Lamarr Houston was the Raiders second round pick in the 2010 NFL draft and I recently got a chance to interview him and talked to him about his preparation for the upcoming season.
How did Colt McCoy’s injury affect the team against Alabama and losing out on the national championship despite you having a monster game?
Lamarr: Losing Colt was tough because he was our leader, and we follow his direction. When we went down we were just trying to hold out until Gilbert got into rhythm. He got into it pretty late and gave us a chance, but we just ran out of time.
What did you think of your alma mater possibly moving to another conference? Are you happy that Texas stayed in the Big 12?
Lamarr: I’m happy they stayed in the Big 12. It’s the Big 12 Conference, the tradition, and the name they made.
How did it feel to be drafted by a team with such a storied history? How are you going to help turn it around back into a yearly power?
Lamarr: Very Honored to be a part of a storied franchise like the Raiders. The more you look into it, the more great players you see they had.
Right now we’re just working to win one game at a time. For the future I’d love to get back to the glory of the past, but right now I’m just focused on getting into training camp and helping the team win one game at a time.
Do you keep in touch with your former Longhorn teammates that were drafted this past year? Do you guys exchange ideas and experiences to learn how to adjust the NFL way of life?
Lamarr: Yeah, at the University of Texas we always keep in touch with our ex-players. Brian Orakpo is a good friend of mine, I talk with him every once in a while, ask him what it’s like, ask for direction on what to expect. VY (Vince Young) is like a big brother to me, he tells me you have to come in ready to work and enjoy yourself.
Oakland lost 2 OTA days, how big of a loss was that for you and the team?
Lamarr: I thought it was a huge loss, just to get two more days of work in. Unfortunately we lost those two and there’s nothing we can do about it. We’ll be alright though.
How much have Richard Seymour and John Henderson helped get you prepared?
Lamarr: Oh yeah, they’re just teaching me different techniques how to hold myself out there and just learn how to play the game and how to be consistent.
Mike Waufle (Raiders D-Line Coach) has had great success in the NFL working with the Giants for the past few years; what is it like learning under such a respected NFL coach?
Lamarr: Coach Waufle, his system is great. His philosophy of the game and his knowledge is tremendous. He’s a really good coach and he’s got Hall Of Fame players, so he’s just a great coach.
Defensive linemen generally take a year or two to get acclimated to the NFL; how big of an impact do you think you can give the Raider this year?
Lamarr: We’ll see, hopefully I can get into the rotation, but we’ll see.
Who do you compare your game to?
Lamarr: I don’t think my game is fully developed, so I don’t really compare my game to anyone yet. Seymour is a great player and if I can learn anything, imitate the things he does, I will.
What are your goals for this season, individual and team?
Lamarr: My goals for the season is just to play, and for the team just win one game at a time really, just get this tradition turned around.
What pressures do you feel (or have had heaped on you) by being a middle second round pick (#44)? Have these been motivating factors? Have they been detrimental in the build up to this season?
Lamarr: I don’t feel any pressure. I’m just here to play football and help the team.
Are you a player that is at all interested in the Madden NFL franchise and the obligatory overall ranking they assign a person? If so, what do you make of their 70 ranking?
Lamarr: I’ve never played it, so it probably could be a lot lower, I don’t really know, I don’t really get into any of that.
You are the youngest of 8 children; how did growing up in a family that size help you in your path to the NFL?
Lamarr: My mother and father are my foundation. They taught me everything. Being in a big family, I’m used to being around a lot of people, and I guess I’m easier to get along with.