In part II of my interview with Rookie Defensive Lineman LaMarr Houston of the Oakland Raiders, I was able to speak with LaMarr about what it meant for him to be a Raider and what we should look for from him in 2010 and beyond. Enjoy!
Raymond St. Martin - Now, with your "Hookem’ Horn" career in the rear view, let’s take a look at the promising present. What is it going to mean to you, the first time that you hear, "At Defensive End, for your Oakland Raiders, from the University of Texas, LaMarr Houston!"?
LaMarr Houston – It is going to be a dream come true. Taking the field as an NFL player, playing for a storied franchise like the Oakland Raiders, who have been in the League for 50 years and have had so many great players, it is going to be an honor to step on the field when they introduce me.
RS - Have you had the opportunity to meet any of the old time players and spend some time with them yet?
LH - I met Willie Brown, he's our Player's Director of Personnel. He's a great guy and I've had a couple of conversations with him and, you know, being around him, seeing how he is, how he talks about the way they played and the way his passion is about the game, I admire him a lot.
RS - From the first day of OTAs all of the reports on you are that you have been mixing it up and getting after it. Would you care to shed any light on this?
LH – You know, I'm just a competitive type of person and I never quit. I like to go hard so, I'm just trying my best to play hard for the Raiders and give it my all.
RS - You have a great opportunity to work with Mike Wauffle, who has been amazing at developing Defensive Linemen, and also be coached by John Marshall. Is there anything that you have learned from them, so far?
LH –Mike Wauffle is a great coach, he has a lot of philosophy behind what he does. He builds guys up, you know, hopefully to make them one of the best linemen in the League, so, I'm very excited about that! He coached Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck...Some of the better Defensive Linemen. Hopefully I can just follow in their footsteps.
Playing for Coach Marshall, a guy who is very passionate about the Raiders, I'm very excited about that.
RS - At UT you moved form DE to DT. Do you see yourself doing some of that within the current scheme?
LH -Right now, no, but anything they tell me to do, I'm ready to do.
RS - You also have an opportunity to work with Richard Seymour, John Henderson and Tommy Kelly. Have you had much of a chance to get some insight from any of those individuals?
LH - I spent a little time with Tommy Kelly and Mr. Seymour will be there at training camp, so hopefully I will be able to sit down and pick his brain a little bit and learn what he knows about the game.
RS - We have all heard of John Henderson’s Pre-game ritual where he has an assistant slap him in the face to get him pumped up. Is there anything that you use for motivation or pre-game rituals that you would like to share with the Nation?
LH – I pray
Now a few questions from the S&BP Community:
Future Raider: There has been lots of talk about Hue Jackson’s "piss off the defense" strategy in minicamps. how has that helped the level of intensity and competition in camps? do you think this change will carry over to the level of intensity and competition in games week in and week out?
LH – I think that everybody on the Raiders is wanting more than what has been happening over the last few years. There is a change in the atmosphere, it's becoming more competitive and Training Camp is always going to be intense and physical and guys are starting to pick up and change things around here.
RS - Do you see yourself as someone who is going to come in here be a leader or do you see yourself coming in and follow the lead of the others.
LH - I'm just looking to play, really, I'm not gtrying to be a vocal guy. I'm not a big vocal guy, I just want to play football.
Raider Rich/Noontide: Are you more comfortable at DE or DT? When did you first become aware of Oakland’s plans to use you at DE?
LH – I didn't become aware of it until I got here, but it doesn't matter, like I said, I just wanna play football, Outside linebacker, safety, corner, wherever it is.
Kiwi Raider Fan - What do you see as your biggest strength that you bring to the team?
LH - Flexibility, being able to do a lot of different things and I have a high motor that allows me to play 100 miles an hour!
What were your thoughts when you were drafted by the Raiders?
LH - It was a dream come true
One last one from Bluster Bluth: Who do you try and model your game after and what do you hope to accomplish in your first year with the Raiders?
LH - Right now, there is not a particular player that I am trying ot model myself after, I am just trying to soak it up and get my first feel for the NFL and for this year, my goal is just to play. To get into the rotation and play a lot.
Everyone is excited about the video diaries that you will be doing during Training Camp. Can you give a little taste of what we may expect?
LH – Ummm? (Chuckles)....Just Me being Me!!!
Thanks again, from the entire Raider Nation, I know that we are 100% behind you and look forward to seeing you play on Sundays.
LH – Thank You Very Much