Even if you have a star player at running back with an NFL team, it’s always important to enhance the position for the future of the team, and just in case an injury happens. The Miami Dolphins added rookie running back Freddie Russell from the University of Iowa off of free agency after he wasn’t drafted in the 2004 NFL Draft. This NFL rookie is now with starting running back Ricky Williams, who he can learn a lot from.
Chris Yandek: First off how are you?
Freddie Russell: “I am doing real good.”
CY: What was it like the two days of the NFL Draft? Were you nervous and did any teams call you?
FR: “Yeah I had calls, but I was nervous and disappointed.”
CY: Why did you decide to sign with Miami as an undrafted free agent?
FR: “I just thought Miami was the best situation for me overall.”
CY: Do you see yourself making Miami’s roster this season?
FR: “Yes, that is why I signed with them.”
CY: How has the Miami Dolphins training and mini camps come along thus far for you?
FR: “It’s coming along real good. It’s just a real learning process. Nothing that is really surprising because of the way the program was run at the University of Iowa. Not many things have surprised me.”
CY: What have you learned thus far from teammate Ricky Williams and the rest of the offensive side of the football?
FR: “Just to be a student of the game. Just try to learn our whole offense by learning what other people have to do.”
CY: How hard is it to make the change from college football player to NFL player?
FR: “Just managing your free time basically. Trying to be productive on your free time because you have a whole lot of free time at this level. In college right after practice you would have to go and study, meet with tutors or what not, and get ready for a test the next day. Here you gotta try to make yourself have self discipline, studying your playbook, and taking care of your body in your free time.”
CY: What are your thoughts on Miami Dolphins head coach Dave Wanttstedt thus far?
FR: “I like him. He reminds me of my college coach Kirk Ferentz. Both of them are from the Pennsylvania area and they believe in blue collar hard work.”
CY: What are your thoughts on Miami Dolphins running back coach Joe Collier and what you have learned from him thus far?
FR: “I have learned how to be a student of the game with him overall. Just learning what other people have to do and certain plays of the offense.”
CY: What are your thoughts on your college coach at Iowa, Kirk Ferentz, and what you learned from him?
FR: “What I learned from him most is to carry yourself like a professional off the field and on the field. Just to carry yourself like a professional is the thing that stood out and treat everybody with respect.”
CY: What was the biggest game you played in at the University of Iowa?
FR: “I will probably say the regular season game against Minnesota that year to win the Big Ten championship.”
CY: What did you learn from playing in the Big Ten as the Iowa running back going up against the Ohio State’s and the Michigan’s of the world?
FR: “I learned that it is the best of the best every week in the Big Ten. With them guys you just got to be mentally prepared and get ready to play every play.”
CY: How big is the yearly rivalry game between Iowa and Iowa State?
FR: “That is real big knowing that Iowa State had beat us five years straight till my senior year.”
CY: What are your thoughts on your accomplishments on being named to the Big Ten first team in 2002?
FR: “It was something real good. I mean it was a little disappointing that I dropped down to the second team the next year, but it was a real good accomplishment. ”
CY: How have you adapted to the weather change from Iowa to Miami?
FR: “With Iowa it does get humid out there during the summer and you don’t have any wind blowing you to just cool you off. That was something I was kind of used to except for night time. It was something I was used to in Iowa as it was so humid out there.”
CY: Finally, your thoughts on your rookie reason with the Miami Dolphins and what you want to accomplish.
FR: “First, I want to make the team. Then become a better student of the game my first year.”