We are honored to announce that we were granted a second interview with Former NFL Offensive Lineman, Duval Love. In order to get the perfect atmosphere for this follow-up, we chose a local sports bar and got together to watch the October 17th Monday Night Football game where Duval’s former team, the St. Louis Rams, took on the Indianapolis Colts. In this interview we covered the UCLA streak, Terrell Owens in the pre-season, the Minnesota Vikings boat ride and most important of all, Duval’s future as an Offensive Line Coach.
All right, let’s see how much you’re following the Indianapolis Colts and this year’s St. Louis Rams. Who’s got the better Offensive Line? I would say the Indianapolis Colts. I like their line. They’re protecting Peyton pretty well. They’re running the ball with Edgerrin James. They’re 5-0 so they’re having a lot of success.
Who’s going to win this game? My heart says the St. Louis Rams but my brain says the Colts. They have a better team, they have a better defense and they have Peyton Manning. St. Louis is missing their head coach and they’re not running on all cylinders right now.
How do you think missing their coach affected the St. Louis Rams? It’s going to affect them a little bit because Mike Martz calls all the plays and that’s a big part of their offense. No one has the kind of timing he has but they’ll try and do their best but they still don’t have their head coach.
When we last spoke, you were pursuing an assistant coaching job in the NFL. I know you had some success this off-season. Fill us in. I got an internship with the Philadelphia Eagles. Basically, I got in there from a recommendation from their head trainer, Rick Burkholder. He recommended I have an internship with Andy Reid. Andy Reid said okay and I was there for six weeks. I was there from the first day of training camp to the last day of cuts. It was a very interesting experience. Very valuable. I learned a lot and got my foot in the door.
You mentioned hopefully getting a call back. What’s the process now? I think the process now is they like to hire their interns, so since I’ve been there and my foot’s in the door. I just have to wait and see what happens. I’m a lot further along than I was last year at this time.
Your UCLA Bruins are on fire this year. Have you been following them and what do you think is the biggest contributing factor to their success? I’m back being a Bruin fan this year. I’m claiming them again. I didn’t get to see the game yesterday but I did get the opportunity to go to the game where they played Oklahoma. They had some of the old football players come back. We got a chance to sit on the sideline and watch them get fired up and take it to the Sooners. I think Karl Dorrell has had a chance to implement his system and he’s getting his players and you see the effect of that. They’re starting to win and these are his guys, so there are no excuses and they’re doing well. Good coaching can solve a lot of problems. Good players also make coaches look good.
This year’s UCLA / USC game should be a great one. What’s one moment that stands out in the games you played versus USC? First of all, I made my first start versus the USC Trojans as a freshman. I played but it was my first start at the Coliseum, a game I watched as a kid. But actually starting as a freshman was a great experience.
Seems like one team or the other is usually the hotter team. Which was the hotter team around that time? We were, most definitely. No question. Actually, we were playing for the Rose Bowl that year. It came down to the last 4 seconds and if we kick a field goal, we go to the Rose Bowl. What happened was we kicked the field goal and George Achica of USC blocked it and we lost the game. So we went to the Bluebonnet Bowl instead of the Rose Bowl. We definitely had a better team that year.
Let’s talk about the Good, the Bad and the Ugly in the NFL. Who’s the best team in the league right now? The team that is going to take it all? Honestly, I’m going to say Philadelphia. I’m an Eagle fan now. I have to, I never know if Andy is going to read this or not. The Eagles are a very good football team. It’s kind of early to tell who the best is. There’s a certain parity throughout the league so it’s kind of tough. With Donovan being hurt, that’s not good for Philadelphia. He’s got to stay healthy for them to win. New England is at .500, Tampa Bay was horrible last year and now they’re one of the elite teams. It’s still too early, you just don’t know. We played Cincinnati in the pre-season and I didn’t think they were very good. I thought they were soft. The next thing you know they are 5-1. Who knows?
Do you think coaches scale back in the pre-season? Trying not to give away too much? I think they give you the appetizer. They aren’t going to give you the whole 5-course meal. They give you a little bit, let you taste it and then they’ll be ready to go when the season starts. Pre-season games really don’t mean anything. They just want to fine tune it.
What, if anything, can you tell us about Terrell Owens? Believe it or not, he’s a nice guy. A lot of those things you hear, it’s kind of hard to pin down why he does it. I’m sure he has his reasons. Everyone on the team likes him. Extremely hard working. You’d be surprised how hard he works. He’s a superstar and works harder than anyone on that team. He eats right, he’s healthy, and that’s why he has that stomach. He’s 30 years old and a well groomed machine, he’s awesome. He’s a great player that plays hard and anyone that sees him play would want him on their team.
Who’s the worst team in the league right now? Who’s not going to put it together this year? Honestly, I think everyone would pick Minnesota. They’ve got the Love Boat incident. They made some poor judgments. A lot of guys do different things, they just got caught. You know, they’re out in the open and they got careless. It’s tough. Honestly, we don’t know the whole story and it’s hard to believe a lot of that stuff was going on. They’re high profile guys so everyone is trying to get a jab on them right now. It’s kind of hard to believe that 17 guys were out having sex. I’m only saying what I read. Who knows what was going on? Only the people on the boat know. Hopefully, they clean up their image and clean up the rest of their season. The spotlight is definitely on them right now.
Is Mike Tice going to survive the season? I like him as a coach but if he doesn’t win, I doubt it because winning solves a lot of problems. If he doesn’t, it might be an ugly off-season. Someone is going to take the blow.
And now for the ugly. This off-season the Tennessee Titans saw 5 of their players including their #1 draft choice get in trouble with the law. How does this happen on a Professional Football team? Guys will be guys. When these things happen, it’s magnified because of who they are. Anytime they get arrested, no matter who you are in the NFL, they see that NFL player. That’s who you work for, like the Minnesota Vikings. What’s going to hit the paper the next day could be a DUI, domestic violence or assault. Whatever it is, they’re going to be in the paper the next day because of who they are. When they are playing and even more so when they are done playing, because they are always going to have that label of being a former NFL player. That stuff is magnified. A lot of people go to jail every day but when you have a high profile job, everyone is going to know what happened to you. Duval Love or Pac Man Jones, everyone is going to know. They’re going to read it, email everyone, Google your name and everyone knows what happened. Trust me.
Back to Fantasy Football. Do you play? Being a lineman, no. I don’t even know how the whole concept worked. I never asked. I didn’t care because it never involved lineman. Once again, lineman being left out again. There are a lot of people playing it though.
Mark Chalifoux, TheSportsCritics.com Featured Critic, recently wrote an article about the NFL’s demand that networks carrying their games should not air commercials for the movie “Two for the Money” because they don’t condone gambling. You and I both know that gambling is a huge part of professional sports. Do you feel gambling hurts or helps the NFL? Why? I think for the NFL higher ups, they don’t want the image of betting and gambling associated with their sport because they don’t profit from that. That’s something that people do but the NFL wants to be clean cut. They don’t want their players to gamble so they don’t want that label on them. So on a Monday night you see that commercial, it’s not in their best interest to air it, it’s not the image they want to portray.
Other than pursuing a career in coaching, what else are you working on? I’m working on a book right now but my main goal, my main vision, staying positive, I’m going to be a coach. That’s my number one goal. My number one focus and that’s it.
Watching, talking, reading, shopping and browsing sports is what I do and what I do best. If you see me, you'd know I never played a day of sports in my life which is ironic don't you think? Regardless, we have opinions and I work for an Internet company so here's TheSportsCritics.com.