|11-22-2006, 12:38 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Raleigh, NC
Steve Atwater Interview
Here's a little distraction from the plummer/cutler arguements...
Steve Atwater Interview
NFL Street legend talks Broncos, The Nigerian Nightmare, and Elway.
by Jon Robinson
November 21, 2006 - Steve Atwater and Ronnie Lott are the two reasons receivers developed alligator arms over the middle of the field.
And while Ronnie ruled the NFC, it was Atwater who roamed the AFC, putting fear in the hearts and hands of receivers and even running backs like The Nigerian Nightmare, Christian Okoye, who felt Atwater's wrath in front of millions on Monday Night Football. A free safety who hit like a linebacker, check that, he hit like a runaway train, Atwater won two Super Bowls with the Broncos while helping revolutionize the way his position is played.
These days, Atwater the man may have retired from the field, but his legacy lives on in the street, NFL Street 3 (PS2, PSP) to be exact.
Atwater is one of the legends you're able to unlock in the game, so watch your back. You thought he hit hard in Mile High, wait until he slams you into a wall.
IGN Sports caught up with the legend himself from his office in Atlanta to talk Broncos, the new videogame, and Super Bowl rings.
IGN Sports: You're a legend in NFL Street 3. Did you play a lot of street football as a kid?
Steve Atwater: Oh, come on now, in St. Louis we had to. That's how I first separated my shoulder when I was 10 years old. I couldn't play ball that year because of it. I played a lot of street ball. I remember how this guy pulled me down on my shoulder, and I knew it was hurt, but when I went home, I didn't want to tell my mom. It was right before the regular season was supposed to start, and I wasn't supposed to be playing street football, so I went into the house and put on a big coat to try to hide it. I walked around with my friends and we concocted this story of how a dog was chasing us and I ran into a lamppost. [laughs] She acted like she bought it, but when I told her many years later what really happened she was like: "I know you didn't run into no dang-gone lamppost." [laughs]
IGN Sports: So that's where the legend of Steve Atwater's big hits began, out on the streets of St. Louis?
Steve Atwater: When I was in third grade, we used to play tackle football on the concrete. We weren't hitting the way we did when we got older, but that's where I learned to bring people to the ground.
IGN Sports: Do you know about your legacy in sports videogames like Madden and Tecmo Super Bowl?
Steve Atwater: People used to come up and tell me how good I was in Tecmo Bowl. Random fans would just walk up and say "Tecmo Bowl, you're my man!" or something like that. It's really cool, man. With so many great players, as time moves on, you tend to forget about the older players, guys who played in the past, so videogames are a great way to be honored. Show some of these young guys that these older guys knew how to play a little too. I'm honored to be a legend in NFL Street. You look at some of the other guys in the game (Reggie White, Ray Nitschke), and it's an honor that I'm included.
IGN Sports: The game is 7-on-7 ironman football. If you had to pick a Street team out of current players, who would you want?
Steve Atwater: My first pick would be LaDainian Tomlinson. He's the most explosive, fastest, toughest back I've seen. He'd definitely be my first pick. I'll take Peyton Manning as my QB, Rod Smith, he's one of my best friends, he'll be my wideout, he can still make plays. My other receiver would be T.O. He's not having a great year, he's dropping a lot of balls, but I know when crunch time comes, he's a playmaker. On defense, I'll line up Bob Sanders next to myself at safety. I'm a safety guy, what can I say, I'll take Sanders and Rodney Harrison. You need those big hits to intimidate your opponent. If I can take one more, I can't forget Steve Smith. Not only is he a great receiver, I bet he'd be a tough little corner out there too. I have him on my fantasy football team. He's a beast.
IGN Sports: You mentioned hits that cause intimidation, is the hit you laid on Christian Okoye the one that people bring up the most?
Steve Atwater: Yeah, that's the one most people bring up first. That, or they'll mention the Super Bowl against Green Bay, I had a collision with my own guy, Randy Hilliard and Robert Brooks from Green Bay. The play before the last play of the game, we were all knocked out. Those are the two people mention to me.
IGN Sports: Do you realize the popularity of your throwback jersey? I've seen a few around the Bay Area, and this is Raider territory, so you know you're popular when you see the orange out here.
Steve Atwater: I've seen some out, even down here in Atlanta. People don't even realize it's me walking by them. It's not like I walk up and say "Hey man, that's my jersey" or anything like that. But it's pretty cool. I guess everyone needs a little orange to finish out their wardrobe.
IGN Sports: You played with John Elway for so long. Where do you think he rates on the all-time list of greats?
Steve Atwater: Top of the line. If I had to pick a team from scratch, from all time, I'd pick John as my quarterback. The leadership he had, his competitiveness…and the guy could pull a rabbit out of a hat. Not only was he a consistent player, but for some reason, if it got down to the end of a game, he could pull stuff out to win it in ways I'd never seen a quarterback do.
IGN Sports: How about safeties? Who do you see as the best safeties in the NFL today?
Steve Atwater: Roy Williams is a great player. He's always around the ball and he hits. Bob Sanders, when he's healthy, I love watching that guy play. He goes after the ball with great tenacity and he's not afraid to hit anybody, and I mean anybody. And, of course, Rodney Harrison. He's one of my good friends, we live in the same neighborhood, and I love his approach to the game, his mentality, and not only does he get ready for the game himself, but he gets everybody on his team ready to play. I get fired up just watching him. Watching Rodney play makes me want to jump out there and hit someone myself, but then I come back to reality right quick. I can't do that anymore. [laughs]
IGN Sports: What do you think of the Broncos defense this year?
Steve Atwater: This is the best Broncos defense I've seen play, especially against some of the offenses they've played against. They're playing better than the defense I was on. I don't want to knock any of the guys I was playing with, but this team right now is special. Our offense was a lot more potent than what they have right now, our offense used to put points up on the board.
IGN Sports: Is Champ the key?
Steve Atwater: Oh yeah, Champ is the best corner in the league. It's not even close. Champ, John Lynch and those linebackers, D.J. Williams, Ian Gold, and Al Wilson, they'll shut you down. But Champ is so good at what he does, and in my opinion, cornerback is the toughest position to play on the field. The wide receivers are going to go deep throughout the game, and if there is a weakness at cornerback, you don't even have a chance to win. If you're corners aren't ready, it'll be a long day. Champ makes such a huge difference because he takes your best receiver and basically shuts him down. You can't throw on Champ. The way this defense plays, the Broncos have a shot to go all the way this year.
IGN Sports:? Do you ever wear your Super Bowl rings?
Steve Atwater: I wore one the last couple of days. I have two Super Bowl rings and a Ring of Fame ring from Denver, and I look at it like, it's not so much for me, it's for other people. When people see a Super Bowl ring, just to see the excitement they get, it's more for them than it is for me. I don't want to show off, but to see the joy these rings bring to other people, I get a thrill out of that. Them jokers are big, boy, and it's great to see the reactions they get.
|11-23-2006, 05:33 AM||#7|
1st Amendment Protection
Join Date: May 2005
Location: St. Petersburg Russia
Great post. Get his all into the HOF