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November 11, 2011

Jaguars DT, C.J. Mosley Interview

by Max Strauss

C.J. Mosley attended Missouri University. He then entered the 2005 NFL Draft, and was selected 191st overall by the Minnesota Vikings. Right after his rookie season, he was traded to the New York Jets. He was a member of the Jets for three years. In 2009 and 2010 he was on the Cleveland Browns roster before they cut him. The first interview was conducted once right before the 2010 NFL season. Then, he signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the 2nd interview was done in the middle of the 2011 season. He recently re-signed to remain with the Jags.I met C.J. Mosley at T.E.A.M. Elam Charity Event,

[Updated Interview as of 11/11/11]

Strauss : What is Jacksonville like?

Mosley : It’s pretty big, but still laid back. The people are real friendly here!!  

Strauss : What’s it finally like wearing the number 99? Why do you wear it?

Mosley : It feels good. I feel like I’ve been reunited with a long lost friend or something… LOL!! I changed my number at the beginning of camp, but I did not really feel worthy of it then. I wear it with pride now. I wear #99 because Warren Sapp was my all-time favorite Defensive Tackle!!

Strauss : With the injuries to the defensive line, how important has your role become with the Jaguars?

Mosley : My role has always been the same. To fill in when needed. Nothing has changed, and I’m very excited to have and do this job! 

Strauss : What was your first sack like with the Jaguars’ organization?

Mosley : I just got it vs. Houston!! I was very, very, very happy because I know how hard I worked to be on this team and actually be a guy my teammates and coaches can trust to grind along with them!! The 1st thing I did was point to the Jaguars bench!

Strauss : Who’s your best friend on the Jaguars? Do you have a good story to share from the season? 

Mosley : Honestly, this team is filled with great people from the top of the roster to the bottom. But my fellow defensive line, I consider everyone of them to be my brothers except #69 Douz!! He’s not in the circle.  Lol!! JK!! Yeah I got a quick, little story. So, during camp I was working on getting my weight down. That consisted of eating right and on a schedule. So I was eating a protein bar in meetings with my position coach which is really a normal thing to do.  I was advised by Kampman to do it. So I’m eating the protein bar and I guess my position coach was having a bad day or something. All of a sudden out of nowhere he just starts yelling at me saying, “Don’t be eating no F$&$&ng candy bars in here!!” Lol!! Everybody was dying laughing!! Clearly it’s a protein bar, not a candy bar, and clearly I was working on getting my body right by eating right. I looked at the “candy” bar with a look of disgust and threw it on the table which almost got me kicked out the room!! I haven’t had a protein bar since!! lol.

[Old Interview as of 07/25/2010]

Strauss : How long have you played football?

Mosley : I’ve played football as long as I could remember. Wasn’t organized football until the 7th grade.

Strauss : Did you play any other sports in high school?

Mosley : Yes, I did track and I placed 3rd in State in the shot.

Strauss : What is your favorite sport to play other than football?

Mosley : Basketball was always my 1st love. Most memorable, let me see. You know how LeBron does those trick shots at the before games! I had one that is gonna be pretty difficult to do again. I kicked a basketball a little ways out past half court and the ball went in the basket. Swish!!!! I ran out the gym screaming, and of course nobody saw it, but me. Lol!

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

Mosley : Some type of production. I love movies, and 99% of the time I predict the outcome. And I love music, beats in particular, then lyrics. Hip Hop of course.

Strauss : When did you realize that you were going to play football in college and in the NFL?

Mosley : Probably like at age 12 or 13 I told myself I wanted to play pro ball. At like 16, I realized I had to go to college first, lol!!!

Strauss : What impact did your high school coach have on your career?

Mosley : My high school coach is Coach Vernon at Waynesville High School in Missouri. He had a lot to do with my success. He’s one of the reasons I made it this far. In high school I didn’t have a car, so every day I had to hustle for a ride home after practice or working out. My homeboy Jon Alexander scooped me a lot during the year. Or my brother Theo. But in the summer it was all Coach Vernon. He asked me how come I didn’t come to workout? I said I didn’t have a ride, so I wasn’t coming! He came and got me every day, or made sure some1 else picked me up if he couldn’t!!

Strauss : Describe the hardest change between high school and college football.

Mosley : Hardest change would be time. Just managing time. Yeah workouts was on some marine type stuff, but just managing time was ridiculous. Class from 8am-2:30am, then practice, then watch film after practice. Then study hall from 7-9pm because I needed to hit the books harder was tough. Maybe had 2 free hours out the day.

Strauss : Why did you choose number 99 at Missouri?

Mosley : Besides Warren Sapp, 99 is the last number on the roster and also the highest. Ain’t  no going past 9nine 9nine.

Strauss : What is your favorite memory from Missouri?

Mosley : Several stick out. Best team moment is beating the Nebraska Cornhuskers for the 1st time in like 40+ years I think it was. I’ve had a lot of decent individual performances but personally my best moment had to be the vicious hit I put on KU’s quarterback Bill Whittemore.

Strauss : What was it like to earn First Team all Big 12 honors in 2004?

Mosley : A little weird. The Associated Press named me 1st Team and the coaches named me honorable mention in 04 when the coaches named me 2nd team All Big 12 the year before! So I thought that was funny. It’s documented, look it up!

Strauss : How had your game improved throughout your tenure at Missouri?

Mosley : In college, it was all athletic ability and my defensive coordinator at the time Coach Eberflus putting us in the right places to make plays.

Strauss : What did you learn from playing football at Missouri?

Mosley : At Mizzou, you were held accountable for your teammates actions as well as yours. Because what you do may hurt the team on and off the field.

Strauss : What impact did your college coach have on your pro career?

Mosley : Coach Craig Kuligowski is a great Defensive Line coach. Although his words weren’t the kindest, saying I’d probably get cut my first year in the league, I know he has a special place in his heart for me!!! Lolol.

Strauss : What was your draft day experience like?

Mosley : My draft letter was 2-4, so I was expecting to go anywhere in there. But as we all know, things sometimes don’t happen the way you wish for them to. It was the worst and best day of my life at the same time. Worst for going through the rounds and not hearing your name called and flash across that screen but best because it happened. And right before it did, Coach Tice of the Minnesota Vikings at the time called me and kept his word in drafting me also expressing how much he loved me. But not just saying it, actually showing me when I got there in Minnesota.

Strauss : What was going through your mind when you were drafted by the Vikings, 191st overall?

Mosley : Just every emotion you could have from being disappointed and angry to relieved and happy and appreciative to being wanted.

Strauss : What was it like to earn playing time in your first year in the NFL?

Mosley : It was a dream come true. Our Pro Bowl DT Kevin Williams got hurt, and Coach Baker sent me in to do a job. Had 7 tackles 2 sacks and 1 forced fumble with my 1st and 2nd sacks in the NFL vs the Browns.

Strauss : What was it like to get your first sack?

Mosley : The 1st sack in the NFL was the ultimate instant confidence booster. Ironically, it was against the Cleveland Browns QB, Trent Dilfer, which was also a strip sack!

Strauss : What do you expect from playing in the NFL?

Mosley : I just expect to be the best I can be, and fulfill my dream of being a champion.

Strauss : How has your game improved since college?

Mosley : Just being a smarter player. Knowing what to expect and what’s coming rather just being so aggressive and reckless.

Strauss : How important has film been to your development? What do you look for?

Mosley : Film is very important. In high school and college you can probably get away with not watching any film and just beast everyone. But since everyone on this level is roughly the same size, strength and speed, you have to find a way to gain an advantage and small tendencies like a formation or a O Lineman leaning a certain way can definitely give you a heads up on what is about to happen! I look fortendencies like O Lineman stance (is he heavy or not is a clue to run or pass) formations & down and distance.

Strauss : What is the hardest workout for you to complete?

Mosley : There is none really, I just act like they are all tough. Most irritating is probably super setting with a circuit.

Strauss : How has the number process worked throughout your entire NFL Career?

Mosley : I was drafted as 96, and I chose that because I was drafted in the 6th round. And if your not a high pick in the draft your not going to have a lot of room to work with or be choosy about. So I was really a victim of that with 95 and 69. But the theory behind 69 is I just flipped a 9 off 99. Now freaking Scott Fujita has 99….

Strauss : What has been the hardest thing for you to do since you started playing football?

Mosley : Playing through the pain, not physical but mental. Playing through the loss of loved ones. Both Grandparents on my father side, and Great Grandmother and Grandmother on my mothers side past in a close time frame to each other. Capped off by my Grandfather Richard Hope having a stroke a couple days after his wife had one. And finally my heart, my mother Angela Mosley passing from breast cancer.

Strauss : Who gave you the nickname C.J. and what about Big Downs?

Mosley : My father, I’m Calvin Jr. My real nick name is “Big Downs” given to me by my college roommate and best friend now Orlando Gooden! If it was a big down in the game like 3rd down, I tried to make it my duty to put the team on my back and make a big play! So “Big Downs”, I listened to K Rino enough to think of a cool acronym. “Downs” Destroying Obstacles With Nonstop Success.

Strauss : What is your favorite charity? Why? Why do you donate?

Mosley : My favorite are Brad Smith or Abe Elam’s charity events. Brad because that’s my guy, but Abe because of his story and what he stands for. I donate to give back, and if you can’t donate $, it donate your time. It’s important for our youth to actually see us so they realize their dreams are not that far from reality since we could have similar stories or backgrounds.

Strauss : What was your favorite part of the Abe Elam event where we met?

Mosley : Definitely the bowling, that was plenty of fun and relaxing, but seeing the kids was also great. Oh, and next time you challenge me, get some lessons so you stand a chance against me! Lolol.

Strauss : Could you have predicted how far football was going to carry you?

Mosley : Of course not. Although it was my dream, at one point I thought I might not even get the chance to play because I was drafted so late, expecting to go earlier. But everything happens for a reason and I wouldn’t take the experience back for nothing because it made me want to work even harder.

Strauss : What is an experience that changed your life?

Mosley : Definitely meeting my beautiful wife Cassandra Mosley, who is going to be a killer real estate agent in South Florida.

Strauss : What is your favorite quote?

Mosley : “Each battle is won before it is ever fought.”

Strauss : For someone aspiring to play football in the NFL, do you have any advice for them?

Mosley : Don’t try to do too much growing up too fast. Be a kid and handle what your supposed to handle. Take care of school then football, and everything else will come.

Strauss : So, C.J., who was your childhood star? Why?

Mosley : Warren Sapp! Because he was vicious, sweet, powerful and just mean!

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

Mosley : It would be Osama Bin Laden, I don’t think I need to say why.

Strauss : What was your favorite NFL team growing up?

Mosley : Dan Marino and the Miami Dolphins.

Strauss : When did you see your first live NFL game? Who played?

Mosley : That’s a tough one, but probably a Dolphins game.

Strauss : What is your favorite song to listen to before a game?

Mosley : I’m glad you asked me, I have several! If it was one or two songs only it would be Pastor Troy’s monumental Master P diss entitled “We Ready”. And DMX “Stop Being Greedy”

Strauss : What is your favorite movie of all time?

Mosley : Awwwwww man…so many. Martin Lawrence “Life” or “Roscoe Jenkins” as far as comedy. Other than that is “Running Scared” and “Boondock Saints”

Strauss : What is your favorite snack food?

Mosley : Popcorn… All flavors. The airport in Chicago has a store that sells the best popcorn I’ve had.

Strauss : What is your favorite type of pie?

Mosley : Pecan Pie or Cheesecake.

Strauss : What is your favorite Ice cream flavor?

Mosley : Butter Pecan or Cookies and Cream

Strauss : What is your favorite TV-Show?

Mosley : My favorite TV show is Dexter, which Brady Quinn put me on.

Strauss : What is your favorite meal?

Mosley : Anything my wife cooks.

Strauss : What is your favorite video game?

Mosley : My favorite video game was Halo, I used to wreck on that before they started cheating. Now it would have to be the God of War series.

Strauss : What superhero do you think would win ANY fight against any other Superhero?

Mosley : Favorite superhero. They don’t make tough superheroes any more man. Superman has kryptonite, The Hulk gets weak for any pretty girl, Ironman and alcohol don’t mix well at all. Can’t pick God, huh?

Strauss : What is the one thing you can’t leave your house without?

Mosley : My iPhone as it is my iPod also.

Strauss : Is there anything you want to tell your fans that I have not asked?

Mosley : Yes, I play for you. Every day after a hard practice where we are feeling sorry for ourselves, Coach Mangini has us meet a group of kids that can’t even walk, or can’t even talk right. And in some cases their last wish before a terminal disease or illness takes effect is to just attend a practice and meet the team. So when I’m on the field or before a game that’s who I think about. The people who really has it rough, or something to complain about, or the guys playing Arena Ball wishing and working to be where I am.

Strauss : Thank you for your time and should I wear 69 at my school, like you did last year?

Mosley : No prob homeboy. PS…get #99. Broke my leg in 69, and a terrible year, not sure you want those problems!!!!! Lololol!


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