||HEADLINE NEWS - Features
Wednesday - 9/26/2001
- Age: 33
- College: Savannah State
- Birthdate: June 26, 1968 in Chicago, Illinois
- Attended Glenville High School in Glenville, GA
- Shannon was originally drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 1990 NFL draft. Shannon was chosen in the 7th round as the 192nd pick. This is his first time playing in Denver since joining the Ravens as a free agent in 2000.
Why does Shannon still play the game? What else does the game have to offer?
“I still enjoy the game and I can still play. I still feel that I am one of the best three tight ends in the game. As long as I can still go out there and put up numbers and be productive, I will play. I will say this, I will leave a year earlier from when they are ready for me to go. They might be ready for me to go in year 14, so I will leave in year 13. They might be ready for me to leave in year 13 and this is year 12, so I will leave this year. I will have the upper hand. I have earned that right. My entire career, the team has always held the cards. I can finally say that I have the ace.”
Is there anything people don’t know about Shannon Sharpe?
“People think that what they see on television is what I am. They see a guy who is always talking, so they think I love the camera. I don’t go looking for the camera, they come to me. They ask me the questions because more times than not, I am going to have an opinion. You ask me a question and I am going to give you an answer. Now it might not be the answer that you want to hear, but I am going to tell you what I feel. All I have ever wanted to do is play the game and go home. My life is boring that way.”
On his last couple of years in Denver and Mike Shanahan:
“It was time for me to leave Denver. I appreciate Mike a lot better than I did back then. There were some things I said that he didn’t like and maybe he didn’t like the way I carried myself, but I appreciate him now that I am away from that situation. I can look back and I realize how big of a positive influence he was. I am at peace with myself now and I really appreciate what Mike did for me.”
One of the most important things Mike (Shanahan) taught him:
“Mike taught me how to watch film. He taught me how to look at an opponent and evaluate what they did well. The next step was to then prepare for that and react to anything else. If you know a guy’s favorite punch is the right cross, then you make him beat you with the uppercut or jab. You don’t let him beat you with the right cross. Being with Mike, and having him show me how to break down film, has helped me see things that have made me a better player. I thank Mike for making the game so much easier for me.”
On his work ethic:
“Growing up in rural Georgia, you had responsibilities. We had to work for survival. We had to help put food on the table and buy our own school clothes. So it was a situation where if you didn’t work, then you didn’t get school clothes, or you didn’t eat. It made it very simple. That is all I know. I don’t know anything else. I don’t know what it is to sit back and take it easy. That was what really bothered me in Denver, when people started to question my work ethic. It was the first time in 36 years that someone called my lazy. That really bothered me more than anything that has been said about me in my professional career.”
Can anyone out-work you?
“No. There are a lot of people who are more talented than me and I can’t control that. But I can do something about a person being able to outwork me.”
Can you be out-dressed? By anyone here or in Denver?
“No and definitely not. I have a body style that is not too short and not too tall. I am not too big or too small. My clothes drape on me a certain way. I am conservative. My philosophy is simple. If I become a businessman, or a commentator, I would like to think that the suit I wear on the road trips, I would immediately be able to wear on the air or in a board meeting. What am I going to do with a suit that is hot pink or fuscia?"
Can you be out-debated?
“Probably not. For the simple fact that not only am I a good talker, but nine times out of ten, I know what I am talking about. That makes it doubly difficult for