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Q and A Interview With Canadian Running Back Kerry Carter

Last Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, Kerry Carter’s knee gave out while making a cut in the backfield, and his 2006 football season with the Washington Redskins was over before it had seemingly begun. But after talking to the young Canadian, it was obvious that this wasn’t a journey that had just begun, and it was a journey that Kerry enjoyed immensely.

Here is a transcript of our phone conversation from Friday, August 18th:

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Categories Posted In Interviews | News | Washington Commanders

Q and A Interview With Jesse Lumsden: Part Two

THN was fortunate enough to catch up with Jesse Lumsden again today and finish off the interview we started yesterday. Our thanks to Jesse for giving us his time and affording us the opportunity.

THN: Thanks for talking to us again Jesse. I’ll just pick up where we left off yesterday if that’s alright with you?

Jesse: Absolutely.

Saturday’s Touchdown

THN: Scrimmage or not, scoring on Saturday had to be a huge thrill. All young football players dream of taking it to the house in the NFL; talk about how it felt to cross the goal line in front of one of the most ravenous group of football fans on the planet, and did you manage to grab the football?

Jesse: No, I didn’t keep the football. I figured I’d try to do it in a preseason game or a regular season game before I kept the football. But it felt great. It always feels great to get some points on the board and the o-line just blocked it up real well and there was just a hole, a wide open hole.

THN: Just act like you’ve done it before right?

Jesse: Yeah, I was always taught to act like you’ve done it before. I got a little excited though; I’m not going to lie. (The giant smile on his face proved his sincerity implicitly)

THN: What affect did the crowd have on you on Saturday… 47,000 plus people and then you score…

Jesse: It’s the largest crowd I’ve ever played in front of. So that alone was exciting. I can’t imagine what it’ll be like in front of 91,000 people. In the CFL, you play in front of crowds of 40,000 or so depending on where you play, but it was a rush. It was a great feeling. This is a great organization to be a part of and to win football games with.

Joe Gibbs and Al Saunders

THN: There’s a lot of camp left and surely a lot left for you to prove yet, but what has working with two great football minds like Joe Gibbs and Al Saunders already done to improve you as a football player?

Jesse: It’s been awesome. You said it… two great football minds… Joe Gibbs runs a great ship around here… all the guys are team players and with Al Saunders new offense… it’s very exciting. I’m enjoying learning it and there are definitely some things I’ll keep in the back of my mind if I get into coaching.

On Representing Canada

THN: I got an e-mail today from the Embassy of Canada today to thank me for running some articles on the Canadians at camp. Do you think about that? Do you think about the fact that you’re actually down here representing Canada or do you just go about your business? Do you realize how impactful your success could be?

Jesse: Not really, see the thing is that I’m not really representing Canada because many athletes have done much more extreme things than this. All our athletes that go to the World Championships and to the Olympics… those are the athletes that are representing Canada. I’m just down here trying to make a football team and I’m representing myself. But of course I carry the love of my fans with me, and I love the country that I’m from and it will always be my home. But I’m definitely not carrying a burden on my shoulders that I have to do this for my country.

Editor’s Note: Jesse would go on to appear for Canada at the Olympics on the Canadian Bobsled team. Twice.

Advice For Kids

THN: Do you have any advice for Canadian kids that are watching you and trying to get to the NFL?

Jesse: Yeah… work hard and promote yourself. That’s probably the biggest thing I’ve found. I put myself around some good people and I promoted myself. I made sure people saw me; I didn’t wait for people to hear about me and then come see me. That was a big deal, especially because Canada’s still kind of an unknown pond of talent, but it’s picking up and I think you’re going to see more and more.

On Charity

THN: Something many people might not know is that last year you shaved off all of your hair for a cancer charity function. What charities are you involved with?

Jesse: Once I go back home, I’m going to do more work for the Canadian Cancer Society. If I grow my hair out again and can go out again, I’ll definitely do the ‘Shave for a Cure’ function again.

THN: So shaving your head had nothing to do with shaking the moniker of ‘Hamilton Hottie’?

Jesse: Oh… that was BAAAAD! (We shared a good hearty laugh) But we raised a lot of money, it’s a real good cause and we had a lot of support.

THN: I actually know a very young girl who came home and told her mother that she wanted to cut off all of her hair to ‘give to the people who lost their hair in cancer treatments’… and how does a mother say no to that?

Jesse: Yeah, it’s an awesome foundation. I know they do it here in the States too, and I really do try to promote it. I love talking about it and I love pledging for it and doing it. It was a great experience.

Passions Other Than Football

THN: Last question… can you tell your Redskin fans what Jesse Lumsden is passionate about other than football?

Jesse: Just life in general. I love to read, I love music… spending time with my family. Family is a huge part of my life.

THN: Hence the tattoo? (Jesse has his family crest tattooed to his arm.)

Jesse: Exactly. My tattoo is something that I wear proudly on my arm and I’ve never regretted it for one day. My parents understand why I did it. But family, friends and just enjoying life are what I’m passionate about.

Author notes:

It bears mentioning that Jesse has been extremely gracious giving THN his time this week. Is it ‘unprofessional’ to actually be cheering for a guy to actually make the team? I don’t know. I guess I’m being unprofessional then, because I am really pulling for him to make the team.

He has everything that Joe Gibbs likes in a player – talent, drive, a great attitude and a great work ethic. The Redskins would be a better team with him than without him in my opinion. Even on the practice squad, this kid’s attitude would be infectious. His desire to succeed is the type of desire that makes other people work harder at their craft for fear of being supplanted.

The next few weeks will be very challenging for Jesse as he continues to try to make a mark here in Washington. Regardless of the results, he has conducted himself with a level of professionalism and poise that is a credit to football players, let alone Canadian football players.

It’s almost inconceivable that the work he has already put in won’t translate into success. If the Redskins can’t find a place for him, it’s very doubtful that he’d have to wait long for someone else to pick him up and give him another chance.

To the Redskins staff – don’t let this kid get away. He’s earned the right to bleed burgundy and gold for longer than a training camp.

Best of luck Jesse.

Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.

Categories Posted In Interviews | News | Washington Commanders

Q and A Interview With Jesse Lumsden: Part One

THN was fortunate enough to grab Washington’s Jesse Lumsden for a few questions and answers at training camp on Monday.

Lumsden has managed to draw a fair bit of attention for a newcomer both from the fans and from the coaching staff. Here is the first part of hopefully a two-part interview; we will try to catch up with him again on Tuesday.

Jesse Lumsden Interview

THN: Thanks for your time Jesse. I wanted to ask you about your dad. Obviously your dad probably had a lot of influence on you wanting to be a football player. How much pressure was there, playing for a father who had such a prolific career both before and after his playing days?

Jesse: He never put any pressure on me. He always supported me in whatever I did, and I played a lot of sports before I really decided to focus on football. But once I did, he backed me one hundred per cent. He helped me out not only as a father, but as a coach and I’m very thankful for what he did for me because he definitely helped in a major way in getting me where I am.

THN: But did his success make you put extra pressure on yourself?

Jesse: No, not really. For a while it was always ‘Neil Lumsden’s son’, but that’s part of the territory and it never bothered me. It never made me angry or anything like that. That’s just part of it and I accepted it and I just went out and played football every weekend like I was supposed to.

THN: Has your father been down to Camp?

Jesse: He came down for the scrimmage and flew back Saturday night, so it was good to see him.

THN: He must have been pretty proud as you had a great outing.

Jesse: Yeah, it was just great to see him.

College Career

THN: You broke a lot of CIS records playing for McMaster, one of which was tying your dad’s record for five touchdowns in a game. Who bought dinner that night?

Jesse: It was a while ago, I don’t really remember, but I’m pretty sure it would have been him. He was always great about buying me dinners.

THN: Greg Marshall obviously took a big risk drafting you into the CFL when you were already property of the Seattle Seahawks. He also coached you in university football; how much of an influence has he had on your football career?

Jesse: He was one of the main reasons I went to Mac (McMaster). He sat me down and told me that I was going to have the opportunity to run the ball. And that’s something that I really wanted to do. I knew I was going in and Kojo Aidoo and Kyle Pyear were already at Mac and those were THE guys, and I learned a lot from those guys… they were both great running backs.

THN: Have you talked to Greg since coming to the Redskins?

Jesse: When I was back home just before training camp I did, I was on the golf course a couple of times with him.

(We both laugh)

THN: So have you eaten Blake Marshall’s food? (Blake Marshall is Greg’s brother and owns a pasta franchise)

Jesse: Absolutely, he fed us through our Monday morning meetings and stuff like that.

THN: Blake was a heck of a running back himself.

Jesse: Oh yeah, that’s for sure.

Time With The Seahawks

THN: What did you learn in Seattle that has helped or changed your off-season preparations for this training camp with the Redskins?

Jesse: I think I just matured more as a person. I saw kind of the down side of football. I was always very privileged and lucky with my career. And I’m glad I was exposed to it at that point in my life because it allowed me to mature as a person and as a player and get ready for this training camp. It made me mentally tougher and made me realize I need to keep working on that kind of stuff.

On Yoga

THN: Did you do Yoga before that?

Jesse: I’d done it a few times here and there, I’d never really done it a ton but it’s something that I need because I’m naturally a stiff person, so it’s something that will definitely benefit me if I can get into a continuous routine of it.

THN: I just wondered if the injury in Seattle’s training camp had anything to do with it?

Jesse: I did start once I got home and in the off-season. It’s just helped me with my well being I think. I find it very relaxing and I have the patience to do something like that. Some athletes don’t and they just have to be active. But I find it very relaxing and I enjoy it.

THN: Do you just stretch or do you meditate as well?

Jesse: I usually take a class and at the end of the class we do the meditation part of it.

THN: There don’t seem to be a lot of players that do it and it constantly surprises me. I know Ray Brown did it and it obviously served him well playing in the NFL until he was 42 years old.

Jesse: I know Joffrey Reynolds from the Calgary Stampeders has picked it up and used it a lot in the off-season and he said it’s really benefited him.

On Kerry Carter

THN: How much has having fellow Canadian Kerry Carter here at training camp helped both of you settle in and is it difficult knowing that you both might be vying for virtually an identical spot on the roster?

Jesse: It’s tough… well not tough… it’s what I’m here to do is win a roster spot. Kerry’s a friend of mine but we both understand the situation and we can be friends both on the field and off the field but we both know what we’re here to do. That’s what we’re here for; we’re fighting for a spot on this team.

THN: Has it helped though?

Jesse: Oh for sure, he’s a friend. We became pretty close in Seattle and he’s a great guy.

Thoughts On The Scrimmage

THN: You saw a lot of action in Saturday’s scrimmage, you saw a lot of special teams work… obviously that must have given you a lot of confidence. What positive and/or negative feedback did you receive from the coaching staff after the game?

Jesse: You know, there are always corrections to be made, so I need to do a few things better on special teams and I need to do a few things better on offense but I did receive some very positive feedback and it definitely helps.

THN: I thought your teams work was excellent. There were a few kick returns where you were the first one down the field and kept your lane… I’m sure Danny Smith was probably happy with that…

Jesse: He’s always very quick to compliment somebody if they do something right… so…

THN: He’s very energetic isn’t he?

Jesse: He’s definitely very energetic, and he’s a very good coach.

 

Tune in tomorrow for part two of the interview.

 

Note: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.

Categories Posted In Interviews | News | Washington Commanders

Canadian Signs Two-Year Deal With Redskins

Jesse Lumsden may not be a household name to American football fans, but he is to most Canadian football fans.

Lumsden earned the Hec Crighton Trophy as Canada’s top collegiate football player for the 2004 season. He broke CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) league records for the McMaster Marauders in both yards and touchdowns with 1,816 and 21 respectively. He also broke the CIS career mark for touchdowns with 47 and Ontario University mark with 4,238 career rushing yards.

Canadian university football stars rarely create much buzz south of the border. However, Lumsden’s season was so spectacular that he earned an invitation to the East-West Shrine Bowl in San Francisco. He made the most of that opportunity and led all running backs in the game with 41 yards on 8 carries. He didn’t even play until the 3rd quarter. The performance wasn’t enough to get selected in the 2005 NFL Draft, but it was enough to prompt the Seattle Seahawks to sign him as an unrestricted free agent.

Seattle

Lumsden wasn’t going to win a starting job with league MVP Shaun Alexander carrying the rock for the Seahawks. A hip injury at the wrong time kept him from making much of a run at it regardless. There were also eight other running backs at Seattle’s training camp. The Seahawks cut Lumsden, and he returned to Canada to play for the Hamilton Tiger Cats of the CFL.

Returning Home

The Tiger Cats drafted Jesse with the 6th overall pick in the CFL draft in 2005, just two days after he had signed a contract with the Seahawks. The Ticats had just hired a new head coach in Greg Marshall, the man who had coached Lumsden for four years with McMaster. Marshall thought enough of the 23-year old to use Hamilton’s first pick on a guy that might never play for them.

Lumsden played in seven games for the Tiger Cats and ran for 307 yards on 60 carries. He also added 153 yards on 11 receptions out of the backfield. Hamilton’s general manager Rob Kratz stated, “His performance (last year) bode well for him to see a lot of playing time this year (as Hamilton’s feature running back).”

His unique blend of speed, and strength landed him on kickoff returns as well. He registered 259 yards on 11 returns. It is that blend of speed and strength that had as many as 5 other NFL teams looking at game film of him. Whether it was the $10,000 signing bonus, or the two-year contract offered, Jesse chose Washington as his next stop.

Taking Another Shot

Interestingly, Lumsden had his possible return to the NFL written into his contract with the Ticats. He signed a one-year deal with an option. It has the added stipulation that he is granted permission to return for another shot at the NFL. Hamilton would still retain his rights. “He wanted to give it one more shot,” Kratz said, “Being totally up front with us, we were able to prepare.”

Lumsden is obviously fighting an uphill battle and may very well return to the Tiger Cats in 2006. Cracking a running back lineup that already contains names like Clinton Portis, Ladell Betts and Rock Cartwright will be tough indeed. So is Lumsden just a warm body at training camp?

His best shot will probably come on special teams. Lumsden has always been a very gifted athlete and will need to show that athleticism with and without the ball on teams’ play. The Redskins struggled to find a consistent return game in 2005. Antonio Brown provided more drama than yards, so there’s certainly possible job openings.

H-Back?

At 6’3″ and 230 pounds, there may be other options for the big back from Burlington, Ontario. Lumsden has good hands and may have some potential in the H-back role that Joe Gibbs employs. He’s likely too small to play tight end at the NFL level. He may however, be able to find a niche as a project player and special teams standout. Also with Al Saunders coming in to co-ordinate the offense, Washington may employ a more traditional fullback in some sets and Lumsden might fit in there too.

Jesse Lumsden Interview

The road to making the team will be long. However, Jesse will be joined in his journey to Redskin Park by Hamilton teammate Jonta Woodward and fellow Canadian Kerry Carter. Woodward is a massive offensive tackle with tremendous potential, and Carter is another phenomenal athlete coming in at running back.

Together the three of them will try to become household American names… at least in Washington.

Notes:

Two part interview with Jesse: Part One  |  Part Two

Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database. It was originally posted by Mark Solway

Categories Posted In News | Transactions | Washington Commanders