Eagles fullback, Leonard Weaver Interview
Leonard Weaver played collegiately at Carson-Newman. He entered the 2005 NFL Draft, but went undrafted. He earned a spot from the Seattle Seahawks and was a member of their team and learned from all-time great fullback, Mack Strong. He was hurt during the 2006 NFL season, but played great in both the 2007 and 2008 seasons. He signed a contract in 2009 making him the highest paid fullback in NFL history. In 2009, he earned both All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors. Check out our interview as the 2010 NFL season was almost over.
Announcement : Hello, my name is Max Strauss with http://ProInterviews.org, I would like to welcome you to the interview with Leonard Weaver. Leonard Weaver played at Carson Newman from 2001 to 2004. He went undrafted in the 2005 NFL Draft. But, he signed with the Seattle Seahawks and played with them from 2005 to 2008. After that, he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, and in 2009, he was AP All-Pro and a Pro Bowl selection. Well, let’s welcome him!
Strauss : So, why do you really use twitter? And, do you connect to your fans any other ways?
Weaver : Yeah, I’m pretty personable. I love interacting with my fans on a personal level. I do twitter because I do want to interact with my fans. You know, I mean there are not just fans here in Philly, fans across the country, and what better way to connect to them and allow them to be able to connect back to you. To them, a conversation on twitter would not be cost-expensive, it’s not costly. And, it’s a good way for fans to connect with other athletes, and all teams, and a good way to interact with each other.
Strauss : Did you play any other sports in high school?
Weaver : Yeah, I did, I participated in baseball. I also ran track. I also did basketball.
Strauss : Do you have a favorite memory from any one of those sports?
Weaver : Yes. Football, definitely against our rivalry school to get us into the playoffs, that was in 2000, I believe. Baseball, I almost pitched my first no-hitter ever. That was a great memory. The discus, winning the discus for my high school at District championship, so that was pretty sweet.
Strauss : What about basketball?
Weaver : I would have to say, hitting the game winning shot. And, to have the crowd come out of the stands. Good gracious, I was pretty smooth.
Strauss : The transition form high school to college, what was that really like?
Weaver : It was good, but it was… You know, the responsibility I think that the responsibility aspect was really the hardest part.
Strauss : What’s your favorite memory from Carson Newman?
Weaver : Oh man, I would have to say, it’d have to be a football memory. My first time, actually being on a winning team, and going to the playoffs. That was in 2002. I lead the team in receptions. It was something different. It was something!
Strauss : So, what’s the most important thing you learned at Carson Newman that has helped you the most in the NFL?
Weaver : I would have to say, from a football standpoint, just hard work can never get replaced. Hard work always brings about success. Cutting corners does not necessarily help you at all, it actually hurts you in the long run. I would have to say from a student standpoint. Responsibility, Character, how to carry yourself throughout your lifetime, when you’re there. And, looking and teaching how to grow up and mature to be a young man. So, it was really a very integral part of my life.
Strauss : Did you have a best friend at Carson Newman on the football team?
Weaver : I really didn’t have any best friends that were on the football team, I had a lot of good friends. But, my best friends were football players. They were: one was a track star. His name was Jonathan Gage. And, the other one was Lonnie Davis.
Strauss : Did you do anything funny with them in college?
Weaver : Yeah man! I remember one night we had a dance off in my apartment. I mean, we were killing it! He threw the bus man. We invited a couple other friends over, and we had a dance off! And, you know, who do you think won that one? No doubt.
Strauss : What was your draft day experience like?
Weaver : Well, It wasn’t really a draft experience, I wasn’t drafted. I didn’t get that opportunity. But, I mean in terms of just even thought of having an opportunity of get to the NFL was all I wanted. I just wanted a chance, an opportunity to get through the doors, and god opened the door for me, and allowed me to walk through. And, I have not turned back since, so, I thank god for that.
Strauss : Were you contacted by any teams like during the draft, saying if you’re available after, we’d like to pick you up?
Weaver : Yeah, I was contacted by San Diego Chargers as well as the Seattle Seahawks, but I kinda knew after the first three rounds, you don’t really want to be chosen to go to a place. You kind of want to have your own choice. And, that’s what I enjoyed about being a free agent that I got to chose and pick and see who’s on the depth chart, who I’m competing against, see how many guys are at my position, and give myself the best opportunity possible.
Strauss : Speaking of being undrafted and everything, what was your first training camp with the Seattle Seahawks really like?
Weaver : Uh, it was definitely, I wanted to go home. It was really tough, mentally. I would have to say that the mental part that you have to endure as an NFL player, the pressure of everyday, surviving. The grit of the coaches selling at you, and the pressure of making the team, competing and not making mistakes, it was very difficult, but I liked a lot of it. I liked our offense, it taught a lot of things about me as a person.
Strauss : What is your favorite memory with the Seahawks?
Weaver : I would have to say going to the Super Bowl. I’ve come to find that being a part of that team with Shaun Alexander, Mack Strong. Being around Coach Holmgren. I would have to say that opportunity to actually to go to Detroit, and actually be a part of the Super Bowl was probably one of the most recognizing moments of my life.
Strauss : What was it like to be on the Seahawks and then, have another opportunity to take your career elsewhere, and why did you take it to Philadelphia?
Weaver : Well, I had a great career in Seattle. It was really a very helpful direction for me to actually go there and be a part of that. But, the reason why I picked Philly is because Coach Holmgren and Coach Andy Reid have of course, a brotherhood going on. In the sense of, kick from you to kick me from the other Mike. They run the same exact offense pretty much. So, it was likely for me to come in and be effective. I needed to go there and be smart, so I could contribute right away, and not have to worry about the playbook as much. And, it’s just the right place for me.
Strauss : Last year, you were phenomenal with the Eagles. You were All-Pro and Pro Bowl. What was that like to be nominated for that?
Weaver : Oh, that was unbelievable, man, it’s just really that, words can’t really speak of. I can’t pick one to describe how I felt. Last year, was an unbelievable year all-around. It was a blessing. A blessed year. You know, we were award-winning. I just truly am a blessed man. It was an unspeakable year. I couldn’t even speak words on it. It was just phenomenal. It was a great blessing, and I would like to thank god for the opportunity to allow the coaches to trust in me in my position. It was really cool.
Strauss : What was the pro bowl like when you attended that?
Weaver : It was good man. It was down in Miami, Florida. So, a lot of my family, I think about fifty members came. That was a great experience for me and them. It was unbelievable to be around a lot of the players that you see play, growing up. You watch them while you’re in college, and now you’re competing against them, among the best of the best. I think it was phenomenal. I enjoyed myself very much.
Strauss : After that, you signed with the Eagles again, and you became the highest paid fullback in NFL history, what was that like?
Weaver : That was unbelievable man, I couldn’t believe anything else. You work in this business to achieve the maximum pay that you can have at your position and as a player. And to be rewarded with the contract like that, was brought to the organization to how they felt about me. And, I thank god they inclined. I felt that to be able to say to my kids’ one day, your dad was or is the highest paid fullback to ever play the game. I think that says a lot, and it’s a great blessing to me.
Strauss : Do you have a favorite memory with the Eagles so far?
Weaver : You know what yeah, I do. I want to say my first touchdown as an Eagle.
Strauss : What play was that again?
Weaver : It was a pass from Donovan. A good time to get in the end zone. I took it up the sideline about twenty yards to score. And, the fans really received me and it was almost one of those things where the fans were like, “Whew! Man he can move better than we thought!” So, it was actually a blessing, and really exciting!
Strauss : Like, looking back on your career as a whole, who was the person that had the most impact on your career?
Weaver : Stump Mitchell, he was running backs coach for the Washington Redskins last year with Jim Zorn. He’s a head coach now, down in, where I can’t remember the name of [Southern University]. Stump Mitchell had the greatest impact on my career. In fact, he is why I am the player I am today due to everything he taught me, and it was awesome.
Strauss : So, do you have a nickname?
Weaver : Yes, I do they call me, “Bishop”. Because of the ministry god has put me. I basically go around, preaching to people, “The Gospel”. And, I really tell them my testimony on how I get through life. How life has been impacted. I know in only Jesus Christ. So, people call me that.
Strauss : What is a memory that changed your life for better or worse?
Weaver : I would have to say, this injury that I’m going through right now. I would have to say that it has been life-changing, life-altering, ever since. It’s making me appreciate the fact that I have lived in arms and lengths at work, and I should be pretty thankful for them.
Strauss : If you could describe yourself as any ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?
Weaver : Haha, Oooh, I don’t know about that one. Wow, I would have to say… I don’t know man. I mean, just chocolate because I don’t know. I don’t know, I never even thought about it like that. Probably have to say peanut butter, because it goes with anything. Apples, celery, it doesn’t matter what it is, peanut butter goes with anything.
Strauss : So, what’s the Leonard Weaver Foundation?
Weaver : The Leonard Weaver Foundation is a foundation that is for kids who are venturing, young youths, found in the urban communities, but engaged across the country, to better themselves as youth, and give them better opportunities to succeed in life. We, also, are a foundation that loves being the advocates of promoting awareness to diabetes, and how serious this disease has become. That’s generally what the Leonard Weaver Family Foundation is about.
Strauss : What was the best memory from a charity event?
Weaver : Um, I would probably have to say, when we did, Playing with the Pros. Players came out and we had a league. The fans got a chance to compete against their favorite players in any video game that could possibly think of. And, I think that was real cool, and very fun to see the fans come out and laugh and see the players come out and have some good times.
Strauss : Did you beat anyone in video games?
Weaver : No, I actually don’t participate. I am more of the one to walk around, make sure everybody’s alright, kinda semantics. Just making sure everybody was good and comfortable.
Strauss : So, what’s your favorite quote?
Weaver : My favorite quote is one that I quote, “Hard work, dedication, and sacrifice equal success.” And, I truly believe that.
Strauss : For someone aspiring to play football in the NFL, what’s the best advice you can give them?
Weaver : Wow, the best advice I would give them is to understand that… To reach your goal, you have to definitely work hard. But, I think more so than that, to get to the NFL, you have to understand there is a select group of people that play this game. And, in order for you to come in and get a position, you have to stay focused and determined. You can’t allow the numbers or the games that this league gives to you, stop you, or get you off track, or tells you what do in life. So, basically, don’t allow the NFL for your own to get tarnished or damaged because things don’t work out right away.
Strauss : Is there anything you want to tell your fans that I have not asked?
Weaver : No, not really. I think the Eagles’ Nation knows what I’m about. They know who I am. I don’t know, I can’t say much because I love ’em to death.
Strauss : Thank you so much Leonard.
Weaver : Alright, well you have a great day man, and finish up strong.
Announcement : Thank you so much for listening to the interview with Leonard Weaver on http://prointerviews.org, make sure check out the Facebook page, at http://facebook.com/ProInterviews, and follow me on twitter for more updates when future interviews will come out on http://twitter.com/ProInterviews. Thanks again for listening. I hope you enjoyed this one.
->Here are the answers to the personal questions he answered.<-
Strauss : If you could meet anyone, who would it be and why?
Weaver : I would have to say Jerry Rice, he was an idol of mine while I was growing up. I actually try to model part of my game, even though I play fullback not receiver, but after Jerry Rice. I would have to say Jerry, I haven’t had a chance to meet him yet.
Strauss : If you weren’t playing in the NFL, what would you want to do?
Weaver : I would definitely want to be a high school football coach and a teacher. I would teach math.
Strauss : What is your favorite TV Show? Why?
Weaver : Right now, Grey’s Anatomy.
Strauss : What is your favorite movie of all time? Why?
Weaver : I would have to say, “Why did I get married too?”
Strauss : What is your favorite type of pie?
Weaver : Sweet potato pie.
Strauss : What would be your last meal on earth?
Weaver : Lasagna and green beans, with a cup of Apple juice.
Strauss : Thank you for answering the personal questions.
Weaver : Thank you.