A Reunion With The Master Of The Jab-O’ LegJuly 29th, 2011
Earlier this month, Brian Price looked anything but an NFL player ready to rock and roll once the asinine lockout ended. Last season as a rookie, Price pulled a leg muscle so severely it was torn from his pelvis.
Later, after additional tests, Price was found to have a cracked pelvis that required two surgeries and four screws to repair the damage, not exactly the healing process an NFL player wants.
So earlier this month at Josh Freeman’s mini-camp at IMG in Bradenton, Price couldn’t participate because he was not yet healed. He sounded depressed if not frustrated.
But the joke was on Bucs fans.
“That was all smoke and mirrors,” Price said Friday after the evening practice of Day 1 of Bucs training camp. “The way people were dogging me on the Internet, there was no way I couldn’t come [to training camp]. There was no doubt I would come out here. I had to prove people wrong.”
First step so far has been a success for Price, but now there’s a second step. He has a green light to practice but he has to play within limits. Trainers and doctors have told him if he feels any sort of pain, to pull back, which is nearly blasphemy to a football player.
“If I don’t feel comfortable, I am told to back out,” Price said. “That’s hard to do as a football player because you seem weak. But that’s the smart thing to do because I want to play 10-20 years. I want to play when my grandkids are born.”
Once Price is healthy, what may have him turn the corner from prospect to feared could be new Bucs defensive line coach Keith Millard. In fact, it’s a reunion for both men. Coming out of UCLA, Price hired Millard as a tutor for six weeks of training. The two already have a bond that could nurture.
“He is explosive, very quick,” Millard said of Price. “He has all the things I saw in him coming out of college. I know him pretty well. He’s quick and explosive and he just needs to clean up the little things, clean up his technique, the little things to clean up here and there. Little things.”
Price is very happy to be reunited with Millard.
“I worked with him before the combine [last year] and he’s a good guy,” Price said of Millard. “I like how he teaches and the tools he teaches players to have. Hey, he had 18 sacks in a season, a record for a defensive tackle and he has coached the best like Warren Sapp.”
Price hopes to be able to put his favorite move learned from Millard, the “Jab-O’ Leg,” to frequent use.
But don’t expect Price to tell a stranger the details of this classified move.
“I can’t tell you what it is, the Jab-O’ Leg, I can’t tell you a secret,” Price said. “A magician isn’t going to tell you how he does his magic. I just know how to do it.”