60 seconds with… Paul Posluszny
Since joining the Jacksonville Jaguars as a free agent in 2011, Paul Posluszny has become the focal point of his team's defense and has been one of the most productive middle linebackers in the NFL. Over the past two seasons, the hard-hitting defender has racked up a team-leading 231 tackles and added 3 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles. We caught up with Posluszny to discuss Jacksonville's October 27 clash with the San Francisco 49ers at Wembley Stadium, as well as life as an NFL player.
How do you feel to be playing in London this October?
We're excited about it as a group. I've never been to the UK so I'm excited to get over there. From what other guys have told me, it's a really fun atmosphere to play in, so I'm looking forward to it.
What are your memories of being drafted into the NFL in 2007?
It was one of the most exciting and relieving experiences I have ever been a part of. You want to get drafted so bad so when your name finally does get called, you're completely excited. You say to yourself, 'Wow, I'm finally going to get a chance to play in the NFL and I know I can.' It's a great experience.
Do you remember your first NFL game?
Absolutely. I was the starting middle linebacker for the Buffalo Bills and I was completely nervous. You don't know what to expect. You've just gone from playing college football and watching these guys on TV on Sundays, and now you're competing against them. I was so nervous but I was so glad when the game kicked off. When the game starts, it's just back to playing football again. That is the easy and fun part.
What advice would you give to rookies battling to enter the NFL this summer?
Prepare as hard as you can from the mental point of view and take care of your body. I see so many kids come in who want to have a good time and they don't realise it's such a long season. You really need to eat right, get your rest and take care of your body. If you do all the little things right, you can have a long and successful career.
What are the best and worst things about being an NFL player?
The best thing is that we get to play a game that you love and have played since you were a little kid as our job. We get paid to play this game and it's just unbelievable that we get to do this for a living. The worst thing is dealing with injuries. You get nicked every now and then, break a bone or tear something. It's always tough to come back from those kind of things. It has become such a part of the deal – if you play long enough in the NFL, you're going to get hurt.
Who were the NFL players you liked to watch before you entered the league?
I watched Brian Urlacher a lot. We played similar positions and when I was coming up through the college ranks he was in his prime. I always thought it was fun to watch him because he was a great linebacker for the Chicago Bears.
Have you worked on your British accent ahead of the game in London?
I'm going to have to – give me a couple of months and I'll come back to you! (laughs and makes a quick exit).