Earlier this week, I called up the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ linebacker Rennie Curran for an interview. I have to say it was a great experience to talk to Rennie and hear about his faith. Let me give you some background on Rennie.
Curran is 23 years old and played college at the University of Georgia. He was an All-American in 2008 and a first-team All-SEC linebacker in 2009. He was drafted in the third round by the Tennessee Titans in 2010 and now he is working with Tampa Bay this season. Now, the Bucs have a new man at the helm in former Rutgers’ head coach Greg Schiano. After last year’s disappointing season, the team is determined with their signing of Vincent Jackson at wide receiver to make an impact in the NFC South this year.
With that, here is my conversation with Rennie Curran. I hope you all are blessed from reading this conversation like I was listening to it:
1. How did you come to know the Lord?
R: I came to the Lord through a believing family. My mother went to church. When you grow up around it, it becomes important. It has and still is part of his morals and beliefs. There are things that I went through, but going to the Lord helps me to overcome them.
2. Who have been some of your role models that have helped to encourage you on your walk?
R: My family and my parents. They made something out of nothing. Their work ethic was crucial. My role models in the NFL today would be Ray Lewis and Justin Tuck. Also, my little league football coach was like the 2nd father to me. Finally, my teammates because of the encouragement they give me on and off the field .
3. If you had to pick a verse that has exemplified your walk with Christ, what would it be and why?
A. Phillippians 4:13. Whatever I go through good or bad, I know Jesus is always with me. It gives me a boost of strength whenever my body is tired or whenever something overwhelms me.
4. Talk about the fellowship you have had with other Christians whether it be in the Buccaneers’ locker room or any locker room in the past. Can religion and sports co-exist in today’s world?
R: Definitely, I just left church with one of my teammates. It keeps us encouraged in our sports and faith. You are going to go through trials and get beat down, but you have got to have your faith. You will have the bad day, but you have to realize not every day is going to be a good day. You need to know everything is alright and being with teammates who know the Lord helps you feel accountable. The chaplain helps us with that as well. It keeps you along that walk and helps to pick each other up.
5. If you met a person/teammate that was looking for Christ, what would you say to them?
R: I would invite him out to church, it’s the right mindset and that we have to push him towards that goal. I would also encourage him to learn about the faith and give him some Bible verses that helped to encourage me on my walk.
6. How have OTA’s been so far under new coach Greg Schiano?
R: They have been good. It’s been a learning process. It’s a process where you are getting evaluated every single day. I have just been trying to go out and show coaches why I am here and what I am capable of. Each day is a new challenge and you build that camaraderie in the right direction in every way. I have just been thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this organization.
7. What are you looking to improve on your game during these workouts?
R: Every aspect! You have to take care of the little things (technique, footwork, pass drops). Whatever aspects help the leadership of a football team and fix it both on the practice field and film room to have the playbook in the back of your head by the training camp.
8. What can we expect from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year?
R: We expect to be the best team in the NFL. Everyone is staying focused and OTA’s have been a good time. Everybody is serious and dedicated about it and hopefully it will pay dividends by training camp. Coach Schiano’s philosophy and principles of being accountable and having guys stretch together bring a new culture to the team that everyone is buying in. Hopefully, that will translate to wins.
We wish Rennie and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the best of luck in the 2012 NFL season!
You can also follow Rennie on Twitter: @RennieCurran53