The BUCPOWER.COM Interview - Keith McCants
This interview took place in June 2011. In 1990, the Buccaneers had the 4th overall pick in the NFL draft and bypassed future Hall of Famer Junior Seau to select Alabama linebacker Keith McCants. Keith's career in Tampa lasted only three years and was blighted by position changes and injuries and his legacy to the franchise is not a good one. After leaving football, he has had some issues but is trying to turn his life around. And he was kind enough to grant BUCPOWER.COM an exclusive interview about his time in the NFL.
You had a stellar career at Alabama. What do you remember of your time with the Crimson Tide?
When I played at Alabama, we played as a team. We played with pride and with a love of the game. It was all about fun.
How did the whole draft process affect you? Exciting, tiring, a sense of the unknown of where you would end up?
It was a life experience getting ready to face the best of the best, and not knowing how I would fit in with a bad knee. If I had stayed at middle linebacker, I would have had a much better shot at being more competitive and able to keep up the sideline to sideline coverage I was known for at Alabama.
Were you injured going into the draft or was there some covering-up of the knee problems you had?
Yes, my knee was injured. That was one of the main reasons I left school early and entered the NFL draft.
How did you feel about being drafted by the Buccaners and being coached by Ray Perkins?
In reality, I felt like I should have been the number 1 pick overall. Thatís what the projections said, and it wasnít apparent until draft day and the rumors about the knee started swirling that I realized I might slide to 4th overall.
The Bucs started you at linebacker rather than defensive end. How did you feel about that?
I feel that they tried to make me into something I was not. I was a middle linebacker with speed that could cover a running back or a split end or tight end. But by putting me on the line, I was limited.
And then after your rookie season, you switched to end. A good move or a bad one for you?
The worst move I could have made.
What was Floyd Peters like as a coach?
One of the best I have ever had. Very hard nosed.
Who was your best friend on the team?
What did you do after your career in Tampa Bay ended?
I went on to the next team that picked me up, New England.
And what does the future hold now for you Keith? Where would you like to be in 10 years time?
Being able to tell about my life experience and hoping to help someone else. Hoping to teach people, especially younger people, not to make the same mistakes I made and how to avoid them.
Do you hold any regrets over your NFL career?
Yes: I wish I would not have played hurt and taken all the pain pills.
And any message you would like to send to Buccaneer fans in the UK and around the world?
They are some of the most loyal fans in the world. A sincere thank you for all the love and support.