Interview (Levan Reid)

Me: Man, let’s start this off. Please break down the Jimmy G trade! What was your instant reaction?

Levan: He saw Jimmy as the heir apparent. I’m going to push Tom to see how long he can really go. As the season progresses, it doesn’t seem like Tom is slowing down at all. Why pay a back up $24 million?

Me: Good segue there (we both chuckle) I’ve watched so much of number 12 over the years, best I’ve seen do it. How much longer does he have left to you?

Levan: Well, he plays smarter now than when he came into the league. He doesn’t allow himself to take those hits perfect example you saw Aaron Rodgers and the hit he took, that won’t happen to Tom because he doesn’t leave the pocket! He takes tremendous care of himself and his diet which we all know about is remarkable. This guy is a football junkie after the season ends he takes about a week off, he’s with his family and then he’s back to football. Same thing around the time of the Kentucky Derby, he takes that week off and then he’s back to it and he’s around a coach that’s a football junkie as well. He’ll quit when he wants too

Me: That’s a fantastic way to put it. A good year or two ago, I interviewed Shalisa Manza Young and the first question I asked her was the bond between Tom and Rob. From your perspective, what makes these two gel the way they do?

Levan: He was so tough on Rob when he broke into the league in 2010 it was to the point when Tom would get on him just like he would Edelman, he would almost be to the point of tears in his eyes and Tom saw just how great he can be and look at him now. He’s an all-pro. They use him perfectly within that offense! He’s a perfect asset for Bill and what they do.

Me: Yeah and here’s my thing, I’m a former defensive player and I really don’t think there’s an answer for him on the field.

Levan: NO! (Laughs) he’s so big, strong, physical and he’s actually taken on Brady’s diet plan. You see he’s quicker and isn’t getting injured like he was before. He’s more fluid on his feet.

Me: Here’s when you know someone is impossible to prepare for, you can’t stop that guy on Madden! (We both laugh). You mentioned Jules and what he is to that offense. What exactly does he mean to that offense? Is he just as important to their scheme as Gronk? How’s he similar to Welker?

Levan: He’s not similar to Welker, Edelman is a much better player. Welker had the luxury of playing with Randy Moss on the other side but with Jules, you look at his versatility and everything he does. He returns punts, he’s shifty and you said it best Christian, he plays the position like a running back he’s a CHAIN MOVER! He’s most effective on second down and long yardage situations, he makes his catch and then it’s third and two! He’s that efficient on the field. He’s their pulse,

Me: so he’s their heart and soul?

Levan: Absolutely.

Me: Let’s talk about Chris Hogan. What does he mean to this team and Brady?

Levan: Hogan gives Tom a player that teams struggle with. He’s like Ed McCaffrey. Long and strong and runs perfect routes. Loves practice and excels at coming back to the ball and he stepped up big time when Gronk was injured last season.

Me: It’s time to look at my side of the football. The defense! What’s going on with them? Why can’t they stop anyone or even attempt to rush the passer?

Levan: They are not designed to do that. Its a question I asked myself. One pass rusher in how many years. Chandler Jones. They are designed to put pressure on the quarterback and hopefully, that causes turnovers. It has been his style for a while. They barely blitz and they’ve struggled at the beginning of the year because they had so many guys that weren’t used to playing with each other. They need Gilmore to compromise he doesn’t play zone, he’s a man to man corner and now they’ll have to try to find a way to replace Hightower

Me: I actually believe Dont’a is their best defensive player or you could say Trey Flowers that kid has been nice within that system.

Levan: I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I actually think it’s Chung he’s been there, he’s the communicator within the back end he’s the glue that keeps everything together.

Me: Right now, who would you say is the biggest threat to the defending Super Bowl champs in the AFC?

Levan: It’s a chain event of teams. Kansas City always plays New England tough and if the game is at Arrowhead, it won’t be easy. The Patriots don’t want to see the Chiefs, the Chiefs don’t want any part of the Steelers and the Steelers want no part of the Patriots. That game in December will tell us a lot!

Me: I personally hope that game is flexed and if I had the chance to be in the booth for that one, you’d be the guy I’d love to be your color analyst for that one

Levan: It absolutely will be. (Laughs) and I appreciate that, thank you, sir!

Me: Let’s look at the other conference, the NFC is wide open. You have the Rams, Eagles, Seattle, Carolina (when they want to play) who can challenge them?

Levan: Wow, that’s a great question. Philly can if they continue to play how they have they run the ball, they have a mobile quarterback but he is a second-year guy. Dallas can even give them a hard time they have Prescott, Elliott, a good offensive line, good receivers some guy named Dez and their small guy I can’t think of his name right now

Me: Cole Beasley! He’s their Edelman

Levan: Yes he is I agree. I would say Seattle but they don’t fear anyone like they once used too.

Me: I’ll end the conversation with this one. What has been your biggest surprise so far this year?

Levan: First and foremost the protesting and kneeling and all of that. I know you’re not just an analyst of the game, you’re a fan and I know you watch College GameDay (we both laugh) if you really pay attention to the show, there’s no politician conversations, they don’t bring the president up, it’s pure football and I really enjoy that.