In 2005, the Seattle Seahawks front office was criticized by multiple draft experts for trading up to select USC linebacker Lofa Tatupu.
Approximately ten months later, as Lofa Tatupu made his first Pro Bowl appearance, most of these experts were nervously hoping that no one held any evidence of their previous statements.
Since arriving in Seattle, Tatupu has anchored the Seattle Seahawks defense, making three straight Pro Bowls from 2005-07. He is a team leader, fan favorite, and mainstay in the Seattle sports scene.
Here are 12 questions for a potential feature interview with Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu.
- You played college football at the University of Southern California. What is it about USC football that allows it to keep producing NFL-caliber defensive talent?
- Coming out of the sunny skies of Southern California, what was your first impression when the Seattle Seahawks selected you in the 2005 NFL Draft?
- Former USC linebacker Rey Maualuga is in a similar situation that you were in 2005. Despite a stellar college career, he fell to the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round of this year's draft. What advice would you have for Rey as he prepares himself for his rookie campaign?
- As a rookie in 2005, you led the Seahawks defense in tackles. Explain what this instant impact meant to you in terms of maturing as an NFL player.
- Having established yourself as a defensive leader at only 26 years old, how do you deal with leading older and more experienced players on the field?
- You have played four full seasons in the NFL. Are there any quarterbacks you feel you have an advantage against on the field?
- Who is the most talented quarterback you have ever lined up against? Similarly, who is the most talented running back you have ever had to tackle?
- Prior to the 2008 season, you signed a significant contract extension with the Seattle Seahawks, telling the press that you intend to end your NFL career with the Seahawks. What is it about Seattle that convinced you to sign a long-term contract?
- The 2008 Seattle Seahawks were plagued with injuries, but most of the serious injuries fell on the offensive side of the ball. How much do offensive injuries affect both you and the defensive unit as a whole?
- 2009 is your first year in Seattle without Head Coach Mike Holmgren. What will you miss the most about his presence in the Seahawks organization?
- New defensive coordinator Casey Bradley is implementing the Tampa Bay variation of the Cover Two defense. Are you at all concerned about how much the "Tampa Two" requires of your position, or do you look forward to the challenge?
- Seattle selected Aaron Curry with the fourth pick in this year's draft. How much do you feel that Aaron Curry can contribute this year? Do you look forward to helping Curry mature as an NFL linebacker?
Each question would allow the possibility of follow-up questions to cover a broad range of topics in Lofa Tatupu's personal and professional life.