Cody Grimm Adjusting To Strong SafetyMay 22nd, 2010
After the NFL draft, late round picks typically drift into obscurity as they sit at the bottom of depth charts and try to overcome the odds to make an opening day active roster. Former Virginia Tech linebacker and special teams ace Cody Grimm was the first of the Bucs three seventh-round selections in 2010. The son of soon-to-be Hall of Fame inductee Russ Grimm, Cody spent much of his time during the Bucs recent OTA sessions last week making the transformation to strong safety. Joe talked to Grimm after those practices and found a humble and focused young man.
Joe: Growing up around the NFL and having a father who was a Pro Bowl player and is an accomplished coach, do you feel that gave you an edge coming into the OTA sessions?
Cody Grimm: Yeah, I mean it gives me a little extra advantage, knowing how you have to handle yourself and what you have to put into the game to be successful, just knowing how much you have to study and work. I’m sure other guys figure that out quickly, I don’t know. But I feel I understand what it will take for me to be successful.
Joe: You were a linebacker in college. Talk about your move to strong safety.
Grimm: There’s a lot to learn. We played a different defense in college, but I’m comfortable in coverage and with it. A lot of the stuff is similar, like here we come out 12 yards deep and buzz out to the flats. …At college. it was six yards deep. There’s a lot to learn but there are a lot of similarites.
Joe: I saw one interception on film you had during OTAs on what looked like an overthrow by Josh Freeman to Mike Williams, and I understand you had another one. Tell me about those.
Grimm: We were in three-deep zone coverage. I was in the hole and I pretty much kept backpedaling. Freeman threw it up a real long way. Real long. I saw it up there and I thought, ‘I can’t let this get caught behind me or I’m going to get yelled at.’ So I went 180 and sprinted back. I had to take my eye off it for a moment, but luckily when I looked up it was over my shoulder and I made the catch. …The other one I was in man on the tight end, and basically [the throw] came into my leverage and I cut it off.
Joe: The Bucs have a very talented secondary. Have any of the veterans, like a Ronde Barber, sat you down or pulled you aside yet to give you much advice?
Grimm: No, I haven’t had one-on-one time with Ronde or anything like that with anyone, where we’ve broken down film or had that kind of discussion. But all the starters, pretty much across the board, are throwing out advice here and there. …For example we were in deep middle the other day and the offense had one receiver. I was lined up middle and they were telling me to cheat over when there’s one receiver. …Everyone is quick with advice as it comes up. It’s really across the board from the veterans. It’s a real team atmosphere.
Joe: You came into the draft with the repuation of being a special teams ace. Did you work on special teams much in the OTAs and how did you think you fared? And do you feel there’s more pressure on your special teams performance versus with the secondary, since the Bucs likely drafted you for that role?
Grimm: We did some kickoff work as a unit, and some drills, but not too much. …That’s where Coach Bisaccia has to evaluate. I thought I did pretty well, but it’s not like we sat around picking apart film on that yet. It’s early. …Really, I’m not even begining to try and think about [how I’ll make the team]. Obviously, I’ve got a reputation at special teams, but we just haven’t done much there yet. If I just work my hardest and learn everything I can, that’s about all I can do now.
Joe: On a personal note, how are you going to spend the next couple of months? Are you looking for an apartment? Do you have any personal plans to get settled or scout out the area, or anything unique going on in your life?
Grimm: Really, I’m just staying quiet in the team hotel until I make the team. This is the NFL, you never know. I’m not taking anything for granted at all.
Joe: With your dad as a famous “Hog” on the Redskins and then a coach for years there, are you a big Redskins fan? Does that just go away know that you’re a Bucccaneer? How does that work?
Grimm: Yeah, I grew up a big Redskins fan because of my father and lived up there. But I couldn’t even tell you much about the Redskins anymore, except for some names of the veterans there. I’m just not a fan at that level.
Joe: So you don’t have a bunch of Redskins gear or bumper stickers, or spend time reading Skins blogs?
Grimm: (laughing) That’s not me. No. So it’s not any adjustment. I’m not a fan like that at all for any team.