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Gang Green Nation Interviews Keyshawn Johnson

Former Jets number one overall Draft pick and current ESPN analyst Keyshawn Johnson was in the Meadowlands yesterday doing some charity work on behalf of Captain Morgan. The company is sponsoring a new feature at the stadium it describes this way:

Using more than 500 people, and materials like mulch and fabric, the Captains, along with aerial artist, Daniel Dancer, will build a massive human mosaic of the legendary Captain Morgan Pose on the field of New Meadowlands Stadium.  Behind every Pose is a story of good friends, a great party and legendary times, and this will definitely be no exception!  The World’s Largest Pose at New Meadowlands Stadium, is just the beginning though.  Fans are also encouraged to visit to upload photos or videos of their Pose along with the legendary stories behind them to help the Captain reach his goal of One Million Poses.   

I had the chance to speak with the former Gang Green Pro Bowl receiver who was present at the launch. We talked about his time with the Jets, his job at ESPN, and the current Jets team. As you might expect, Keyshawn did not mince words.

John B: What are you up to today?

Keyshawn Johnson: It's pretty cool. I'm just hanging out with Jason Sehorn at the new Meadowlands Stadium promoting the Captain Morgan One Million Poses. It's pretty good because Captain Morgan donates a dollar for every upload to the First Mate Fund. You can find out more at Captain Morgan USA's Facebook page. It tells you everything about it.

JB: What made you want to get involved with this?

KJ: When it was first presented to me, we talked about it. Aside from working with them, I thought because they were going to be doing things for charity, it was a plus. It's cool to get paid for things, but you also want to make sure  that you're doing things for the right reasons.

More with Keyshawn after the jump.

JB: From an insider's perspective, why do you think the team struggled so much under your first head coach, Rich Kotite?

KJ: That's so long ago it's like a distant memory. I don't think he was the best fit as coach for the organization at the time. He just wasn't a very good coach. That's just the bottom line. He wasn't a very good coach at all. He is a nice guy, though.

JB: What are some of the differences between him and Bill Parcells, your second coach?

KJ: There are major differences. One guy pays attention to detail. One guy understands situations and understands coaching. It's mind-boggling to see the difference in coaching styles in this league in general. You see parity in teams, but what about in coaching? You have three or four really good coaches in this league. You've got three or four ok coaches, and the rest of them are bums.

JB: We all heard things from the press, but what was your relationship really like with Wayne Chrebet when you played with him?

KJ: Good, there were no problems. The press drives things. Imagine if we played during this Facebook and Twitter era (laughing).

JB: Why do you think the Jets traded you back in 2000?

KJ: I got traded because I wasn't going to play for free. I outperformed my contract, and the best situation for the Jets at the time was to move me, get some picks, and let me move on, get my money, and try to win a World Championship.

JB: If you could do it all over, would you do anything differently to stay with the Jets?

KJ: No, absolutely not. Loved New York. Loved the team. Loved everything about it. I still pull for the Jets, but absolutely not.

JB: Who was your favorite quarterback to play with?

KJ: (Vinny) Testaverde and Brad Johnson.

JB: Why is that?

KJ: They were both veteran guys I learned a lot from. They knew what to do when the game was on the line. They were very crafty at what they did.

JB: How does the kind of coverage a defense plays affect the way a wide receiver runs a route?

KJ: If it's zone, it means there's somebody there in the area you're going to so you need to make sure that you settle down and read the coverage. If it's man to man, you can run all over the place. You're being covered by one guy so you need to make sure that you stay on the move.

JB: How did you end up on ESPN?

KJ: Just the luck of the draw. It was a situation where they thought I would be good on television I guess.

JB: What made you do tv instead of going into another endeavor like coaching?

KJ:  I'd never be a coach. Not enough patience, too much time, and not enough money.

JB: How do you prepare for a show?

KJ: Just by reading up on things and trying to understand what's going on in the world of sports.

JB: What in particular do you read to prepare?

KJ: I read a lot of stuff from our research department. I watch film. There are a lot of different things.

JB: What are your thoughts on the current Jets team?

KJ: I think they're a really good team. Just need to have the quarterback playing well. The team has been playing well. Rex Ryan wants to come with a lot of firepower. A lot of teams are gunning for them. They have an opportunity. It's not going to be easy, but they have an opportunity.

JB: What do you think is their biggest weakness?

KJ: Their biggest weakness to me is, "Who are they?" Are you a passing team, or are you a running team? That's the biggest weakness. I think the offensive coordinator is the biggest weakness.

JB: What one team do you think is the toughest matchup for them?

KJ: It's a team with a tough defense like a Pittsburgh or a Baltimore.