Verge meets: Osi Umenyiora

Former Ney York Giants NFL Player Osi Umenyiora 7th September 2016 Picture By Mark Robinson.

Former New York Giants NFL Player Osi Umenyiora
7th September 2016
Picture By Mark Robinson.

Verge caught up with two-time Super Bowl champion Osi Umenyiora to discuss life in the NFL and bringing a franchise to the UK.

What led you to Troy University?
Troy was the only school to offer me a scholarship. I wasn’t particularly good coming out of high school. They gave me an opportunity, and I took it!

You had 85 career sacks, but who was your favorite quarterback to take down?
My favorite QB to take down was Donovan Mcnabb. Of my 85 sacks, I think I got him ten times at least.

Between your two Super Bowl victories with the Giants, which one would you say was sweeter?
The sweetest SB victory was the first one. We took down an undefeated team and stopped them from becoming the best team in history.

Who was your favorite player to play with on defense?
Michael Strahan was my favorite player. So tough, and a great leader. [Strahan] was my brother and mentor and was genuinely happy when I played well.

You spent some time on ESPN’s ‪Monday Night Football crew back in 2008. What was it like being around the game from that point-of-view? 
It was interesting working on ESPN football. Very different looking at things from their perspective while still a player.

What is it like now with BBC Sports after your playing career?
It’s so much fun working on BBC coverage of American football… A really great opportunity.

What was it like departing from New York to join the Atlanta Falcons? 
Leaving New York and going to Atlanta to play was bittersweet. Bitter in that I was leaving a team I loved and played for 10 years, but sweet in that I lived in Atlanta during the offseason. So it was home to me. And I was joining a great group of guys.

Talking about the Giants, what are your thoughts on the ongoing saga with Odell Beckham Jr., and his comments from the last few weeks?
I have no problem with Odell. He is a great young player that is passionate about the game and shows it. I would rather a guy like that on my team than emotionless players.

Do you think we will ever get a team in London?
I think a franchise in London, at the rate at which things are going, is inevitable. The game is saturated in America and can grow no more. In order for the game to grow it must be overseas. And the perfect place is London.

If there ever was a team in London what do you feel would be a good name? 
I like the idea of the London Jaguars. Sounds a little Austin Powers to me but in a good way.

From a neutral standpoint, who are we going to see in the Super Bowl this year?
I think we will see the Patriots in the super bowl. Barring some unfortunate injuries to their key players, they look to be the strongest team.

Catch all the NFL highlights on Tuesday nights on BBC 2 and Saturdays on BBC1 after Match of the Day.

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