Steelers CB, Joe Burnett Interview
Joe Burnett played college football for the University of Central Florida. He played cornerback but also took over duties returning punts starting as a freshman and continuing throughout his senior season. He entered the 2009 NFL Draft, and was selected in the 5th round by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played in the preseason with the Steelers and showed promise as a rookie. This interview was conducted before the 2010 NFL season.
Strauss : So, Joe, why do you make it extremely important to connect to the fans?
Burnett : What’s a star without its biggest fan? In my opinion, every athlete wants the support from the true fans. It’s an aspect that boost the morale.
Strauss : Who was your childhood star?
Burnett : I was always an Allen Iverson Fan.
Strauss : What was your favorite NFL team growing up?
Burnett : It was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Strauss : What is your favorite movie of all time?
Burnett : The Program.
Strauss : What is your favorite TV-Show?
Burnett : Martin, I own all the series!
Strauss : What is your favorite meal?
Burnett : Italian–Pasta, Caesar Salad, and Garlic Bread
Strauss : What is your favorite type of pie?
Burnett : Peach Cobbler.
Strauss : When did you see your first live NFL game?
Burnett : Baltimore Ravens vs. Miami Dolphins, 2009, Playoff Game, Baltimore won…
Strauss : When did you realize that you were going to play football in college and in the NFL?
Burnett : My goal was never on college until I received my first invite to Miami’s football game, which was my sophomore year in High school. Going into college my goal, I was set to make it to the NFL.
Strauss : What did you want to do for your career before this change of thought?
Burnett : Before college, I was always think I would enlist into the Army.
Strauss : So, how long have you played football?
Burnett : I’ve been playing football since I was seven years old. So, sixteen years.
Strauss : Did you play any other sports in high school?
Burnett : I played basketball, baseball, and I ran Track.
Strauss : What is your favorite sport to play other than football?
Burnett : Basketball, I’ve played since I was ten and turned out to be pretty good. Actually, good enough to be nominated to The McDonalds’ All-American Team.
Strauss : Describe the changes from high school to college.
Burnett : Coming from and small program in high school the terminology and specific coverage weren’t taught so entering College I was way behind and had to basically learn the basics of football far as Coverage, Zones, schemes and etc.
Strauss : Who was your best friend at UCF?
Burnett : Kevin Smith.
Strauss : Why did you choose the number 19 at UCF?
Burnett : I was #9 in high school and our quarterback had #9 in college, so I decided to keep the 9 and throw in the 1…
Strauss : What is your favorite memory from University of Central Florida?
Burnett : Besides winning the championship game against Tulsa, I would say that when I first got to camp and the team had 7 on 7 and position drills I sat out to catch punts afterwards with teammates and Brandon Marshall, before my first attempt Brandon Marshall told me “to watch out we have a game in two weeks.” I replied, I can catch some punts too! Then, he challenged me to catch the ball with one hand, then one hand with the ball in the other hand etc. Long story short, Him and I still laugh about it but I was the Starter come game one.
Strauss : Describe the changes from college to the NFL.
Burnett : The hardest change is to understand the business of it. The game will always be the game, understanding that its your job now and the business will still go on regardless of who your were in college because at this level you can be replaced in the matter of a single phone call.
Strauss : After retirement, what would you want to do?
Burnett : After my career, I plan on getting into Hotels.
Strauss : What is your favorite quote?
Burnett : “God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Strauss : For someone aspiring to play football in D-1 and in the NFL, do you have any advice for them?
Burnett : The Sky is not the limit when your faith can go beyond it. So, “Go Hard or Go Home.”