49er Chalk Talk: ILB Takeo Spikes

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49er Chalk Talk:  ILB Takeo Spikes
(hypothetical interview)

For this week's edition of Chalk Talk, I sat down with 49ers linebacker Takeo Spikes, who is preparing for his second season by the Bay in 2009.

 

EJ:  Takeo, you're entering into your 12th season, which is quite a feat in the NFL. You're playing at a very high level. How have you achieved such longevity in your career?

TS:  Answer.

EJ:  (follow-up)  After missing several games from 2005 to 2007 due to injury, you were able to play all 16 games last year. Were you lucky, or do you have a strategy for keeping yourself on the field?

TS:  Answer.

EJ:  (follow-up)  How are you feeling now?  Any health issues after OTAs?

TS:  Answer.

EJ:  In 1998, you were a high draft choice coming out of Auburn, going 13th to the Bengals.  As a rookie, you started every game.  What sort of pressures did you feel to meet your team's needs that first season?

TS:  Answer.

EJ:  (follow-up)  What advice would you give teammate Michael Crabtree, who faces a similar situation with the 49ers this season?

TS:  Answer.

EJ:  (follow-up)  Have you talked to him? What is your initial impression of him?

TS:  Answer.

EJ:  When the defense is on the field, which guy does the team look to as the spiritual leader?

TS:  Answer.

EJ:  (follow-up) How does he (or you) motivate the team?  What qualities does a spiritual leader have that allow him to command the team's respect?

TS:  Answer.

EJ:  Talk about Patrick Willis; What kind of player is he, and how do you rank the two of you as an ILB tandem in the NFL?

TS:  Answer.

EJ:  (follow-up)  What's your relationship like off the field?  Do you guys hang out?

TS:  Answer.

EJ:  It was reported that you welcomed the trade to Philadelphia in 2007 because the Bills were a young, developing team, and you wanted to play for a contender.  Talk about your decision to come to San Francisco, a team that many believe is a young, developing team as well?

TS:  Answer.

EJ:  (follow-up)  Talk about the effect Coach Singletary has had on this team since he was promoted to head coach.  What changes has he inspired?

TS:  Answer.

EJ:  (follow-up)  Didn't he say and do the same things while Coach Nolan was here?  Why is the team responding to his message now?

     TS:  Answer.

EJ:  How do you feel about Coach Singletary's decision to simplify the defense by going with a base 3-4, instead of the "hybrid" defense used last season?

TS:  Answer.

EJ:  (follow-up)  How will the changes effect your play on the field?

TS:  Answer.

EJ:  What are your expectations for the upcoming season?  How good are you guys?

TS:  Answer.

EJ:  Is this a playoff team?

TS:  Answer.

EJ:  You're a two-time All-Pro/Pro Bowl selection, yet you've never played in a playoff game.  Has that been a source of frustration for you in your career?

TS:  Answer.

EJ:  (follow-up)  How important is it that you get a shot at a title before you finish your career?  Will you be satisfied with your career if you don't get that opportunity?

TS:  Answer.

EJ:  Thank you Takeo.  Good luck this season!

TS:  Reply.

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