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September 13, 2011

Bengals WR, Jerome Simpson Interview

by Max Strauss

Jerome Simpson played college football at Coastal Carolina with QB, Tyler Thigpen and RB, Mike Tolbert. entered the 2008 NFL Draft, and was drafted 46th overall. He never produced many stats early in his career. Finally in 2010, he showed major productivity in the final two games. Since Dalton’s arrival, his production has grown and he is most well known for his front-flip TD in a game against the Arizona Cardinals. This interview was conducted before the flip, and in early September of the 2011 NFL season.

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Click here to download the audio with Jerome Simpson. 

The background music was produced by Eastern Stereo. Click here for more of their music.
Click to download “Desert Song” and  Click to download “A Passage”

Announcement : My name is Max Strauss with, and I’d like to welcome you to the interview with Jerome Simpson. Simpson played football at Coastal Carolina from 2004 through 2007. He broke and set numerous receiving records during his time there. He then entered the 2008 NFL Draft,  and was drafted in the 2nd round, 46th overall by the Cincinnati Bengals. He didn’t get much playing time throughout the first two years, but broke out in the final games of last season when given an opportunity. He is currently the Bengals’ starting wide receiver. Here is the interview with Jerome Simpson, and I hope you enjoy the collage also.

Strauss : How do you connect with your fans?

Simpson : I try just being a real dude. I try to be as friendly as possible to everybody. I try to greet them, and I feel like I’m just like you. The only difference is I have to go out and perform, and I’m paid for catching footballs. It’s pretty cool to be able to catch footballs because I can make people smile. It’s awesome that I could do that. My twitter is @Rome089. My Facebook is Jerome Simpson. I also have a webpage which is

Strauss : What was your high school football experience like?

Simpson : My high school football experience was fabulous. We won three back to back championships during my sophomore, junior, and senior years. My junior year we also won in basketball too. Also, my track team, we won our 4×4 relay too. My high school sports’ experience was actually great. 

Strauss : How big was your school?

Simpson : It was a 2A school. It was kind of small, but we had great athletes there.

Strauss : What was the transition like to Coastal Carolina?

Simpson : It was a cool transition, going from high school to going into Coastal Carolina. The people there are great man. I chose it because the coaches didn’t pressure me to come. I could have gone to a big school, but those guys they appreciated me coming in, and I loved meeting with the coaches and learning what they were about. I love the school. It was beautiful. It’s right by the beach. The classrooms were small, so you could learn instead of those big stadium-style classrooms. The teachers knew you on a personal level, and that’s what I really liked about going to school at Coastal Carolina because you could get a good education and really learn something there. The teachers know you by name.

Strauss : You played with Tyler Thigpen for three years in college, what was he like? 

Simpson : Tyler [Thigpen] is a good dude. He’s a really good guy. We were like brothers there. We went through a lot of things, but we stuck together, and he made me who I am today, and I made him who he was. It was a really good experience being able to learn from a guy that I could trust. He helped me get me to where I needed to be, and I could help him to get him where he needed to be. We made things happen. We played well together. It was a great overall experience to play with him at Coastal Carolina.

Strauss : I also did some research and found that you were involved with track in college too…

Simpson : Yeah, I was involved in track in college too. I was mostly a jumper, and I did the 400 a couple times and the 200 too. Basically, I did that just to keep me in shape and help me bring out my best for football. Everything I did was to revolved around getting me better for football.

Strauss : During your junior season, you set records with Tyler Thigpen. Basically, you broke every record. What record do you think has the most significance at Coastal Carolina, one that you look back on and you’re very proud of?

Simpson : I’m just proud I had most catches. I made All-American. I was happy that I could help put the school on the map. We were a good program. We only had added a football program like eight or nine years before that. I don’t know. We were a newer program. I set a record, but records are meant to be broken. I just set a standard for Coastal Carolina. We were a new school, but we were able to bring better players in, which was great. We didn’t have a traditional program, but scouts needed to give other teammates looks, and we helped bring more to the school.

Strauss : You then lost Tyler Thigpen. How did you deal with that going into your senior season?

Simpson : It was hard, but nothing that I’ve ever done before. I had to go out there and show scouts that I could still play hard. I was just trying to help the team the best that I could. My senior year we still played pretty good. As long as we were winning, I was happy, and it didn’t matter what the stats I had were. I just wanted to win ball games.

Strauss : One other teammate we’ll talk about, that you played with throughout your four years while you were at Coastal Carolina, RB, Mike Tolbert. What was your relationship with him?

Simpson : Yeah. We called him, ‘The Bowling Ball.’ We were like brothers too. We hung out a lot. We had a great relationship too. He’s a great guy from Georgia. We bonded a lot too. We hung out together, and stuck together. Mike was a great guy, and he’s from a great family. He’s a real guy. 

Strauss : What was it like to attend the NFL Scouting Combine?

Simpson : That was just… wow. To be considered one of the top athletes that they invited to the combine. To know that I was going to have a chance to make it into the league was awesome especially coming out of a small school like Coastal Carolina. Especially since they haven’t had football for so long. It was phenomenal that I could have that exposure, and I could get a chance to try to make it to the league.

Strauss : Then, what was your Pro Day like?

Simpson : My Pro Day was great. I didn’t have to do too much, I just had to go out there and run routes. I had to redo my vertical jump, because at the Combine it was wrong or something… I’m glad I had all those scouts out there because I got my friends looks too. I’m not a selfish guy. I want my friends to make it too. It was good I helped the school get exposure in terms of getting scouts down there and everything. It was just a great experience. I was confident because I did so well at the combine that I just didn’t have too much to sweat about at my Pro Day.

Strauss : The draft rolls around, and what was your draft day experience like?

Simpson : My family and I didn’t even watch the NFL Draft until we got back home. This is the story with that: My family didn’t want me to watch the Draft because they didn’t want me to be stressed out. I didn’t think I was going to go in the first day. I thought I was going to go in the third round or something. I got picked in the 2nd round. We were actually coming back from eating a pizza place in Greensboro, North Carolina. We were on Highway 29, coming down the road. I got a call from Coach Lewis, and he said, ‘What are you doing son?’ I was like, ‘I’m chilling with my family.’ We pulled over on the side of the road. I was actually driving my Uncle’s truck too. I tried to keep it come from my family, but they kind-of knew what the phone call was. So, Coach Lewis said, ‘You might want to turn your T.V. on, because we’re about to draft you in the 2nd round, with the 46th pick.’ We got out of the car on the highway, and we were just ecstatic. People were driving by and you could see they were like, ‘What’s going on with those people?’ It was one of the happiest days of my whole life.

Strauss : Throughout your first couple of years, you didn’t get much production. What was that like?

Simpson : It was tough. It was really tough. I’m a player. I want to play. I’m competitive, but sitting here and thinking about, I was behind some great receivers. You had Chad Ochocinco, Chad Johnson back then. Terrell Owens. T.J. Houshmanzadeh. Laveranues Coles. Andre Caldwell. I was behind these great receivers, and thinking about it now, it was a blessing. Because I got to sit behind those guys and learn how to be an elite receiver. It was a blessing. To be able to converse with those guys, and come to a team like this, it was a blessing. I did come from a small school, so I got to learn. But, now it is my time.

Strauss : What was your relationship like with Carson Palmer?

Simpson : Carson Palmer, we were cool. He was the kind of guy who would show you how to do things. He taught me a lot. He helped me to stay on point. Carson was a positive influence.

Strauss : What was your relationship like with Chad Ochocinco or Chad Johnson?

Simpson : He’s cool. Chad taught me how to be a dog the field, and just to keep going, and to push it, and to always go hard and compete. that’s what I really learned from Chad. He taught me how to be a dog on that field, and just go hard. He taught me by having me compete across from him every time.

Strauss : What was your relationship like with Terrell Owens [T.O.]?

Simpson : He was good. He taught me how to take care of my body. He’s a smart player. He actually used a Hyperbaric Chamber, and I got in it a couple of times. I even went out to buy myself one. It helps keep the body fresh. He helped me take care of my body.

Strauss : Jordan Shipley was drafted last year, what’s he like?

Simpson : Jordan is chill. He’s a happy-go-lucky guy. He likes to play guitar. He’s cool though. He’s kind of quiet, but he’s a hard worker. He’s one of the hardest working people I’ve seen. He works out a lot. He never complains. You got to love his work ethic. Jordan is a good guy. I really like him. I trust him a lot as the slot receiver.

Strauss : What’s it like to play for Head Coach, Marv Lewis?

Simpson : Coach Lewis is cool. He’s a good coach. He’s a defensive coach, but he’s cool.

Strauss : Do you have a charity or foundation that you support?

Simpson : I have a couple of them. I support one that gives money to cancer.  I try to support all of my teammates if they have any events for their organizations. I really try to give back to the kids who have cancer, and that’s so tough for someone to have go through.

Strauss : If you had to choose one experience if your life that changed it for the better, what would it be?

Simpson : I guess sitting on the bench three years ago. I was never not a starter. It helped me realize that you got to work hard. I mean I never had a problem with working hard, but sometimes you have to sit back and humble yourself. Thats something that kind of changed me.

Strauss : In the last two weeks, you were extremely productive. What’s it like to look back on those two weeks?

Simpson : It was a lot of pressure just off my back. Just to show these people that there was a reason why they drafted me in the 2nd round with the 46th pick. I got that boulder off my back. I pulled it off my back. I shook it off. It just made my town and city happy.

Strauss : If you had to describe yourself as any ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?

Simpson : Um… shoot… Ice cream flavor… I’d probably be strawberry or something because I’m sweet. I’m a sweet guy. I don’t know… I’d be a strawberry delight cupcake. That sounds good.

Strauss : For someone who wants to play in the NFL, what’s the best advice you can give them?

Simpson : Just always work hard and go hard. There are going to be som times when you’re up and some times when you’re down. There are going to be more times that you’re up rather than being down. Always work hard and be the best you can be. Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do anything. Always be the best that you can. Somebody else out there is looking up to you, no matter if it’s a kid or a fan, and there’s always somebody out there looking up to you, so be the best you can. An opportunity can present itself all the time, so always go hard.

Strauss : Is there anything else you want to tell your fans from Coastal Carolina or Cincinnati that we haven’t really talked about?

Simpson : No matter what you do or whatever you do, it doesn’t matter if you’re a garbage man or a reporter, or whatever, just be the best at it that you can be. That’s what I would say, just be the best at it that you can be. Always keep it safe in whatever you do. Everybody can’t be a football player. One time some girl back home said to me, ‘Everybody can’t be lucky like you Jerome. Not everyone gets to play football.’ I said, ‘You don’t have to play football, just find what you’re good at, and just be the best at that.’ It doesn’t matter whatever you are. We have to have firemen. We have to have policemen. We have to have teachers. Just be the best that you can be at it. Just be a professional with it. If there’s one thing that I could tell anybody in this world, just be the best at what you do. Not everyone can play this game. I can’t be a police officer, but whatever you do, just be the best at it. Strive to be the best. Don’t wait on somebody else. Know what you want to do and be the best at it.

Strauss : Thank you so much for your time Jerome. I really appreciate it.

Simpson : No problem bro.

Announcement : Thank you for listening to the interview with Jerome Simpson. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you leave your comments below as well! Please check out my website for other interviews, “LIKE” the Facebook page at, and follow me on twitter at Please subscribe to me on YouTube at Thanks again for listening! Stay tuned for more, and feel free to contact me!

->Here are the personal questions that Jerome Simpson answered.<-

Strauss : If you could meet anyone, who would it be and why?

Simpson : It would be Jerry Rice. When I first came out into the league, we had our rookie symposium, I got to see him. I didn’t get to talk to him. I really would like to meet him and pick his brain. Jerry Rice would be the guy I would just love to meet. I’d like to talk about some of the things he went through being a wide receiver, and learn how he got to the top. 

Strauss : If you weren’t playing in the NFL, what would you want to do?

Simpson : I’d probably be a computer technician. Growing up, I loved messing with computers. I loved learning different things about them, fixing them, and trying to find different problems. I also think that I would probably be good at coaching too. I’d want to coach kids. I love to motivate  kids. I think I’d be really good at motivating kids and pushing them to be the best that they can be, and get that out of them.

Strauss : Who was your childhood star?

Simpson : Jerry Rice all the way. I love how hard he worked and how he dealt with adversity. He wasn’t the fastest guy, couldn’t jump the highest, but he still got it done. He’s in the Hall of Fame and he is one of the greatest receivers of all time.

Strauss : What is your favorite TV Show?

Simpson : My favorite TV Show would probably be the First 48. Just seeing how they solve those crimes, it’s amazing. I don’t think I could ever do that to pick peoples’ brains like that, and solve crimes the way that they do. I think it’s amazing to see how people work to catch criminals. It’s awesome with what they do with their jobs, risking their lives, and they have family and everything, it’s totally awesome.

Strauss : What is your favorite movie of all time?

Simpson : My favorite movie would be Harlem Knights. That movie is hilarious. It had so many good actors in it. I laughed through the whole movie because it’s so funny. It’s like nonstop comedy. I could watch that movie a million times and I could laugh at a new joke every time. 

Strauss : What is your favorite type of pie?

Simpson : Sweet Potato is my favorite pie. Hands down. I think my grandmother makes the best sweet potato pie in the world.

Strauss : What would your last meal on earth be?

Simpson : It would be chicken wings and corn. To drink, I’d have Sun Drop Citrus Soda. 

Strauss : Thank you for answering the personal questions.

Simpson : No problem. Anytime.


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