Redskins WR, Anthony Armstrong Interview
Anthony Armstrong played college football for West Texas A&M from 2002-2005. He never got a shot to play in the NFL, so he played in the Intense Football League, and the Arena Football League hoping to one day earn a spot in the NFL. In 2008, the Miami Dolphins came calling, and he earned a spot on their practice squad roster. In 2009, he was on it, before getting cut. Then, the Redskins signed him to their active roster. In 2010, he compiled 871 yards, 3 touchdowns, on 44 receptions. This interview was done in the middle of the 2010 NFL season.
Announcement : Hello, my name is Max Strauss with http://prointerviews.org/, http://facebook.com/ProInterviews/, and http://twitter.com/ProInterviews/. I’d like to welcome you to the interview with Anthony Armstrong. Anthony was a star at the West Texas A&M University. However, instead of starting his career in the NFL, he started in the Intense Football League with the Odessa Roughnecks. He later moved on to play with the Dallas Desperados in the Arena Football League for two seasons. He then signed with the Miami Dolphins’ practice squad, and was a member for about two years. Although he was cut by the Dolphins, and the Redskins signed him to their practice squad and he remained there for the rest of the 2009 season. In 2010, he earned the starting wide receiver role for the Washington Redskins. He caught his first touchdown pass against the Packers. Before the interview, let’s listen the audio clip, and then get started with the interview! Hope you enjoy the collages also!
Armstrong Audio Clip 01 : Ryan Torrain, the running back, two receivers to the left. McNabb back to pass on first down, wants to the right, he’s going deep, down the middle, Armstrong is there! Catch is made, and it is a touchdown! Touchdown Redskins! Anthony Armstrong on the strike from McNabb! 48 yards! First touchdown of his career for Anthony Armstrong!
Announcement : And, now get’s started with the exclusive interview! Please read along with the transcription below the collages!
Strauss : Alright, so, why do you use twitter, and how else do you connect to your fans?
Armstrong : I actually started twitter because one of the things I asked my radio show if I had one, would they like to follow me? And, I basically started tweeting that way, and I’ve done all the other things. It’s a lot of fun. So, I also have a fan page on FaceBook that you could go to, that I chime in on every now and again. That’s really how I connect, I try to be open to everybody.
Strauss : How long have you actually played football?
Armstrong : I can’t say how old I was. Probably 8 or 9. Yeah…started playing way back then, played straight through, kept on going. I think I took one year off, because I wanted to focus on my academics. That was eighth grade. I took that year off, but I’ve been playing ever since. That year in eighth grade and in 2005, I didn’t get to play football due to injuries.
Strauss : Did you play any other sports in high school?
Armstrong : I ran track. That was about it. I wasn’t a very good basketball player, I couldn’t shoot. I could run and jump, that’s about it, I couldn’t do anything else. So, I just to stuck to track and I did decent in track. Track and football, that was all I did.
Strauss : Did you have a favorite memory from your track days?
Armstrong : I remember my junior year. We had a pretty decent 4×100 team. We had set a school record in that. We went to regionals where we didn’t get to make it to states. We had a little change-up on the roster because somebody became ineligible, that kind of killed our chance. But that was probably the most successful track season I had.
Strauss : So, what was the transition like from high school to college football?
Armstrong : Well, I think, people were bigger and stronger, and then, it was more detailed. That’s kinda what it was.
Strauss : So, what was your major influence on why you went to West Texas A&M? Did you have a choice in going there?
Armstrong : There were a couple schools that were coming around. I remember Northern Iowa came around, but they knew that I wasn’t probably too interested. Another was Thompson State. They came by and I just really didn’t like the way their coach came across, he was very cocky, and he was knocking every other team that came to talk to me. It was just, I really didn’t like him. And then the guy from West Texas A&M came, he seemed real. They were going to give me a little scholarship. And, it was far enough away from home to where I could be away, and it was close enough to where I could get home really easily. That probably swayed my decision.
Strauss : So, what was your favorite memory from West Texas A&M?
Armstrong : Uh, we had a game with Eastern New Mexico. It was like the Battle for the Wagon Wheel. And, they were our rival school. They were about an hour and a half away. And, I remember in my junior year, I had started to string together a couple of good games. I just remember going down there and winning the “Wagon Wheel”, and I had a great time in that game. We won the Wagon Wheel, rushed the field, grabbed it, and were carried around, and we didn’t win very many games that season, so anytime we did get a win, it was special! But that year, we had strung a couple together, and we felt pretty good about ourselves. That was my best memory.
Strauss : What was the best thing you learned at West Texas A&M that helped you in the NFL?
Armstrong : I really learned a lot about yourself, and that you had to work for, and had tough coaches. It was not a top-notch place at the time, but we have improved much since then. But, it wasn’t necessarily the best university. There were tough times. Just going through overall college experience, you meet a lot of great people that you could bond with. Which is huge. We all kind of leaned on each other and learning how to work hard and stay determined, and persevere was the biggest part.
Strauss : What was your draft day experience like?
Armstrong : Shoot, my draft day experience. I have to admit, it wasn’t something that I knew I was going to get called on the first day. And, like at first, I had one of my friends jokingly call me in the first round, I think right after the Dolphins pick for some reason, acting like they were trying to draft me. I think like one or two other teams called to make sure they had the right information and whatever. But really the draft day kinda came and went, but nobody else called. I think the day after, the Falcons had called to bring me down on a rookie tryout.
Strauss : That’s pretty funny that your friend would do that, it’s also pretty mean though. What was the Arena Football League like?
Armstrong : The arena football league was fun. I enjoyed it. You can interact with the fans. You’re right there next to them. You could celebrate all you want. You could do a little more than what you’re allowed to do in the NFL. It was just all fun. It was fast, and high paced. You were going to be able to catch a lot of passes, and you can be involved in the game. That was what I really liked about it, and what I kind of miss.
Strauss : What was the Dolphins Practice Squad like, like the transition from Arena Football to the NFL
Armstrong : Well, like I said before, everybody was bigger and better. I went against top-notch talent in the whole NFL, went against some of the best players and been around them. They can tell you what route your running just off of your release. It was basically learning extremely fast. I had to learn right away. It was a good experience. In my first day with the NFL, I had to learn how they worked and what it took to stay on. You could see some people getting cut, and kind of trying to stay on the line.
Strauss : So, what happened when you were cut? And, what happened when you signed with the Redskins practice squad?
Armstrong : Well, coming into that ’09 season, I knew that I had to have a very, very good offseason. Yeah, I had a pretty good one. I was working my way up to running with the twos. They drafted some receiver, they drafted Hartline, and they drafted Patrick Turner, and I kinda knew that the numbers’ game was going to be very difficult for me to get on because of the numbers game. They were going to keep certain people. They were going to keep certain amounts of people. I honestly didn’t have the best training camp, you know I didn’t give myself the chance to compete with everybody else, and I was the odd man out.
Strauss : Now with the Redskins, do you have a favorite memory so far?
Armstrong : So far, I think it’s everything that’s been going on on throughout the year. It’s been a great journey I would say because basically it’s the jump from practice squad, and nobody knows him. And, then all of a sudden, I’m making it to start, has been the best memory. And, I think catching that touchdown pass against the Packers will probably be the spotlight so far, hopefully I get to make a lot more of the moments happen right now though.
Strauss : Did you ever dream of coming this far?
Armstrong : Yeah, as long as I remember…I just saw a picture of myself, I had to be like one or two, and I was in a football helmet and I was holding a football. So, as long as I remember, I’ve wanted to play football. And, every time they asked what do you want to do when you grow up, I’d always say football player. It wouldn’t even be a question about what I wanted to do. But, it was my goal in the end. I never knew that it was going to take this long or it was going to be this scenic. I can’t sit here and say that, because I would think that would have been a complete lie. But I just knew that if I kept working that anything could happen and I could make it. And, that I could end up playing in the NFL.
Strauss : So, who had the most impact on your football career?
Armstrong : I would say my mom because she was the one driving me to football practices and coming to games, and supporting me. Seeing the way she worked to support us and make sure we had a nice household was very inspirational to me. I knew that I had to keep on working to reach my goal, so that I could give back to her in the long run. I had completely different coaches along the way that all had influences on me as well. But, it all goes back to her, just being inspired by how she worked, and just basically wanting to make her proud.
Strauss : Do you have a nickname?
Armstrong : Oh shoot, I had a nickname in college that really almost has no meaning at all. But, it was the nickname of “Scoope”… Something like that. Same guy that called me jokingly on draft day was the guy that gave me the nickname. He just showed up and said, ‘I’m going to call you Scoope.’ It ended up sticking and everybody started to know me as Scoope. Other than that, it’s just a few plays on my last name. They call me “Strong” or anything like that. Listen, nothing too crazy.
Strauss : Do you have a charity or foundation?
Armstrong : I don’t have one–yet. I want to start one. I want to focus on the playing off the NFL’s “Play 60.” type-of-thing. And just getting kids active. I probably want to also kind of teach kids basically life-skills. Basically about how you have to work hard, be respectful, you got to be humble. Basically, doing all the right things in life you can do whatever you want. You can reach whatever goal you want to get to. I kind of have a plan, I just have to go out and get a couple years under my belt, that’s my plan for what I would like to do.
Strauss : What’s an experience that changed your life for better or worse?
Armstrong : I think when I broke my wrist and tore a ligament in my hand. That was one of the first that kinda helped me. It ended up being a good thing because I had to re-focus and work through it. I try to live my life without any regrets and by doing that, I don’t want to look back on something and sulk and moan, I would much rather basically learn from it and move onto past it. That was my first moment. And then, getting cut from Miami, it was another one of those kind of wake up, humbling experiences. But, sometimes you got to get knocked on your butt before you realize what you need to do, and what you can do. Those two moments, whenever I’m at my lowest, those are when I ended up being able to rise up and be successful. I think.
Strauss : So, what’s your favorite quote?
Armstrong : It comes from the Bible, Proverbs 13:4, the quote is, “The slugger craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.”
Strauss : And, what does that mean to you?
Armstrong : To me, it basically it says that if you’re going to be lazy, that you’re going to sit back and you’re going to want something, but never going to get it, because you’re never going to work for it. If you’re willing to go out there and work and bust your tale, you can get whatever you desire. You can reach whatever level you want to.
Strauss : If you could describe yourself as any ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?
Armstrong : Let’s see, any ice cream flavor… I would be… A good one would be rocky road. It’s been a long journey, I think that one would be good. I’m kind of had conflicts. What’s in there? Marshmallows. I can be a softy at times… but I think a good one would be rocky road.
Strauss : For someone who wants to make it in the NFL, what advice do you have?
Armstrong : Just keep on working. Make sure you stay focused, each and every play. And to be the best, that they could be at that time. They won’t ever know if it’s the last play or not. And you need to make sure you show your focus and concentration. Be aware of the drive and perseverance to do it day in and day out!
Strauss : Is there anything you want to tell Redskins fans that we have not talked about?
Armstrong : I would just say to all the Redskins fans, just support your team through thick or thin. We’re out there working hard! We got some good things to keep it going!
Strauss : Thank you for so much your time!
Armstrong : Oh yeah, no problem!
Announcement : Thank you for listening to the interview with Anthony Armstrong. I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope you leave your comments below! Please continue to check out my website https://prointerviews.org/, “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 interviews.
->Here are the personal questions Anthony Armstrong answered.<-
Strauss : If you could meet anyone who would it be and why?
Armstrong : Let’s see… I’d like to meet to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I’d like to meet him and learn about his causes and everything and get his own personal view on everything. But I would like to also hear what he had to say, face-to-face. I’d also like to meet Coach Tony Dungy. I read his books, and he is a very inspirational guy. He is somebody that you learn a lot from just being around and listening to his wisdom and his knowledge.
Strauss : If you weren’t playing in the NFL, what would you want to do?
Armstrong : I would probably be coaching because I think doing football is when I am the most happy. It’s kind of like my getaway from the real world. I go out there and have fun, and run around, and do what I’m most happy doing. But, it’d probably be coaching.
Strauss : What level of coaching?
Armstrong : Hmm, if I wouldn’t be playing. If I needed to find the easiest way in, I would want to get into high school coaching. But, I have some friends at West Texas. Since I know their staff, it makes them loose. I would help make their receivers the best receivers I could .
Strauss : Who was your childhood star?
Armstrong : Growing up, I loved watching Deion Sanders. I loved the way he approached the game and his fun that he had out there. It’s because he was so electrifying. He was always making plays on offense, defense, special teams. I think when I got a little older, I started watching Marvin Harrison, after that season where he caught 143 passes, something like that. And, I tried to imitate my game off of him. But I liked, pretty much, all the motivating football players out there, and the ones that stand out.
Strauss : What is your favorite TV Show?
Armstrong : I watch a whole bunch of SportsCenter. That’s really what my television stays on when I really do watch TV. Sometimes, I’ll catch stuff on HGTV and other real-estate TV shows. They’re pretty interesting to me.
Strauss : What is your favorite movie of all time?
Armstrong : I like “Coming to America”, “Harlem Knights”, “Life”, and one last one would be, “Any Given Sunday”. I guess I got to add “Salt” to the list after recently seeing it.
Strauss : What is your favorite type of pie?
Armstrong : I would say probably just apple pie. Whenever I do get some, I can always eat it…especially when it’s warm, and you get the ice cream on top, that’s the best part!
Strauss : What would your last meal on earth be?
Armstrong : It would be a Thanksgiving meal. It would be probably turkey, dressing, gravy, cranberry sauce, it’s the full out, Turkey Thanksgiving dinner.
Strauss : Thank you so much for taking the time.
Armstrong : Thank you! Keep up the great work!