Lions cornerback Ramzee Robinson was nice enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions I had for him about making the team, being Mr. Irrelevant, the type of coach Rod Marinelli is, and much more.
The questions and answers are below, and I want to give a big thanks to Robinson for taking part in the interview.
Pride of Detroit: When you first found out that you had made the team, what went through your mind?
Ramzee Robinson: Actually, it was bittersweet at first, reason being, if you receive a call that day from player personnel its usually because your expected to be released. Well, I DID receive a call from Sheldon (Personnel) and my heart begin to beat fast, along w/short breathes, almost like I was drowning in an ocean from just answering assuming I was going to be released. Well, he informed me that I made it and he only was calling to ask me to bring DeVonte"s playbook up to the facility because D left it in my bag. Some may think that's funny, but for myself it was even more nerve wracking because I didn't sleep the entire night before waiting to see how things shape up. So, AFTER fussing at Sheldon for such a call, first thing went through my mind was "FINALLY I MADE IT" and I began to cry for only about a minute and praising God for such a blessing.
(Ed. Note -- The rest of the interview can be found after the jump)
POD: You spent quite a few weeks on the Lions practice squad last season (aside from the weeks you were on the active roster). As a rookie, how do you think your time on the practice squad helped with your development as a cornerback?
RR: My time on the practice squad was very difficult at first because you're not necessarily being "coached" anymore. The coaches are focused on those guys that are playing each week, so the type of competitor I am, I decided to take matters into my own hands and tell myself each day to find a way to improve my game no matter who's helping me or not helping. So, when lining up against Roy, Calvin, Shaun Mac, Mike, I would work on parts of my game that I felt was a weakness. In the back of my mind I would tell myself each week was game week so, I had to "be ready so I wouldn't have to get ready."
POD: From an outsider's perspective Rod Marinelli is viewed as a military type of guy that doesn't take anything from anyone. Is that an accurate description of the type of coach he is?
RR: Just know that about everyday on the practice field we work to the music of "Working on the Chain Gang" by Sam Cooke...which explains enough. He does the best and most unique job of getting his message across by utilizing visual aids. So, that is an accurate statement to make because Coach Marinelli doesn't expect anything but your BEST and then MORE.
POD: Going back to the 2007 draft, what was the feeling when all but one pick went by before your name was called? Similarly, how great did you feel after the Lions did draft you?
RR: Of course it was the worse feeling in the world sitting there watching other players get selected before you that you've either played against or seen play and even in comparison to you, you're simply athletically more gifted. So, it wasn't a very pleasant experience and to think it was the longest draft in NFL history. So, when one pick was left, (I had already stopped watching the draft during the 5th round) I was on the phone with my Agent, Andy Benedict, and Financial Advisor, Jamie Tebbe, deciding on what would be the best fit for myself as a priority free agent. Finally, I was selected LAST of course and it was almost the exact feeling when I had found out I made the team on Saturday. It was "bittersweet". "Bittersweet" -being I was so upset at the outcome but yet I was so blessed for having my name selected, called out, and knowing for a fact I was going to have an opportunity to be a part of a NFL organization.
POD: Finally, what was it like to be Mr. Irrelevant?
RR: At work, it's very difficult, because you're on the OUTSIDE looking in ALL situations simply because how you came into the league. So, one must focus only on what he can control and not on how low you're name is on the depth chart. But, away from work, it's a great thing, because I am representing all those that have been told they're not good enough which is definitely part of my drive. The Irrelevant Society people have been/were great to me. It's funny because the "Irrelevant" tag is a little bit different these days because the draft is only 7 rounds from when it was 20 something, but it's been fun.