Exclusive Q&A With Rookie Brandon Keith
Click here for Northern Iowa offensive line coach Rick Nelson's take on his former player.
Dusty Wittig: Who were your favorite teams and players growing up?
Growing up, my favorite team was the Dallas Cowboys. I really loved watching Deion Sanders and Emmit Smith. Larry Allan and big Nate Newton in there were some monsters, and I really liked Reggie White too.
DW: What is your favorite non football activity?
BK: Playing basketball. I like going out there and showing my fellow teammates that the big man can play a little bit on the court.
DW: When did you realize that you had NFL potential?
BK: I think my sophomore year in high school. I remember that Oklahoma had just won a national championship and Mike Stoops was recruiting another kid from high school. While he was there he pulled me aside and told me that if I work hard I could play in the NFL one day. A few weeks later I went to my first camp at OU. I was bug eyed at first, but then I got into the drills and people saw me move and work. After that coaches started calling and that was when I knew.
DW: Who was your biggest football and non football influence growing up and why?
BK: My biggest football influence growing up was this kid who was two years older than me. I remember watching the things he could do on the field when I was a sixth and seventh grader and that made me want to play.
BK: The biggest non football influence in my life was my grandmother. She instilled a lot of things into me. We always had our little arguments about putting football before other things. She showed me a lot of things about life and they really have paid off.
DW: What are some of your goals for the upcoming season?
BK: One of my goals, other than making the team, is to learn as much as I can. I need to learn how to absorb the little things about the game, and pick up on the Xs and Os. For example, we went to the Hall of Fame, saw all of that stuff and even got to listen to a few Hall of Famers and I need to take advantage of these opportunities to learn about the game. My long term goal is just to be able to play as long as I can and take care of my body.
DW: Is there an upcoming game for the 08 season that you have circled on your calendar?
BK: You know there are a few teams on there that are going to be cool to play against. But honestly, just playing in my first game as a professional athlete is all I am worried about right now.
DW: Is there a veteran on the Cardinals who has helped ease your transition from college ball?
BK: There are a few guys. Kurt Warner has been a big influence on me. Al Johnson, Levi Brown and Elton Brown have all helped me out a lot, not only with the plays but with how to handle myself being in the NFL.
DW: What is the biggest challenge you will face in NFL ball that you didn't have to deal with in college?
BK: The biggest thing is the mental aspect of it. The physicality of it is a given, but it's not about that. Everybody that is in NFL was the man at their high school and probably a huge part of their team in college. So everyone here is talented, but the biggest difference is dealing with the mental part of it. If I get that down I will be alright.
Click here for the insiders only portion of Brandon Keith's interview.
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