Player Q&A: Lito Sheppard
How did you earn the nickname “Cowboy Killer”?
[Laughs] Well, I think half of my career picks came against the Cowboys. Two of them I was able to take for 100-plus yards, so that kind of put me in history in the NFL. But the Cowboys have been real good to me, man. It seems like every time I play them something good happens for me.
What was it like playing for Steve Spurrier at the University of Florida?
I love Coach Spurrier. You know, that was one of the better coaches I’ve ever played for. He made things fun, he made them interesting, and just his overall mentality and the way he coached, I think it was just good for me at the time. So I enjoyed every day I spent under Coach Spurrier.
What do you think of your Jets head coach, Rex Ryan?
He’s funny and I love that, too. He’s definitely a defensive-minded coach. He’s definitely got that defensive mentality — not backing down from anyone, anything, any challenge — and he definitely instills that in his team, so that’s great.
How good of a pro QB do you think Tim Tebow is going to be?
See, coming from me, this is going to be a biased answer, but any Gator, if they get the opportunity to play, I think they’ve got a chance to be great. I mean, simply, just coming from the Orange & Blue, Tebow, with his heart, skill and mentality, it’s hard to pinpoint how good he can be. His will to win, that’s something you can’t coach, you can’t teach, and he definitely has that. So his level of play can only be determined by Tebow, but he’s going to be good and I just hope someone will give him that chance.
Who’s the best QB you’ve ever faced?
Wow. I’ve got three that I’ve got in mind, starting with Tom Brady — he’s pretty damn accurate with that ball, that’s the bottom line, and his poise back there helps that out. Next is a tossup between Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. I only played against Peyton once, but his accuracy is off the charts, too. Brees, he’s one of those quarterbacks where he doesn’t get the top two or three recognition in the league, but the way he moves his offense and throws the ball, he’s got one of the better balls in the NFL, too.
What would you say is your best physical and mental quality?
Best physical? Speed and quickness. Mental, I think just the ability to stay cool in heated situations.
How good a corner is Darrelle Revis?
For him to be as young as he is, he’s definitely one of the tops in the league. With that said, he’s got only the sky to climb. With his unique size and quickness, I think that’s his advantage and he’s going to be one of the top players in this league for a long time. My advice to him is just to stay focused and stay hungry.
What has been a pleasant surprise for you in your transition from Philadelphia to New York?
Nothing was really surprising. I was a little hesitant about how I’d get along with all the guys when I came over, but, you know, these guys are so great. They took me in with open arms and we’ve just got one common goal: to win. As long as we’re on one page and working harder, I think, that’s what instills trust in everybody. I’ve been here and just been connecting like I was always one of the guys.
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