In this episode, we interview Former Alabama and Patriots football player Reggie Grimes.
-2 Time SEC West Champion
-1999 SEC Champion
-Played with the Patriots, Seahawks, and Falcons
-Hunters Lane High School in Nashville
-Played RB and DL
-Metro Player of the Year
-Region 6-5A Players of the Year
-Ran for almost 1,400 yards and 27 TDs his senior year
-Recruited by nearly everyone
- • Can you tell us about your recruiting process and what top 3 schools were you considering? Why did you choose Alabama?
-Recruited by legendary Coach Gene Stallings
-His relationship with Stallings led him to Alabama
- • You were coached by a legend, Gene Stallings. Can you tell us what your relationship was like with him and how he compares to Nick Saban?
-Roommates with Shaun Alexander
-Shaun felt like he was Reggie’s little brother because of his size
-Went to the same recruiting visits as Shaun, but did not know it
-Witnessed Kordell Stewart’s “Hail Mary” game vs Michigan
-Very close with Shaun, went home with each other
-Didn’t get into many altercations during their 4 years together
- • You were roommates with Shaun Alexander. It was more than that. You guys were like brothers. Can you tell us about your friendship with Shaun?
-Shaun borrowed his clothes without him knowing quite frequently
-Got his suede jacket soaked in the rain
-Reggie caught him
- • Apparently, you had had great taste in clothes. Can you tell us the story about how Shaun Alexander used to borrow your clothes?
-Taught Shaun how to drive a stick shift
-Shaun drove his car around one day
-Forgot to take the parking brake off
-Caused a burning smell
-Rod Rutledge flagged him down
-Eventually told on him
- • Apparently, Shaun liked your taste in cars as well. Can you tell us about how Shaun borrowed your car and drove it around with the parking brake on?
- • You came to Alabama during an interesting time. Little did you know, Gene Stallings would retire after your first season. Mike Dubose became head coach and the program took a major dip. What was the atmosphere like and why was it a difficult transition?
-Made the switch from RB to DE
- • How were you able to make that transition so easily?
- • Who was instrumental in your development?
- • The 1999 season was my first year at Alabama. I and the rest of the Crimson Tide fan base were very optimistic about that year. What were your goals going into that year?
- • The turning point of the season came one night in Birmingham. The team was upset by Louisiana Tech at Legion Field. What was it like in the locker room at that moment and what did it mean to your season?
-Went to Gainesville and upset Florida at the Swamp in over time
-Won the West and went to the SEC Championship
-Stifled Steve Spurrier’s “Fun N Gun” offense
- • Your defense during the SEC Championship did what few were able to do. You shut down one of the most high-powered offenses in the country. How did you guys put together the perfect formula to shut them down?
-Reggie Grimes was involved in a play that sealed the game for Alabama. He picked off Florida QB and future ESPN analyst Jesse Palmer’s pass and returned it 38 yards for a TD.
- • It was late in the game and you were involved in a key play that helped seal Alabama’s SEC Championship victory and showcased your former RB skills. Can you take us through that play?
-Alabama won the 1999 SEC Championship 34-7 and was rewarded for their efforts with a trip to the Orange Bowl
-Faced Tom Brady and the Michigan Wolverines
-Went back and forth the entire game
-Alabama lost in overtime with a missed extra point
- • Although the outcome didn’t turn out in our favor, the Orange Bowl was a game of the ages. Can you tell us about your experience in that game?
- • What was it like playing against Tom Brady? Did you know at the time that he could be special at the next level?
- • You closed out your career at Alabama with an SEC Championship. Now, it was time to prepare for the NFL. What were scouts telling you leading up to the 2000 NFL Draft?
- • How was your Pro Day/Combine?
-Went undrafted in the 2000 NFL Draft
-Signed as an undrafted free agent with the New England Patriots
- • To the surprise of many, you went undrafted. However, you signed with the Patriots as a free agent. What was your mindset heading into camp?
- • How as instrumental in helping you make that transition to the NFL?
- • Did you know at that point Bill Belichick was destined for greatness?
-After the Patriots, he played for the Falcons and Seahawks
-After the NFL, he became a coach
-Currently coaches at Ravenwood High School as their defensive coordinator & OLB coach
-Coached his son Reggie Grimes II, 5-star DE, who recently signed with Oklahoma
- • You hung up your cleats and shoulder pads. God opened the door to a new path. Why do you feel like He called you to become a coach?
- • You were coached by great defensive minds: Gene Stallings, Mike Dubose, and Bill Belichick. What from their coaching styles did you incorporate into your own as a coach?
- • Describe what it has been like coaching your son. What are the most important things that you have taught him as a player?
Santiago Leon 0:17
Sports cast June 14 2020 if you haven’t yet, please subscribe to all our channels YouTube Periscope and iTunes and if you’re an iTunes please leave a rating and review. It will help us out tremendously and of course visit us on the sports cast dotnet the sports cast on net there is a article about Tiger Woods thinking about not playing for the rest of the air. This episode is brought to you by is the Bible advocate download is the Bible app on the iOS App Store. Share averse to the world. Tuesday nights is our Alabama nights of course the summer is you know there’s so much going on when it comes to college football or sports. So we’d like to bring in some special guests but, but before we do, we got a man from Jackson, Mississippi, Justin Riley. Welcome to the sports cast.
Justin Riley 1:09
Hey, glad to be here. Hey, there’s always something going on on Tuesdays because that means we get to visit with former Todd legends and we get to talk about football. So that’s a pretty big thing in my book.
Santiago Leon 1:22
Before we do, just in college football season schedules are definitely being talked about. Big 10 has decided to play in season schedules. That’s the only like the biggest news right now Harvard Ivy League has been cancelled, but the big one, the SEC will decide in a few weeks from now what they’re going to do. Justin Riley has the inside. What have you heard about the SEC?
Justin Riley 1:52
The inside? Well, to be honest with you, this is a conference Everyone is waiting to hear the word from But the thing is we don’t really know what’s going on with Greg Sankey, what his thoughts are at one point he was very optimistic and very confident the season would go on. Now the other conferences have decided they are going to play but as modified being that conference only, and we all tend to think the SEC will follow suit but a lot of things are just up in the air. I’ve taught to an SEC official where my friends at work, he too is up in the air so he doesn’t really know what’s going on. And but he is very optimistic there will be a season but it will be a commerce only season so it was kind of following suit with the rest of the conferences.
Santiago Leon 2:42
And I forgot to mention ACC is also doing in conference only scheduled plus Notre Dame so definitely, they got some sauce going there. Now, like the importance of the SEC is that the Sunbelt states have been hit a little bit harder these past few weeks. The mortality rate is low. So, I mean, Justin, do you think there’s a possibility that the SEC will cancel out like altogether? Or do you think there’s a there’ll be a season no matter what?
Justin Riley 3:10
Well, there’s always that possibility you can’t rule that out. But be honest, I really feel like unless something catastrophic happens, we are going to have an SEC football season.
Santiago Leon 3:23
I do agree with that, I think started off with no fans. I think a lot of these other sports have been started out with no fans at all. I think it’s just the best way to do hopefully towards the end of the season, we might have at least 25% but like I said, Only God knows it’s endemic only happens ever, ever so often. So hopefully in the next few few days, we’ll find out. Anyways, Justin Riley, let’s go to the main part of the show. came to the honest,
Justin Riley 3:54
I absolutely will. Before I do that, as always, I don’t give a shout out to Ray jammas Hey, if you’re looking to tackle that Bama says hunger at breakfast Look no further the ramaa jammas take on all American omelet platters, three eggs, cheese, ham, sausage, bacon and pretty much everything you’re going to see on the banquet table table at heaven.
Santiago Leon 4:16
Should they relate to the Justin Riley’s dish? But I really think
Justin Riley 4:20
so because you know, I am definitely a guy who loves to take that challenge
Santiago Leon 4:24
home, you will take it like you’ll claim that play for you.
Justin Riley 4:27
I’ll do it. If anybody wants to challenge me to eating that. I’ll take that challenge. And you know if they win, they can be their platter next. But yeah, go and see those guys. Great staff great ownership and courses right next to Brian Denny stadium. What better way to experience a day than eating next to Brian Denny,
Santiago Leon 4:46
and they’re open during this pandemic days, aren’t they?
Justin Riley 4:50
They are. So if you need a little bit of football and some good food, they’re open for now. So hopefully, the pandemic will not cause them to lock their doors. Once more. All right now is the moment moment we have been waiting for our guests as a two time sec West champion 1999 sec champion, one of the most dominant defenders I’ve ever seen in college. He also played for the Patriots, the Seahawks and the Falcons. Ladies and gentlemen, Todd nation. Welcome Reggie Grimes.
Reggie Grimes 5:27
Thanks for having me, guys. It’s an honor to be here.
Santiago Leon 5:32
Reggie Grimes all the way in Tennessee. Tell us what are you? What have you been up to these days during the pandemic?
Reggie Grimes 5:40
Man, a whole lot of nothing seems like but now we’re starting to get cranked up. We were able to hold meetings in place of spring football. So we had three intense weeks of installation meetings for for high school football, but uh That’s pretty much it, man. That’s, that’s kind of been my getaway of my time to get out and get with the guys and play a little football. My wife can always find things for me to do around the house, I guess you
Santiago Leon 6:16
were doing currently like, are you coaching high school kids? Are you coaching the team or?
Reggie Grimes 6:21
Currently I am the defensive coordinator for Ravenwood High School, going into my second year as a coordinator here. Before that, I spent three years coordinating at Mount Juliet High School, I’m not coordinating. I was actually the defensive backs coach, Mount Juliet High School for three years prior to taking the coordinator position that Ravenwood.
Santiago Leon 6:45
Reggie, tell us, we asked all our guests, how did you get into football?
Reggie Grimes 6:51
How did I get into football? As far as I can remember, I’ve always loved football, and I think the The biggest draw was as a young boy, oh, you know, during football season I really, especially on Sundays, a mom will come in and get us up for Sunday school and we’ll get up and go to church and then when I come back home from church, my dad would be sitting there watching, it seemed like he was always watching the Cowboys. So that was before Tennessee hadn’t had a team before. So I was a Cowboys fan. He was a Cowboys fan because he went to school with an heir to Tom Jones.
Justin Riley 7:33
Reggie Grimes 7:34
yeah, at Tennessee State. So, you know, he was a big Cowboys fan. So that kind of rubbed off on me and I remember the joy. He used to watching football used to bring him and I and I wanted to be able to kind of bring him that joy, I guess so to speak, man. So I fell in love with football with my mom. It’s been a part of me ever since.
Santiago Leon 7:59
Reggie. Can’t tell us your high school experience of playing football
Reggie Grimes 8:04
in high school, high school was awesome, man. I went to a school that was a new school. As a matter of fact, I was the I was a member of the 10th graduating class from that school so we were very new. So obviously you got a chance I had a chance to kind of write some of the history for that school. So high school man it was a blast. That’s the most fun that that you’re ever going to have playing football that’s what I tell my guys now is a man embrace it. Enjoy it, man. Because Yeah, there’s other levels of football, but there’s none as fun as it says none that are just the pure joy of playing because that’s why you play in high school. You’re not getting paid, you know? Yeah, you won scholarships with no, those aren’t guaranteed. You just really get to play for the joy game and the camaraderie that you build with your teammates, man. They’re both like high school football. It’s great sport. Oh,
Justin Riley 9:03
yeah, absolutely. I agree with that. And of course, you played at Hunter’s lane High School and you play on both sides of the ball. And she lived a very,
Santiago Leon 9:11
a lot of
Justin Riley 9:13
accolades, you rush for almost 1400 yards and you had 27 touchdowns your senior year. But can you tell us a little bit about your recruiting process and what are your top three schools that you’re considering?
Reggie Grimes 9:27
Okay, let’s go recruiting process.
Santiago Leon 9:30
This is our favorite part of the show, by the way.
Reggie Grimes 9:33
Well, my senior year, I was recruited primarily as a defender. I played I played quarterback my sophomore and junior years. Matter of fact, I started my senior and I had a strong arm but I never really saw myself as a quarterback so to speak. And that’s mainly because I say I was ahead of my time. The the offenses are Tim Tebow and Cam Newton and those guys made popular me I would have love to have done that as a quarterback in high school. But you know, the game just hadn’t evolved that much. So I was being primarily recruited as a defender. My senior year, my head coach decided that he wanted me to run the ball again. I actually play varsity ball as a freshman. So I was running back as a freshman, quarterback, my junior my sophomore junior years, and we needed a little more punch offensively. So we moved back to running back. And from that man, ball started rolling in, you know, for me to play on the offensive side of the ball.
Santiago Leon 10:38
So what’s your style? Are you like, you know, similar to like, the bus like what type of running back were you back in high school?
Reggie Grimes 10:48
You could probably compare me to the bus. I wasn’t, you know, I wouldn’t go and do a whole bunch of dancing around and you know, one could and then I’ll go low on my shoulder and, you know, see what happened. So You know, I was a hard run out of a physical runner. I didn’t shy away from contact. I kind of searched it out. So yeah, as a coach Stallings recruited me as a running back. So the only running backs assigned in my class and then 95 players because we were a probation class. We’re me and Sean Alexander. And I often kid with my son, you know, and tell them man, just imagine how good I could have been about the status running back. But yeah, that’s that’s kind of hidden in a nutshell. I ran the ball well enough to be recruited as a running back, Tennessee. You know, they were recruiting me as an H back. And again, I didn’t have my crystal ball, so I couldn’t see another future. But when a coach Cutcliffe seven points was, he wanted me to come and play with a quarterback. That was gonna be he thought the next best thing bye named Peyton Manning, he thought that we could you know, it was one of those things man were being in Tennessee growing up in Tennessee. I think they were in the middle of one of those nine or 10 year streak so I hadn’t seen Tennessee have a lot of success versus Alabama. So when it came down to my top three choices, which were Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia Tech, Alabama, one out Alabama was one point away from playing in the national championship. My senior in high school and I you know, I wanted to be part of the crew that got them over the hump and have a chance to play for them. So temperature.
Santiago Leon 12:43
Now keep in mind that Reggie was a highest rank recruit from Tennessee. Back then, so he could have gone anywhere now. Georgia Tech. I hear a lot about Georgia Tech. Now they’re not as good were they good back then.
Reggie Grimes 12:58
They were They were close enough to winning the championship that they weren’t. They weren’t there. The cover wasn’t there. I think they won the national championship, maybe in 90, so maybe five years prior, they just won a national championship. So a couple wouldn’t bear. However, Florida State was kind of dominating the ACC at the time. So it was, you know, pretty much a no brainer that Florida State was going to win the ACC. And everybody else was kind of kind of fighting for scraps. So Florida State or their recruit me. I was actually make Andrews and the crew I want to say about about McAndrews on that crew came by but they were recruiting me as a defensive player.
Santiago Leon 13:42
Interesting. Now back then, coaching Stalin’s recruiting you, uh, how was his approach when he tried to recruit you? At the time?
Reggie Grimes 13:54
his approach was, he always wanted a big bang. You know, so That was his thing. He’s a man. I always wanted a big back. Mississippi State, I gave him a little bit of trouble in 94. And Mississippi State had three bags, I want to say that we’re about 240 or 250. That’s where I was at the time. So he saw the effectiveness that the state had on him and that’s what he would tell me that Hey, man, I always wanted a big back, you can come in and you can beat that back. So that’s what he’s told me. Oh,
Justin Riley 14:30
I remember those guys, man, Michael Davis, and nothing is Fred McCreary. It was playing for state at that time. Yeah, those are big guys. But I wanna go back to the fact that you play with Gene Stallings. I love to hear about foreign players who had the opportunity to be coached by him. Can you tell us what your relationship was like with him and how would you compare him to Nick Saban?
Unknown Speaker 14:55
I think they have a lot of similarities. As far as Discipline is concerned holding players to a higher expectation and then hold them accountable when the when they don’t meet those expectations. The one thing that I can tell you about co Stalin’s and my relationship was, he was a father figure type. We went to church on my visit, we went to church with him. I remember the church so that that he attended so when I wasn’t in church, you know, on Sunday, he would make a point to let me know that he missed me. And it got to be a couple in a row he was Hey, maybe we ought to call dad see what dad Hi dad feels about. call mom. No mom feels about you’re not making it to church last couple of weeks. So you know, he he was close to no we had a close enough relationship to where he would uh, he will let me know it whether whether or not I realized that he was looking out for me or not, he will let me know that you know, I missed you today.
Santiago Leon 16:04
So you got recruited to Alabama? How was the state of Alabama football at the time?
Reggie Grimes 16:11
Well, again, they just won in 9293 has some injuries and the lead to some loss of the thing Jay Barker had gotten hurt that year. I think this ended up putting quarterback in a lot. And then 93 year, the next year and 94, which would have been my senior year, they want them all they lost to Florida in the SEC championship by one point on a game that they probably should have won, you know, they they let a lot of that game. So to me, you know, and that’s what they were saying, Hey, man, we were one point away from playing for the championship this year. If that the SEC championship unfolds a little bit differently, man, we’re playing for the national championship and so being young and naive, I didn’t understand the effects that the probation was going to have on us. You know, we had 10 or 12. In my class, I think the next year we had 10, which really played a big part. After let’s say, it would have been the 97th season. So 96, we played in the SEC championship, and we went on to beat Michigan in the Outback Bowl. Well, next year, Michigan brought everybody back in Michigan went on the winner share the national championship. Well, we were the last team that beat Michigan, you know, so you got to feel like man, if we have full full classes, you know, that we would have been right there in the thick of it. We would have had a chance to play for the national championship. But you know, being an 18 year old kid, you know, you don’t you don’t really understand how everything works and how it plays, how recruiting limitations affects you. I didn’t understand that time. I know now, you know, because that 97 season. We were four and seven And the thing about it is we were in most of those games. We were in most of those games, I don’t think I don’t recall any of them were that we just got blown out from the jump, where most of those games but at the end of the game, man, it just seemed like we didn’t have enough gas to finish. Well, you go back and look, and then those starters are playing, you know, 90% of the game, you know, so, where other teams have, you know, were able to raise guys, you know, early in the game, so they could be a little bit stronger, a little bit fresher in the fourth quarter. We didn’t have that luxury. So, you know, it is what it is. I don’t think I would change if I go back and do it again. knowing what I know now, I’m not sure that would change it. So it is what it is.
Justin Riley 18:42
And you mentioned earlier, Sean Alexander, and it turns out that you guys were on a lot of the same recruiting visits, but apparently you didn’t know it, but you end up becoming roommates. My fad y’all go you guys for more like brothers. Can you tell us about your friendship
Reggie Grimes 18:57
with Sean Absolutely. That is my brother. I was in his way. And he was in mind. We were roommates the whole time we were down at Tuscaloosa. When I came home, he came with me. Sometimes I took him a little bit further north to Kentucky to meet with family and friends so he could get up, get up to Northern Kentucky. Sometimes he hung out with me in Nashville. So you know, my kids call him Uncle his kids call me uncle so. But in terms of recruiting, we knew each other. We knew each other because my mom had read a sports illustrated article about his GPA. And I’m making great so every time we would see him, you know, kind of point out that he makes straight A’s I’m like, Well, I’m in honors, you know. Do B’s. But uh, No, me and Sean went to every game. Just about we were we were almost at every game. And the thing about it is the only team that want When we were being recruited was Alabama so we watched, we went to Notre Dame and watch Notre Dame get beat by Michigan on the last second. We went to Tennessee and watch Florida blow Tennessee out. You know, there was about four of them and another thing is the only game. Well, the Michigan game it didn’t rain, but every other game that we attended, there was a torrential downpour. So I started to manage what’s going on while I have luck with weather teams losing. But we went to the we went to the Ole Miss game at Alabama. It was a game that was delayed by a thunderstorm. Alabama was losing up until that point. And Alabama came back and they won the game. After the rain delay, everybody had to go in under the stadium after the rain like family comes out and does what Bama does and kind of pulled away from Ole Miss. And we took that as a sign. You know what Everything from you know maybe maybe this is where we’re supposed to be
Justin Riley 21:06
you know actually heard a funny story as far as how close you guys were apparently at that time you had a great taste in clothes. And he would like to borrow those clothes but not exactly tell you until you actually caught him one day. He tell us about that story.
Reggie Grimes 21:21
Well, you know, growing up, I’m I’m a middle of three boys so and then I have a I’ll say a doctor. He wasn’t really adopted but my father raised another child from the time he was in sixth grade until he graduated college so he he became my brother as well. So the sharing the clothes it just it really didn’t bother me. But one day, I had I had a I had a suede coat. I had a nice way coat and sauna didn’t have any he didn’t have any warm weather clothes. I mean cold weather clothes. It’s surprising coming from Cincinnati area that he didn’t bring any but whatever. It was starting to get cool out. So I didn’t mind them were my Cody I wanted, you know, several several times. Well, this particular day he didn’t check the forecast and he put all my suede coat and he got called in a torrential downpour. And I wouldn’t say it ruined my coat, but I wasn’t very happy about it. Am I cold and he’s soaking wet and it’s dripping. And I was just trying to figure out what happened to my sleep. But uh, yeah, I’m bringing that up to I mentioned that about what he brings it up. I don’t know he brings it up. And we will laugh. I mean, I used to let him drive my car you I would hear stories about my car grinding gears down. Hey, man, what’s going on with you in the car? That wasn’t me. I let my roommate bond. So Oh, well, you gotta go get your transmission. All that kind of stuff.
Santiago Leon 22:58
Great memorable moments there with Sean Alex Xander, one of the greats from Alabama, and of course the Seahawks. Reggie, what did what was your most memorable game while playing for Alabama?
Reggie Grimes 23:11
Oh, man, we had a we had a few man that I will never forget. probably my most memorable would have been mississippi state for my senior year, going into the suit. That was pretty much the game that we needed to win to win the Western Division. And we went on and they actually came out without score first, but uh, we were able to bounce back I actually had a pretty good game that week, I ended up being one of the SEC players a week. I think I am. Six tackles for loss, a sack, maybe six pressures, something like that. But that was and it was in a win and again, that was as big as I want. That’s probably my most tangible
Santiago Leon 24:04
Orange Bowl as well. was up there?
Reggie Grimes 24:09
Yeah, followed by the Orange Bowl, the Orange Bowl would be would be second. You know, looking looking back on it, you know, didn’t have any idea that Tom Brady was going to end up being Tom Brady. He wasn’t really
Santiago Leon 24:23
interested. Later, a little bit.
Reggie Grimes 24:27
He was a guy that was a he was a guy that was coming in in Michigan the backup quarterback so it is what it is.
Santiago Leon 24:35
Hey, Justin, a one or two more questions before we head into the pro part. Okay.
Justin Riley 24:42
I kind of feel like for me the turning point of the season came when we lost the Louisiana Tech Legion field. It’s like it ignited a fire and everyone. Of course after that we all know what happened. We went to Gainesville snapped to 39 game, home win streak. Beat LSU net thriller Then we went to SEC championship. And it was just amazing just what the defense was able to do during that game. marathon you guys did were a few that’s what that season weren’t able to do. You shut down one of the most high powered offenses in the country. How did you guys put together the perfect formula to shut them down?
Reggie Grimes 25:21
Oh, man, um, I think a lot of it had to do with respect. You know, or lack of respect. We lost a lot of tech in Birmingham. So that’s about an hour right. So obviously, it’s a solemn bus ride, but the radio, the sports talk shows, so we’re listening to the sports talk. And everybody, nobody expected coach DuBose to make it through the bye week, because we had like he said, we had Arkansas. We have Florida and then we’re in a bi and the talk was, well, at this point, there’ll be two and three. With all that went on in the preseason that That’ll give Miss McGrath a chance to bring in somebody else during the offseason I mean during the off week and maybe they can salvage the season for a bowl and man as seniors anyway I can’t speak for everybody but the seniors that that kind of ticked us off, you know, we didn’t like being written off. And we understood you know, we understood the gravity of what what just happened a lot tech we, we totally get that but we still had all of our goals in front of us. But yeah, it just kind of ticked us off that they wrote us off in the way that they did. So, you know, we kind of hunkered down bunker mentality and we were able to beat Arkansas, which nobody gave us a chance to beat Arkansas, everybody thought based on what happened the year before in Fayetteville that Arkansas was gonna run ramp it over so roughshod over didn’t happen. We go out we beat Arkansas. So the next week we’re going to Florida, nobody has given us a chance again. Okay. And at some point, you know, as a man, you gotta take offense to that. So, you know, they didn’t give us a chance we go down and we beat Florida. You know, we beat Florida in the way we beat Florida. And I think with two minutes left into that game, or three minutes left in the game, I think they were up maybe 10 points or something, you know, it really didn’t look like we had a chance but we, we fought, we scrapped and we got it in overtime, and we won in a way we did. The second time we played them, we knew we could beat them. But it was the same disrespect. You know, Florida wasn’t giving us credit for coming to Florida and kicking their tail. They were talking about how it was a flu cow. It’ll be different this time, you know, and and really just just being very disrespectful to us and what we had accomplished. So, again, we we looked at the Florida game and the first Again, I want to say they have scored 39 points and most of them came home maybe like a handful of plays, I want to say, out of that 39 points. We counted maybe like seven or eight plays, where we gave a big place the lead to the points. So we felt like going into the game, the championship game. If we can keep the ball in front of us, they can’t beat us. Okay, don’t give them the don’t give them the the chunk plays don’t give them the easy scores, like what happened in the first time we played don’t give them that and they can’t beat us. They can’t drive the ball well enough to beat us. And we took that mentality to heart and we wanted to see you know, and the first drive, you know, they they went down and, and score we gave up a big kickoff return and then they ran a trick play and score. You know, but from that point on, we kept everything in front of us we were able to tackle we were able to ramp up and then that allowed us to get to quarterback a little bit you know and affect him and But I remember about the way it ended up.
Justin Riley 29:04
course you know sticking with the SEC championship I have to bring up this play because it’s one of my favorite plays of the season. It was late in the game and you were involved in a key play that helps seal Alabama’s SEC championship victory and you showcase your former running back skills. Yeah, that’s when you picked off various bananas. Jesse Palmer’s pass. Can you take us through that play?
Reggie Grimes 29:30
Yeah. So it was right after pretty melons had just kind of kept I wouldn’t say he busted the game open. But for anyone out and and probably one of the most incredible plays you’ll ever see. You know, he stars one way cuts back, you know, makes a couple of guys miss seven, seven yards later. We score and that gives us a little breathing room. I want to say that that made it maybe a two score game at that point. I want to say that may have been our second touchdown. We’ve been kicking a lot of field goals. I want to say yeah, we’ve been kicking a lot of fear though. So before we went out for that drive Okay, so for any scores Extra Point kickoff, now we’re going out and I tell the difference. All right, guys, let’s go in. I had no idea it was gonna unfold the way it did. But, um, me and Cornelius we ran a start when they came out in the formation that we knew that we we could run a startup and have successful so I’m kind of trading inside as he got Jesse Palmer goes to throw the swing pass, and Jared Johnson gets his head on. And if everything was in slow motion from that point, it seemed like that ball ever to get to me. And I got my hand on it then it seemed like it took forever for me to get turned around and running in the right direction. But at that point, man, everything was in slow mo you know, I couldn’t hear anything. I didn’t hear anything. You know, everything was silent. The white noise so to speak, just you know. Yeah, man. And once I got my on it I knew I knew that they weren’t going to talk once I got turned in the right direction you know I was able to make it I was able to make it 38 yards to the end zone and kind of put a nail in the coffin
Santiago Leon 31:16
for the rest of the rest it feels like this is like like a sports cars exclusive right Justin?
Justin Riley 31:23
Not to me man. I saw all that I was I was watching that man. I tried to go to the game that the tickets were sold out course being a student. You were limited and how many tickets you could get but man I was watching the edge of my seat man that was just one of the best moments as a fan of Alabama that I’ve ever experienced. Hey, by the way, do you still have the SEC championship sound you took down after hearing?
Reggie Grimes 31:47
No. I did not make it out to the stadium with it. Though Hall. Media roll and we’re doing the interview and I said it right behind me because it was going Hold it was going on the wall and I saw somebody out the corner of my eye go behind me but I didn’t think nothing about it until the interview was over. So I did not get away with that sec chair.
Santiago Leon 32:14
anyone’s listening but please contact us
Reggie Grimes 32:21
was going on with me that was the that was the plan from the time I grabbed it. Like oh yeah, this is going back to master. Reggie let’s
Santiago Leon 32:29
transition towards the NFL tell us like the process of the scouts. And to the draft.
Reggie Grimes 32:39
Man, it was nerve racking. It was nerve racking you hear so much man during that time about where you might fall and where you might go and you know who’s interested in who you know, and none of that means a whole lot I don’t know why. Uh, you know mail Khyber and Todd machete and all of those. I don’t know why those guys have a job. Because when he goes down to draft they don’t know you know, it’s a it’s a situation where if my knee is available at my pick then that’s what I get, you know, so if a player falls to me that I didn’t expect them as well they don’t know where you’re gonna go. So you know it was a lot of that man and I probably didn’t handle it as well as I could have handled it. I will have my son is ever fortunate enough to be in that position. I’ll advise him better than I would advise. I didn’t really have advice or Pfizer team so to speak. But you know, you go through you know, you all your workouts you you’re flying around you meet with these things. Dr. De calms and I go undrafted, and that was the biggest blow the most crushing blow that I dealt with up until up until that point, you know, and you don’t really know why they On foldaway do, they just do, you know, so I was undrafted. So, you know, I was kinda in the dumps for for about for about 10 minutes I was in the dumps, you know? And then being in the dumps turned to me being pissed off. You know, I see the guys, you know, I’m not looking at guys that, uh, that went in front of me. I’m like, Are you serious? So, from that point, I had a chip on my shoulder. So when I got to the winglet I ended up signing with New England. It came down to New England and the Titans you know, I thought it was gonna be the Titan quite honestly. Yeah, well, oh, no, sorry. I’m gonna Seattle. Sorry. Yeah, yes, I was in Seattle. I thought it was gonna be the Titans. Didn’t hear it man. Genie got on the phone. You know, he called me like, so you’re going you really go inside with the title. Yeah. You know, his whole team. You know? They, you know they’re in the same spot as you guys are, as far as that’s concerned is you know, baby It just laid in a Super Bowl. So, and Manzini. Look at that, well, I’m let’s go over each roster I want to go over to Tyler Ross and I want to go over my roster. So we talked about the Titans roster and they had just drafted the Javan curse a year before they drafted I think robear Smith, and my draft so they, you know, a lot of money tied up and guys, that we didn’t draft anybody. We didn’t drive anybody into a position. Our guys are leaving, you come in and compete. You can win a spot, you can be on this team. And that’s what that persuaded me to sign with the with the Patriots, you know, so I signed with the Patriots and didn’t really know what to expect, you know, go through my first count, you know, here’s Bill Belichick, you know, the everything is, you know, being now he again now he was Bill Belichick, but he wouldn’t be Bill Belichick at the time.
Santiago Leon 35:52
I was gonna ask you about that. Like what Bill bill check what you’re seeing at the time was like a young energetic coach. I mean, what was the whole atmosphere Like any smile
Reggie Grimes 36:03
but but but guy that you see on the media is the guy that you is who he was, you know. One thing I say is build is hella funny man. He is hilarious, but he doesn’t let that sign on to the media but what his team and he’s funny, so you know, God got there and and what knew that you know this is Bill this is the guy that signed with the jet we lost a draft because he had originally took the job with the jets and then I think they have to do some compensation policy. Few days later you took the job in New England or whatever. So, you know, you really don’t know what to expect. And that’s probably the most nerve wracking part of it is just the unknown or the unexpected, or, you know, not knowing what to expect. But I will say, by far I learned the most that I’ve learned throughout my football career in New England and A lot of the things that that I do now is based on things that I learned while I was in the in the Patriots program,
Santiago Leon 37:07
which at that same year, Tom Brady came in. How was that? Like when you first saw him? Like, what was the whole How was he like,
Reggie Grimes 37:16
almost cool. Tom was cool. Of course, the first thing we discussed was the Orange Bowl, you know, and I and I let him know that you know, if you ever seen somebody B’s, you need to take them to dinner because the one for them, you know, I’m not sure you would be here. But we talked about the Orange Bowl and, you know, he would he would talk about where we won and you know, I talked about how they shouldn’t have and I talked about our block block field goal and goal line stand and, you know, all the things that Bama was doing to keep us in the game but you know, just one of those things, but you know, he was very personable he was he was eager to learn. I will say the Next year, it was clear that he was the he was the best quarterback on the team. It was just one of those situations that they had just paid Drew Bledsoe 100 million dollars, which was the richest pearl contract. richest football contract in history at the time. So yeah, no, but Tom Brady had had the he had had the better count.
Justin Riley 38:27
I’m gonna go back to you know being undrafted. And I had to get on my soapbox because you know as a fan, especially if yours man I was really upset I was pissed off because be honest with you. I thought you were a lot better than that. And, you know, there also there was so much good chatter about you coming into the draft but you did end up going to the Patriots. So but you got the opportunity. Who really spent the time I guess helping you make that transition to the NFL.
Reggie Grimes 38:57
A I give women beginners And Henry Thomas Hank Thomas, a lot of credit, they kind of took me under their, their wings, so to speak and, and kind of showed me the ropes and what it was like, or what what the expectation was. I used to kid kid Hank, because he was on the first tech mobile first mobile, so to have a locker next to him I used to I used to, you know, kind of rhythm a little bit but he, he did a lot to help me understand what it takes to play at that level as well as as well as William again as well. It did did that with a lot of guys coming in at opposition anyway. I know he was, uh, he was that way with me. It was that way with Richard Seymour the next year. So those that those are the guys that I give credit to for helping me, you know, usher in my NFL, my short NFL career.
Santiago Leon 39:56
Now, what you just said, You know how short time with the Patriots. k tell us like those last couple of months and also your transition to NFL Europe, a claim for Berlin thunder. Okay. Well,
Reggie Grimes 40:14
um, my going into my second year we drafted Richard Seymour with a six pack. So you know, the writing was still you know the writing was kind of on the wall there that you know you had to I needed to produce if I wanted to be around you know, and it ended up being a number situation they assigned a couple other guys in free agency, Anthony pleasant. Bobby Hamilton was already there. Reading Parker, you know some guys that were veterans they had signed so they end up in a number situation. Knowing now and i and i known then what I know now I would have fought tooth and nail to, to stay in the program organization. You know I think at the time, we were what I think we were wanting to or something, you know, we had a losing record it started. My second year started the same as my first year, in that regard where we kind of had a losing record and the opportunity, you know, I was waived. I was waived for I think we needed had some special teams needs. And had I cleared waivers if the plan was to sign me back, didn’t clear waivers. I ended up in Seattle, but that’s where my Seattle transition came in. But like I said, you know, opportunity was there. But when you’re on waivers, you know, at that point, you don’t tell the team No. And hope so sign them back with your original team, you know, so another team wanted to sign me they signed me and, you know, the Patriots went on to have the success that they had. Did I know that they would have had that kind of run? No, I didn’t. But I will say, my rookie year we were five and 11, nine of those nine of those 11 losses or by a touchdown or less. So it wasn’t like, you know, we weren’t competing. It wasn’t like we weren’t good. Well, if you look at the next year, they finished the season 11 to five. Okay, basically, they turned around those games that we were losing by touchdown, we figured out that our patrons figured out how to pull them out. You know, and then brandy continues to evolve and become arguably the greatest football player of all time and they win six Super Bowls and you know, the Patriots out of patriots, you know, but uh, that one it was a little bit different going in that wasn’t necessarily the case.
Justin Riley 42:49
It transition now from the player Reggie Grimes to coach Grimes go She hung up your cleats and your shoulder pads and guy opened the door to a new path. Why do you feel like he called you to become a coach.
Reggie Grimes 43:03
You know what? I had no intentions of coaching. I and I used to say I’ll never get into code once I’ll walk away with it. I’m done. Okay. Well, I had kids. Specifically I had a son. And he was get to hear about stories about his dad playing football and he would get to see pictures and memorabilia and whatnot. And I guess the love what was ignited in him. Well, I had no intentions again of coaching. So I sent him out to play football. And he’s having a rough go of it, you know, he had never played football before. So he’s got to getting pushed around. But the coaching that he was getting, I there was no way that I could allow that to happen. So you know, so I’m trying to coach him up on the side, just to help him not get killed, not get beat up, man. Just Let me help you not get beat up since nobody else is, well, the president of the organization came over and said, Well, if you’re gonna be out of your coaching, you have to get certified. So, okay, what’s that mean? Oh, you got to pay money. So I paid money and sign the card and I was a certified coach and I coached him. And from that point on, I just, I felt like, I’d now see it as, as much as I have to give back. There’ll be selfish of me not to give back and not to share the knowledge that I’ve accumulated over over my time playing football but it started with it would be selfish of me not to teach my son so my son the ropes and and help him along his path, have an easier path to my head. So that’s kind of kind of where where it evolved to by the time he got to high school. I was already coaching in high school, so it was just my natural fit.
Santiago Leon 44:57
Well, this part of the show we’re going to rapid fire But due to time, Justin, we got to cut the down to half. Okay. All right. Um, my first question is who was the best player player you played with and against?
Reggie Grimes 45:16
The best player that I played with his desktop. I guess it depends on when Yes, I Tom Brady obviously is, you know, well gosh.
Santiago Leon 45:28
Let’s do it in Alabama pacifically.
Reggie Grimes 45:33
Okay. Specifically, Sean Alexander is probably the best. I would say I would say Shawn is the best that I play well, I would say Chris Adams is the best that I played against. I saw Chris Samuels every day in practice, and I didn’t play against another offensive tackle. That was as good as as Chris was a Mets in college or in the NFL.
Justin Riley 46:00
got that right no bike out play big Sam. That deal was a mountain of a man.
Reggie Grimes 46:04
That’s my guy. I talked to him a couple of days ago.
Justin Riley 46:09
I got a question for him from one of your former teammates, Marvin constant. I want to know, I want to know how your son’s doing and how hands on were you in preparing him to be great.
Reggie Grimes 46:21
He’s doing well. He’s been out of the out of Norman since June 28. He’s getting acclimated to the speed of the college game, but uh, he seems to be doing well. He’s excited about it and looking forward to it. As far as how hands on I was with him, again, I tried to teach him as best I could from the time he started playing football at seven. If I had to point to one specific thing that helped him get to where he is now. I would say it was him running summer track. It was I don’t know what the When the when the switch was flipped, but it went from one year or one somebody who’s just out there, you know, want to eat up the snacks because I don’t know if you’ve ever been to summer tracking but you gotta you’re gonna be there all day so everybody brings food and that was kind of his he was known for being in everybody’s 10 or 10 till the next year it just clicked man and now he’s flying around the track I’m like, Man Who is this kid? Let’s get into it. I don’t know I To this day, I don’t know what click from one year to the next man. But you know, his coordination was at when he went tripping over his feet any longer he was running, he was running fast. And that’s what I would have to say. So in that regard, kudos to his mom for putting him in summer track and making him stick with it because I was ready to give up after after one all day summer event, you know, it’s 95 degrees out there and then you watch the sun go out there got a jog around the track. You know, we’ve been out there for 12 hours you jog around the track, you know, I’m really even up. Oh, he needs it and she made him stick with it. And, you know, that was like I said, If I had to point to a one specific event, it would probably be him running track.
Santiago Leon 48:20
Reggie, should the NFL bring back NFL Europe or a second division type league?
Reggie Grimes 48:28
You know what? I think they should because now and you asked about it earlier, and I totally forgot about my time in Europe would have been more enjoyable if we had one. You know, that was the whole point for me going over there. But it did serve a purpose. In my regard. I was coming back off of an injury. When I went to Chicago I I tore hamstring. Confident to prove to everybody that I that I was healed and I could play Went to the NFL Europe and I’m sure there are guys in that boat. You know today that you know something happened there on the club cusp of making the team injuries happen and now everybody has a question mark about whether or not they can play well in that regard yeah i think there could be room for some type of farm league or developmental league for the NFL.
Santiago Leon 49:26
Was there any interest for like the CFL like the Canadian Football League back then?
Reggie Grimes 49:33
There was there was but I also was fielding interest from like arena leads and things of that nature. So you know, I’ve obviously the NFL was the the goal. And NFL Europe was probably the best that that I thought the best opportunity of making it back to the NFL was NFL Europe. So Yeah, Canada was available. arena was available. But to me, NFL was the way to go.
Santiago Leon 50:08
Justin one more before we head into random questions.
Justin Riley 50:12
Okay, so what does Reggie Grimes look like in a Nick Saban? COACH defense? Good question.
Reggie Grimes 50:21
What does Reggie drive look like? I don’t know, man. I don’t know man. I i would love the opportunity to play for Coach Saban. I will say that Coach Saban and coach Belichick are almost mirror images of each other man. Just listen to him talk and recruit. Recruit my son versus being in the Patriots organization man there there are some eerie coincidence or similarity so to speak. So hopefully I you know, I would be one of those. I could be one of those first round guys. He’s putting out every I don’t know.
Santiago Leon 50:55
Reggie wings or ribs.
Reggie Grimes 51:00
Santiago Leon 51:03
Reggie Grimes 51:06
Tuscaloosa? Ah, man, that’s tough man probably going to be wings and reel from Archibald.
Santiago Leon 51:18
Oh, you’re that Justin.
Justin Riley 51:21
There. I completely understand that. I can’t argue there. That’s
Santiago Leon 51:30
question isn’t it? Anyways,
Justin Riley 51:32
it’s tough because you know down the road we got the famous dreamland. So the original location, not the other ones. And then it’s like they say nothing like him nowhere.
Reggie Grimes 51:43
Yeah, if we if you want to say dream lands, what am I getting from Dream Land? The answer is real. There’s not even a question about it.
Santiago Leon 51:50
Dream Land. Poll Question of the day from the sports cast Twitter. What goes well with mac and cheese, breadcrumbs. hamburger, bacon or lobster
Reggie Grimes 52:09
goes well with mac and cheese. I’m not sure I’ve had mac and cheese with any of those. So if I, if I have if I’m having mac and cheese, then what else is on my plate is probably a piece of fried chicken, fried cactus, maybe some greens. Sweet.
Santiago Leon 52:31
That sounds good. We had a catfish question a couple of weeks ago. Justin Riley.
Justin Riley 52:36
Well, we must have grown up in the same house Reggie because that’s exactly the way the macaroni would come on my plate. Because he said I’m from the Mississippi Delta and I come from a long line of old country women who knew how to throw down you know collard greens fried chicken, you name it sweet potato,
Santiago Leon 52:55
Justin Riley 52:55
fried okra, everything. Say I know how it’s all supposed to taste. was supposed to go with everything from scratch is not my box. So yeah, I’m with you
Santiago Leon 53:06
on that. So neither Oh, there’s choices. I’m neither lobster is when at 38% breadcrumbs and bacon are tied at 22 and hamburger meat 16%
Reggie Grimes 53:20
like hamburger. Would that be like Hamburger Helper?
Santiago Leon 53:22
Justin Riley 53:23
Yeah, yeah. Actually so
Santiago Leon 53:32
well, you could definitely go on the Twitter, handle the sports cast one and vote. And if you guys disagree with all the choices, you can always comment and we should definitely vote tomorrow. Becky cheese goes by itself. Yeah. Justin Riley. Any closing words for Reggie and then Reggie will have some closing words as as well.
Justin Riley 53:54
Yeah, I got a lot of closing words. First of all, Reggie. I just want to thank you for coming on. Definitely. And a blessing to have you on the on the cast with us. Like I said, I got a chance to get to see you up close and personal my first year at Alabama and just amazing watching you then and just kind of seeing your whole journey, especially as you’ve gone through different coaches coach Stallings, Kosta Bose and Bill Belichick. And now you’ve taken everything you’ve learned and you’re allowing God to use you in a leadership role as a coach and it’s just amazing to see that chapter develop in your life and just amazing effects is having on these young men’s lives and I can definitely say that I have first hand experience. I was assistant coach at Homewood middle in Birmingham and got a chance to work with those kids and there’s nothing greater than being a coach. There’s very few things that can compare just because you get an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy with these kids, even when they’re adults. I still have these kids that I coach back In 2005, they’re still talking to me still, you know, messengering me, it’s just amazing. But, man, like I said, you’ve you’ve provided a great message throughout your entire career on every level. And I just want to thank you for what you do. And just very grateful to have you here.
Reggie Grimes 55:18
Like you I’m grateful to be here, man. It’s It’s awesome to be to be remembered for something you did 2025 years ago, man so I appreciate you guys for kind of kinda sorta keeping me relevant in that regard.
Santiago Leon 55:32
No, Reggie, you’re definitely a Alabama legend on the sports cast. What is the best way to reach you? Online Reggie?
Reggie Grimes 55:43
Man you can follow me on Twitter or i g on i G is coach our Grimes and on Twitter is coach g at coach G.
Santiago Leon 55:52
Justin Riley, what’s the best way to reach you? talk to you about the Mississippi Delta
Justin Riley 56:00
Man, you can follow me on twitter at Justin rally seven Instagram at Justin rally underscore seven also a help contribute to the sports cast handles that’s at the sports cast one. And that’s the same for both Twitter and Instagram. I also want to take this opportunity to remind everybody to tune in next Tuesday 6pm Central, we will have another Alabama legend from the Coach Saban era. And that’s fullback Charleston Fowler so please stay tuned for that. That should be pretty exciting. Of course he follows us at the sports cast one and and also on our website, the sports cast dotnet Reggie, do you think there’ll be a football season this season?
Reggie Grimes 56:46
I hope there’ll be a football season this season. is not looking good right now. Oh man. We
Santiago Leon 56:52
What have you heard here anything?
Reggie Grimes 56:55
What Well, my son My son called me I don’t know if it’s been made public or not. But he He was saying that they were they were informed that they need to be prepared for a conference only schedule. I think. I think college football and professional football has too much money involved and tied up in it. For there not to be a season. On the other hand, high school maybe maybe not so lucky. So, I think we’ll play some football, but I don’t think it’s gonna be everybody. So I’m still got my fingers crossed, that we’ll be able to have some semblance of the season.
Santiago Leon 57:32
You heard it here first, Justin, and everyone else. This is good information. But we won’t hear anything officially in the next few weeks by the end of July. sec is the biggest conference in college football. Reggie knows it. Justin knows it. I know it and you guys do know it. So keep we’ll keep you guys in tune. Justin Riley will probably write an article about all this very soon, right? Absolutely.
Justin Riley 57:56
Hey, sec. Yeah, definitely best conference but Since uh, your son’s playing for Oklahoma guy, give love to the big 12 man, that means they’re gonna be pretty awesome too. So God gave love that way.
Santiago Leon 58:09
That’s just my second favorite team.
Reggie Grimes 58:11
Well, it’s my second favorite team to
Justin Riley 58:15
kind of adopted them after Jalen hertz transferred out there. But now I definitely have another reason to keep up with them. And I’m really excited to see him carry on. You know, your legacy, what you’ve taught him out in Norman, so it’s gonna be very awesome to watch him develop.
Reggie Grimes 58:29
No, that’s right. Well, and honestly, I don’t think I don’t think he feels as comfortable if Jalen went out there. I don’t know why. I just think that Jalen leaving Bama and going to Oklahoma just gave him a level of comfort that he doesn’t necessarily have to go to Bama he can go to Oklahoma and and find this success. So you know, it’s funny how things work.
Santiago Leon 58:53
Well, Reggie Grimes, Justin Riley. I appreciate you guys coming on to the sports cast. Oh,
Justin Riley 59:02
Reggie Grimes 59:04
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Santiago Leon is the Founder and CEO of the Sports Cast. He covers NFL, NBA, and world soccer. He’s also founder of sleon productions, which he specializes in technology and serves clients with solutions to make their business grow.