I recently had the chance to interview speedy Kansas City Chiefs cornerback, No. 41 Jackie Bates. I asked him about the lockout, playing in the NFL and the Chiefs organization.
Q. "How do you like playing football in the National Football League?"
Jackie: “I love this game. I am blessed to have an opportunity to play in this league, and I can't wait to put the red and yellow on again come 2011-2012.”
Q. “How do you like playing football for the Chiefs?”
Jackie: “I love playing for the Kansas City Chiefs. The Hunt family are great people. There is a ton of tradition throughout this organization, and the fans are diehard. Scott Pioli and Todd Haley have a lot of good things going on.”
Q. “So I know you got injured last year in your start against the Seahawks, right? What exactly was the injury, and what is the status of it now?”
Jackie: “Yes, they showed a lot of confidence in me and I am blessed. The Seahawks game was my first start. I tore my ACL in the third quarter, first play actually. My knee is great, my rehab with KCOI has been awesome.”
Q. “You went to one of the best, if not the best, football high schools in the country, De La Salle, in the Bay Area of California. Many De La Salle alumni have managed to move on to successful NFL careers. Can you talk about what kind of role De La Salle played in your life leading you up to this point?”
Jackie: “De La Salle is the reason I am who I am, in addition to the Lord and my family. De La Salle is the reason I went to college, the reason I am in the NFL and the reason why I excel in life. Coach Ladouceur, Coach Eidson, coach Demetrius Williams, Vic Galli, Coach Pinella, Coach Aliotti, Coach Ward, Coach Blasquez—these are all great men that have touched my life positively. We are men of faith, we thrive off brotherhood, respect, accountability and religion. De La Salle is a national powerhouse, and our secret is simple: We work harder than everyone.”
Q: “Out of those able to make it to the NFL with you, one of the most noticeable would be Maurice Jones-Drew. We know you are close with Maurice. Can you tell us about your relationship?”
Jackie: “MoJo is like a big brother to me, only a year older or something but has always been a positive role model to me. He illustrates professionalism on every level. Since we were kids we have dreamt of this. I have known MJD since I was nine years old. We have not spoken in a couple months. I'm going to call him after this.”
Q: “How do you feel about the lockout and everything going on with that?”
Jackie: “The lockout has been surprising. I did not think it would reach this point, but I am almost certain there will be a season in 2011. The fans, players and owners love this game too much for there not to be a season; the business aspect is what needs to be resolved, and I feel it will soon.”
Q: “Have you been able to work out with your teammates since the lockout?”
Jackie: “Yes, I have worked out with some fellow defensive backs actually, Ricky Price from Oklahoma State to be specific.”
Q: “Every kid whoever picked up a ball since the late '80s has dreamt of being sponsored by Nike. How did it feel when you got your deal with Nike? “
Jackie: “Nike is a dream come true. Speed Kills. That's my motto, I'm all for Nike. I went to Oregon to be a part of Nike. Of course, things did not go how I expected there, but everything happens for a reason, and the Lord has still blessed me enough to give me a second chance.”
Me: “Well Jack, thanks for your time. Good luck this year! We will be looking for you.”
Jackie: “Thanks a lot man, God bless.”
Kansas City has one of the deepest and youngest defensive back units in the NFL, Jackie Bates being one of the fastest. Jackie has blazing speed and runs a 4.30 40-yard dash. His motto, Speed (back of left shoe) Kills (back of right shoe), is his motto for a reason.
The Chiefs looked great last year, surprising most of the NFL with their strong performance. Todd Haley looks to be on the right track in Kansas City. Look for the Chiefs to become one of the most feared defensive units and teams in the NFL in the years to come, particularly at the defensive back position, i.e. No. 41 Jackie “Speed Kills” Bates.
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