You played in high school and college with Giants linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka. Tell me about that relationship.
We played AAU basketball and football together, so we were in sports year-round together. So we were pretty good friends. He wasn't really getting recruited by many big schools. So (Boston College) was really his only option for a big school. Me, I really liked their offensive line tradition. So one day, we're driving home in a snowstorm from a basketball practice with my dad, and we started talking about how much fun it would be to be roommates and hang out together. So it ended up becoming a package deal, I guess. It was pretty cool.
So how close are you today?
Well, we spent five years together (in college). We still party in the offseason a lot today. He's been in Florida in the offseasons, so I see him a lot.
Did you guys ever dream about the NFL back in the day?
We both preferred football over basketball. He was probably a better basketball player than football player. He probably had the option to play college basketball. But the NFL was always a dream of ours. He always wanted to be (former Titans defensive end) Jevon Kearse, and I always wanted to be (former Eagles lineman) Jon Runyan.
Did you guys used to practice against each other?
Well, we played against each other the last time we played the Giants (in 2009). That was pretty sweet. I told him before the game that if I gave up a sack to him we would no longer be friends. Well, we're still friends. But back in college, we went against each other all the time. We got in many, many fights.
And you were roommates?
Yes. We'd fight and go back to the same room and hang out together again. But I think it ended up making us better friends. We got into legitimate fights. There's a lot of bragging going on, too. When we'd get back to the room, I'd say, "Hey, remember when I knocked you down at practice?" He'd say, "Well, that play where I got you would've been a sack in a game."
Did that make your college experience a little richer to go through it with a good friend?
It was so much easier for me and him. Just that whole college life, it made it better. Like going home during breaks, I always had a travel buddy. It's little things like that. When we would go back home, we would lift (weights) together. It was really beneficial.
Back to basketball: Did you ever see it as a long-term option?
I was clearly better at football, but I loved basketball. It was something I always wanted to do, but I didn't have the genes.
Wait. You're 6-8, man.
Well, I could shoot. But we were a fullcourt press kind of team, and I don't have the build for that. I'm the guy at the back of the 2-2-1 (zone). Mathias was really good. He got offered (a scholarship) from Butler and other schools. He'd dunk all over people.
Okay, on to my weekly questions: What's playing the most on your iPod right now?
The new Drake CD. Last time we did this, I told you about my range in musical taste. I think I said I have everything from Hank Williams to Jay-Z. I have hard rock. I have country. I have twang country — the stuff you make fun of when you talk about country — and classic rock.
What website do you visit most often?
Yahoo.com because I like to read my news there. This is my standard thing like 20 times per day: Yahoo, NFL.com, ESPN.com. Then I'm good.
What reality show do you never miss?
Okay, so (my wife and I) pick seasons of shows we're going to watch. Like, sometimes it's American Idol or Dancing with the Stars. We really got into Dancing with the Stars one year. It was the year that Kate Gosselin was on there. I think I was just watching it so I could watch her get voted off. I didn't like her. She actually said once that she wakes up every morning and checks the Internet to see what people are saying about her. People like that bother me. And last year, with American Idol, I was probably glued to my TV for every episode.
When the offensive line meets for dinner each week, what's that like? Do you call ahead and warn the restaurant that 10 beefy guys are coming to eat?
We do call ahead. It's funny. Every single time we order appetizers, they look at us like we're crazy. We go down the list and order two or three of everything. We order like 20 appetizers, and they'll all be gone. They look at us like, "You want meals, too?" Hell, yeah!