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July 11, 2012

Packers Long Snapper, Brett Goode Interview

by Max Strauss

Brett Goode was a long snapper for the Arkansas Razorbacks and after college, he entered the 2007 NFL Draft, but went undrafted. He went through a series of cuts with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2007 and 2008, and talks about them. He signed with the Packers in 2008, and has remained with the Green Bay Packers since. He was a member of the winning Super Bowl XLV team. He talks about his specialty position, and so much more. This interview was conducted during the 2011-2012 NFL offseason!

Click HERE to download the AUDIO interview!

Brett Goode : This is Brett Goode, long snapper with the Green Bay Packers, and you’re listening to www.ProInterviews.org.

Announcement : My name is Max Strauss with www.ProInterviews.org, www.facebook.com/ProInterviews and www.twitter.com/ProInterviews. I’d like to welcome you to the interview with Brett Goode. Goode was a long snapper for the Arkansas Razorbacks. He entered the 2007 NFL Draft, but was undrafted. He signed on with the Jacksonville Jaguars but was cut before the season. He spent 2007 out of football, but then signed with the Jaguars   the 2008 season. He was cut again, but this time, an opportunity arose, and he signed with the Green Bay Packers. He has remained with the Packers since 2008. He was a member of the winning Super Bowl XLV team. He has played in sixty games in his NFL Career. Here is the interview with Green Bay Packers Long Snapper, Brett Goode.

Strauss : When did you actually start playing football?

Goode : I started playing when I was about five years old. It was at the Boys’ Club, and I’ve been playing ever since. The only time off when I wasn’t playing in an actual season was the entire 2007 year when I got cut by Jacksonville Jaguars.

Strauss : What position did you play growing up?

Goode : It started off as running back and played that all the way through Junior high and then kinda started moving to between target and offense line put a bit of  then in between linebacker.When I get to high school and that’s my sophomore year, one side of the ball so I ended up playing on  offense side of the ball as well as long snapping.

Strauss : When was the first time you actually started long-snapping?

Goode : I was in eighth grade and if I wanted to make the ninth grade team, they had enough at my position, so I learned how to long snap. I was fortunate enough not to be able to get taught when I was in ninth grade by a guy that used to play for the University of Arkansas and he worked with me, and I worked with him throughout all high school and just kept progressing.

Strauss : What was high school football like?

Goode : I played center. We ran the west coast offense for two years and then we ran a single-back formation offense for my senior year. High school was a blast. Being able to go out there and each aspect of high school, college, and pro. They have a different aspects like the cross-town rivals in high school, and then, you have rivalry games in college, and then, the rivalry games that you get in the NFL.

Strauss : Do you have a particular game that stands out in your mind in high school?

Goode : Not really any in particular. Our cross-town rivalry of course, that game was always big. They call it the Battle of Rogers Avenue, which splits the town in half. One group of people go to one school and the other group goes to the other, and anytime you play them, it’s always a hard-fought game.

Strauss : What was your recruiting experience like?

Goode : I was actually fortunate that Matt Jones was at my high school and then he was getting recruited, and the people down there saw me snapping, and invited me to go to a camp, and then, they invited me the next year to walk on, and so I committed to them and walked on for two years, and then after two years they gave me the scholarship for my final three years.

Strauss : What was the transition like to the University of Arkansas?

Goode : It was different when I got through Northside [High School], I was about 185 pounds and obviously, I knew that I needed to gain weight. I tried to gain weight, and I got up to about 205 by the end of my freshman year, and just made that transition. Then luckily, we didn’t just start off like you do in NFL. In the NFL, you’re playing and everybody is at the same speed. We played a little bit lower team, we played Tulsa which is a great team, but  with the speed that we had at Arkansas we were able to out-match them. Our coaches prepared us well going into that game, and it was a pretty smooth transition.

Strauss : What were some of the relationships that you developed in Arkansas with some players?

Goode : You find life long friends throughout. The relationships that you make in the locker room is probably one of the most enjoyable things outside of winning football games. You take people from all across the United States and you put them in a locker room, so you get so many different personalities, and then making those personalities mix and mold together, it’s quite of thrill and it’s fun to be able to talk to so many people from everywhere.

Strauss : Do you have a favorite memory from Arkansas?

Goode : The whole experience was awesome. I enjoyed every single bit of going there. You know obviously I had one mishap that sticks in my head quite a bit, but you know it is what it is and it happened. Nobody is perfect, so you just kind of hop off it and keep moving forward.

Strauss : Being a long snapper you’re not supposed to make any mistakes, and it’s still crucial to the game too. It’s often overlooked until you make a mistake. How do you think you’ve days in college helped you prepare for the NFL?

Goode : I think just the mental aspect of it. Just like you said we are there to not make mistakes, so you have to be close to perfect as you can. Not every snapper is perfect in the snapper’s eye, but a different snap could look bad to us, and it wouldn’t look like that to an average fan. It’s all about improving, and being able to build off of it, and keep getting better every week.

Strauss : Did you participate in like position drills?

Goode : I participated in linebacker drills while I was at Arkansas. And just like I do with the Packers, I participated in the offense line drills because I’m the emergency center, so if they need me, I’d be able to do that.

Strauss : Did you have a Pro Day though at Arkansas?

Goode : It was different. It was unique. I was fortunate to be the first snapper to go to the Senior Bowl, and so that was neat to go to that.  I gained a lot of contact and a lot of peers out there at the Senior Bowl, and then it turned into being able to have some people come down to look at me during my Pro Day. It was neat being able to be around that different lifestyle that you don’t see. All those coaches and they are not just looking at you. They are trying to judge everything about you. It’s not just what you’ve done on film, it’s everything else about the entire game.

Strauss : As a long snapper, did you expect to get drafted?

Goode : No I didn’t. I was in contact with one guy from the Jaguars.  Actually one of their coaches actually called me and he said, they were trying to draft me in the sixth or seventh round, and he said if they didn’t, they wanted to sign me a free agent. At the end of it, they signed me as an undrafted free agent right after the draft.

Strauss : So what was your Draft Day experience like?

Goode : It was pretty crazy. We just sat around, I mean it wasn’t bad. We just sat around, we grilled, and had a little barbecue down here at home. We just kind-of waited to just see what would happen, and luckily I was able to get the opportunity to go to Jacksonville, and get the chance to make their team.

Strauss : And so you went to Jacksonville, what was training camp like until you got cut?

Goode : It was interesting. You’re not used to it from the college aspect. You take out the classrooms, and it’s all-football, all-day, and that was definitely a transition moving into that. It was a nice training camp down there, they had a good fan turn-out, nothing like they do in Green Bay, but they had good fan turn-out, and it was just interesting. Starting to see the playbooks, and going through all the meetings and you know it’s not that detailed in college. There wasn’t a time, and it probably still won’t be in college about how detailed the NFL is, day in and day out.

Strauss : What was it like to get cut?

Goode : It was heartbreaking. It’s about a sixteen and a half hour drive, and I drove down there. You don’t have any idea of when it’s going to happen. I just showed up, and when we were walking out to practice,  they said to go up and see the General Manager. I went up and he said,  ‘They were no longer going to have me.’ So, it’s heartbreaking, I shed a few tears, and I packed up, drove back, and I was able to work a few other teams that year. I never landed with anybody and then, I had the opportunity to go back, and ended up signing back with Jacksonville the next year, and then, I got cut there again, and turned around, and after the fourth pre-season again, when JJ Jansen got hurt, I was able to go out and work out against a couple of other guys and had the opportunity to go make the team and the rest was history.

Strauss : There are only 32 long snappers in the NFL. It’s a specialty. What was the toughest thing about not being on the NFL roster in 2007?

Goode : When it first happened you feel unwanted. It’s a great honor to be able to make it to training camp, and then the goal is obviously to make it past it, and make the team, so you can play in games. It was an honor to be able to do it, and at the same time, you feel unwanted that you were not able to make the team.

Strauss : How was it a test to your work ethic?

Goode : It just made me keep trying. It just made me work harder, and work to get better, and try and improve on it, and hopefully another team will come give you another look. And then, you could have the chance to play for them.

Strauss : Who were some teams that worked you out during the season?

Goode : I can’t say that, but I went and worked out for teams, it’s just  going through and seeing if somebody got injured or something that you would be able to come and fill in for a game or two if somebody got hurt.

Strauss : Then you ended up signing with the Jaguars again. What was it like to sign back with the Jaguars?

Goode : It was a thrill. You got another opportunity to be able to go and make the team. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make that team but fortunately, I’m really happy where I’m at, and things worked out the way they were  planned to do, and so I’m just happy that I’m with the Packers.

Strauss : Then you end up signing with the Packers and being on their roster officially. What was the feeling like to finally be on their roster and know that you’re on their team for at least this season?

Goode : Well, it’s never at least the season, you can be cut at any time. But the thrill was, that it was kind of everything at once, I signed on Monday, and then next Monday, it was my first NFL game and it was the first game of the season. It was like, growing up and you watch Monday Night Football all the time, and it was just a thrill to be able to go out there and play on a Monday Night.

Strauss : Mason Crosby is one of the best kickers in the league. What’s he like on the team?

Goode : He’s awesome. He’s a great teammate, and very fun to be around. Being able to work with him and Tim [Masthay, Punter] as well has been great. To build up a friendship that we carry out, not only on the field, but off field as well.

Strauss : Tim Masthay was drafted in 2010, right?

Goode : Yeah. He got cut by Indianapolis, and we ended up picking him up in 2010, and as an undrafted free agent. He went up against another guy in training camp, and he beat the other guy out, and he’s been with us for two years now.

Strauss : In 2010, the Packers won the Super Bowl. What was that season like for you?

Goode : It was just crazy when you’re going through it. Each week is different, you have ups and downs every week, and then, all of a sudden, we got to win the last two games, just get to the playoffs, and be a wildcard team. Then, we got in, and then we had to go to the road for pretty much four games including the Super Bowl. It just goes fast, and it’s crazy.

Strauss : Did you ever think that when you were spending that year out of football that you’d ever make that chance and come back and win the Super Bowl with any team?

Goode : It’s always a goal growing up. Everybody especially down there in elementary, junior high, and high school, your goal was, if you played sports, your goal was to be at the top and be the best of the best. Being able to have that opportunity of being the best in the world in 2010 was awesome.

Strauss : If you tell someone that you’re a long snapper, how often do people ask you what that means?

Goode : There’s a few, probably two out of probably every six or seven times. However, the one I get the most is probably, ‘You don’t look big enough to play.’

Strauss : But how big are you?

Goode : 260.

Strauss : Can you describe what you actually do when you line up, get ready for a snap, and what goes through your mind in a play for a long snapper?

Goode : As you getting ready to go on out there, you’re kind of getting ready on first and second down, you’re staying loose, especially in the cold games, you got to snap a little bit more just to stay loose. You’re just keeping up with the game and figuring out whether you’re going to have to do a punt or a field goal. If it’s a punt, you go out there, and just hanging around, and you listen to the coach and if he says punt, you’re running on the field and then all play and you go out there and you just give everything you got, and try to to see if they have one or two returners back, you got to see if they doubled our gunners, if they don’t have any lateral gunners which means they got more people in the box then we have to change our protection. Looking to see, if it’s blocked, as well as keeping in mind where the punter is at, making sure that he’s back there. It’d be bad to snap at the punter and he’s not there. You kind of find your target, and then, you’re looking at the punter and you’re going through the motion and trying to do the best you can, and then you block, you have about a two-second clock, and then you take off running, and try to catch the guy, and make the tackle.

Strauss : And you said you do linebacker drills in practice?

Goode : Not with Green Bay. I did it in college [at Arkansas].

Strauss : So what do you do in Green Bay, just long snapping?

Goode : I snap and then, I do all the stuff at work with all my guys, and I also snap to the quarterbacks during all of their 7-on-7 drills and individual drills.

Strauss : How many snaps do you think you do a day during practice?

Goode : Well, training camp is a little different, but a normal game week practice I probably snap, probably close to a 100-200 balls a day.

Strauss : And what about training camp?

Goode : Training camp. It used to be a lot more than that when we had the two-a-days, but last year, we just had single days. But it was probably between, it depends on what day of the week it is. Depending on what the practice schedule is, it’d be anywhere between 200-400 balls.

Strauss : How many times in the season? That’s a lot. So at least probably 4000 during the season maybe?

Goode : Yeah. Just do the math on that. I don’t really know.

Strauss : People who I’ve interviewed talk about talk about how it’s all about work ethic, and how do you think of the repetition of snapping so much and so often has helped you succeed in the NFL?

Goode : It’s about just like you said, work ethic. It’s about getting better everyday, whether anybody is watching you or not, you know it’s all on you, so this is all on you to get better. That’s what we’re constantly trying to do, keep improving because there’s always somebody out there that’s younger and always somebody out there who is trying to take your job, so you’re always trying to improve and get better every single day.

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

Goode : I’ve never been asked that one. I don’t know. That’d be tough. It definitely be a mix of a different flavors because I got a mix of different personalities, and definitely the one that’s kinda colorful because I feel like I’m a pretty fun person to be around, and I enjoy just hanging out with friends and family and spending time together. I don’t know the actual flavor that would actually be though.

Strauss : So if anybody wants to play in the NFL, what’s the best advice you can give them?

Goode : Never give up. Always keep working. There are going to be people who tell you, ‘No’ and you’re going to have friends who’ll tell you, ‘No’, and you just got to keep pushing forward, and keep trying to improve. Like I said, even when no one’s watching, you got to do it your way, and even if you’re tired or if you’re getting away with a rep in the weight room, all you’re doing is cheating yourself, you’re not cheating anybody else, but yourself and your teammates.

Strauss : Thanks so much for your time Brett! I really appreciate it.

Goode : Absolutely. Thank you.

Announcement : Thank you for listening to the interview with Brett Goode. I hope you enjoyed it. Please check out my website prointerviews.org for other interviews, “LIKE” the Facebook page at facebook.com/ProInterviews, and follow me on twitter at @ProInterviews. Thanks again for listening! Stay tuned for more, and feel free to contact me.

->Here are the personal questions that Brett Goode answered.<-

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

Goode : I’d like to meet some former Presidents. It was neat to go to the  White House and meet Obama. It’d be neat to meet some other ones who served, and get a whole different aspect of life that you don’t usually see, especially in Arkansas. You don’t see the President very much, so it was definitely pretty neat to be able to do that.

Strauss : If you had to choose one President, who would it be?

Goode : Probably like Abe Lincoln or one of the older guys. I think it’d be pretty interesting to discuss money with the President.

Strauss :  Did you have a childhood star growing up?

Goode : The Incredible Hulk.

Strauss :  Why him?

Goode : I don’t know. It was just neat, and I was really addicted to it. I used to have all the stuff that you could have, and run around and act like I was him. It was always fun.

Strauss :  What about in terms of sports?

Goode : Growing up in Arkansas, I was a huge Dallas Cowboys fan. I loved watching Emmitt Smith and the rest of the Cowboys. It was definitely Emmitt Smith though, because at the time, I was actually running back in Pop Warner, so it was just neat to be able look up  to him.

Strauss :  Do you have a favorite TV show?

Goode : No, I don’t watch too many TV shows. I like the History Channel and all the shows on that channel.

Strauss :  Do you have a favorite show on the History Channel?

Goode : The American Pickers. I also love Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy.

Strauss :  Do you have a favorite movie of all time?

Goode : I don’t have any favorite movies. I like any movie except scary movies. I refuse to watch them.

Strauss : Do you have a favorite type of pie?

Goode : No, I’m not a huge fan of dessert. I mean I’ll eat them, and if I do, it’ll usually be like a piece of chocolate cake. I usually don’t eat too many desserts, and I’ve never really gotten into pie either. I used to eat banana pudding, but I don’t eat very much pie.

Strauss : If you could choose your last meal on earth, what would it be?

Goode : That is tough. If it was a big meal, I love biscuits and gravy and chicken fried steak. To drink, I’d have a Dr. Pepper.

Strauss : If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Goode : I think being to fly would be pretty neat because you can get to a lot of places.

Strauss : Do you pre-game ritual?

Goode : No, not too much. I go out about the same time every week, like pre- game, go out there and stretch and kind of just take everything in. I look at the crowd coming in, and it’s always neat to be able to do that. After pre-game, there are a lot more people, so you see everything develop, and that’s pretty neat.

Strauss : Do you have a favorite song you listen to before a game?

Goode : Pretty much anything country.

Strauss : Do you have a favorite artist?

Goode : I like a lot of Red Dirt Country, like Redbone or Cross Canadian Ragweed although they’re not together anymore. I like Randy Rogers, Reckless Kelly, and all those guys.

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

Goode : I used to want to coach and teach, but since I have had the opportunity to get out and do some other things, I would like to probably do a radio or play-by-play locally for high school or somehow involved with a radio broadcast. I think talking sports or having a show would be pretty fun.

Strauss : Thank you for answering the personal questions!

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