Hello Bolt Beat Family. Here is part two of the Malcom Floyd interview. He discusses Madden vs. NBA2K, Coach McCoy’s offense, compares it to Norv Turner’s style, and shares his thoughts on Frank Reich, Vincent Brown, and the progress of his rehab. He also touches on some other cool topics, like Ladarius Green, and what receiver he likes in the draft. We left off with Malcom talking about how he was hopeful for this young Chargers Team (Read Part One Here), and how that is even more motivation for him to get back on the field.
Thanks for reading, and here we go!
Saturday, March 29th, 2014: 11am
Me: For this team, being as young it is, it really defied the odds.
Malcom: HECK YEAH!
Me: Nobody had us penciled in there. They almost had us fighting for last place with the Raiders. Then all of a sudden, there we are in the playoffs.
Malcom: I’m telling you, these NFL games are crazy, you never really know! Competition is intense, you never know.. just don’t give up.
Me: I’m sure you were rooting for your fellow teammates. What was your reaction to making the playoffs for the first time in 3 years?
Malcom: I was very excited. I was VERY excited. I was like, WOW… PLAYOFFS!!! We were excited, and we had to take it one step at a time.. one detail at a time, before we got to that playoff game. And, um…. it was good for us despite the probability of us making it.. I mean everyone who makes it has a good chance.. but, our guys never gave up. We never gave up.
Me: It didn’t look like it. I was at that final game, and even though it was.. well I almost had a heart attack… when that whistle was blown in overtime, I just couldn’t believe it! I actually got to go down to the locker room afterwards, and you could just tell the difference. You could see everyone’s face, and how good it felt. It was really nice to see that…… Let’s move on… to Keenan Allen….. Keenan came in and had such a spectacular season. What are your impressions of him, so far, from one receiver to another?
Malcom: I saw that he had talent already. He was very quick off the line, and he can make plays with his hands. So, that was key. As long as you can get off the line, I think you are going to make a lot of plays down field. His quickness helps him get away from defenders, and he had some good runs after the catch this season. I really hope that we can team up, and I can join him.
Me: Yeah, definitely. Did he ever come to you for advice, or is he more of a free spirit, do you think?
Malcom: Ummm… I mean, we help each other out if he had a question with plays, but that was early on. He matured so much throughout the season.. I just let him go, and he really stepped it up. He did a good job, and I’m really excited.
Me: I think we are all excited for that. It did seem like he matured really fast, out of nowhere.
Malcom: I know.. we needed that big time.
Me: We were all happy to see that. How about this? Who was your favorite Charger to watch in 2013?
Malcom: Favorite? Ummmm (long pause).
Me: I mean, you had Ryan Mathews come back, and have a great year. You had Philip Rivers just completely turn it around. Eddie Royal came back, and looked a lot speedier.. even though he struggled with injury a little bit. But, it looked pretty good out there.. there were a lot of good players out there.
Malcom: I’m probably going with Philip. He’d get fired up out there, make a lot of plays out of nowhere.. out of nothing. I think he was the guy to watch. He could just send a play-call coming in, out of the huddle.. and you knew (whether you were at the game, or watching it on TV) what play it was gonna be, because you knew the plays. It was really exciting to watch him continuing to make plays for us. He got us into a position.. you know.. to put us into the playoffs.
Me: We were all hoping he would bounce back, but that was quite the bounce-back.
As a veteran wide receiver, will you assume any leadership role on the team with the wide receiving corps? And, how will you make that impact to make that difference on the team, and affect the results?
Malcom: I just try to lead by example, really. Just go out there, try to make plays, and try to stay humble. There’s a lot going on around you, other than football when you’re at this level… where you are one of the top athletes in the world. There’s so many distractions, but I just try to be a great role model on & off the field. So, you could survive for a long time in the league. The main thing is staying out of trouble, and staying focused. Especially for the young guys coming in. I want to be a great example for them. Especially since they have a bright future, going forward with this young great team.
Me: Wow… that was a great answer. One of our readers wanted to know if there were any competitions in the locker room… like wrestling, or sprints, or weight lifting challenges.. or anything like that?
Malcom: Uhhhhh… not really. We play NBA 2K… 2K, & Madden.
Me: That was actually another question…. the Madden tournaments. Who’s the Madden Champion of the Charger locker room?
Malcom: I think Keenan. Keenan is the Champion. He just beat Gates for the belt.
Me: He just beat Gates for the belt? Those young guys comin’ in, huh?
Malcom: MAAAAN… yeah… with all these tricks, and options & stuff! I don’t even play anymore, cause I get KILLED! But, I play 2K…. I can kinda hold my own.. but.. Steve Williams… Both Cal Bears.. both of those guys. But, he’s the champ of NBA2K. And, I’m not gonna give up.
Me: You’re like “Steve.. you’re not gonna keep the title.. No!!!”.. hahaha.
Malcom: Yeah.. hahaha.. I keep trying to get the title. But, he keeps gettin me. I dunno… he’s puttin in a code or something.
Me: You know.. that’s another guy we’re all looking forward to seeing on the the field this year .
Malcom: I know… and he’s a great guy too.
Me: He looked really good in preseason. We’re hoping he can come in and make an impact on that backfield.
Me: Are there any major differences between Norv, and Mike McCoy? You’ve worked under both coaches, and they’re both really good. What are the differences you see there?
Malcom: I think a major difference is the offense. They’re very different. Coach Norv had a number system. Coach McCoy has more of a word system, where you call it out with a word… and coach Norv had a number for your route. I think that was the major difference. And just trying to dissect that, and get ready for last season. You know, it was kinda tough. It felt like finals cause you had to tell everybody they have to learn a new playbook all over again, and get in here. You were trying to prove yourself to the coaches, as well as learning the plays. It was a little stressful.
Me: A little pressure there, huh.. you think?
Malcom: It’s not like finals week.. it’s WORSE than finals week.. hahaha.. proving yourself mentally AND physically. But… you know.. it’s a fun job. You get to do what you love to do.
Me: You guys had SO much change, too. You also had Frank Reich, and Ken Whisenhunt come in. I’m sure that was a lot different. Having McCoy, Whisenhunt, and Reich… those are all new faces in the coaching staff. I’m sure the changes were VERY difficult. In the beginning, at least.
Malcom: Yeah. You didn’t really know what the coaches expected out of you until you got to know them. I mean… that’s with everything. Anything takes a while to get adjusted to.
Me: Now that Ken Whisenhunt has left, how do you fell about Frank Reich coming in there and taking that job?
Malcom: I think it’s good for us, because he has a sense of who his players are. Especially as people, too. I think that’s good that he’s taking over. He has a good sense of “us”, and knows what we can do on the field, instead of having to build a new relationship with a new coach.
Me: What do you think the differences in their play calling will be? Do you think there will be much of a difference? Or, do you think that it will be the same type of play calling, with a few differences here & there?
Malcom: Ummm… (pauses).. I don’t know. They are two different people, so I’m sure it will be different in some way, or another. But, they’re both cool coaches, and they’re the same type of coach.. they’ll really encourage you. So, I’m gonna be excited for whatever “coach” calls… because he knows us personally.
Me: One question a reader had was, assuming you come back this year, are you even thinking about retirement after your contract is up? Have you even thought that far ahead?
Malcom: Yeah…. I think after my two years on my contract are up… I think I’m gonna be done, because I played ten years, and I think I’ve got two more good years in me. So, I think I’ll just leave it at that. Play these two years, and really focus on the family.
Me: I don’t blame you. That is the most important thing in life, for sure. We’re just happy that you feel like you have two more years in you, because we really want to see you out on that field.. hahaha.
Malcom: I know… I can’t wait.
Me: One of our readers wanted to know what your thoughts on Vincent Brown are? He struggled a little bit this year, and he was coming off of that ankle injury. But, he looked so promising before that. At the end of 2011 he was going up for balls, and coming down with them. This year, he definitely seemed to have his struggles.
Malcom: I still have a lot of faith in him. I’ve seen him make plays. I’ve seen him play as big as… me. He’ll go up and get that ball. I still think he has it. I never doubted him not one time this year. I always kept my faith in him. I’m really excited for VB coming back, and being actually better than he was last year.
Me: Me too. I’ve seen it there, and it’s never easy coming off of a broken ankle, and right into a new system like that.
Malcom: Yeah, but he finished the whole season…. and it’s tough to play all sixteen games (giggles).
Me: Yes, it is.. definitely.
Malcom: But, he did it, coming off of a serious injury, so… I know he has his confidence level up. Especially after that feat.
Me: Gotcha. One reader wanted to know… your brother Malcolm named you. That’s a story we kinda chuckle about. He wanted to know if there were any mix-ups when you were growing up?
Malcom: Oh yeah.. plenty. You can’t just say “Malcom” when you are both in the room, because we’re both gonna look.
Me: So, was there a Malcolm #1, and a Malcom #2?
Malcom: No, it was “Big Malcolm” and “Little Malcom”. Big Malc, or little Malc.. you gotta tag it when we’re both in the room.
Me: Did you guys ever switch it up in school or anything? (WRITER’S NOTE: this was a dumb question.. see below).
Malcom: Well, he’s nine years older than me, so there’s a huge gap right there.
Me: Yeeeeah, that’s true. (DOH!!!)
Malcom: He’s nine years older than me, and it’s crazy how much I wanted to be like him. All the music I listened to.. but, yeah.. there were plenty of mix-ups.
Me: How do you think you have changed the Chargers since you’ve been on the team? What would you say your impact has been?
Lil’ Malc: I guess playing with Philip, and him bombing the ball pretty deep to me. We developed a relationship, stretching the field. At any given time, when he gave me “the nod”, I was ready to go.. and take em’ deep. You know.. I helped the Chargers stretch the field on defenses.
Me: Speaking of stretching the field, there’s been a lot of talk around the blog sites & the “forums” about the Chargers possibly drafting another wide receiver this year, or Telesco bringing another receiver in. Are there any receivers in the draft that you really like? That you think could help this team, and you would like to see here?
Malcom: That kid from USC is pretty good… ummm… I forgot his name, but I’ve seen him make so many highlight plays last year. I mean, he was really stretching the field.. what is his name?!!! He’s from USC, he’s their #1 receiver… It’s like Malcolm Lee, or something?
Me: Marqise Lee?
Malcom: Marqise Lee.. he’s a play-maker. He’s a great play-maker.
Me: His name has definitely come up. I know that Ernie, the main editor on our site, has written some articles about bringing him in. And, everyone seems to be on board with that. Um, so… that’s a good choice…. Ok… let me see here… one fan wanted to know, since they have changed the dunk rules, what your new end zone celebration is gonna be?
Malcom: Yeah… but…. I’ll have to check with the refs first…. I’m gonna check with the refs first, and I’ll get back to you about that. (ZING!!!)
Me: OK, well that’s a secret, huh? We’ll be watching for it… How did you feel in the McCoy offense? We already talked a little bit about that… he uses a different system than Norv… but, did you feel like you were you utilized better? How was it?
Malcom: I like it…. I wasn’t just going deep, as I was before. There was a lot of short routes that we had in the playbook that I could run (as opposed to the past). I think that with Philip at the helm, that he can read the defenses a lot better with these offenses, and change what route guys run, based on the defensive look. We’re kind of in tune with each other, because when we’re in the classroom, we know what defenses allows us to expose them. We can expose defenses based on what they give us. and based on what we learned in the classroom. I think me & Philip did a great job during the off-season of learning the playbook… being able to implement it out there, and change things on the fly. That’s what Coach McCoy’s offense allowed us to do.
Me: That’s good! It seemed like they gave him a lot more leeway at the line, when they came in. They gave him that ability.
Malcom: He could change the stunts, and the blocking schemes. He had a lot going on, as a QB.But, he took it upon himself to put it on his shoulders, and really “bought in”. When you do that, it helps out the team in “buying in”, too. Everyone was in their playbook during the off-season, and I think it really carried over into the season. Guys learned the offense, front & back.
Me: He’s such a smart guy. It was only a matter of time before someone gave him that freedom.
Malcom: Yeah… he has a lot of freedom in this offense.
Me: It shows…. You know what? That’s a good question! I’ve seen this come up over the years. What do you guys do in the off-season? Does Philip work with all the guys? You always hear about Brady & Manning working tirelessly in the off-season with their receivers. Is that something that the Chargers do?
Malcom: Yeah, you always throw it around in the off-season, especially around this time. So, we should be meeting up here pretty soon, before we have to report. He wanted to start earlier, but I was outta town, and I couldn’t really be here for that. But, now that I’m back, I’m sure we’ll be throwing here pretty soon.
Me: That’s good… Has he been working with the other receivers, in the meantime?
Malcom: I’m not sure. I’m not sure if he has been, or not. I know he’s giving me the call.. hahaha.
Me: He’s like”MALCOM.. come back!!!! “.. hahaha.
Malcom: Yeah. It’s time.. It’s time to go.. I was out of town.
Me: Do you think your team has a shot at a Super Bowl soon… possibly in 2014, if things go right?
Malcom: I definitely think so. Especially with the way we played last year, and just the young team we have. I’m sure we’re going to build around that, and build around Philip to increase our chances.
Me: well, Charger fans have been waiting for that, and it looks like it’s heading in that direction. They’re really making a lot of good moves in the front office, so we’re really excited. You could say they aren’t ready for 2014, but nobody even thought they were ready for the playoffs last year. I did… but there were a lot of nay-sayers last year.
Malcom: Yep.. I know… just never give up.
Me: It went all the way to the divisional round. A few more plays here and there, and that could have gone a lot differently. That could have been an AFC Championship.
Malcom: I know.
Me: Well.. a couple more questions. How have you been training? What is your training regiment? The last report we had was that you were doing some light weight lifting.
Malcom: Mmmm hmmm.
Me: Has anything been done on the field, at all, at this point? Have you been cleared for anything heavier than that?
Malcom: I’ve been catching…. jogging routes. But, I’m not really supposed to yet, but I wanna.. based on what the trainers will let me do.. I wanna get back out on the field, and test it out… But, I’ve just gotta be patient.
Malcom: We’re still heading in the right direction. without any setbacks. So, it’s going good, so far.
Me: We were all thrilled to hear that you are making progress. It was really scary.. not only was it scary for you, but the fans are really worried for your health. That’s one thing that I do want to say, is that the fans are very concerned for you.
Malcom: I know, and I really appreciate that.
Me: You’re such a family guy, and we want you to make the right decision, no matter what. Having said that… we would LOVE to see you & Keenan Allen out there together.. just lighting it up! How do you think your recovery is coming along? Do you expect to return this season?
Malcom: I want to.. I wanna come back. But, you know.. I won’t be ready until I’m healthy. And, I think we’re making great strides right now.
Me: Even if you came back mid-way through the season, I think it would be a success, in my opinion.
Malcom: Yeah.. I want to come back asap. But, I gotta listen to my doctors, and come back when I’m good to go.
Me: Most definitely. Have the Chargers talked to you about that? What’s their stance on it? Is that anything you can answer?
Malcom: Naw, everything has been normal in the training room. No talks of anything else. Just how it’s always been for the last ten years.. nothing new. Just go in there, and rehab.. get better.. and slowly progress. I think we are making great strides to getting where we need to go, in order for me to get out there on the field, and I’m very excited.
Me: Do you have a target date of when you expect to get out there, and run routes.. normal football.
M80: No, there really is no target date. It’s pretty much just “day-to-day”. But, I’m feeling a lot better. Starting to feel like my normal self again.
Me: That’s good news. Just sleeping better. I know that must have been really trying for you to sleep in neck braces.
Malcom: Oh, yeah.. that was crazy.. but, that was the past, and we’re moving forward now, and trying to get back out there.. hahaha.. but, it wasn’t cool. It was just something I had to do, in order to get better. Now, that’s behind us, and I’m making other strides, and getting healthier now.
Me: That’s really good to hear… and from the fans.. we’re really rooting for you. There’s nothing more that we wanna see more than you out on the field healthy… able to play football.. and able to contribute to the team… and keep on doing what you do.
M80: I know.. especially with the quarterback that we have.
Me: I know! And just everything that’s going on with the team….. having you out there would be such an amazing thing…. so…. no pressure.. HAHAHAHA!
Malcom: Oh no.. hahaha… I wanna get out there. We have a great team, and I think Philip is the best quarterback in the league. He puts you in positions to dominate. I love his decision-making, his play-calling, and his changes at the line of scrimmage. When you have a leader like that.. I’m ready to go to battle, when I’m healthy.
Me: Especially, if you’re healthy. And bringing Eddie Royal back.. and like you said, you are hopeful that Vincent Brown can turn it back around this year… If everything falls into place, this could be a very, very scary offense! Ryan Mathews running the way he is.. and bringing in Donald Brown.. and Danny Woodhead… Oh, that’s a good question.. how do you feel about Ladarius Green? Everybody’s really excited about his play.
Malcom: Yeah, we’ve been talking about stretching the field.. he’s been the one that’s been stretching the field, like I do.. but, better… because, he’s about two inches taller than me. And he’s still a young player, too. So, it’s just crazy. We have some young players, and they’re humble… ready to go. With Philip leading the helm. And we all listen to Philip.. we don’t want to get on his bad side! We’re all ready to go to battle for him.
Me: And with the veteran leadership, with you & Gates.. all the pieces are right there.
Me: OK, Malcom… you know what?… I’ll let you go there. I’ll let you get back to your morning, and your family. I really appreciate you taking the time. This is a really big deal for us. We wanted to check back in with you, and see how things are going. I really appreciate you giving me & Bolt Beat the chance to get your thoughts on some of those questions people have been asking.
M80: Thanks for having me, Pete.. and I’m sure I’ll talk to you soon, too… once we start rolling.
Me: I would love to follow it up later on in the year, and revisit what’s going on.
Malcom: OK, yeah. I’ll be here.
Blessed Interviewer: Well, say hi to the family for us, and we’ll talk again soon. Bye Malcom!
Class Act: Bye Peter.
Keep Bolting Toward Excellence!