Joe Talks To Fullback Hopeful Phil Riley, III

May 1st, 2010

Hundreds of young players are at rookie minicamps across the NFL hoping to catch their big break. The Bucs have invited 50 or so tryout players to Tampa through Sunday. These guys have their expenses paid by the Bucs and will try to standout during three practices. Phil Riley, III, out of Hofstra University, who stands a chiseled 6-3, 251 lbs., is trying to make the Bucs as a fullback and/or long snapper. He talked to Joe about his career and his first 24 hours with the Buccaneers.

Joe: So how did your first practice go for you?

Phil Riley: I was really excited. It was really a great day. It’s a beautiful place, man. I thank Doug williams and Coach Morris for giving me the opportunity to be down here. I was proud of my performance.

Joe: How did the Bucs find you? You’re a Hofstra guy, and so is Coach Morris. Was that the connection?

Riley: They contacted my agent for me to come down. That’s all I know. I never spoke to anyone personally and had no contact with them last year when I came out of school. Last year I was at rookie minicamp with the Vikings, and I had a tryout with the Bills. But nothing stuck.

Joe: So after you didn’t latch on with the Bills last year, what have you been doing?

Riley: Odd jobs, working with my dad in his business fixing up houses, working as an electrician’s helper, cutting grass, anything to make a couple of bucks. I’m really committed to the football thing right now. I workout at home [in Maryland] running consistently and working with a local high school quarterback and coach.

Joe: Here in Tampa, did you get an extensive playbook on Thursday night, and how hard were the Bucs coaches on the players Friday?

Riley: Coaches are realists. That’s for sure. They tell it to you like it is. We got a playbook last night. I had the experience with the Vikings to know what was coming. Here it’s about pushing you mentally as much or more than the physical. That mental side is so important. That’s football. The mental side of your game has to be there. [The Bucs] installed a lot of plays and we were out here running them [Friday], and then I’ll be studying at night.

Joe: What are your goals here?

Riley: My main goal is just to come down here to have fun. Coach Morris said to all the guys [Thursday night], ‘It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and it’s all about having fun, taking it all in, working your hardest and being a professonal.’ He reminded us it’s not college football anymore and to carry ourselves like professionals around the building and you got to act like you’re Buccaneers until you hear otherwise.

Joe: What kind of player are you and did anything about your game stand out today? Did anyone else catch your eye?

Riley: There are so many talented players here at all positions. It is tough for anyone to standout. You have a lot of guys going 100 percent, and I was right there with them. I’m more of a blocker type. I can catch, too. The Bucs aren’t very deep at fullback, so there’s a real opportunity there. I’m just trying to play my best. I don’t care about first-team this or winning awards. I’ve always been like that. I just love playing football and I’m trying to make the most of this.

16 Responses to “Joe Talks To Fullback Hopeful Phil Riley, III”

  1. George C. Costanza Says:

    Good interview, Joe. It’s interesting to hear from these guys we don’t know much about who are following their dream. Only thing missing is a photo. Get yourself one of those digital cameras. (Or maybe this was a phone interview, eh.)

  2. George C. Costanza Says:

    PS: by photo I mean a mugshot so we can see what these fellows look like.

  3. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    I always prefer action shots. Just a personal preference. Looks a little less sterile.

  4. Mr. Lucky Says:

    @George – you don’t get their mug shots here until AFTER they make the team and hang with Talib.

    As for the interview; I really, really HATE it when these players say I’m having fun.

    If I were a coach – FIRED!

    I don’t want FUN. I want mean, nasty workers. I want a player to say,

    “I’m here to work as hard as I possibly can. Hopefully I’ll be able to knock some helmets off these guys and take or two of them out. This is what I live for to make a difference. Yeah I’m a darkhorse but I’ll take every opportunity to knock them all out of the game – just give me the chance.”

    People who say, “My main goal is just to come down here to have fun.” are freakin quitters. If that’s your main goal just pack it in and go to Sand Key you pussy! This isn’t college football. This isn’t intermurals. This is the NFL – No Fun League.

  5. Eric Says:

    Great to see a kid like this get a shot.

  6. Smitty Says:

    “My main goal is just to come down here to have fun.”

    Mr Lucky said: “This isn’t college football. This isn’t intermurals.”

    See also: Canadian Olympic Athletes. Oh yes, I went there!

  7. Eric Says:

    Dang Mr. Lucky, jump on the Hofstra kid why don’t ya!

  8. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    Mr. Lucky – hate to break it to you, but there’s no contact at these practices. Kind of hard to knock people’s heads off. But I’m right there with you. Not big on the “have fun” part.

  9. Clayton's Moving Van Says:

    Mr. Lucky,

    Spoken like a true non-athlete…

  10. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Hey Clayton’s Moving Van – I played 3 years of college RUGBY asshole!

    Broke 8 fingers, 2 arms, dislocated shoulder and more.

    Football is a sissy sport compared to rubgy but I’ve forgive you – this time.

    I expect answers like “I’m just having fun…” when i watch American Idol

    NOT FRIGGIN FOOTBALL!!!!! if I wanted sissy’s like that I’d watch kickball or baseball.

  11. Mr. Lucky Says:


    I’m just soo tired of the PC in this country. I understand PC in politics. Heck in YOUR profession you’ve gotta be PC on the john.

    Football and James Bonds movies should be PC free zones.

    This Hostra kid is a loser. He didn’t seek out the Bucs – the Bucs sought him out. what does that tell you about the fire in his belly? Not buring too brightly.

    He’s cutting grass? Hell i’d be talking to every team for a chance for a tryout if I were him. Too soft for my taste.

  12. BigMacRD Says:

    Just check out the kid’s website. State Wrestling champ & hall of famer…Damn. Maybe his idea of having “fun” is not the defense idea of “fun”.

  13. JimBuc Says:

    To keep his sanity, any smart kid on the cusp is going to tell you “he’s just having fun.” His way of dealing with nerves and extreme uphill battle. You play better when you don’t overanalyze things, just go out and have fun (i.e play loose).

  14. Greg Says:

    @ JimBuc

    Totally disagree. After three flying tours over Iraq, the last thing I want to do is fly with a guy who is there for “the experience”. You better have your shit in one sock and locked on to getting the job the done, otherwise some raghead is going to hand you your severed head on a platter! I’m with Mr. Lucky, play with the intensity that there is no tomorrow in their case!

  15. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Greg – I so totally agree with you on that one.

    BTW – thanks for your service to the USA

  16. Pete Says:

    Mr. Lucky, Get on the mat with him one time then we’ll see who the sissy is.