Former NFL standout defensive end Alex Brown knows a thing or two about taking care of himself. He played nine seasons in the NFL without missing a game, so it's more than safe to take his word for it. We caught up with the former Florida Gator recently to ask him about his life on and off the field. Here's what he had to say:
(Responses have been lightly edited for brevity.)
JACK BLACK: You started your playing career at the University of Florida before being drafted by the Bears. What was the biggest adjustment you had to make?
ALEX BROWN: The speed of the game was definitely an adjustment. [Also,] realizing that everyone at this level is really good, so finding weaknesses is hard to do.
JB: If you had to pick one, what would it be: unassisted sack of a rival’s QB or an interception?
AB: INT no doubt. [Plus,] getting an INT just helps my argument that defensive ends are the most athletic athletes on the field.
JB: Which of your stats are you most proud of?
AB: I played 9 seasons in the NFL and never missed a game—very proud of that one.
JB: What’s the biggest misconception people have about NFL athletes?
AB: The biggest misconception is that all NFL athletes are rich. Very few guys finish their careers with enough money to never work again.
JB: Which opposing player did you respect the most and why?
AB: Walter Jones. He was the best offensive lineman I ever competed against, and he brought out the best in me because if I didn't play my best he would kick my butt and I really didn't want that (laughs).
JB: Most exciting defensive end in the league right now?
AB: I would have to say that it's Michael Bennett. He is super versatile, always plays hard and very productive.
JB: What do you miss the most about your playing days? What do you miss the least?
AB: I miss the locker room with the guys and the fun we had. I do not miss the cold tub baths we had to take after training camp practices so that your body was ready to go the following day.
JB: What has retirement allowed you to focus more time on?
AB: Family. They sacrificed so much when I was playing, and I am anxious to be there moving forward to support them in whatever it is they choose to do.
JB: What advice do you have for aspiring NFL athletes?
AB: Remember that it's a game: never forget to have fun. That way when it's over, whenever that may be, you will never look back and regret anything.