Following yesterday's announcement, as promised, here is the first installment of Talkin' with Tyvon, the first of a weekly feature from Raiders starting strong safety Tyvon Branch.
With Tyvon and the rest of his Raiders teammates busily preparing for the NFL regular season, Tyvon has taken time out from his hectic schedule to interact with his fans right here on Silver And Black Pride.
In the comment section, you can pose your question to Tyvon and he will do his best to answer as many of them as possible for his installment next week.
In his first entry, Tyvon greets Raider Nation and answers a few questions from the Silver And Black Pride staff:
Friday, August 28, 2009
Hello Raiders Nation. It is great to be able to share this with you all. Seeing you fans support us every week is amazing. Thank you for everything. As for football, wow, what a week it has been for us. We are beginning to run on all cylinders, and the comfort level for everyone is good. Even though we let one slip last week against our cross town rivals, we are making great strides. Every day we learn more from Coach Marshall and Coach Brown. I look forward to sharing stories and a bit of an inside look as we move forward.
Can you tell the Nation about the first time you stepped onto a football player and what kind of player you were?
The first time I stepped on the field…wow, seems like it was just yesterday. I can’t tell you the first time I really stepped on field, but I do remember that I was extremely excited and didn’t know anything about football. As a kid there was a group of us that were always playing sports together. Kids playing sports is some of the most pure form of sport out there.
When did you first get the feeling like you'd be doing this for a living?
Football was something I really enjoyed, and as a kid everyone wants to do this for a living. In high school though, I felt like I began to have a real step up on my competitors. When I earned a scholarship to UConn, I continued to work hard and now I am here today.
Who or what was most inspirational to you and did you ever face a turning point or extreme challenge?
The most inspirational football player to me was Deion Sanders, He was always around the ball and making big plays. A turning point would be last year which was really tough for me. I am such a competitor, and to play with a cast on then have to miss some time hurt. I wanted to get out there and prove what I could do. In this league it is so hard to be good, especially as a rookie.
Now, that you are in the NFL, how has your life changed?
The biggest difference is that football has become my job. I don’t think people realize the time and effort we put into our careers. Throughout the off season and into camp it is so important to be prepared both mentally and physically. The game of football is such an in depth process, and progressing from high school to college and now to the NFL is something I am very proud of.
You inspired many of us last season by playing with a cast, which is definitely a sign of a throwback player. Would you consider yourself more of a physical or fineness safety?
Definitely physical. I love the big hits.
You are living the dream of every Raiders fan whose played this game or wished they played this game. You are an Oakland Raider! How does it feel to be a Raider?
To be a Raider is amazing. The history that surrounds this franchise is just awesome. Waking up every day knowing that I am a Raider is a great feeling. With fans like you guys and a great set of teammates this is an excellent place for me.
Is there a message that you would like to get out to the Raider Nation across Silver and Black Pride?
Just thanks again. I look forward to interacting with you all as the season goes on. Go Raiders!!!