You're from Seaside, Calif. Tell us what makes Seaside special?
What makes Seaside special is that it's a small community that's very diverse. We're right on the Monterrey Peninsula, so it's a really nice area. It's kind of a blue-collar community. But what makes it really special to me is that all my family lives there. All my cousins grew up there. Both of my grandmas live on the same street, four houses apart. My mom and dad met each other when they were young. It's a special place. And the ocean is right there. It never gets too hot like here. Pretty much all of us are out there, spread out from Sacramento down to Seaside; Stockton, Hayward, places like that. At the family reunions, everybody makes it. It's a nice, family-oriented community.
What's the best thing the family cooks at those reunions?
I would have to say my grandpa when he cooks fried chicken and pork chops, and he makes this thing we call ome rice. It's fried rice, and he throws in sausage, hot links, whatever. And he always makes mine special because I don't like onions and vegetables. So he fries eggs and puts it on top for me. My grandpa makes a bunch of crazy stuff like that. And he always has the Kool-Aid. That's what I look forward to at family reunions, eating everybody's favorite dish. It's a good time.
What about Florida reminds you of home? They're very different places.
They are very different, but the water. I love water being from Seaside. At my high school, every class I had looked out at the ocean. The only thing that separated my school from the beach was a highway. That's the thing about Tampa that reminds me of home.
Former Jets and Chiefs coach Herm Edwards is from Seaside, too. When you had a chance to meet him as a kid, did that push you more toward football?
I think it definitely interested me more in football. I was kind of everywhere as a kid. In my community, you couldn't play tackle football until you were 9 years old. So the closest thing I had to playing tackle was going to Herm Edwards' camp and learning my fundamentals. It was fun. It taught me to play football. Herm Edwards has great morals and great character, so it helped a lot of us kids (learn) how to respect your parents and put your family first.
Was Herm with the Bucs at the time?
Yes, he was the defensive backs coach. He would always bring Bucs gear. And it's funny you say that because when I got drafted, my dad was looking for Bucs gear everywhere. Then he goes in his closet, and he has visors and (shirts) from back in the day when Herm used to bring them in.
Here are our weekly questions: What's playing most on your iPod right now?
Probably guys like (rapper) E-40, a bunch of those (San Francisco) Bay area guys. I listen to regular stuff, too, Lil' Wayne, Drake.
If I picked up your iPod, what would I be surprised to find?
I actually have a little bit of everything. I have a lot of R&B and a lot of old school. I have a lot of little love songs that my girl puts on my iPod.
What website do you visit the most?
I'd have to say probably Twitter. I don't tweet a lot, but I get bored sitting around the house.
So, who is the most interesting person you follow on Twitter?
For me, I'd have to say (Bucs linebacker) Geno Hayes. During the lockout, when I was working out back in Seattle, you could always go on Twitter and see Geno saying something to brighten your day or make you laugh. I was like, 'I gotta meet this guy!'
What reality TV show are you hooked on?
I love reality TV. I watch World's Dumbest Criminals on TruTV. Have you ever seen it? It's a good show.
You were a quarterback in high school and threw for a lot of yards. What was your favorite throw?
We ran a five-wide (lineup), and we had this play called 'Vegas.' We had the two slot receivers run option routes, so they're just reading. And it was easy money. All five of the receivers, we grew up together. We were all best friends, so it was like second nature. It was the same thing we did at the Boys & Girls Club back in the day. That was my favorite play.
So now that you're on the other side, do you prefer playing quarterback or hitting quarterbacks?
Hitting quarterbacks. It's been something since I was a little kid. I just love running into stuff. I loved going fast on my bike, and I'm kind of into thrills. I don't like taking shots. That's why in high school, I'd try to play fullback and not quarterback. I love hitting, and I love hitting quarterbacks.
Stephen F. Holder can be reached at email@example.com.