The Questions I Would Ask Jeff Backus
Since Jeff attended the University of Michigan and was one of the first players drafted by disgraced Lions GM Matt Millen, I would think Jeff would have a particularly interesting insight on the state of the Lions over the entire Millen regime that culminated in last year futile 0-16 final record.
I would ask Jeff how much loyalty he felt personally for Millen. I would like his insight into the mood of the locker room when the club has a particularly bad draft?
To dig a little deeper I would like to know how the team welcomes these new players to the team, after the press has labeled them a bad pick. In particular, I would like to know how WR Mike Williams was welcomed to this team.
On a different note I would ask Backus how a few bad drafts in a row affect the morale of the club, or the morale of the offensive players.
On a more personal note I would like to ask Backus how he feels when all the fans and the press constantly say the Lions offensive line needs to be upgraded. It would be interesting to understand how stories like this affect the player, his attitude, and his demeanor on the field.
Last year, we saw center Dominick Raiola frustrations with the fans and press boil over into a pretty ugly incident where Raiola invited fans to his house to fight. I would ask Jeff if he ever let his frustrations with the press get that far.
I would also ask him about his legacy as a matt Millen draft pick. While it is wide-spread knowledge Millen failed to improve this club via the draft, but that fact that Backus came from arguably his best NFL draft.
In 2001 The Lions drafted Backus, Center Dominic Raiola from Nebraska, DT Shaun Rogers of Texas, WR Scott Anderson of Grambling State, and QB Mike McMahon of Rutgers.
All of these players made a contribution to the Lions and three of them are still starters in this league today. I would ask Jeff if he feels any pride coming from that draft class.
I would also like to ask Jeff how the team motivates itself after such a horrific season in 2008. How do you trick yourself into thinking this year is going to be better, how does a NFL player put tin the work involved to compete in the NFL coming off a terrible season?
It can’t just be about the money, I see guys who want to win in Detroit every single day. I see guys in other sports taking less money in the prime of the careers just for a chance to win, so I would want to find out how Backus keeps himself motivated to do his job.
The last thing I would ask Jeff would be has he ever seriously considered leaving the Lions? I would ask him to gauge how he answered that particular question. If he said no not ever, I would think he was being less than truthful.
This has been a bad team for his entire career, and without getting into the specifics of what team for what money I would like to know how close he came to signing his name on a contract for a different team.
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