Now in his second season, Gerald Everett says the football he plays now reminds him of the joy of playing little league.
It gives me that sense of Pop (Warner) ball again.
Sarina: Yay for offense! Let’s say you are playing another sport. Would you rather be a good scorer in the NBA or be a monster home run hitter in baseball?
Gerald: I would rather be a monster home run hitter in baseball. But, if I could pick, I would have to be fencing. I used to fence a long, long time ago.
Sarina: Did you? I know you used to play basketball.
Gerald: Yup, I did a lot.
Sarina: Fencing when?
Gerald: In middle school. It was just for fun. I wasn’t on a fencing team, we just used to mess around. One of the schools I went to… we used to really get it in. We had the suites, the masks, everything!
Sarina: That’s wild. So, you would still rather be a home run hitter, even though you played basketball?
Gerald: Yeah, I would rather be a home run hitter. I used to play baseball too, but it just got boring over the years. I was an outfielder and it (the ball) never came out there. So, I was just out there daydreaming.
Sarina: Alright, monster home run hitter… you are a hybrid tight end. You basically do everything. You run, block, catch… if there ever another position you wanted to play, what would that position be?
Gerald: Probably edge rusher. It seems pretty fun. It’s two to three seconds of rush, and then after that, it’s just pursuit.
Sarina: What is it about being a tight end that is so challenging?
Gerald: The details of just knowing what to do on each and every play. Things can change, and that can change your responsibilities, so it’s like being a complete football player. A complete athlete. Not being too one-sided. As you can see, we do a lot on this offense, so I would have to say tight end is probably, behind quarterback, the most challenging (position).
Sarina: What was your favorite memory this season? And please tell me it was the Chiefs game.
Gerald: Nah, my favorite memory would have to be winning the division again.
Sarina: Yeah? Like that moment in the locker room or?
Gerald: Like coming off the field, celebrating with the team in the locker room, and getting on the plane, and just enjoying each other, and (feeling like) this is the moment. We did it last year, but it felt good to do it again.
Sarina: Was there something about it that felt different this season?
Gerald: Last year, being a rookie, I was more so trying to adjust to the NFL still. And when we won the division, there was a lot of other stuff I was still trying to adjust to, so this year, getting comfortable, I could finally enjoy what it feels like to actually win the division.
Sarina: What is the most impressive display of athleticism you’ve ever seen?
Gerald: I would have to say coach (Sean) McVay. (He’s) running around out here with no cleats on with us, giving us good looks. He’s been doing it ever since I’ve been around. Back in rookie minicamps and OTAs. I don’t know how he does it. You have to have a really good center of gravity and good balance to not slip running full speed out here.
Sarina: What have you learned from last year’s success that you’ve brought into this year?
Gerald: The biggest thing I’ve learned is that it’s definitely challenging to win in the NFL, and you should not take it for granted.
Sarina: Who is the person on defense that matches your personality the most? And why does John Johnson ever shut up? (John Johnson is heard yelling)
Gerald: The person who matches my personality on defense… I would say JJ (John Johnson), but nah. If you would say offense, I would say Rodger (Saffold). But if it was defense, I would AD (Aaron Donald) or Dominique Easley. Since its defense, I would definitely go AD (Aaron Donald). Since we both goof off a lot together. AD (Aaron Donald) that’s my dog. He’s funny.
Sarina: He’s sneaky goofy! And why (Rodger) Saffold?
Gerald: Same way. Rodger and I hang out a lot and I think this year we got a lot closer than we did last year. You know, developing chemistry with the teammates and that rapport, and bonding. I definitely have a lot in common with Rodger (Saffold) and AD (Aaron Donald).
Sarina: You posted a photo on your Instagram and wrote never forget where you are from. It was a photo of you at your high school, Columbia High School, in Atlanta. What do you remember about those days?
Gerald: My high school was very different to say the least. I tell the guys on the team some of my stories from high school and they are baffled by it. We didn’t have a traditional four years. We had a bunch of food fights. It was crazy. It was madness and mayhem. I enjoyed it. It showed me a lot. Crowds to stay away from, crowds to hang around. I have a lot of friends that I still keep in contact with to this day that I met in high school.
Sarina: What’s changed about you then?
Gerald: Not much has really changed. I have matured of course, but I still have the same number from high school, still talk to the same people. They say people change when they get successful, but I’m still the same me. I eat the same foods. I still cherish the same things. Value the same things.
Sarina: What’s that high school food that you are still eating?
Gerald: My favorite food growing up was wings. Being from Atlanta, we love wings. I eat wings after the game. Since we are already in Inglewood, I go get me some wings from somewhere around there. I don’t think I could ever put those down until I get… like post football.
Sarina: Okay, last question, when you think about football, what do you think about the most? What’s the thing that ticks your mind the most?
Gerald: When I think about football, I would have to say, I think about when I played little league. It’s crazy because it’s full circle. Out of all the colleges I went to, and all the teams I’ve been on, being on this team and winning and having such a good chemistry with my teammates just gives me that sense of youth football again. I was really tight with my teammates growing up. Win or lose we just knew we were going to have fun. But here, we do a lot more winning than losing. Guys like Nickell Robey Coleman, John Johnson and AD (Aaron Donald) I truly enjoy being around. It gives me that sense of Pop (Warner) ball again.
(I end the interview, but Gerald asks me to answer one of his questions)
Gerald: Ok, for Sarina. What do you enjoy most about being in LA and working with us?
Sarina: I love the weather in LA. It’s sunny and warm. Coming from the Bronx, New York, it gets cold. And covering you guys… I really appreciate all of your personalities. Since I experience the locker room so much, I feel like I am part of the team here. You guys make me feel like I am because I get picked on (laughs) just as much as all of you pick on each other. It’s getting to know everyone. You guys are great teammates and it’s been great to be a part of it.