Jump to content

Fujita interview


Recommended Posts

“SIRIUS XM’s Mad Dog Radio”


The paragraph I bolded was really refreshing to hear


Host/Gary Williams: “Every guy who is on a Super Bowl team and then has the chance to ‘cash in,’ you go, why do you leave a great situation for a team that, right now, you wonder how much hope. How do you as a player assess the specialness of what you are leaving to why you choose what you chose to do, which is leave New Orleans?”


Scott Fujita: “Well, the business of the NFL can always be strange and free agency is unpredictable. So a lot of people want to ask ‘why right now? Why are you doing this?’ To be honest, the decision was pretty much made for me and that’s the bottom line. I think anytime you let a couple of your veteran free agents test the market that means the team is willing to let you go and walk away and that’s kind of how I feel in my situation. I’m sure [Darren] Sharper might be feeling the same way right now. When you have kind of radio silence on their end and they’re letting you go out and take visits and get offers from other teams, it’s just kind of the writing is on the wall at that point. But I feel great about the situation in Cleveland. I wouldn’t have taken the visit if I didn’t think it might be good fit. And then when I got up there, believe me, I evaluated the situation very critically. I asked all the tough questions, I needed answers and I felt great about the program and I’m excited about it because it’s a good match.



Fujita: “There was demand for my services there and that demand just wasn’t the same at all in New Orleans. Not saying that the Saints don’t appreciate what I brought to the table the last four years because I know they do. I have great relationships with Sean [Payton] and [general manager] Mickey [Loomis]. They’ve had nothing but nice things to say to me the last couple days. It’s just a weird part of the business and they have a lot of things they needed to do in planning to move forward and starting to take care of some of those young guys who need to start getting paid. Jahri Evans, Roman Harper, Pierre Thomas, they’ve got to take care of these guys at some point otherwise it’s going to be a bitter locker room.”


Williams: “You said you asked the critical questions. What do you, as a player assessing another organization that you may be becoming a part of, what do you ask of [head coach] Eric Mangini and [team president] Mike Holmgren?”


Fujita: “Well, I go in and, basically for me, when I sit down I want to know that there’s a shared vision. And I have my unique set of ideas for how a program should be headed. And when I sat down in New Orleans four years ago with Sean [Payton] and Mickey [Loomis], and everybody thought I was crazy for even taking that visit, it was the same conversation. I want to know that I’m on the same page with the people who I’m going to be working for. So when I got to Cleveland I had a lot of the same types of questions with Mike Holmgren and Eric Mangini. I know there are a lot of perception things out there about what’s going on in Cleveland. I had all those questions answered. I never judge anybody or anything until I can sit down with the guy face to face, man to man, and ask those questions and get some answers. And if I didn’t feel good about the answers I received then my wife and I wouldn’t be taking our kids up there. That’s pretty much the bottom line.”


Williams: “Obviously you’ve got your eyes wide open about not only the reality of how long you can be there and how much time you can play in this league, but you also know that it’s fragile not only for players. It is for coaches as well. Is one of the questions you asked about the amount of security that the guy in the system that you’re going to be in, with Eric Mangini, how much security he has? Can you get that personal?”


Fujita: “Yeah. I asked a lot of those personal-type questions because this is a huge personal decision for my family and I to move up there. We covered all the bases. We were in there a long time with a lot of meetings. I’m glad my wife was able to come with me because I value her opinion on everything and she was a big part of the decision. And it was just first class all the way. They really made a huge effort to make our visit as good as possible, to answer every question we had, and they just really took care of us. And another thing I appreciated, when I was in meetings all day with all the coaches and my wife was kind of just in limbo for a little while sitting in one of the conference rooms, everybody in the organization made time to go spend time with her, sit down, make sure she was comfortable. Mike Holmgren spent a couple of hours with her and I appreciate that kind of stuff because I know some places wouldn’t take that extra step and they did for us.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...