Here is my interview with Martin Parker from before the East-West Shrine Game and after he won the Defensive MVP award in the game. Enjoy!
Tom: How do you think the week went overall as far as all the practices?
Martin: I think it was a great week, at first it was a little nerve racking but getting out there and practicing made it a lot better for me.
Tom: What would you say is your biggest strength as a football player?
Martin: I would have to say my motor and my determination. No matter where a play is I want to be the one who is chasing the play down and trying to make a play from the backside on the running back, quarterback or even wide receiver.
Tom: What is something you might want to work on or develop once you get to the NFL?
Martin: One thing I really want to work on is my leverage, my flexibility and body strength. I’m not a weak person but I think I can improve my strength and I just want to improve my leverage just to make me a better football player.
Tom: Any goals left for the rest of the week?
Martin: I mean, I am never satisfied with what I do, personally I think I have had a good week of practice. I just want to prove that I, Martin Parker, from the University of Richmond can play at this level of football against these bigger offensive lineman.
Tom: Who is the toughest player you’ve gone against in practice this week?
Martin: The offensive lineman from Illinois, I forget the name. *Randall Hunt* He was definitely bigger than any other offensive lineman I had gone against at guard. It was one of those things where I had to attack the challenge head on and I think I held my own against him and the other offensive linemen.
Tom: You and David Arkin had some good battles this week, any thoughts on him?
Martin: He’s a great player. Our whole battle started on Monday in the ballroom and just continued through the rest of the week. He’s another great player from the FCS level that is going to get his shot to make it to the NFL, he has a great skill set to make it there.
Tom: You kind of laughed when I asked you that question, do you remember a couple of the plays in the ball room on the first day of practice?
Martin: It was the first play where our DL coach told us to take it easy and take it slow and he came off the ball hard and knocked me over so the next play I came off hard and put him in the backfield. I walked away calmly after that though.
Tom: What do you think is your best scheme fit in the NFL?
Martin: I can play where-ever any team wants me to play. I know a lot of people say that because they think that it will help them sound good, but I’ve played DE, 3 tech, nose guard, 3-4 DE and I’ve been successful at all of those positions in my four years at Richmond. If a team drafts me and wants me to go play 3-4 DE then I will go out there and I promise you I will be one of the best players out there. I’ve been playing 3 technique for four years at Richmond, so I know I can hold my own at that position.
Tom: Have you talked to any teams or scouts yet?
Martin: Earlier in the week I talked to a handful of teams, nothing since then though. It will be interesting to see how all the pieces of the puzzle come together.
Tom: Do you have any preference as far as what kind of coach you would like to play for?
Martin: I went through three different head coaches at Richmond, three defensive line coaches at Richmond so I have experience under pretty much any kind of football coach you can have. It really isn’t bothersome to me, whoever my coach is I am going to listen to what they have to say so that I can have success in whatever system they run.
Tom: Your teammate Justin Rogers had a good week, any thoughts on him as a player?
Martin: He’s a great player, he has been ever since we have been at Richmond. He came out this weekend seeking to prove that he can cover wide receivers that a lot of people didn’t think he could cover. He’s made a name for himself this week and batted some balls down this week to put himself in a good position.
Tom: What is one thing you’d like the world to know that it might not already know.
Martin: That I’m different. I’m always full of surprises.
Tom: Thanks again for the interview, and good luck in the game tomorrow!
After the game interview:
Tom: I had to get an interview with you after you won MVP. *Laughter* 2 sacks, a forced fumble, you dominated today! How does it feel?
Martin: Right now I can’t stop smiling. Coming into this game I just wanted to have a solid game and come out and put myself in a good position after this game. After the first sack I just wanted more. The defensive line played great today. We pushed each other. On the sideline we told each other wanted two, we wanted three, we wanted four sacks.
Tom: Remember I interviewed you before NFL Network! *Laughter* I was there before it began! All the guys I interviewed played well today, especially you, so… I’m just saying…
Martin: *Laughter* I give the credit to everybody!
Tom: Where do you go from here now?
Martin: I’m going back to New York to continue training again and get ready for the combine.
Tom: Great! Well thanks again and congratulations on MVP! Enjoy the night!
Thanks for reading!