In the latest Card Back Q&A we flip over a few of Jim’s earliest cards and discuss his memories of the NFL Quarterback Challenge, his involvement in the Los Angeles Rams ‘All Sport Days’ and the “other” sport he was involved in as a teenager.
Tony Reid- Your 1988 Topps card stated that you were extremely popular with teammates, worked hard in the weight room and film room and were a natural born leader. As a young player, how important was it to gain the trust of your teammates by rolling up your sleeves and leading by example?
Jim Everett– I always said that I might not have had the most talent in the NFL but I was not going to get outworked in the NFL. That is what I put on display. I don’t care if we were running four 40’s or eight 80’s we ran and did a lot more track work than they do these days, if we were on the track or in the weight room I wanted to dominate in all facets of the game and it started by strength. That is one of the things I would advocate to guys playing now and I tried to advocate to Jared Goff is that you need to put yourself in a position. Aaron Rodgers did a good job. He came out gangly, and I think there are things as you mature you can do to tighten up your body and be more prepared and that is just my mentality.
TR– Your 1992 Bowman had a quote “He’s got more physical talent that any QB I have ever been around.” That was from coach Chuck Knox. That’s a pretty cool quote after you just said to me that you maybe didn’t have the most talent, Chuck Knox literally said you had the most talent he had seen. What was it like to play for Ground Chuck?
JE– One thing about Chuck Knox was that I don’t think he liked any of the quarterbacks he had anyway (laughs). Chuck liked to run the ball. He goes ‘Of the three things that can happen between a completion, an incompletion and an interception, two of them are bad so I just want to run.’ That was his mentality.
It was fun. It is very much a compliment. I look back and we did a lot of things at the Quarterback Challenge and stuff like that and if it came down to arm strength it always came down to Randall Cunningham and myself during that era. I think when you look at pure cannon and throwing the ball I think of a Josh Allen type.
TR–In 1992 Pro Line produced a set of cards called Pro Line Profiles. You had five or six cards in the set and the comment on one of the card backs mentioned that the Rams team had all sport days during your time there.
Can you elaborate on what an ‘All Sports Days’ was like for you and the rest of the team?
JE-That wouldn’t be in season. In season our off day was a recovery day. ‘All Sports Days’ were fun. We would have some days where we would pick events. It was a team bonding stuff that we used to do. It was about 15 of us. One day we would go out and play a one club golf tournament. You pick one club out of the bag and you have to play with that club the entire round. My choice was a six iron. I shot an 81 with it. It wasn’t too bad. Par was 69.
We had other times where we would get together and it would be a combination of darts and pool at one of our local beverage places. That started back at Purdue. One of the summers at Purdue University our apartment complex was called Waterfront. We invented the Waterfront Olympics. It was a day of pageantry and parades and a big scavenger hunt. We came back and went in the pool. It was one of those type of days.
TR–On the back of your 1997 Playoff Absolute Beginnings they went out of their way to go back and do some bio stuff from your younger days.
It makes note of your career at El Dorado High in Albuquerque where you lettered in four sports including football, basketball, golf and wrestling. What was Jim Everett like on the wrestling mat?
JE– (Laughs) I was skinny and you couldn’t get to me. I had a whole bunch of leverage. There was one other guy that could get me in New Mexico. Golf was a love of mine, too. I was a wrestler from the start. I got hooked on it in eighth grade. I went all the way to my junior year. I was in the 185 pound weight class my junior year. We had the three-time heavyweight state champion. After 185 that was all you had. We didn’t have a 225 pound class like they do now. So, my senior year when I was tipping the scales at 205 or 210 or whatever it was, there was no way with my body type that I was getting back to 185. I would have to cut off a leg to get back to 185. I didn’t have any choice. I wasn’t going to try to wrestle the three-time state champion at heavyweight to try to get his spot. He was going to kick my ass. I got smart and went and played basketball and grabbed rebounds.
You can follow Jim Everett on Twitter.