Cecil Martin spent five years as a fullback in the NFL.
Playing fullback is like being the middle kid in the NFL; he isn't relegated to anonymity like the offensive lineman, but still has to do more of the grunt work than the usual skill position players. And not unlike kickers and punters, most teams only carry one fullback.
Martin, who hung up his cleats in 2003, has spent this offseason helping the younger generation fit into theirs. Oh, these crazy kids today and their multicolored cleats. I'm about the same age as Martin, and our choices of equipment in those days weren't nearly as robust as they are now.
In high school, I went to some sporting goods chain store that doesn't even exist now, asking questions to some guy behind the counter that had no answers, and my choices as far as color were white or black.
As part of this new Eastbay Edge program, Martin talked to incoming NFL players about cleats and shoes and a bunch of other stuff. I talked to Martin about these things, along with his NFL career and what guidance he offered to these draftees taking their first steps into a larger world.
On whether rookies should worry about their draft status in camp: "Just because you're a second- or third-rounder doesn't mean that you're better than a seventh-rounder. I was a sixth-round draft pick and I became a starter as a rookie."
On the NFL making thigh and knee pads mandatory for the 2013 season. "It's not a bad thing. That's my first general opinion.
"But then as I go further as an alumni of the NFL, having played in this game and engaged in this business as a profession, I think the inclusion of the NFLPA and conversations with (the players') organizations are important. So at the end of the day, there has been enough input."
Cecil and Eastbay also wanted to pass along this coupon code: KICKS40. And that's valid through the weekend for 15 percent off any Eastbay purchase of $75 or more.
You can listen to the full audio of my conversation with Cecil below.
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