For this edition of the Command Center, Rashad Barksdale took the time to give us some more insight on what it is like to play Defensive Back in the AFL.
Q: First off Rashad, how has the season been going for you personally?
A: The season for me personally is going pretty good. I had a rough start to the season, starting off slow…but now that we are in the swing of things, I feel like I am right where I left off from last year.
Q: What is the hardest thing about playing DB in the Arena Football League?
A: The hardest thing about playing DB is arena football is covering the motion guy coming at you full speed, while you have to back peddle!
Q: You joined the team last year six games into the year and still managed to finish second on the team in tackles with 81.5. How were you able to make such an impact so quickly?
A: I was excited to play the game of football again! So I was flying around non stop out there, trying to contribute and make any type of play possible…and my desire.
Q: At the University of Albany (NY), you were a key contributor on the baseball team but made the transition to the football team for your senior year. How were you able to make the transition and what prompted you to make a change?
A: The transition was as easy as it could have been to be honest with you. Football is my better sport, but I just had more love for baseball at the time. Football comes so smooth/ natural to me. I made the change because I was all done playing baseball and I had 1 more year of eligibility left, so I decided to walk onto the football team. I actually asked the coach if I could play running back…but he stuck me on the defense. I started out as the 4th string corner, and quickly made my way to 1st string and started every game of the season as corner and punt returner…My coach called me “Christmas is August”
Q: From that, you were drafted in the 6th round of the 2007 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. How was it for you to hear your name called during the NFL draft and what were your initial thoughts?
A: To hear you name called during the draft is a dream come true! It was a wonderful experience. Still something to this day that I cherish
Q: What other teams have you played for and what have those experiences been like for you?
A: I have played for the Kansas City Chiefs, NY Giants, NY Jets and Arizona Cardinals.
-Those experiences were great…I played in 6 games with the Chiefs and was on the practice squad with the Giants, but then got brought up in the playoffs.Went to camp with the Jets, and spent a year on the Cardinals practice squad.
Q: There has been so much talk about player safety along the lines of concussions and head injuries and the long term effects. What are your thoughts on this issue and what do you do to ensure your safety?
A: Not really much to say about all these concussions occurring these days. People are bigger, faster and stronger, which leads to higher impacts! That’s all…this is football…a high impact sport…I don’t think there is much that can really be done to prevent concussions.
Q: If you had to tell a young and up and coming football player one piece of advice, what would it be and why?
A: If I had to give a young and up coming football player a piece of advice it would be…Don’t ever give up on yourself, because others will just do that for you.
Q: What are some of your hobbies and things you like to do in your free time?
A: Hobbies that I do in my free time are watch movies, play Xbox, shop…work out.
Q: What is one interesting fact about yourself that most people don’t know?
A: Interesting facts that most people don’t know about me is that I listen to Adele, I like to read poetry every once in awhile… I snowboard and I am addicted to Twizzlers
The Command Center focus’s on getting to know the players, coaches, and owners and allowing the fans to learn more about these tremendous individuals. It is authored by Tyler Derby, a diehard fan of the Kansas City Command going back to its Brigade days who has followed the Arena Football League for years. It is written by a fan for the fans!!