Questions and Answers with Colts nose tackle Josh Chapman
Question: You're in the NFL now, the latest step in a lifelong dream. But when did it begin? When did you first start playing football?
Answer: "I started playing football like in the ninth grade. I always wanted to play like in Little League and all that, but I wasn't able to play because in Birmingham. I couldn't play because I was too big for my age, and I was too young to play in the bigger ages. A lot my cousins were playing ball for a long time. I always wanted to play. The only time I could play was outside. So mom, she moved out to Hoover City Schools. She was like, 'We're going to go out here and play.' She ended up working a couple jobs just to get me out there start playing. I started playing a while and one of my high school coaches kind of pushed me on and on just to get me going. I developed and, 'Man, I like this and I kind of want to keep going on with it.' "
Q: What do you remember about your first team?
A: "My first football team, it was back a long time ago. We were a pretty good football team. Coming out of Hoover High School, we always had a great high school team. Just being a part of that was a tradition. We always tried to keep the thing going by winning state championships. The bad thing is we ended up losing the state championship my last year. We won every championship until my last year."
Q: To get to this level, it has to be about more than money, or fame – the things a lot of people associate with the NFL. What do you love about the game that has kept you playing?
A: "I just love the game of football. It's always just the game for me to play. The one thing that I take with me is the brotherhood that you get. That's one thing about football that many people can't experience. I mean just the boys that are with you. You grow that relationship for years or just weeks, you always develop relationships with the group of guys that want to play the game of football, that work hard and compete their butts off throughout the offseason. People that have that struggle throughout the offseason, they're grinding. You just seem to have those guys fighting with you. That's just one thing that I love about the game."
Q: What was your favorite sport growing up? It wasn't football for all NFL players . . .
A: "I liked football. My dad played basketball all his life. My mom was a basketball fan. Just growing up in that household, they were Lakers fans, and I was rooting against the Lakers. I was a big Shaq (Shaquille O'Neal) fan. So wherever Shaq went, I was a fan of. Since he retired I don't really watch that much of them."
Q: When did you move to your position? Were you always a nose tackle?
A: "My first position, they tried me on offensive line for a little while. It was like, 'Man, it was alright just blocking guys, but I want to hit somebody.' These guys, they can hit, but I'd rather be out there getting real nasty and of course you want to hear your name called. The offensive line is an important group on the team, but the defensive line guys have a little swag about themselves. You want to put on a show right there."
Q: Was it a good fit from the start?
A: "Oh, yes it is. It's a great position to play. To me it's the best position to play and more fun to me than any of the other positions on the field."
Q: What's your best football memory?
A: "My best football memory is the best couple years I won two national championships at the University of Alabama. A lot of people can't say that they've done that. It's a privilege and an honor for me to be able to do that especially my last year. Alabama, we came a long ways from going 7-6 to winning two championships there."
Q: A lot of people, especially at this time of year, discuss how dominant SEC football is. Is that a point of pride for you to have played in and won in the SEC?
A: "One thing about the SEC is it's the toughest conference in college football. We try to put a brand on this is how football should be played. When people think of college football, they think of the SEC. A lot of guys around here, we've got different guys from different teams, but a lot of us from the SEC schools. We always get with each other and joke around like that's the conference. It's a hard-fought conference. The South, that's were we feel like football is made."
Q: When did you first think this was real? When did you first think, 'I have a chance to play in the NFL?'
A: "The thing is, the NFL is a dream, but I just wanted to play the game I love. That's football and wherever it took me, that's were I was going to go. Coming out of college, I just wanted to be a part of a team. That's my thing. I'm here. The Indianapolis Colts are a great fit for me. I'm glad that I'm here. It's an opportunity."
Q: Do you have a pre-game ritual?
A: "Not really. The game of football is always with me throughout the week. I always think about football. You dream football, you eat football, you sleep football but at the same time, I listen to a little music. A lot of people say, 'You got an old soul.' I mean being around my uncle for a long time. He likes old music. My grandma sings old music. My mom listens to a lot of gospel music. I kind of like a lot of old blues music in our house, so I listen to a lot of music."
Q: Who's the person most responsible for you being in the NFL?
A: "There are a lot of people that have my back. My mother, my uncle, my aunt, my whole family really, but my mom she sacrificed a lot for me. She bent over backwards for me just to get me were I'm at. She worked plenty of jobs that she didn't have to do. She worked more than two jobs. My mom was struggling just to make ends meet, just for me. My mom raised me as a man at a young age. My dad died when I was six years old and my uncle stepped in to be my father figure. But she raised me as, 'You're going to be on your own and you got to look out for yourself.' My mom taught me the work ethic. I see her working and tired coming in from working either late at night or coming in early in the morning and having to leave again. It motivates me. Why do I get up every day? My mom got up every day. I know I can get up every day. There is a purpose for everything."
Q: Did you have a favorite player growing up?
A: "It goes all type of ways. I have read Lawrence Taylor books to watching Warren Sapp. In my college days, it was just watching big Vince Wilfork and Casey Hampton. Playing nose guard, you kind of had an attitude of, 'You're not going to make as many tackles.' But if you like to be down there in those trenches, if you like to fight the offensive linemen, if you like to get nasty, that's the position you want to play. Those guys played well, and I just tried to go about what they do. Those guys, they played the game and were well-respected."
Q: Favorite team?
A: "I was bouncing from team to team. My family was Cowboys fans. I was watching the Steelers because I always liked watching big Casey Hampton get after it. I kind of pride myself like, 'Look how he uses his hands. Look how he comes out of hips.' Being a nose guard, you want to stop the run. That's what I pride myself on. I think nobody likes to run the ball on Casey Hampton or Vince Wilfork."
Q: What was your first car?
A: "My first car was another struggle my mom did. When I went to college my first year, I was thinking I could get around college just walking. That's just me. But when I got there, my mom and her friend came down. I'm like, 'Why is her friend coming down with her?' She ended up giving me her truck. I'm like, 'Man, mom, you can't give me this because you've got to go to work.' " She was like, 'No you have the truck.' So she went a whole year without a car or transportation. She ended up getting another car. Finally, when I made it to this level, then I bought something new for myself."
Q: What was your first job?
A: "My pastor had given me a job in the church as a video guy. He gave me ten dollars every Sunday. That's something that I never had. My next job I worked at Buffalo Wild Wings. Me and my boys, we were all in high school together and we all got a job at Buffalo Wild Wings. We felt like we were running things. All four of us were in there, someone cooking, someone cashiering, someone taking out food."
Q: What was your toughest job?
A: "I really haven't had that many jobs that were tough for me. I had a job working when the tornado hit it was a job just to help around the community. The hardest job, football is my job. The hardest part of that is waking up in the morning, doing what you have to do and being on time for everything. I pride myself about being on time. Nobody has to worry about me being late."
Q: Do you have a favorite quote that has inspired you in football or life? If so, what is it and why does it mean something to you?
A: "I'm a big quote guy and l listen to a lot of quotes. 'You have to be willing to give up breathing to succeed.' So it's like when you want to be successful so bad, you'd give up breathing to be successful by giving up your all-in-all. That's one thing I look for. I want to give my all-in-all, no matter what it takes and just be the great guy that I am and continue to rise."