Q&A with Takeo
RE: How’s it going?
“It’s going. It’s coming. First day. It was decent, I have to take some of the rust off, so everything came along pretty well for the first day though. There’s a lot of catching up that I have to do obviously, but other than that, putting the time in, getting acclimated with some of the guys. The good thing about it is that I played with several other guys on this team, so it makes the transition easy.”
RE: Who are the guys you’ve played with?
“Mark Roman, Justin Smith, Jonas Jennings.”
RE: [Nate] Clements?
“Yep, Nate. So yeah, several guys.”
RE: Were you familiar with Dontarrious Thomas? I know you didn’t play at the same time.
“Yeah, I was familiar. Actually, when I left, he came in on this recruiting visit. We grew up in the same area in Georgia. So, I’m familiar with him ever since he was a young pup out of high school.”
RE: The position you are playing, it is at all similar to what you have played in the past?
“The good thing about it, I played that position late in my career in Buffalo, but just defense, I played just defense my first four years in the league with Cincinnati, so that’s why I’m familiar with it.”
RE: Were you more the MIKE?
“Yeah, I was the MIKE, where Patrick [Willis] is playing at now.”
RE: Had you met Patrick Willis before?
“Not up until I got here.”
RE: Any quick impression on him as a player?
“He’s just–I’ve seen him do interviews on TV and everything, but he’s all that everybody says he is. I think he is a good young man and I think he is an outstanding player. Everything he’s proven over this past year, I mean it speaks for itself. We are going to get together and everything I know and some of the things I’ve learned over my years, I’m going to help him out and try to notate that transition over as far as him taking his game up into another level.”
RE: What tipped you to coming here at this time?
“I never knew it was going to happen. Even the first time I came out here to San Francisco, I was impressed. I really didn’t–I was impressed with the coaching staff. It reminds me of the coaching staff that I had when I first got to Buffalo out of free agency out of Cincinnati and that really turned me on, and then having the chance to talk to the guys. Mark Roman, Nate Clements, Jonas [Jennings]. Those guys kind of stayed in my ear throughout time, all over the summer time. I still didn’t know, so I was just waiting and seeing what the best opportunity was and the big thing, it really wasn’t about money for me. I wanted to come somewhere where I thought I would have the best opportunity to win because I’ve been playing for eleven years now, so I’m trying to at least, at the minimum, get to the playoffs and then we are going to win it all in the Super Bowl. So, I felt like San Francisco was the best place for me.”