Rodney Still Compeating

By Jerome Rogers II BASN Writer
Updated: January 19, 2012

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Rodney and his Hollywood actress wife Holly

Rodney and his Hollywood actress wife Holly

CHICAGO, ILL.(BASN)-In the rarified air that is being an African-American Quarterback in the National Football League, Rodney Peete has his place. On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Peete, former USC All-American and NFL Quarterback and co-founder of the HollyRod Foundation, was in Atlanta working to keep the Dr.King legacy alive. Peete and Allstate Insurance were conducting a volunteer painting project that was in conjunction with the “Giving Back Program” that sought to encourage and help inspire individuals to beautify them r communities. Peete said that this project was important to him because it “its part of Dr. King’s legacy to give back to the community by making a difference in the community. His fight for education and equality must continue to go forth.” For those who don’t know, Peete also established a football legacy that is now being walked out by Michael Vick and Cam Newton. Peete took a couple a minutes to talk to about service, in and out of football.

On the 2011 season of his alma mater, USC:

“I was happy with their season. With Matt Barkley (current Trojan QB) coming back, SC should be back in the national championship conversation.”

On the Detroit Lions (the team that he spent most of his career with):

“Going from 0-16 to the playoffs in a couple of years made me excited for the team and the fans. (Matt) Stafford is going to be a great QB and (Calvin) Johnson is a monster.

On Ndamukong Suh:

“He is a tremendous player, who at times, lets his emotions get away from him. What he did on Thanksgiving(being ejected from the Lions-Packers game after stepping on a Green Bay offensive lineman)was a prime example, but what people do not know about Suh is that he goes back into the community and gives.”

On what the Lions’ revival:

“In Detroit, football serves as a distraction from the everyday cares. It’s an escape from the hard economic times and the job stress.

With the Lions winning this season, it brought back a sense of civic pride that seemed to energize the city, the state, and the Midwest.”

On being a black quarterback:

“When I came into the NFL, people were trying to convince me to switch positions from QB to wide receiver or defensive back. Back then, the NFL was all about labels. Today, it’s all about whether or not you can play.

Offenses are now tailored to the quarterback. Philly and Carolina built their offenses around Michael Vick and Cam Newton. Next year, RGIII (2011 Heisman winner) will get his chance. I didn’t have to go through what James Harris and Joe Gilliam had to go through. Cam and RGIII won’t have to go through what Warren (Moon), Randall (Cunningham), and I had to go through.”

On being a quarterback:

“The job of a quarterback is to put his team in a position to score points and win games, period. And he must be the leader of his team.

That’s why I found the scrutiny of Tim Tebow hard to believe. We were taught as kids that it’s not how, but in fact that you try to win. While in the NFL, mechanics do matter. Accuracy does matter. Fundamentals do matter. That’s the biggest difference between college and the pros, but it’s all about your team winning games.