Getting the opportunity to be the lead man on the offensive line at the University of Michigan is a big responsibility. David Baas was the winner of the Rimington Trophy for the top center in the 2004 college football season. This coming season he will be a NFL rookie and have to step up at the guard position for the San Francisco 49ers when given the opportunity. He was selected 33rd overall in the 2005 NFL Draft.
Listen to the David Baas CYInterview:
(Backup Player: Including IE)
Chris Yandek: First off how are you?
David Baas: “I am doing good.”
CY: Do you think this team thinks they can win the NFC West after that 2005 week one regular season opening win against the St. Louis Rams 28-25?
DB: “It was a great game. I think that definitely helps build our confidence and gives us a picture of where this team is headed. There is a lot of possibilities.”
CY: You had an injury during this 2005 pre season, but are now practicing and back with the team. Tell me about the injury, rehab, and your progress right now and will we get to see you sometime on the field during the season?
DB: “The hamstring is doing really good. It was my right hand hamstring. I had a third degree tear which is almost to the extent of surgery. Thank goodness we didn’t have to do that, but it took a while to rehab and I actually came back a week ahead of schedule. I am trying to get back into doing football things and back to where I need to be.”
CY: What are your memories of fellow lineman Thomas Herrion and was it a wake up call for fellow lineman like yourself to be more educated and take better care of yourself health wise?
DB: “It definitely was a surprise. Nobody was expecting anything like that to happen to a teammate. It does open your eyes. It does make you concerned about issues you may not have addressed before. I do have a little high blood pressure in my family so I check that more often than I used to. It’s just something that affects you in certain ways. Some people more than others. It definitely was eye opening.”
CY: Do you think maybe there is a lot of pressure for a lineman at a young age to be big and over 300 pounds because many NFL coaches like their lineman big and sometimes it might not be the most healthiest situation for a lineman in that sense?
DB: “I think it really just depends on the team and the coaches. I know some teams that like their lineman not as big and more athletic. Some teams like them huge and mountains people can’t move. I think it’s also just also a preference about yourself and how you play at a certain weight. Just testing your body and seeing if you can work at a certain weight during the season and if not you either need to lose some weight or gain some.”
CY: What are your thoughts on playing for Mike Nolan and as a coach overall?
DB: “It’s great. I think he is an excellent coach. I think he has the right ideas. We are working hard together as a team. I think we are going to have great success this year because of his leadership.”
CY: The San Francisco 49ers drafted Alex Smith as the first pick overall in the 2005 NFL Draft. What are your thoughts on getting the opportunity to play with him on the offensive side of the football?
DB: “It’s nice. He’s a great quarterback. I think he’s very athletic and he can throw the football. He has a nice arm. He’s going to develop into a great quarterback in the league. Whenever that time comes it will. I am just glad to be part of the offensive line that is going to protect him.”
CY: What do you think your role will be on this team at the right guard position behind starter Adam Synder? I am assuming you will get an opportunity for some play time through the season?
DB: “Yeah. My role is just to work hard. I had an injury so it kind of set me back. I just gotta work my way back up. I think with the way things are going that they will work out. I don’t know when that will be, but if I work hard things will happen.”
CY: What are you thoughts on Michigan head Coach Lloyd Carr and what you learned from him while in college?
DB: “He is definitely a great coach. I love Coach Carr. He generally cares about his players and takes time out if you need to talk to him. He’s always there. You can just see the tradition in him. It just really makes you work hard for him. He does a really good job. I know they had a tough one against Notre Dame, but they always bounce back. I am going to be watching them every chance I get.”
CY: What was it like to be the leader on the young Michigan offensive line and a captain of the team the 2004 season at Michigan?
DB: “It was great. I had a chance and probably could have left early. Who knows what would have happened, but I got to come back and a captain. I got to lead those guys and have a good season. It was an amazing experience I will never forget. I am glad I was able to be part of the team last year.”
CY: What memories do you have of playing in back to back 2004 and 2005 Rose Bowl games against USC and Texas even though you lost both games?
DB: “It was good. You never like to lose, but it was a experience I will never forget. What better bowl game than the Rose Bowl. I will never forget them even if the outcomes weren’t what we wanted.”
CY: What was is it like to make the transition to different positions on the offensive line in college and is there any position you prefer over the other?
DB: “I probably prefer left guard. I played that more. I did like center when I played it. It just kind of took me out of that comfort zone and then going back to playing in that comfort zone takes time. I would have to say left guard is my favorite position.”
CY: What was it like to win the 2004 Rimington Trophy as college football’s top center?
DB: “It’s a great honor. I am very proud to be the co champion of that. It took me by surprise. I was just doing my job and helping my team win. When you do your job good things happen. That was one of them.”
CY: I was told you are a big karaoke fan and love to sing. Tell me about what you enjoy about singing and karaoke.
DB: “I think it just kind of developed with me just singing in the shower and around the house. I don’t know why. It was just one of those weird things I guess and Coach Carr thought me and Tyler Ecker had good voices. It just kind of blew up from there. One of those things that everybody finds out about and continuously asks you about your favorite music. It was just a little hobby that got bigger than it really is.”
CY: Finally, what’s the one thing you want to accomplish your first season in the NFL and the one thing you want to accomplish through your entire career?
DB: “I think this year is just about developing myself in terms of being the best player on the field and taking the right steps. This game is so different from college and much faster. Once I establish myself as being a good player then I can work myself up to my attitude and becoming a great player. Who knows what will happen or where I will be or how many years. Hopefully I will have a long career. I gotta stay healthy.”