Monday, May 26, 2008

Jeremy Bloom > Wes Welker

That's right. This is only part 1 of an interview with the good people of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Part 1 of what I assume is a 12 part series. There's a lot to cover after all. Enjoy. I have added some additional comments after reflecting on these questions.

Ask The Steelers: Jeremy Bloom Part 1
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
ASK THE STEELERS – JEREMY BLOOM – PART 1 brings you the Ask the Steelers feature. Fans submitted the questions that were asked. Please understand that we receive an incredible number of questions for each player, with many of the questions being similar, and not all of the questions can be answered. We selected as many as possible, and took your questions to the current subject to get your answers.

From Paul Arnold in Jacksonville, Florida: What are you doing when you are waiting for a punt or kickoff and the ball is in the air? What is the first thing you do once you catch it?

Jeremy Bloom: The first thing that I do is read the kickers alignment. Most kickers and punters have a pre-snap indicator that tells you what direction they are attempting to kick the ball. The second thing I do is read the spin and arch of the ball. This tells you how deep and what direction the ball will go. The third thing I do is catch the ball and run like a prosecutor that is being chased by eleven convicts.

That last one was pretty witty wasn't it? More like - I run like I am being chased by every NCAA lawyer - and they still can't fucking catch me. I can read the punters and kickers like a fucking book, by the way. By the way, another tip is to stay close to the sidelines in case you need to escape certain death. Those NFL guys are big.

From SSgt Justin Podomnik, Tyndall Air Force Base Panama City, Florida: What is the most important thing you have learned from being injured that you could pass on to others in the same situation?

Jeremy Bloom: First and foremost thank you for you service to our country. You men and woman are true heroes and your fearless commitment to our country inspires me.

My lawyers advised me to write that. Their commitment, of course, does inspire me. Honestly, nothing inspires me more than my own speed. I'm fucking fast.

The most important thing that I realized during the time that I was injured was how much opportunity it gave me. It gave me time to study the game and to watch guys like Steve Smith and Santana Moss. It gave me time to work on my weaknesses and polish my strengths. It certainly came with its mental challenges. It’s easy to begin to have thoughts of doubt when you are injured. “Will I be able to make a full recovery”, “Am I becoming forgotten about”, “Do they think I’m soft”….ect. These thoughts are normal and it’s how you deal with them that will define your recover and the type of person you are.

What the hell am I rambling about here? No one forgets Jeremy Bloom. No one thinks I'm soft. I'm hardcore. Like 3rd Bass hardcore.

From Randall Welsh in Orlando, Florida: Is it harder to train physically and mentally for the Olympics or to get ready for a NFL season?

Jeremy Bloom: Physically football is more difficult. There is nothing like training camp, it’s a total beast. Mentally they both have their challenges. For me, the circumstances were very different. The two times that I prepared for the Olympics I was doing so as one of the top ranked skiers in the world. In football I am trying to do scrap and claw my way just to break away from the pack. Both bring different mental challenges.

Life is really no challenge for me. I had to put this answer into perspective. Like, what would John Q. Regular Guy say here?

From Greg Forbes in Atlanta, Georgia: Is there something about skiing that makes you specially adept in returning punts and kicks?

Jeremy Bloom: Not really, I use to think the two sports were similar but have later found out that they are completely different.

That was the stupidest question ever asked. Come on, Greg Forbes. Is there something about riding a bike that makes you especially adept at playing guitar? What does that have to do with the tea in China?

From Jason Mitchell in Byesville, Ohio: Does skiing help you with vision and maneuverability during kick and punt returns?

Jeremy Bloom: Yes and no, but training your eyes to pick up fast moving object is very important in any sport. There are many ways that you can do this. The next time you play catch close one of your eyes while standing on one foot. Or purposely blur your eyes and try and catch the ball. These exercises can help your peripheral vision, balance and your depth perception. But if the ball hits you in the face don’t blame me.

Also, squinting my eyes very hard can often make opposing defenders fall over. It's been proven. I have the eyes of a fucking dreadhawk. I am working on the ability to purposely blur my entire body to confuse defenses, etc.

From Teddy Simon in Santa Cruz, California: Do you think you could develop into a "Wes Walker" type receiver and broaden the offense?

Jeremy Bloom: I’m a big fan of Wes’s and love the way he plays the game. There isn’t any doubt in my mind that given the opportunity I can develop into that type of player.

Jeremy Bloom > Wes Welker.

From Reese Bang in Richland, Washington: Knowing what you know now about the level of competition in the NFL, in hindsight, would you have put a greater emphasis upon your college football career?

Jeremy Bloom: I put a huge emphasis on my college football career. The NCAA was the reason that I wasn’t able to play my junior and senior year. I was devastated when they declared me permanently ineligible and ended my opportunity to be the number one receiver my junior and senior year.

Fucking NCAA. When I think of all the white upper/middle class kids out there that are getting screwed over like me, I get sick to my tight abs. No, you can't accept a shitload of modeling money to ski and STILL be a scholarship athlete. Pick one. What? Limiting the opportunities, that's all the NCAA is good for. Next thing you know, they'll be saying I should be happy anyone gave a damn about this because it made me a headline and helped me get press and interviews and more money and get drafted or whatever...

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