Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Anthony Armstrong - Exclusive Interview

I recently had the opportunity to speak to Dolphins wide receiver, Anthony Armstrong. It is widely believed by fans and media boffins alike that Armstrong could break onto the 53-man roster this year, after spending all of 2008 on the practice squad. Before that he was a member of the Dallas Desperados in the Arena league.

Tin: You grew up in Texas, right? I think you mentioned you played peewee football. But you also ran track, right? What was your fastest time in the 100meters and your fastest time 40 yard dash? Do you think football players would run faster 40s if they were lined up against each other like in the 100? Have you ever raced Ted Ginn, Jr?

AA: I grew up in the Dallas area in Carrollton. I did play peewee football, and didn’t do track until high school. I think my fastest 100m was a 10.6 or 10.7, nothing special, especially since there are guys that run 10.3 and don’t make it to state. My fastest 40 that I have heard was in the mid 4.2 range. I'm sure folks would run faster if they had a direct competitor, but then that would take away a true reading of their speed. Me and Ted haven't raced. LOL I am an old guy so I like to keep my unnecessary sprints to a minimum!

Tin: In college, at West Texas A & M, it seems to me you put up decent enough numbers to get a tryout for the NFL. Did you get any opportunities then or was the Dolphins in 2008 your first attempt? How did it work - do you get a phone call or do you show up for an open tryout?

AA: Thanks, I think I did alright up there. I actually went to an area workout for the Cowboys when Bill Parcells was the head guy. I ended up getting invited to the Falcons rookie camp but didn't get to participate because I was coming off of an injury. So Miami is my first real shot. I did get a phone call from Brian Gaine a little over a year ago saying that they wanted to work me out down here. Luckily I impressed enough to merit a training camp invite. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate every opportunity given to me so there are no hard feelings with Atlanta or Dallas.

Tin: I heard a rumour that you returned an onside kick for a touchdown once. And you can field kickoffs off of the end zone net in the AFL. How did you end up playing this somewhat goofy brand of football? And do you think it hinders a player's chances when trying out for the NFL being used to so many different rules? I would think just the size of the field can cause awareness issues.

AA: You heard right, my first career AFL touchdown was a go-ahead/game-winning onside kick recovery/return for a touchdown. It was pretty cool because it was at home, my Mom was in the stands, and I had worked my way to being active after being on the practice squad. I learned how to catch off of the net, but didn’t have to do much of it because we had some more experienced guys. I actually got into arena football after I didn't stick in Atlanta, I decided to keep playing. A few phone calls later and I landed in Odessa, Texas playing in the Intense Football League. The only way I think it could hinder is because the old stigma of "level of competition". There are good players at all levels, and many have been successful in the NFL. Kurt Warner, Mike Furrey, Oronde Gadsen to name a few. I think Arena helped me because you have to react quickly to people flying around the ball coming your way. It has made me more comfortable in close quarters.

Tin: If you had a youtube highlight video, what song would you have as the background music?

AA: I would choose Hustlaz Muzik by Lil Wayne, or Swag Surfin by F.L.Y.

Tin: What do you do with yourself during the off-season?

AA: I do anything to keep myself busy. I did a paint by number, read a few books, got into the stock market a bit. Basically anything that interested me at the time.

Tin: Would you rather someone give you a bag of Oreo cookies or a spot on the roster? (inside/running joke on the website)

AA: Hmmm as long as they are Double Stuft Oreos, then give me those, I'll earn my spot on the roster.

Tin: You played in a league I'd never heard of, the Intense Football League. After playing football for all of your life, on all different levels of competition, what makes you think you're now ready for the NFL? Have you always been this good and just had bad luck or bad timing before?

AA: I would say that I'm ready because I am here. I still have a lot of room to grow, but if I couldn't play then I wouldn't have been able to stick on the roster for a year, be it on practice squad. I won't say anything was bad luck, God had a plan for me, and he wanted me to take the scenic route. I don't have a problem with it, it made me a better person and I appreciate everything that much more.

Tin: Last year it looked like you were THIS close to making it onto the 53 man roster, but guys like Davone Bess and Greg Camarillo stepped up their game, and the lack of playing time in the pre-season probably hurt your chances. This year there is so much better competition at WR, and yet you seem to be standing out (at least to the media) more so than you did last year. Have you really adjusted that well after a year on the practice squad?

AA: I feel more comfortable out there on the field, and just being around everyone helps. I was lucky enough to be on the practice squad the whole year and get that time to learn without the pressure of playing on Sundays.

Tin: What do you think of the recent Lambo_Weezy incident where a complete clown was impersonating Davone Bess? Do you twitter? What would you have done in Davone's place?

AA: I think that situation isn't cool at all. I don't know much about it. Hopefully it gets straightened out.

Tin: And finally, we know that Coach Sparano loves some players than can contribute in more than one job. Have you been preparing your special teams game and if so, what role do you see yourself bringing to the team?

AA: I try to do anything the team needs me to do to help us win. Plus, I will do it to my best ability.

42 comments:

  1. Home SuperBowl 2010July 14, 2009 at 2:03 PM

    Nice Job Tin

    Thanks for the entertainment  insight and Info

    Your relentless pusuit of Dolphin mania is much appreciated

    Keep up the great work

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice, your first interview where the player lets use their name, moving on up in the world. you seemed kinda ruff in your questions, but good interview.

    He seems focused and like football is important to him, I love the paint by the numbers. How old is he? I bet you he actually raced Ginn, but doesn't want to say what happened

    You should have saved the Oreo question for Wilford, but he was a good sport. Id say he makes the 53

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  3. I plan on asking the oreo question to anyone I interview....

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  4. reply, oh like the barfight question, clever I like that

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  5. Like I said on FB, I think its good.  I'm not nearly as harsh a critic as Phinatic!  And since you now have your own 'signature' question, I take it you have other interviews planned? 

    ReplyDelete
  6. The Knight who says Ni!July 14, 2009 at 6:18 PM

    Tin, well done man! Did you get him on Twitter? if so I have a new appreciation for that medium even though a lot of it is goofy. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  7. The Knight who says Ni!July 14, 2009 at 6:19 PM

    Your signature question like Phinatic said.

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  8. nope he doesn't twitter

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  9. what is worse, having a roster spot and wanting free oreos like Wilford or having no roster spot yet preferring to be given free oreos?  Weren't the Wilford Oreos double stuft too?  I need to go back and check the tape...

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  10. The Knight who says Ni!July 15, 2009 at 9:03 AM

    Did you interview him while taking a hot air balloon ride?  :-E

    ReplyDelete
  11. What's that supposed to mean? LOL

    ReplyDelete
  12. The Knight who says Ni!July 15, 2009 at 9:22 AM

    LOL. Just taking guesses on how/where you interviewed him.

    Did you interview him while shopping for flip-flops?  :-P

    ReplyDelete
  13. Did you have to do anything in particular to get the interview set up?  Press credentials, etc?  What went into that?  That's pretty awesome...well done Tin!

    Gotta be honest- don't really think that Oreos question will apply to everyone, and I don't really get it(unless there's an ongoing Dolphins joke with Oreos that I'm not aware of).  You can give me a "Who cares what you think???" response, but you're a funny guy-  I think if you want a comic relief question, you can probably do better.  Otherwise, I really liked your interview questions.  Thanks for picking up the slack and giving me something worthwhile to read about the Dolphins this Wednesday. 

    Btw- my request, if these interviews are going to become a regular thing-  One question I would like to hear:  "Who, other than yourself, has been really impressing you at WR with the Dolphins this off-season?"  I'd be interested to hear that kind of peer-to-peer answer from just about everyone at any position.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Krill, the oreo question is a running joke here, maybe I'll alter it to if
    you were in bar fight, which snack food would you take with you?
    As for the questions, I have tried to ask a few players questions like that
    but they will not answer them. If they do, the response is so generic and
    uninformative, it's pointless.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The Knight who says Ni!July 15, 2009 at 9:48 AM

    I think the Oreos thing is about Ernest Wilford. Tin had a video of Wilford stealing some kid's Oreos or something. I think it was Wilford's nephew.

    ReplyDelete
  16. no, not a nephew, a kid from a starving family that was getting a shopping spree from Publix for charity.  Wilford tries to steal oreos from the family in the middle of the interview...the link is below...also Wilford was always saying last year how 'hungry' he was, but he didn't sound like he was hungry to play ball, but hungry for some food (just the way he would say it).

    http://tinsfins.blogspot.com/2009/05/drew-rosenhaus-says.html

    ReplyDelete
  17. no, not a nephew, a kid from a starving family that was getting a shopping spree from Publix for charity.  Wilford tries to steal oreos from the family in the middle of the interview...the link is below...also Wilford was always saying last year how 'hungry' he was, but he didn't sound like he was hungry to play ball, but hungry for some food (just the way he would say it).

    http://tinsfins.blogspot.com/2009/05/drew-rosenhaus-says.html

    ReplyDelete
  18. no, not a nephew, a kid from a starving family that was getting a shopping spree from Publix for charity.  Wilford tries to steal oreos from the family in the middle of the interview...the link is below...also Wilford was always saying last year how 'hungry' he was, but he didn't sound like he was hungry to play ball, but hungry for some food (just the way he would say it). 
     
    http://tinsfins.blogspot.com/2009/05/drew-rosenhaus-says.html

    ReplyDelete
  19. no, not a nephew, a kid from a starving family that was getting a shopping spree from Publix for charity.  Wilford tries to steal oreos from the family in the middle of the interview...the link is below...also Wilford was always saying last year how 'hungry' he was, but he didn't sound like he was hungry to play ball, but hungry for some food (just the way he would say it). 
     
    http://tinsfins.blogspot.com/2009/05/drew-rosenhaus-says.html

    ReplyDelete
  20. The Knight who says Ni!July 15, 2009 at 10:15 AM

    Okay Tin, I got it! It wasn't his nephew. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  21. that's what made it weird, they were complete strangers who were dirt poor
    and he had about $8,000 in his wallet that day but still tried to nab the
    cookies!

    ReplyDelete
  22. The Knight who says Ni!July 15, 2009 at 12:06 PM

    Do you know that you posted the same reply 4 times? LOL

    ReplyDelete
  23. Tinny 4 times....that was for Home.  No matter how hard he tries he can't not quote Goodfellas in any response.  Good Q & A Tin.  Very exclusive.  Moving up in the sports blog world I see.  He seems like a humble enough guy to be likeable.  I am now rooting for him over Mr. Runway.  He spends too much time posting unauthorized video advertisments for Roomba.

    ReplyDelete
  24. lol, you should see the damning photos I found of him. I don't think I will
    post them though I am tempted.

    ReplyDelete
  25. The Knight who says Ni!July 15, 2009 at 2:00 PM

    <span style=" white-space: pre-wrap;">Post em! Come on! Do it! Do it! Do it! <span style=""> =-O </span></span>

    ReplyDelete
  26. if he gets cut I will.  lol.

    ReplyDelete
  27. LOL on the repetitive OREO stories,I'm rollin!!(laughin w'ya NOT @ya)

    I have a new respect for AA,he'd rather earn his roster spot than have it be given!! Where'as BL seem's to believe his spot is a given!!
    Though(b/c of his size),I personally hope not to see his comprimising photo's...

    That hit on #3 was BRRRRRUUUTTTTAAAALLLLL !!!
    That's what an aggresive LB will do to EW as a TE,though I hope he'll get some time in the slot,and return the favor to the nickle corner...
    On the other hand,I like him as a TE vs a less aggressive cover LB,giving us 3 different type of weapon's from the TE position...

    I know I had Bronson on MY 53 list, but as explained to lemmus,Wilford,Wake slipped by my eye,and were oversight's on my part..
    I'd prefer DMart 30,(over EW 30),if he weren't an o10 FA!!
    GOTTA believe @least one of'em are history... JMO!!          GOBP!!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. The Knight who says Ni!July 16, 2009 at 7:53 AM

    13kvFINS, I'm not sure why you think London thinks his roster spot is guaranteed. I saw an interview with him on Aquavision and he's very humble and knows the only way he makes it is with hard work.

    Because London seems to do certain things with his 'time off', everyone seems to think he's not committed to football. Once training camp starts Aug. 2nd it's football 24/7 for these guys through January. I'd want some time off too.

    I thought Sean Smith was suppose to be training for 5 weeks with the other rookies before camp starts. He's in Hawaii for his birthday. WTF?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Knight, mini-camp finished June 14th, the rookies worked for another four weeks and then get some time off.  It's not just Sean Smith, they are all in the news right now - Vontae Davis is hosting a kids camp in DC, Smith is on vacation, JD Folsom is getting his arm stuck in a combine harvester somewhere, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  30. The Knight who says Ni!July 16, 2009 at 8:46 AM

    I thought it was 5 weeks.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I tried to find a quote on that but couldn't.

    ReplyDelete
  32. The Knight who says Ni!July 16, 2009 at 9:46 AM

    "Following the final OTA, Dolphins veterans will be on their own, while the rookies will hang around for 4, 5 weeks to work with strength coaches."

    http://blogs.palmbeachpost.com/thedailydolphin/2009/06/14/final-mini-camp-report-red-zone-offense-gnaws-at-tony-sparano/

    So I guess it's possible it was only 4 weeks. Sean Smith has to get his 225 lb. reps up from 10 to at least the high teens or big WRs will abuse him. As a comparison I think Vontae Davis did 24 reps at the combine. He won't get physically abused at the next level.

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  33. how fast is this guy

    ReplyDelete
  34. He was timed at 4.38 officially but has been 'unofficially' timed at sub
    4.3.

    ReplyDelete
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