Johnny Patrick: Johnny on the Spot is Johnny Spot-On!
In an exclusive interview with BlackandGold.com, University of Louisville (Cardinals) secondary coach Larry Slade gives his unique perspective on the Saintsí newest cornerback, Johnny Patrick.
B&G.com: Coach Slade, itís recruiting season for the major colleges, and youíre on the road. We appreciate your taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with us about Johnny Patrick.
Coach Slade: Itís my pleasure.
Video of draft selection: NFL Videos: Saints pick Johnny Patrick No. 88
B&G.com: Is it so that the Saints have a veteran player on the roster that youíve coached?
Coach Slade: Yes, I was a secondary coach for Jabari Greer at the Univ. of Tennessee.
B&G.com: What is the main leadership trait that Johnny Patrick brings to the Saints?
Coach Slade: Iíd have to say itís his character and work ethic.
B&G.com: Will where he was drafted (3rd round) be a motivational tool for his success in the NFL?
Coach Slade: Actually, heís a self-starter and is already highly motivated. As a matter of fact, Johnny came to the Univ. of Louisville as a wide receiver and former track star. Because of the needs of the team, he was converted to cornerback. He certainly had a lot to learn with that, but he put in the hard work to make the transition. Our Head Coach (Charlie Strong) and Def. Coordinator (Vance Bedford) were terrific mentors, did what it took to help make him better. Patrickís ascent and level of play were so astounding that I have no doubt that had he returned to Louisville this Fall, he would have been a legitimate 1st round pick in the 2012 draft.
B&G.com: Players that are eventually successful in the NFL have a special skill set that they bring. What is it about Johnny that makes you feel he has a legitimate shot at the Saintsí final 53, and possibly a starter?
Coach Slade: He will outwork people. As a corner, he can cover the taller receivers. He plays well pressing on the line as well as sticking with a receiver in coverage. He studies the various offensive schemes, and makes adjustments well. Johnny can change direction quickly, and has good, fluid hip movement that will enable him to be a solid cover guy.
B&G.com: Special teams remain an important factor in the NFL, especially with respect to field position. Has Johnny Patrick played on special teams with any regularity?
Coach Slade: Yes, he has. He played on kickoff (kicking and receiving teams), as well as on punt coverage. He is tough enough to be a gunner as well; heís tenacious!
B&G.com: What is the most memorable performance youíve seen Patrick turn in on the field?
Coach Slade: Two games come to mind. He was outstanding in our game vs. Rutgers and came up with a key interception that helped turn the game around. He also forced a fumble in our bowl game (vs. S. Mississippi). On another note, our team had a strong finish in the 2010 season after a slow start. If you track the point of our turnaround, it lined up with Johnny Patrickís level of play (starting with our 3rd or 4th game). He is a pivotal player, and was at a critical position as a boundary cornerback.
B&G.com: How durable will Johnny Patrick be in the NFL?
Coach Slade: Well, when he first came to the Univ. of Louisville, he had a ďTrack Star mentality.Ē That is, he was not eager to play after he got dinged-up in a game. After Coach Strong & Coach Bedford pulled him aside, they helped develop his mental toughness. After a while, we noticed a difference. From that point on, Patrick wanted to stay in the game no matter what (injury or whatever).
B&G.com: Is Patrick aware of Saintsí Def. Coordinator Gregg Williamsí reputation as a coach?
Coach Slade: I would have to assume that he has done his homework, and has an idea of what to expect. Regardless, Johnny will be ready for whatever coaching style heíll play under. Believe me, if he can handle Coach Strongís fiery style, heíll probably be able to hang in there under Coach Williams.
Video of Johnny Strong:
B&G.com: Saints players have a legacy of strong community involvement. How well will Johnny Patrick fit in as a participant in community outreach?
Coach Slade: We require that all Univ. of Louisville players get involved in the community. I have no doubt that he will embrace the Gulf South community on his own.
B&G.com: What type of player is Patrick in the locker room?
Coach Slade: He is more quiet and reserved. But he is also vocal when he needs to be. He doesnít talk just to hear himself speak. When he has something to say, it is usually important.
B&G.com: To the best of your knowledge, is Johnny Patrick married or in a serious relationship?
Coach Slade: I actually donít know, but Iím reasonably sure he is not married.
B&G.com: What will be the legacy of Johnny Patrick with the Saints in the next two years?
Coach Slade: Johnny Patrick will a starter, and will be making big contributions to the Saintsí success.
B&G.com: Once again coach, we really appreciate your taking the time for this interview. On behalf of Saints fans everywhere and the Black and Gold Nation, thank you for giving us your thoughts on Johnny Patrick. All the best to you and the Louisville Cardinals in coming season.
Coach Slade: Youíre welcome; all the best to the Saints. Take care.
Schwing ..... more quality depth at CB!
Looking more promising for a second Lombardi Gras!
That was cool. Who did the interview?...
Great read.......with some really good questions.
Sounds like he's recruiting; when the players come around to the fact that the owners are serious about not letting labor run the show any longer and we get back to playing football, we'll see whether we have a Porter or a Usama...
Speaking of Usama Young, unless you're a starter, you shouldn't have your own website...
Then again where else would you see the guy in action...
After suffering in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and until our Superbowl year, we finally have a #1 rated secondary.
Outstanding... Did anybody notice this kid is from Orlando FL? Wonder if he's was a Bucs fan?
Maybe I should be asking the questions.
Very Good !!!
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