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Michael Pittman Interview

by Conor Philpott

Michael Pittman is a veteran of the game, having spent ten seasons in the league. He had over 5,000 yards over his career during which he spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Denver Broncos and the Arizona Cardinals. He won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002, and after a rocky first season with the team, he ended up rushing for over 120 yards on 30 carries. His 5 year stint with the Buccaneers led to him being named their running back of the 2000s. We would also like to congratulate Michael on finishing his degree at the University of Phoenix.

How nervous were you before the Super Bowl? Did you believe you would produce the goods come the big game? (as you did in the Super Bowl)

I was really nervous before the game. I believe my whole team/coaches were also. The whole world was watching, and it’s the biggest sporting even in the world. You can’t help but to get nervous you know. I believed I was going have a good game. The 2002 year started off rough for me. I suffered a high ankle sprain that slowed me down and lasted all year long.. But once the Superbowl game rolled around, I wasn’t going to let nothing stop me, it was a once a lifetime opportunity, so I gave my all and we pulled off a victory.

What was your typical week weight lifting regiment as a player? What were your preferred exercises? Would there be a massive difference between the fitness work you did then and now?

We workout Monday through Friday as a team. I really like working on my legs and shoulders. Those are the two most valuable parts of the body for a professional running back in my opinion. There wasn’t a huge difference from how I workout in the off season compared to in season training. We had some good strength trainers and they knew what they were doing.

What would you have said your best skills was as a running back? Would there have been any department you would liked to have been better at?

My best skill as a running back was my ability to catch the ball out of the backfield along with my route running. And there’s always room to improve your skills.

You played with some great running backs and full backs, like Mike Alstott and Thomas Jones who would you rank as the best?

Larry Centers, Mike Alsttot, & Thomas Jones in that order.

Who would you say was the best defender you came up against?

Ray Lewis, hands down. That dudes a beast!

The Buccaneers, loved running the ball during your tenure, what was your favourite running play out of the playbook?

I liked running 92-93 Zone and 98-99 Bunch Crunch.

Some of your followers on twitter will have seen the drawing skills you possess. Has that been something that has always interested you?

Yeah I always enjoyed drawing. I never really showed anybody my work before but it has been something I always enjoyed doing in my down time.

Some players have spoken in the past about having a tough time adjusting to life when they finish playing. Has that been something you have had a problem with? Have you taken up many new hobbies after your playing days?

Yes it was tough at first, life after football. Football was something I did every year of my life since the age of 10. So when you finish your career and start your life after the game it’s pretty tough. I adjusted well and been active since my retirement. I was a intern RB for the Redskins and I went back to school to finish up my degree in 2010 and now I’m about graduate this November from the University of Phoenix with my Business degree.

Who has inspired you in life outside of football?

My family.

With the recent Lance Armstrong story, do you think that Performance enhancing drugs are an issue in the NFL and do you think it is a problem in American Sports?

No I don’t think it’s a problem in the NFL. I believe the NFL is doing a great job of drug testing the athletes. If you try to cheat in the NFL, it’s a guarantee you’ll get caught.

You and Mike Alstott operated as a duo, can you see Blount and Martin doing the same? Were you able to be friendly with a guy who was trying to steal your spot?

I think they will have a great year together as long as they both work as a unit and put the team before self. I never had a problem with sharing time in the backfield with none of my teammates. There was never any jealousy amongst our group and we are all still friends.

What do you currently enjoy watching on TV and why?

I really don’t watch to much TV. TV shows have been taking over by reality tv and I’m not a huge reality tv fan.

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