Chiefshuddle.com: First off I want to say what a personal pleasure this is to conduct this interview with you and I thank you and Domann & Pittman LLC for taking the time to make this interview possible.
Chiefshuddle.com: You had an impressive collegiate career at Kansas State as a defensive end. Was transition into the NFL difficult for you?
Monty Beisel: The transition for me was extremely challenging, as it is with any rookie entering the NFL. There are many changes, not only in a football sense but also with our lives in general. The biggest shock comes on draft day, when in a moments notice you could be drafted by any one of thirty-two teams, which for me worked out extremely well, given the fact that I grew up in Kansas and would have the chance to play for my home state. Being drafted by the Chiefs made my transition much easier than the average rookie, since most are not so fortunate to play so close to home.
Chiefshuddle.com: You played some defensive end and primarily special teams for several years before switching to the linebacker position, how difficult was making the transition?
Monty Beisel: Making the transition from defensive end to linebacker was without a doubt the biggest challenge I have experienced in my football career. Not only was it different from a technique standpoint, but the change also required a much leaner physique; I lost around 40 lbs. During my college years, I spent a enormous amount of time attempting to gain weight and learn the techniques required to play the defensive end position in the NFL. Football is a mental game of reactions, and when I made the transition to linebacker, I felt like I was starting over from scratch. As if the transition was not difficult enough from a mental aspect, I was now required to physically compete in a totally different aspect of the game.
Chiefshuddle.com: You have had success playing both outside linebacker and inside linbacker, which position do you feel you are more suited to play and why?
Monty Beisel: That is a good question that I still wonder myself. I have not yet had the time at any one position, either inside or out, to fully understand my potential and capabilities. Like I said earlier, football is a game of reaction and the longer you play one position the better you will become at that position. I feel that playing both inside and out have helped me become a more versatile player and helped me to fully understand the game to a greater extent. However, I believe that on the other hand, it has held me back from becoming the Pro Bowl type player I know I can be in this league. I feel as though I possess the necessary skills needed to play either position at the highest level.
Chiefshuddle.com: The promotion to the starting defensive squad in 2004 was a great jump for your career. Explain the effect that it had on your confidence as a player and does it give you a better chance of being a starter on the defensive unit in 2005?
Monty Beisel: Any time a player becomes a starter in the NFL, it is a great jump for the player’s career as well as for their confidence. In my case, I feel that being able to start at various positions throughout my short career gives testimony to my abilities to play in the NFL. With the confidence to play at various positions, I feel that I have only scratched the surface of what I can become in my years ahead playing in this league. As far as my chances of being a starter in 2005, I feel they are really good. The question for me is not whether I will be a starter on defense, but which team will give me the opportunity to do so.
Chiefshuddle.com: You have played under both, can you compare the styles of Greg Robinson and Gunther Cunningham and tell us which style you feel more comfortable playing and why?
Monty Beisel: Both Greg and Gunther have uniquely different styles of coaching, and have both been extremely successful with their schemes at different times throughout their careers. For players in the NFL, as well as in most business settings, the relationship you have with your boss greatly determines your success and comfort level in that environment. Playing under Gunther, I feel that I have had the chance to play in an attack style defense that is very similar to the defense I played in college. Being comfortable in the scheme and understanding the style of defense intended allows the players to play aggressively within the scheme and have fun doing so. And I think Gunther’s defensive style allows his players to do just that.
Chiefshuddle.com: What goals did you set for yourself this past season and do you feel you were able to meet them?
Monty Beisel: Individually, I wanted to establish myself as a full-time starter and in doing so I wanted to lead the team in tackles and in productivity. Unfortunately, after being injured early in the season, my chances of leading the defense in productivity greatly diminished. However, at the time of my injury, I was leading the team in tackles.
As a team, my goal was to win the AFC West as well as advance further along in the playoffs from the year before.Obviously, neither one of these goals was obtained as a team this season, so we all look forward to the year to come.
Chiefshuddle.com: What goals do you have in mind for the 2005 season and are there any team specific goals?
Monty Beisel: I think that the main priority year-in and year-out is to play in the Super Bowl. But as we all know, the road to the Super Bowl is a long and tough journey that only a few experience in their playing careers. As a team, the goal is to reach the playoffs, and from there anything can happen. But as we say every year “The main thing is the main thing” and that is to win it all.
Chiefshuddle.com: How are you and the team mentally preparing for the coming season and how did the outcome of last season effect that preparation?
Monty Beisel: Obviously, last season was extremely tough on everyone, the players and fans included. With such high expectations from the year before, it was a huge let down not to make the playoffs or even be an 8-8 team. As a team we look at each season as a fresh start, which allows each and every team an equal opportunity to reach their set goals. With last year’s disappointment in mind, I feel that the guys will be ready to rock-and-roll for another year and there should be no doubt about our team’s capabilities.
Chiefshuddle.com: Can you describe the pressure and expectations facing the Chiefs defensive unit heading into the 2005 season and how you are all dealing with it?
Monty Beisel: During the past few years, the defensive as a whole has been on the cutting block with not only the media, but also the fans. As a defensive player, pending my return to the Chiefs, I will predict that with the players the Chiefs have in place and the coaching staff involved, the Chiefs’ defense will be greatly improved from a year ago. How good is yet to be decided?
Chiefshuddle.com: Do you anticipate significant personnel changes, on your side of the ball or with the team/coaching staff?
Monty Beisel: The NFL as a business is in constant change, almost to the point that it is hard to keep up with all the changes. Year-in and year-out rosters and coaching staffs change from team-to-team, so I would anticipate some change for the Chiefs as well. The funny thing to me is how people try to predict what certain clubs will do during their off-season moves with free agency and such. When the fact of the matter is, they don’t even know. So for me, it is always interesting to see what happens. As a free-agent this season, I will be even more intent on watching the changes, as to see where I might be playing in my years to come.
Chiefshuddle.com: Once again, I appreciate your time today and good luck on the upcoming season.
Interview courtesy of: Domann & Pittman LLC – Sports representation and management