Congratulations on making it to the finals!
Five Final questions for the Captain’s:
- Tell me a little bit about your team Pops? Coming into the season how did you feel about your team? How do you feel about it now?
Browns are a historic franchise and will be remembered for a very long time. Browns have entered leagues throughout NYC and have won many championships. In 2018 being old and still playing is a blessing from God. Coming into the season I combined the old with the youth. Some players had mix feelings so I basically handpicked players to start the season. I appreciate the players that joined after the start of the season and brought in what the mission of the league is about. I feel good about my team, but talent alone is not going to help me win. Managing these personalities is my biggest task. Starting rookie Mark at Qb I really didn’t know what I had. All I knew he had a strong arm. But coming into the season that was least of my worries. It almost felt like I threw Mark into the fire. Only because Browns have a veteran core of receivers. The receivers on the browns are like Qb`s. They know the plays and scan the field as they are running. Our receivers have played football for a very long time and became a custom to certain things. They lose the patience quick. It almost like they don’t have time for Mark to grow. Being old and broken you don’t have time for growing. Its WIN now. For a person that can feel vibes and know what people think was a real challenge for me. I see everything. The kid is young and has a lot of upside to him. He is the future and got the Browns to the playoffs. Then you have People in your ear like “pops we need to win now put the hammer down and put in the best chance to win”. Now could this be old man syndrome? Players who think they might not make it back to the finals. Mark is 7-1 as a Browns qb. I know some Teams that would give up their blood to be in a position in where Mark is at. I want to see Mark holding up the trophy. I been out there with some legends of the game at QB. The Kid has a six shooter I haven’t seen in a long time. You’re asking me how I feel right now? Wow not good. At the end of the day it’s me that going to have pull the trigger.
- What side of the ball would you consider your strongest (offense or defense)?
Defense! Not matter what sport I play in. Defense is always my strongest point. I used to play selfish many years ago. I only played for interceptions. Sohel did a great job retooling me into a team defender. I`m reborn again lol. Don’t sleep on me on offense. I will come in quick and get a td. I’m a playmaker and I just live for the bang bang plays. My mind works better when I must think fast.
- What do you consider a turning point for your team this season? If there is no true turning point, what do you consider a vital moment for your team this season?
There was no turning point, but the vital moment was in the semi finals game. We came out strong, but our offense got stalled and our defense couldn’t stop them. Browns got very lucky that Niners kept dropping open passes. Browns were only down 3 but could easily been down 2 scores. Alexei have one of the best games I seen from a giver. He pressured Niners qb all game. He kept us in the game. Then Nafi comes to me with a defensive scheme. A scheme you can’t plan for unless you see it constantly. I rely Nafi`s scheme to the other players and we shut them down. They keep punting but then guess what we are not scoring either. I see Mark and Alexei arguing on an incomplete pass. Mark`s Dad is also yelling at him, so he can fire him up. I look to the left I see the receivers the old warriors I talked about before who don’t have patience’s. Their shoulders are down and there looking at the floor. Then I look to the right I see this guy in a Brown shirt with a beard who is not saying a word. He is humble like me just observing the situation. Halftime was when the vital moment came in and I had to put Shu in. A td to Tj with two guys on him and a Short pass that lead to a 50-yard td by Sohel fired up the team. Under a min to go Niners had a chance to win it on the 15-yard line but they couldn’t get passed the defensive scheme we had on them.
- Who is the leader of your team? Who implements some of the weekly strategy?
I can point out almost every player on the browns and say he’s a leader. I`m going to leave out the obvious and talk about some new guys. Glueman and Tom really surprised me with their knowledge and love for the game. They really brought that old school American football attitude to the team. Danny is another guy who brings a ton of knowledge to the team. He`s always teaching the young guys. We have something special that grew over the season that made us into an even bigger family then we were. I would like to thank every player on browns for showing their love and support for the team and ledge. Shu, Tom and I chat for weekly strategies but I’m constantly chatting from other players for their input.
- Your team was beaten by the Replacements in the regular season. What did you learn from that contest? Are their certain take aways from that game that you think will help you beat them this time around?
Replacements play school yard football. I was expecting more of an organized game. What I learned in that game was their more of a freestyle offensive team. They mostly score on broken plays. Long passes and the always on the run. They also talk a lot with a lead. Browns must put a muzzle on them early. Replacements make better plays when there happy and talking but I heard that they complain the most to the refs on every close play. Replacements are very short team in height. That causes a lot of banging bodies on plays. So, they like to use that to play mind games with the ref. we will be ready for their shenanigans.