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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; In an exclusive interview with BlackandGold.com, former University of Pittsburgh (Panthers) defensive line coach Greg Gattuso explains why the New Orleans Saints have hit the bonanza by taking defensive end Greg Romeus in the 2011 NFL draft. B&G.com: Coach Gattuso, ...

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Old 05-13-2011, 10:45 AM   #1
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In an exclusive interview with BlackandGold.com, former University of Pittsburgh (Panthers) defensive line coach Greg Gattuso explains why the New Orleans Saints have hit the bonanza by taking defensive end Greg Romeus in the 2011 NFL draft.

B&G.com: Coach Gattuso, we know that this is a busy time of the year for you. All of the major colleges are on the road recruiting, and we appreciate your taking the time to speak with us.

Coach Gattuso: It’s my pleasure.

B&G.com: We had to track you down in Terrapin Country.

Coach Gattuso: Yes, I’ve changed uniforms. I moved from Pitt to the University of Maryland’s football staff.

B&G.com: What is main leadership trait that Greg Romeus brings to the Saints?

Coach Gattuso: Hard work, relentless practice, and leadership by example. Greg is a “do the right thing” kind of a guy. It rubs off on the other players.

B&G.com: Romeus’ being drafted in the 7th round was a surprise to many. Will other teams regret having passed on him now that he’s a Saint?

Coach Gattuso: No question about it! With Greg, you have a guy that had an unbelievable string of things happen in his life in the last few years. His mother died (and the sorrow and grief that accompanies that); he had back surgery, and also had a knee injury in a freakish way. He has fought back from all of those things, and they have all worked to make him an even stronger man –and player. Before his injuries, Romeus was projected as a solid first round draft prospect.

B&G.com: Will his being drafted in the 7th round be a motivational tool for Greg’s success in the NFL?

Coach Gattuso: Yes, I believe so. He understands that everyone has to overcome circumstances. What you’ll find is that when Greg gets focused, he achieves his goals, and he is difficult to deny. He’s a great player, and responds well to challenges.

B&G.COM: Coming back from injuries is a tall order. What are the odds that Romeus will be able to compete and contribute in his first year with the Saints?

Coach Gattuso: I’m not saying that he will be ready, but then again, I have not seen him in recent months. He may be well on his way in his rehab with strength and conditioning. Many don’t give him credit for coming back (from his back surgery and knee injury) the last time. Don’t count him out. I would not be surprised if Greg is ready to step in this season.

B&G.com: Players that are successful in the NFL have a special skill set that they bring. What is it about Greg Romeus that makes you feel that he has a legitimate shot at making the Saints’ final 53, and possibly be a starter?

Coach Gattuso: Greg has elusive strength; he’s extremely strong. He also has long arms, which will give him an edge in separating himself from an offensive lineman. He’s very disruptive on the line of scrimmage. His height and arm length will enable him to deflect passes, push the pocket, and tackle runners for losses behind the line.

Pre-draft evaluation on Greg Romeus:

B&G.com: Special teams remain an important factor in the NFL, especially with respect to field position. Has Greg played on special teams; how did he do?

Coach Gattuso: His biggest contribution to special teams will be on defending extra points and field goals. With longer distance field goals, kickers will need a lower ball trajectory (angle). With Greg at the line, with his height and arm length, he will possibly block some kicks for the Saints. With the Univ. of Pittsburgh, Romeus blocked 5 or 6 extra points and field goals. He has also come very close in many other instances.

B&G.com: What was the most memorable performance you’ve seen Romeus turn in on the field?

Coach Gattuso: It would have to be our homecoming game vs. Louisville. This was Greg’s breakout game in which he had about 3 sacks, 2 or 3 QB pressures, and 2 or 3 tackles for a loss. If I had to point out another game, it would be his performance in the 2008 Sun Bowl, in which he our defensive MVP.

B&G.com: Is Romeus aware of Saints’ Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams’ reputation as a coach? How will he respond?

Coach Gattuso: It won’t be an issue. Greg Romeus can take the heat; he can handle anything.

B&G.com: Saints players have strong community involvement. How well will Romeus fit in as a participant in community outreach?

Coach Gattuso: Greg will do well. He is used to being out in the community. He will be an excellent ambassador in community outreach for the New Orleans Saints.

B&G.com: How would you describe Romeus in the locker room?

Coach Gattuso: Most of the time he’s a reserved and quiet type of individual. But from time to time he will step up and speak out when it’s necessary. From a work aspect, you could consider him to be a workout freak. He never misses practice, and works hard.

B&G.com: Two years from now, what will we be saying about Greg Romeus?

Coach Gattuso: Everyone will be saying that Greg Romeus was the BIGGEST STEAL in the 2011 NFL draft! You’ve got a great one; you’re going to love him!

B&G.com: Coach Gattuso, on behalf of the Who Dat Nation and Saints fans everywhere, thank you for giving us your perspective on Greg Romeus. All the best to you and the Maryland Terrapins this season.

Coach Gattuso: You’re welcome; great talking with you.


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Halo and strato like this.
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:09 PM   #2
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B&G.com: How would you describe Romeus in the locker room?

Coach Gattuso: Most of the time he’s a reserved and quiet type of individual. But from time to time he will step up and speak out when it’s necessary. From a work aspect, you could consider him to be a workout freak. He never misses practice, and works hard.
I like this part. Romeus sounds like a smart player. We're building a very smart, leadership oriented defense. All this is good news.

In fact, I think all our draft picks have strong character as well as athletic ability this year.
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:11 PM   #3
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Good interview, so he compares to Ray Edwards, I'll take it and in the 7th round even better
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:58 PM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by Halo View Post
I like this part. Romeus sounds like a smart player. We're building a very smart, leadership oriented defense. All this is good news.

In fact, I think all our draft picks have strong character as well as athletic ability this year.
I remember Jim Finks stating the Saints had to get smarter... guess back then we had a bunch of rocks!
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:19 PM   #5
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B&G.com: Two years from now, what will we be saying about Greg Romeus?

Coach Gattuso: Everyone will be saying that Greg Romeus was the BIGGEST STEAL in the 2011 NFL draft! You’ve got a great one; you’re going to love him!
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:13 PM   #6
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If his knee is better by the start of training camp he could help while Smith is on vacation. He needs a strong rehab program. He just might be "that guy" that amazes everyone this year. I like his work ethic.
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:09 PM   #7
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Low risk pick with high reward. You really can't go wrong.
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:08 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by foreverfan View Post
Low risk pick with high reward. You really can't go wrong.
Very good gamble if you ask me. I get it that his injures in college were kind of odd and freakish, but how can anyone expect him to stay healthy at the NFL level? But, for a 7th round pick, very much worth the gamble. This guy could very well work out great for the Saints.
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:52 AM   #9
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I've got a real good feeling about this kid.
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:55 AM   #10
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I hope he gets healthy, stays healthy and works out well for us. 6' 5" 270-ish, I like it.
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bill randall, greg gattuso, greg romeus, new orleans saints, university of pittsburgh

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