“I’m Not Trying To Hurt Anyone”May 16th, 2010
Bucs fullback Chris Pressley is one of the more fascinating guys on the roster. The 23-year-old Wisconsin grad was an undrafted free agent and is notorious for his feats of strength. He also has a master’s degree and might just be the Bucs’ starting fullback in September after being signed from the Bengals’ practice squad late last year. On the Bucs, Pressley is known for being a punishing force in practice on every play.
JoeBucsFan.com correspondent Kyra Hallett set out to talk to Pressley on Saturday. He was mingling with fans and on the lanes at Earnest Graham’s charity bowling event in Fort Myers.
Here’s what Pressley had to say.
Kyra Hallett, JoeBucsFan.com: Talk about the program you attended at the prestigious Wharton School of business this year. What did you learn? And what was that all about?
Chris Pressley: It was a really good program. It focused a lot on entrepreneurship and real estate. It was pretty much like a week long. It was pretty extensive all day. You go to class and learn about everything from starting your own business to investing in real estate, and things like that. For me, it was more networking than anything. Getting to network with some of the professors, some of the people that talked to us were world renowned authors and professors, and they told us a lot. And they gave us their contact information, and any questions we have we can keep in touch with them. That’s something I plan on taking advantage of in the future.
JoeBucsFan.com: What are you goals in business and in life after football?
Pressley: My goal is to establish myself first in the community, so I have opportunities once football is over. And to use my degrees. I have my master’s [degree]. To use what I have in finance, communications and economics and try to use it to develop my brain as far as if I want to start a business. I really do want my own company one day. Just kind of use the tools I got in college and just network with people to start something that can eventually help [the community]. I’m young now. But hopefully after a couple of years of playing ball and getting involved and investing in the community, I can come back and do some big things.
JoeBucsFan.com: So how do you think you played in your time last season? And have you been told anything about whether you’ll be the starter at fullback in 2010?
Pressley: When I came over from Cincinnati, it took a little time to learn the different scheme. But I think I adjusted well. They used me as a thumper, which you means you pretty much have to go in there and bang a lot. I think I did well for the first year. I got a couple of starts. You know, I think it was really just getting involved with the O-line and you just have to build a chemistry. It takes a little bit of time. So that’s why this offseason we’re putting in as much time as we can together so we’re all on the same page and we’re out there clicking. I think that last season, since I came in toward the end, it’s going to propel us into this season to do some really big things. As far as starting, I don’t want to have to compete. But I’m always up for a competition. So I’m just ready to go in there and compete and help the team the best way I can playing fullback and special teams.
JoeBucsFan.com: Earnest Graham is the host of this big charity weekend. Have you guys talked at all about competing for the starting fullback job?
Pressley: No. Honestly, you know, Earnest is a role model for me. We haven’t really talked about it, No. We kind of just go ahead and go about our business. He has things like this and invites me, and we’re really good friends. So it’s one of those things, you know. You’re going to have to compete wherever you are [in the NFL], regardless. He understands. You know, I’m a young guy in here. There’s always a young guy trying to take your spot. But at the same time, when we do things like this and we’re outside the locker room, it’s all fun. When we’re there, though, it’s all about business. His kids have to eat. My kids have to eat. But Earnest, he’s a much more valuable asset to the team than I am, as far as the things he does for the community. I aspire to be like him one day. As far as on the field, I think I can do some different things. I can bring some different things to the table. Hopefully, they see that value and they keep me around and let me show what I can do for the team.
JoeBucsFan.com: Has Earnest Graham given you any advice on the fullback position?
Pressley: He’s helped me out. When I first came, Earnest knows the offense really well. Just some things that he helped me out with. He understands that my head’s on my shoulders pretty good and he always encourages me to continue. Basically at practice I bring pretty good energy, so he tells me to make sure I keep that and to stay hungry and stay humble. All those things. He was [an undrafted] free agent like me, you know, came in through the back door. And he always advises me on that, ‘Don’t ever change so you don’t lose the work ethic that you have.’ … Things like that. As far as the position, Coach [Steve] Logan does a great job of helping me out because he’s our coach, and he puts out everything to do.
JoeBucsFan.com: Earnest said you are one of the few guys that brings a very physical presence to practice every day. Can you explain about your approach in practice and how your teammates react to it?
Pressley: When I’m at practice I just believe they’re going to react to how you’re going. If you’re going full speed and they’re out there, I don’t know if the cobwebs aren’t out yet, but if you get’em with a good smack they’re going to wake up. It’s only to help the team. I’m not trying to hurt anyone. But on Sundays, that’s what they’re going to get, you know. I do believe in saving your body a bit, but when it’s time to practice and it’s time to go, you know, it’s a business. I have a business approach. Let’s take a business approach when we’re out there. We can laugh and play in the locker room. When we’re out here at practice, I’m trying to get better. I don’t want you to cheat me on a rep because that’s not going to help me get better. So my approach is let’s all do this together and get better, but seriously have business approach and go as hard as you can all the time.
JoeBucsFan.com: What have your coaches told you that you need to improve in the offseason?
Pressley: Catching the ball out of the backfield, just running the ball. I didn’t get a whole lot of opportunities here. In Cincinnati they were doing a lot of that. They said just to be prepared to do more things in the offense. You know, just get better. You can always get better. Whenever you feel there’s no room to improve, you’ve got to really look in the mirror. It’s just one of those things where he tells me to focus on the little things — things that you think aren’t important. And when you’re working hard, work harder.