blessed to have that opportunity.
Strauss : Tell me as much as you want about each team and your experiences with them.
Nalbone : Miami was exciting to be drafted there. It was to a new coaching staff. They were successful the year before with a new coaching staff. I imagine the adapting was like coming from a smaller school to a bigger school. I had adapt to the new offense and everything like that. I was excited about the opportunity. Obviously, they felt they needed a change. I went onto Minnesota. My time there was very brief. I was on the practice squad there. It was the same story. They need to make some moves though. I then went onto Denver and was there until the end of the year. Then, I got a call at the end of the year from the Eagles that they were interested in offering me a future’s deal as well. I decided that would be a better fit, but then with the whole lockout, I was cut before camp. I then ended up with Cincinnati throughout all of camp. I didn’t really get an opportunity to play many snaps at all. I came in a week late, but there’s no excuses. I’m happy where I’m at right now in Seattle. We’re a young team. We have an exciting coach. I’m on the practice squad right now and staying healthy until I make it.
Strauss : Do you have a favorite memory in the NFL so far?
Nalbone : Yeah. I played in the first two games with Miami, not the preseason ones. They scaled back the game plan a little bit, but being able to contribute was great. It wasn’t my rookie year, I was active for those preseason games. But the year after that, to just get some time in the game.
Strauss : Do you have any relationships in the NFL that you think have helped you become a better tight end?
Nalbone : Absolutely. When I was with the Dolphins, Anthony Fasano and I worked together. He’s a great guy. He helped me while I was a rookie. He’s a great and well-rounded tight end. I see that he had success down there this year with Miami. He’s a hard worker. He helped me out a lot and showed me a lot of things. He helped me with the offense too. Watching him play and watching film with him was great. I was a rookie from a small school, and he does it right. He’s a complete professional. He was in Dallas for some time too. I don’t think it could have been better for me. I’m very thankful for that.
Strauss : How do you describe your style of tight end play?
Nalbone : I think I’m more of a balanced tight end. I think I’m better at blocking than receiving. I usually play at around 250-260 around that area. I have run routes pretty well. I guess you can I’m balanced. I don’t want to brag about myself.
Strauss : Would you say you watch tape of someone who you want to emulate on the field?
Nalbone : I mean, not necessarily. I just learn from my coaching and from the guys that I’m with. There’s a difference in playing college and high school. You’re obviously competing with guys in your position group. It’s a pretty tight-knit group. I’ve never been in a situation where they won’t help someone else out. I wouldn’t say I watch someone and try to model myself after them.
Strauss : If you could describe yourself as any ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?
Nalbone : Hahaha. I don’t know about that one. I don’t know if I have a response to that one. Uh wow. I’m going to with a chocolate-vanilla swirl with rainbow sprinkles and because that’s what I always get.
Strauss : For someone aspiring to play football in the NFL, what’s the best advice you can give them?
Nalbone : That’s a pretty good question. The best advice I could give them just stay healthy and get your grades in order. Grades are huge. You have to have them if you’re going to play football. I never was the best student until I got to college and then I straightened out a bit. Work hard. Stay healthy. You can achieve it. The competition is so great that it’s tough, but you got to make the best of your opportunities when you can.
Strauss : Is there anything you want to tell your fans that we haven’t talked about?
Nalbone : The NFL has a cool fan base. Playing professional sports is awesome. It’s such an awesome league because of how many people are involved in it, and football is the ultimate team sport. That is pretty much it.
Strauss : Thank you so much for your time John. I really appreciate it.
Nalbone : Ah, no problem man. Hit me up on twitter whenever.
Announcement : Thank you for listening to the interview with John Nalbone. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you leave your comments below as well! Please check out my website http://prointerviews.org/ for other interviews, “LIKE” the Facebook page at http://facebook.com/ProInterviews/, and follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/ProInterviews/. Thanks again for listening! Stay tuned for more, and feel free to contact me.
->Here are the personal questions that John Nalbone answered.<-
Strauss : If you could meet anyone, who would it be and why?
Nalbone : I would say Abraham Lincoln. He’s an interesting guy. I liked learning about him.
Strauss : Who was your childhood star?
Nalbone : I would say Joe Montana and Michael Jordan. I loved watching both of them play.
Strauss : If you weren’t playing in the NFL, what would you want to do?
Nalbone : If I wasn’t in the NFL, I’m not really sure about that. I don’t know what I would want to be. I haven’t really put much thought into it though. I’d probably want to start my own company. I’m not sure exactly what, but maybe go back to school. I might want to get into sports management. I’m not too sure though.
Strauss : What is your favorite TV Show?
Nalbone : I watch a couple different things. I like Modern Family, that’s a killer.
Strauss : What is your favorite movie of all time?
Nalbone : Forrest Gump is a great movie… I think I’m going with that one.
Strauss : What is your favorite type of pie?
Nalbone : I think that I would have to go with apple pie.
Strauss : What would be your last meal on earth?
Nalbone : It would have to be a really good pizza and Surf N’ Turf.
Strauss : What’s your favorite dessert?
Nalbone : I’m not really a dessert guy. I would say ice cream or a really good piece of cake.
Strauss : Thank you so much for your time.
Nalbone : Thank you Max.