I've got a special treat for all of my Canal Street Chronicles faithful today. It is with great pleasure that I give to you a quick little Q&A that I had the opportunity to participate in with Saints linebacker and defensive leader, Jonathan Vilma. He needs no introduction and anything I write probably wouldn't be adequate enough. Besides, we don't have enough time to talk about all of his awards and stats.
Before we get started I just want to thank Jonathan for taking time out of his day to answer my questions especially during the post-season. It's even more impressive that such a high-profile player is willing to sit down with us here in our small corner of the sports world so I appreciate Jonathan's acceptance of new internet media and our community here. We're breaking down walls here people. Enjoy!
CSC: What has been your favorite moment as a New Orleans Saint so far?
Vilma: My favorite moment was winning the division when we beat Washington in overtime. Having to come back, we were down the whole game, I had a key interception and we kicked a field goal to win it in OT and also win the division.
CSC: What is one of your favorite things about the city of New Orleans?
Vilma: The food! Definitely the food. The food is great.
CSC: If you weren't playing football, what do you think you'd be doing?
Vilma: I want to say I'd be a financial adviser, but I think I'd be more of a banker. I think I'd really like that.
CSC: How does coach Payton keep all of you motivated? What makes him so good at what he does?
Vilma: He keeps everything in perspective. He doesn't harp. He doesn't get too high on the highs or too low on the lows. He understands our team very well, and he's real good at working with the players. For example, when we're hurt, he knows when to back off. He knows when to push us and he knows when to not.
CSC: Which defensive player has surprised you the most with how hard he's worked and how well he's played?
Vilma: Jabari Greer. He came in and has been nothing but spectacular for us throughout the year. He got hurt, missed a couple games, but we're definitely real happy to have him back.
CSC: Who is the toughest player you've ever had to defend against and why?
Vilma: The toughest player I had to defend against was Tom Brady. The reason why was because - I mean, he's Tom Brady. I don't know what else you want me to say about him. The guy is smart, he can throw the ball, he's tough, he's competitive, and now that he has (or had) his weapons in Wes Welker and Randy Moss, it was a nightmare.
CSC: Can you take us through your routine on game day?
Vilma: You know, not much of a routine. I don't listen to music. I make sure I get up and eat at least three hours before the game. Make sure I stretch one good time at least an hour before the game. And once I'm in the locker room I make sure I meditate. I envision myself making a couple of plays here and there, and where I'm gonna be. I'd say I do that about 20 minutes out before the game, then go from there.
CSC: Which stadium is the most difficult to play in?
Vilma: It would have to be New Orleans. Our stadium is tough to play in. Once our crowd gets going it's tough to play in there. I'm a Saints guy, and I'm on the defensive side and I'm hearing the hell that the Saints fans are giving the opposing offenses and it's pretty tough. It's a huge challenge to manage the defense with that noise, but I'd rather them be loud and pumped up and going than quiet, because if they're quiet it means we're getting beat.
CSC: Who are some of your closer friends on the team?
Vilma: Some of my closer friends on the team would be Jo-Lonn Dunbar. He was put on IR, he hurt his hammy. A lot of defensive guys: Roman Harper, Darren Sharper, Scott Fujita. Those are my boys.
CSC: After the season is over will fans finally get to know what all of you yell during the pre-game chant that Drew leads?
Vilma: After the game is over in Miami on February 7th then, yes, everyone can know what we've been chanting.