Former NFL OL, Everett Lindsay Interview
Everett Lindsay played college football at Ole Miss. He earned 1st-Team All American Honors during his junior and senior year. He entered the 1993 NFL Draft, and was selected in the 5th round by the Vikings. He started his career playing for the Vikings, the Ravens, and the Browns, and then ended his career again with the Vikings. He played in 138 games and started 63 games during his time in the NFL.
Strauss : If you didn’t end up playing in the NFL, what did you want to do?
Lindsay : That’d be tough because I thought about doing a lot of different things when I was younger, and then you learn certain things when you’re in the NFL over time. I’d probably go into business for myself or I would pursue of my accounting degree and stuff like that.
Strauss : So when you were growing up, who was your childhood star?
Lindsay : I was a big fan of the Saints and I was a big fan of the Raiders. My childhood star was probably Deriwlyn Moore who was a defensive lineman for the Saints. And, I liked Dave Casper played tight end with the Raiders. I liked a lot of Saints, Chuck Muncie, Wes Chandler, Archie Manning. Growing up the Saints were my team. Then, I liked the Raiders too.
Strauss : What was your high school football experience like?
Lindsay : I only played one year of high school football. It was really eye-opening, I did not know how to play football very well. I was kind of raw. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I was kind of running around like a big meat-head.
Strauss : What influenced you to play football before in high school?
Lindsay : My father influenced me. I played baseball and basketball growing up. I played all sports. But, football where I grew up in Baton Rouge, growing up, I was always a bigger kid, taller, and weighed more. They always had weight classes for football and age-oriented. I was always going to have to play up two or three years to play football. So when I was eight, I played ten and eleven year olds. When I was ten or eleven, I had to play with thirteen or fourteen year olds, so I really never got into it.
Strauss : Do you remember the transition from high school to college football?
Lindsay : Yeah, it was a big one. I had a great coach in college that taught me a lot of things. It made me a much better player. His name is Joe Wickline, he’s still coaching with Oklahoma State.
Strauss : What was it like to walk on at such a competitive program?
Lindsay : It was interesting. I was a big, athletic kid and I had a lot of tools. Once I learned how to play the game, I don’t think the walk-on part wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t think that the guys were that much better athletes than I was. Or, stronger or anything like that. It was just about learning to play the game. I think I would have done well at a lot of programs, but I liked Ole Miss at the time. They loved walk-ons. I had a coach that believed I was going to be a good player, so that helped.
Strauss : What are some experiences at Ole Miss that you remember?
Lindsay : Good experiences. Just the guys that I hung out with were great. We played in the Southeastern Conference which means we played against good competition every week. We got to go to some bowl games. I made so many different All-American teams. I got to go take so many trips. I got Playboy All-American, going to the Bob Hope show. All the different stuff I did, they were all great experiences. I loved the college experience. I still think college is probably a much more fun game, a lot less pressure.
Strauss : What’d you major in at Ole Miss?
Lindsay : I got my degree in General Business.
Strauss : Did you have a best friend at Ole Miss?
Lindsay : My best friend at Ole Miss was a guy named James Holcombe (OG, 1991-92, OT 1994) who currently lives in Savannah, Georgia. He was probably my best friend. He was a guy that I played with.
Strauss : Do you have a favorite memory with him?
Lindsay : With him, I don’t know, just playing football right next to him. We played on the line together. We did a lot of stuff outside of football together, fishing and all that stuff. We had that camaraderie together.
Strauss : Do you have a favorite memory from Ole Miss?
Lindsay : I don’t know. I think my senior year we dog-trashed Air Force, that was a pretty good memory. Beating LSU on Halloween. We beat them 28-0 or whatever it was. There are so many good memories from college. Good games. I couldn’t just pick one. Just the whole experience of college was great.
Strauss : What was it like to be an All-American in 1991 and 1992?
Lindsay : Well, like I said, I got to take some great trips. Our sports information director was a great guy. He worked hard to get me to be seen as an All-American and all that stuff. I got to take some great trips. They were all great experiences.
Strauss : What do you remember about (former Ole Miss head coach) Billy Brewer?
Lindsay : He was very organized. He was a great selector of coaches. He always picked a great staff of teachers and coaches to work with his players. I think he was a great overseer of the program at the time. I really enjoyed playing for him.
Strauss : What was your whole draft day experience like?
Lindsay : Well, it was exciting to get drafted. I was a little disappointed, thought I would go earlier. But you know, it really didn’t matter. A lot of people talk about when you’re going to get drafted and all that stuff. I was disappointed initially being drafted in the fifth round. I thought I would go much earlier. Once you get there you realize, everybody’s in the same spot, you’re all trying to compete for starting jobs, and jobs in general.
Strauss : Did you learn anything at Ole Miss that helped you in the NFL?
Lindsay : I think technique wise a ton. Playing in the Southeastern Conference, you compete against good players every week. I think that’s what helped me a lot because in the NFL, nobody’s bad, everybody’s good. Playing in the Southeastern Conference prepared me week in and week out playing against good players, It taught me how to prepare before the game. How to prepare and play against different players.
Strauss : What was your film study like?
Lindsay : I was always a big film study guy. I always watched a ton of film. I always watched different players. I was a playbook collector. I’ve got different teams and took other people’s notes about people too. I’d copy them on different players they’ve played against. I always brought film home with me. I always felt like I wanted to be the most prepared.
Strauss : What was your favorite memory with the Vikings?
Lindsay : With the Vikings, like I said… We went to the NFC Championship, we played a lot of big games. But just as an experience, just being with a great group of guys. I played with a couple of guys who are going to be in the Hall of Fame. One who is in the Hall of Fame. Also, there were a lot of Pro Bowl players. The camaraderie that we had as well, we had a good group of guys, and we hung out. As a whole, or one, I can’t ever put one memory in check because there are so many good ones.
Strauss : What was it like to start your career with the Vikings and end your career with the Vikings?
Lindsay : Well, it was good. It’s always good if somebody wants you. Going back and forth, it was always a good experience. I loved playing for Denny [Green]. I loved playing for Mike [Tice]. I played with Mike, he was my tight end when I first got there. He played next to me. I always had a good relationship with all of my coaches.
Strauss : I’ve talked to a lot of people, and they say, getting in the league is not as hard as staying in the league. How’d you stay in the leagues so long?
Lindsay : I think you have to prepare and adapt. For me, I was able to play so many different positions and because I studied and because I always constantly evolving at all these different positions. I mean that gave me a lot of longevity in my career because I could do so much. Other people couldn’t do. Some guys could play one position, and they’re stuck in that. For me, I could play all five so it allowed the Vikings that I could back up all five positions. You wouldn’t have dress so many guys. I could do basically what you needed me to do. That really helped me in last two or three years to stick around.
Strauss : I’ve been asking you a lot about memories. Can you pick out a memory from the 1998 (NFC Champion) season?
Lindsay : You know there are so many good ones in that season. It seemed like the season flew by. I mean, just felt like to me, that nobody could beat us. No matter what happened. If anything bad happened, nobody could beat us. Everything flowed well. Our offense seemed like it was unstoppable at times. We had great camaraderie in the locker room all of the time. Everybody got along. It was fun. Everything’s fun when you’re winning.
The memory that sticks in my head is losing at the end of the year. That was a terrible feeling, a feeling you never want to experience. That’s always what you remember and kind of learn by. You never want to feel that disappointment, so you work harder and harder and harder to not have that. Games that I really remember… I remember coming back against Chicago being down in the first half. I remember beating a good Jacksonville team by about forty points. I remember playing against Baltimore, playing 91 plays in the game, offensive plays and special teams. I remember waking up never being that sore in my life. There were so many great memories. Beating Green Bay on monday night, it’s just endless memories from that year.
Strauss : Did you have a nickname when you played football?
Lindsay : Everyone just called “Eve”.
Strauss : What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you throughout playing football?
Lindsay : The funniest thing… gosh. There are so many practical jokes we played in the locker room. Minnesota gets so cold. There are so many things you can do to people. You put everyone’s possessions in a bucket and stick it in a water during practice, and then the bucket of water is solid. There are so many funny things. Especially with offensive linemen, there are so many practical jokes we play on each other. Never ending. Eleven years, daily occurrences.
Strauss : What was it like to play for the Ravens and the Browns?
Lindsay : There were good experiences. I remember them well. I remember when I got traded to Baltimore, and it was the same offense as Minnesota. It was really good. It was developing and they won the Super Bowl the next year. They had a great defense. A great, great group of guys. A great locker room. Cleveland was a little different, a few older guys there. It was a very young team. I think they were trying to develop a lot of talent. We weren’t very good on offense. We weren’t very good on defense. We weren’t very good on Special Teams. We were a really bad team. But, it made for a long year, but that happens when you’re a new organization trying to develop.
Strauss : Have you ever thought about joining twitter and connecting with fans?
Lindsay : Oh no, that sounds like more work. I don’t do everything that I do. I do a lot of stuff on computers as far as evaluations. Not with twitter, I’ve been a Facebook fan, and I keep in touch with friends and fans and all that stuff. It’s just not for me.
Strauss : For someone aspiring to play football in the NFL, what’s the best advice you can give them?
Lindsay : Learn. Develop. Take advice from coaches and people who have been there. Remember if you’re playing in college, your resume is on tape. Everything you do is being evaluated and looked at. You could be the greatest guy, you could live all the weights, but your resume is on tape. That’s what kind of a football player you are. That’s how I evaluate. Like I said, stay out of trouble. There are so many things I tell kids all the time. That’s it. Learn as much as you can. Develop your skills as much as you can. Learn from everybody that you can. Your resume will be on tape.
Strauss : Is there anything you want to tell fans that we haven’t talked about?
Lindsay : Nothing really. Football has been a great experience for me. Twenty something years of my life, and it still continues to be now. So… I enjoy and enjoyed doing it, and I’m going to keep doing it and stay involved.
Strauss : Thank you so much for your time Everett, I really appreciate it.
Lindsay : Okay. Thank you. If you have any other questions that I can answer for you, give me a holler.