It's now time for part two of my in-depth conversation with Saints starting linebacker Scott Shanle. If you're just joining us, read part one of our interview right here. In this final installment, we get to know Shanle on a much more personal level including some of his personal favorites.
Thanks, once again, to Scott for taking the time to speak with me. Best of luck to him whenever the season actually starts.
Dave Cariello: How much longer do you see yourself playing?
Scott Shanle: In 2008 I had a really good season, I was fortunate enough to be named defensive MVP. In 2009 I had a good season, my first year with coach Williams. Last year I had little injuries here and there that didn't allow me to perform the way I had previous years, week in and week out. The way I feel right now, I feel like I have four really good starter years left in me where I can really produce at a high level. Like you said, I have had no major injuries. My body feels great. Nobody wants to see a lockout but if anything, this lockout has allowed my body to feel even better. I've been able to train at a pace that's comfortable but still stay in shape. I really feel as good as I've felt in a long time.
Dave: What about life after football? What's next for your career?
Scott: I think the easiest transition would be to coach. I don't know if I will go down that path just because the hours that a lot of coaches put in are pretty rigorous. With three kids, you know, I don't really want to be away from them as much as I'd have to be in coaching. But I think that would be the easiest transition. Other than that, I probably see myself going back to the Midwest, closer to the family. Something along the lines of financial investments or something like that. I have relationships with some of Warren Buffet's closest friends in Omaha, Nebraska. I'll try to go down that avenue.
Dave: I searched the internet for quite a while looking for a picture of you with hair. Never found one. When was the last time you had hair?
Scott: [Laughs] Never in the NFL. So you can cross that off. I think it may have been the summer before my junior year at Nebraska. A couple of times throughout college I had it grown out for a little bit but I think my senior year of high school I even shaved my head because at Nebraska, the Blackshirt defense players did it so I did it. It was kinda off and on after that but I would say my junior year of college was when I shaved my head.
Dave: Who is your favorite member of the media either locally or nationally?
Scott: Lately, Brian Allee-Walsh here in New Orleans has been really good to me. He's allowed me to do a weekly blog throughout the off-season just to try and get my take on things. But as far as the guys in New Orleans I get along with them all really well. They're all very fair and really never caused any problems with anybody so I get along with everybody as far as the local media goes.
Dave: What's your favorite memory from the 2009 season?
Scott: I would have to say it would be a tie. The way the Superdome felt when we won the NFC Championship game, that was unbelievable just to see that place finally get to enjoy a game like that. And I think the game when we played at the Dolphins - in the stadium we eventually won a championship in - the way we came back in that game after being down by twenty-something points. I think you could kind of see in everyone's eyes that we were destined for greatness that season and we should do everything in our power not to mess it up because it was going to be an amazing season.
Dave: Who was your favorite player growing up?
Scott: It was Joe Montana. And I know Saints fans are going to hate me because I loved the 49ers growing up [laughs] but I was a huge 49ers fan. Joe Montana in particular. I just loved the way he always seemed to rally his team, cool and calm. He was just kind of even keeled and I'm kinda the same way. Never get too high or too low. That's the way he was. He was probably my favorite player growing up.
Dave: Do you have a pre-game ritual?
Scott: I don't have anything exotic, you know, headbutts with certain players that some guys do or slap other players around. It's a steady routine, I do the same thing. I get in my locker, I sit down, I look at the media guide for that game, I look through my playbook. It's just the same routine that I do as far as when I stretch, time-wise on the clock, when I get dressed. Things like that.
Dave: I always ask players if they have any tattoos but I already know you have at least one tattoo on your arm so I'm just going to ask you about that one. Does that tattoo have any special meaning?
Scott: No, it doesn't have any special meaning. It was just one of those things that I got when I was in college. I went to get a tattoo and I'm sitting there looking at what I can get. What do I think I won't regret 20 or 30 years from now? It was just something I decided on. It has no meaning. I just liked it at the time.
Dave: Now that it's been about ten years, do you regret it?
Scott: I think going back, I probably wouldn't have gotten it but it's nothing I regret. It's just something I'll be able to tell my two sons about someday. "Dad regrets this. it wasn't as cool as I thought." [laughs]
Dave: Favorite song/artist? If I stole your iPod and pushed play what song would come on right now?
Scott: I'm into hard rock, the old hard rock and metal. Have you heard of Pantera?
Dave: Of course, yes.
Scott: I did an interview with Phil Anselmo last summer over at the facility because he's got his Housecore label and he was doing interviews with some of the guys. I think my favorite of all time would have to be Pantera.
Dave: What is it about football that you love so much?
Scott: There's so many things in this world that people say, "Money can't buy." I will never forget running out on the field before the 2006 NFC Championship Game thinking, "You know how many people would kill to be in this situation right now?" It's just an experience that very few people will get to ever have in their life. For me, I try to soak up every moment. You can buy vacations, you can buy nice houses. But there are some things money can't buy, like the experience of playing in th NFL.
Dave: Xbox or PS3?
Scott: I used to play a lot more video games than I do now, but I would definitely prefer Playstation 3 over Xbox.
Dave: Favorite food/meal?
Scott: Chicken Parmesan.
Dave: Favorite movie?
Scott: I'm kinda into comedies. I'm a big Will Ferrell fan. Pretty much anything Will Ferrell is in.
Scott: Yes. There was just a Will Ferrell marathon on the other day. I watched Anchorman, Talladega Nights and Step Brothers.
Dave: Favorite TV show?
Scott: The Celebrity Apprentice. I got hooked on that about two years ago.