Gooood morning Raider Nation and XCFL J.T. "the Brick" here. Boy do I have a treat for you today. An ex linebacking legend of sorts, a man who played LB the way its SUPPOSED to be played!
Todays guest is none other then Bill Romanowski! A Raider fan favorite beloved by so many. If you're unaware ROMO (the ORIGINAL "ROMO") has been HC Doss' defensive coordinator for several seasons now.
I had the RARE chance to interview ROMO today during practice and I JUMPED at any opportunity to talk to that man. Hes so knowledgeable & passionate about the game that any chance to talk with him is a gift. So without any further delay here's the interview.
JT- good morning ROMO and welcome to the show
ROMO- morning, lets make this quick and efficient JT I have a "real" job to do (crooked smile)
JT- ok my 1st question is last yr your unit finished as a top 2 defense and had the Superbowl in hand till the offense shit the bed and let your unit down. How hard did your guys and yourself take that loss?
ROMO- It was one of the heaviest losses i think anyone of those men had experienced. It weighed heavy on them but i didnt let it fester too long. I told them to learn from it. There are many learning points that can be taken away from that championship game. Im not going to sit here and act like i didnt think about caving Grudens nose in after the 3rd pick 6... Or didnt think about smashing up QB P. Wests vehicles in his driveway. But i for once showed a tremendous amount of restraint.
JT- well said. It seems your unit finally bought into your defensive scheme and Oakland has been playing some well above average defense. What do u think finally clicked with the players?
ROMO- Trust... Thats it. They finally trusted and bought into the scheme. We could've been playn like this YEARS ago! The guys began to trust that i had their best interest in mind. Began to see that the scheme we run is directly derived from what each and every player does well. I dont believe in square peg round hole schemes. You have to build a scheme\ gameplan around your players strengths.
JT- what did you mean when you said "we couldve been playn like this years ago" ?
ROMO- the scheme hasnt changed. There is little to no roster turnover in Oakland. So essentially we have the same starting 11 we had when i got here so had they trusted me and bought into the scheme sooner rather then later we could've been playn like this years ago.
JT- with you being a former LB yourself do u think your a little harder on your LBs?
ROMO- oh 1,000% majority of people that... HEY! (yells toward the practice field) "GET YOUR ASSES BACK AND DO THAT FUCKN SHIT AGAIN. CHARLES (C-Woodson DBs coach) GET LINDSEY'S ASS OUTTA THERE PUT HOLLY AT HIS SPOT." sorry what was the question?
JT- what just happened?
ROMO- Lindsey took multiple false steps then filled the wrong gap on that play.
JT- you saw that from here?
ROMO- Yup. Practice is where you EARN your money. Game day is just a bonus. Just cause im talking to you doesn't mean im not payn attention to what their doing also. Some of them are still lazy ass kids who try to get away with whatever they can. You expect that outta the younger guys. Its just a cycle you have to break.
JT- interesting. Oh the question was being that you played LB and are now a D\C do u find that your harder on your LBs?... Which is funny cause you just ripped ROLB Lindsey a new asshole.
ROMO- simply put yes. Im Extreamly tough on them. I expect them to do multiple things that many other D\Cs would never expected out of a LB. And i expect these things ONLY cause i know they are capable of doing them. Anyone who is knowledgeable on football knows that it all starts up front in the DLINE. And a great DL can make up for a weak secondary and helps keep the LBs free of blockers. But here in Oakland I preach GAP ASSIGNMENTS are EVERYTHING. You are to sacrifice you body by any means to fill that gap. My LBs are tasked with not only gap responsibility but also dropping into coverage... And not you everyday hook to curl generic LB coverages either. So with ROLB Lindsey earlier, he took multiple false steps right? Well that fucks the 10 other guys out there cause now they have to do their jobs AND his cause he wasnt where hes supposed to be WHEN hes supposed to be there. Its all about muscle memory. We want our guys to act out of habit not REact. If your REacting your already behind.
JT- well as always I appreciate you taking time out if your day to give an interview ROMO.
Thats all for this one pirates and wenches. Be on the look out for my other segments RAIDERS RECAP & BEHIND THE SHIELD. Im J.T. "the Brick" reminding you all theres only ONE nation, RAIDER NATION!