#27 // Brian DeMarco // Playing against Hall of Famers

Full Transcript:

Aaron King (00:00):

In this episode of the podcast, we're coming to you from Canton, Ohio at the pro football hall of fame. I talked to Brian DeMarco, former right tackle for the Jacksonville Jaguars. And I wanted to hear his stories playing against hall of Famers. Come on in. So being clear, the modern old school training podcast, I'm Erin King with Brian DeMarco. And today is a very different podcast from what we usually do. When we kind of talk about coaching, we talk about training, a lot of different things, and we've had some guys talk about the NFL draft. This is a really, I mean, just look around if you're on YouTube, you're seeing something


Brian DeMarco (00:39):

We're in Canton. Yeah. So


Aaron King (00:42):

Brian and I, go way back, but I thought this was a unique opportunity to hear from a former player's perspective. And I want you to tell everyone kind of your background, but while we're in the hall of fame, what was it like playing against some hall of Famers. But before we get into that, tell me a little bit,


Brian DeMarco (00:58):

What about your career? So I was the, I was the 40th pick of the 1995 draft to the inaugural Jacksonville Jaguars. So their first year I played for Jacksonville, started every game as a rookie play for Jacksonville for four years, and then went on to sign my UFA with Cincinnati Bengals and retired from there.


Aaron King (01:18):

Excellent. Really? They, they showed how the model should be. They just started left and right tackle.


Brian DeMarco (01:23):

That's right. We get, we got our, our, our bookend tackles with me and Tony Boselli in that first year, but literally Tom coffins methodology. It's, it's truly the blueprint.


Aaron King (01:33):

Yeah. And that, that's what got, y'all an AFC championship so quickly, probably


Brian DeMarco (01:37):

Our second year of existence. I mean, here we were, you know, if you can imagine this, usually it takes time to, to gel as an offensive line, as a team in general, but in our second year in a V in existence, here we are playing in the AFC championship game against New England Patriots. One game away from the big show. It was amazing. Who are some


Aaron King (01:57):

You guys had Pacelli, he's a Hall of Famer. Who, who else played in the Jaguars?


Brian DeMarco (02:02):

Well, I actually thought, you know, we're, we're at the the draft, this era at the super bowl this year where they had the luncheon where they announced next year, you know, who's going to be in here and, you know, and Tony was there and I was, I was hoping and praying he was going to be, make it this, you know, he hasn't been it. No, not yet. So he was the finalist timeless, not quite there yet, but that team was, it was amazing. I mean, I, you know, I was just a guy, just another offensive Wyman, but, but had a chance to play with great players. Like Mark Brunel, Jimmy Smith, Keenan McCardell Taylor was one of my favorites. Taylor, Freddy T and James Stewart, little Stuart. Yeah. You know, it was Nate Tron means Ricardo, Ricardo McArdle. Yeah, that team, it was, it was strong. We were strong on defense. You guys like Jeff Logman Joel Schmincke Kevin Hardy. I mean, it was, we were just, we were, we were an amazingly strong and man, what great memories.


Aaron King (03:02):

I see that video that went viral of, is it Henderson, the defensive tackle, him just getting slapped up before games. He just wanted to hit him until he tasted blood in his mouth. Yeah. But yeah, those were some good days. What you know, I've, I've heard you tell the story of Reggie white and maybe, maybe you have to tell it here, but I just want to hear like some guys that you played against that are here, immortalized.


Brian DeMarco (03:24):

Well, Reggie white obviously, I mean the, you know, the greatest defensive end of all time. There's no question. He was the perfect combination of size, speed, and smarts. Right? I mean, he was just brilliant. Oh my gosh. John Randall. Oh, man. You know, it was John Randall, Reggie white. Did he talk around SAP? Warren? Yeah. Warren Sapp never shut up.


Aaron King (03:50):

What about John Randall? Cause he wore that face paint. Did he, did he just try to intimidate you? From a visual standpoint,


Brian DeMarco (03:57):

It wasn't just visual. I mean, these guys were trying to get in your kitchen, right. Make a sandwich to stay for the day. And they were going to be there all game long, but that's just as part of their game. Pardon me? That's so unique. And it would just get you so fired up, but that was the whole point. They tried to take you out of your game. And of course, you learn that as a rookie, it really gets to you may be the first or second time. But you learn after a while,


Aaron King (04:22):

Who are some guys you saw on a regular basis that was kind of that top tier? Well, you know,


Brian DeMarco (04:30):

No, it's not necessarily guys. We saw on a regular, on a regular basis, but you know, it makes me think of guys even like Bryant young now that played for 49. And it was like, he, he actually was probably the guy that gave me the fittest. Most often I just hated playing against him. He was an undersized defensive lineman. He's maybe six to seven low center of gravity. He had, he just had a motor that never shut off. And I remember, you know, it that's what makes it difficult walking for a quarterback at times, like Brunel, because you never knew where he was going to be. Right. He was so quick, so agile and, and I'll never forget blocking him thinking I have several seconds are going by and you kind of just get in that mode. I didn't hear the whistle yet. So I may have shut down too early. And all of a sudden there he is sprinting across the field, making the tackle, you know, where you think, Oh my gosh, there's no way he's over there. But literally, it ended up getting a sack, you know, 30 yards away


Aaron King (05:32):

Was that one time he played against him or multiple, multiple


Brian DeMarco (05:35):

Times playing against him. What's, what's


Aaron King (05:37):

Kind of the, from, you know, we talk a lot about quarterbacks and film, but the tech linemen are the second most technical.


Brian DeMarco (05:46):

There's no doubt about it. It's natural. Right? It's the most unnatural position to play as an offensive lineman because you're, you're asked to get in this perfectly balanced position watch the entire defense, know what the most dangerous threat to the quarterback is at all times know where he is at all times. Do you know? So no, it's a, it's definitely one of the more complex positions to play. Did you


Aaron King (06:09):

W what are some, like looking at a guy like that that was giving you fits and you know, you're going against him next time. What's the film room, like,


Brian DeMarco (06:18):

You know, you really, it really starts getting pretty granular. I mean, you looking at little things like is the position of his feet on the ground his hands noticing the the coloration of his, his knuckles, right? How much weight is he putting forward? How what's eating, you know, what are these little clues that he does when he moves a certain way or he's in that particular stance? I mean, it really gets that detailed that when you know exactly from the position he lines up, and this is what he's going to do,


Aaron King (06:48):

So you start figuring them out a little bit. Cause there's the, on the field stuff you're noticing. Oh yeah. And so stuff you don't get from the film.


Brian DeMarco (06:55):

Yeah. I mean, it's, you know, every player has their tells. It's kind of like playing poker, right. And you just learned that look at that defensive Wyman, you're studying on film. And of course, you're coaching yourself on the field and they're studying you and they're studying this. Right. You know, it's, it's kind of like you know, playing against a guy like Reggie white and you know that he's gonna bring his patented hump move. Right. And so, you know that you can't do a certain thing and you have to be balanced. And, and because, you know, it's coming, it's going to be third long at some point in time. And he's going to throw that move. And even with all that anticipation, the flaw, the difference in being balanced and unbalanced as an offensive Wyman is just an inch. Right. It's so small, it's such a little detail, and Reggie would catch you and send you flying. Right, right. It was just his thing. And, and, but that's how detailed it is at this level


Aaron King (07:52):

Ever have a moment where you saw someone on the field, do something kind of transcendent in a way that's like, you know, we could have won that game, but that guy did something I've never seen another player. Cause you know, you just see the guy make a catch or whatever it is. If it's Chris Carter on the sideline or just someone that does something that's like,


Brian DeMarco (08:13):

And it was, it was actually Barry Sanders. And just watching, it's almost hard to explain because he would do this thing that was almost not possible for other humans. Like you couldn't tell another running back, Hey, go do this during a game because it was Barry. But I was watching him change field during a play like he's running down the right side and he changes the field. And I see just how low his hips drop to the ground. I mean, his, his time must have been passed to parallel its center of gravity. And then watching him, what was amazing was watching him change directions, it trains direction and be at full speed and like a step and a half. I mean, he was already gone and out the other sideline. And I was like, there's no stopping that. Like how do you, how do you defend that? How do you stop when an athlete has that kind of ability?


Aaron King (09:11):

Yeah. I haven't seen anyone like him. He, the strength Saquon Barkley is pretty close and modern. Dave, just the leg strength doesn't necessarily have the balance, but pretty close,


Brian DeMarco (09:20):

Do you know? And, and I've played with some great backs. I mean, look at Fred Taylor. I mean, Fred was so great to block for, because you had to, you only have to do your job for about a half a second and Fred was just blowing by you, you know? And then of course guys like, like Natron Means, you know. He was, he was going to bring it every time. He might not have juked you all the time and he was going to just flat out, run you over. And but yeah, I mean, there's, there's just still as great as those guys were. Barry is definitely, as we all know, he's in a class of, so


Aaron King (09:55):

Fred Taylor recently actually made a case for himself to be in the hall on Twitter, not too long ago. And I, I mean, if you look at his numbers, he was, he was listening to some of the backs that are in there. It is, we were just talking about how, how long it took for a Dave Robinson to get in the hall of fame, 2013, just the amount of just the players that are in line to get in the hall. It's, it's, it's pretty amazing,


Brian DeMarco (10:18):

Tough competition. A lot of these guys belong there. There's just a lot of guys that really belong here and goes to tell you how just how elite it really is when you get a chance to be here. Like, like Pacelli, there's no question that he is one of the greatest tackles to ever play the game. And he belongs here and, you know, and he just, just missed out this year. So just goes to show just how tough it is and, you know, getting even to this vinyl stage, but Dave Robinson, you've got a guy like him with a Packers of winning that original championship, right. That original championship game, the first two, actually. Right. And you're talking about Vince Lombardi in these classic dates.


Aaron King (10:59):

I mean the stories that these guys have it and just hanging out with these guys like Jack Youngblood and, you know, Mike Haynes and the way that they talk about things that to us are so up here and it was just casual, just something they did,


Brian DeMarco (11:13):

It's become a very unique experience working with all these Hall of Famers and kind of being in their world as often as we are now. And it's an honor to sit there and listen to their stories and hear, you know, hear from them, you know, exactly what it was like. And even particularly one that, that really got me was, was listening to Ron mix around mixed, of course, those of you that don't know it was you know, hall of fame right. Tackle for the San Diego Chargers. Right. but hearing him like the whole situation during the civil rights movement, and here he is hanging out with Martin Luther King, you know, that whole movement playing the ball back then and what that was like and setting the precedent for today. I just, it's amazing.


Aaron King (12:04):

It's funny. You mentioned that because I was just thinking that walking through here. So obviously the hall of fame, just the history that's here, but seeing the things around the great depression or the war, things that were going on from the radio and the helmets, the history, the American history that influenced it the way that guys were drafted. And I don't mean to, to the NFL, I mean, to war and the balancing act between culture American history in a, in a game


Brian DeMarco (12:29):

It's one of them, actually one of the unique aspects of being here at the hall of, of seeing how they pair what's going on in the world with what was going on in football, on the NFL. At that time, I like I was blown away even as detailed as, Hey guys, this is what was going on in the world. This was the first traffic light was put out in this year. It was what was happening in the NFL. So I mean the history lesson it's for any NFL fan, this is a must destination. There's no doubt. Yeah.


Aaron King (12:58):

Well, I appreciate you taking us through some of your personal stories. I just, I thought this was a unique opportunity because I've been just getting just chills walking through this place again, if you're, if you're not watching on YouTube, we're standing here surrounded by just these, these guys that built the game and Brian had the opportunity to play against a number of them, which, I mean, that's pretty, yeah,


Brian DeMarco (13:21):

It's pretty nice. And it's an honor. I mean, obviously, you know, I'll never see this place of just having the honor of playing against those guys. That's enough for me,


Aaron King (13:30):

For sure. All right. Well, thank you so much for taking the time to just kinda talk through it. You won't see me in a suit too often, so again, if you're not listening, if you're not watching, this is also another rare. But I just thought this was a great opportunity. We'll get back on the podcast here a lot more in the future with our normal content, this was just an opportunity to kind of bask and just the greatness here. So anyway social media  


Brian DeMarco (14:00):

And I'm only on LinkedIn, so you can just look up Brian DeMarco on LinkedIn. It's kinda not missing the beard in that profile picture. You'll see.


Aaron King (14:07):

Yeah. And we'll do another episode by the way, where we can talk about just the beard and like


Brian DeMarco (14:12):

The beard deserves its own podcast.


Aaron King (14:14):

Didn't mention it on purpose cause I want to share that for a whole nother day. Cause it does, it will be, it'll probably be one of the best ones. If not, it'll be the best podcasts


Brian DeMarco (14:24):

You can make an app where you can try on my beard.


Aaron King (14:26):

Yeah, there we go. Facial recognition. All right, guys. Well, again, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, all @DeepSnap. And we'll talk to you next time.


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