Ed Thompson: Let's talk a little bit about last Sunday's game against
Dallas. I know your team
didn't come out on the side of it that you would have liked, but you had a great
day, leading the
team in rushing.
Jason Snelling: Oh man, I had an opportunity to get an increased role.
The coaches dialed my number and I was able to run the ball a little bit
more than I have in the past. It was a lot of fun and I just tried to spark the
team and help the team do whatever it takes to win. We came up a little short. I
have to give it to the Cowboys, they played well, were well- prepared and
they were just better than us on Sunday. We just have to bounce back because we
have a really big opponent coming up this Monday night against the Saints.
Thompson: You had seven rushes for 68 yards, including a big 31-yard running
play. Talk a little bit about what you saw on that play and how it developed for
Snelling: It was an inside the zone play, I read it and was able to bounce
outside, beating the linebacker outside, and after that I tried to get to the
secondary as fast as possible. I have to give it to my line, they made great
blocks and made my run easy. It was mostly just my line putting up good blocks,
and I just had to do the rest.
Thompson: Jason, what did you see from that Dallas defense that maybe was a little bit surprising versus what you guys
saw on the film from them?
Snelling: Up front they swarm the ball and they are fast. They played with a lot
of intensity on Sunday-- that's the main thing-- they played with a lot of
intensity and energy. And I think that was pretty much the outcome of the game.
At the end they just had their intensity and they made plays that we didn't.
Thompson: Let's talk about the good work you've been doing
regarding epilepsy, why it's important to you and how you hope to
Snelling: As a person with epilepsy and living out my dreams,
any chance I get to talk or attend an event, I'm willing to do it. It's an honor
to be in the situation that I am in, to help spread awareness and to help
anybody in any way that I can. I've been part of the National Epilepsy Walk and
the Epilepsy Foundation. I enjoy speaking out and trying to spread awareness for
something that is really put on the back burner. It's something that a lot of
people deal with every day.
Thompson: Jason, I know you have a website at www.JasonSnelling.com,
and it really brings out some interesting points. I think that one of the most
interesting ones is that epilepsy is not a disease, it's a condition.
Snelling has a well-rounded skill set as a rusher, receiver and blocker.
Rick Stewart/Getty Images
Snelling: It's not something that a lot of people know about, so when
they see the symptoms that come along with it, it kind of scares people because
they don't really know what it is. It's a neuro thing, it affects your nerves,
so it's not something that you could catch or is contagious. On the web page,
the first thing I tried to do is give some awareness, education, and knowledge
about what epilepsy is because it can be a scary thing for the friends and
family of the people that have it.
Thompson: If I remember correctly, you were having some problems with
dizziness and migraines during your freshman year of college at the University
Snelling: Oh yeah, I had to deal with migraines and the epilepsy from
early on in my freshman year all the way to my sophomore year where I actually
couldn't play. There was a time that I actually had to take a redshirt because
of my health. My epilepsy wasn't where I needed it to be. Through the help of
good doctors and with the medication, I was able to bounce back and continue on
with my career.
Thompson: I think you're being modest when you simply say you
continued your career. At Virginia, you ran for 1,300 yards, scored 10 rushing
touchdowns, caught 84 passes for 775 yards and four more scores. And you also
left there with a very good reputation as a lead blocker. I think those numbers
are a shining example to people of what can be accomplished when you just learn
to understand what's going on, get the condition treated, and then push forward
the way you have in your life.
Snelling: I had to make a choice if I wanted to give up on football.
It wasn't even really about football, it was getting myself healthy for everyday
life and the things I needed to do. It took some work and I had support from
family and friends and coaches across the board. I was able to do it, and it's
really gotten me to where I am. Dealing with the epilepsy and getting myself
back to where I needed to be built a lot of character in me--so it made the
football part of my life easy for me.
Thompson: Jason, I know that November is National Epilepsy Awareness month,
are you going to do be doing anything special during the month?
Snelling: I'm going to try to get some families in my epilepsy
Georgia to come out to the games and see me play with their kids that are dealing with the same things that I dealt with as a kid. My time
is pretty busy during football season, but I'm going to try and do as much as
possible during the month to get out and spread the awareness and have fun with
people who are in the same community as I am.
Thompson: You were born in Toms River, New Jersey, then you go to college in
Virginia, now you are in the deep south in Atlanta playing professional
football. How has that migration over the years suited Jason Snelling?
Snelling: It's been a great migration, a great journey for me. I've had the
opportunity to live different places and meet a lot of people, and it helped me get to the level of where I am now. I love it
here in Georgia. We have a great team, great coaches, a great group of teammates
and friends that I've developed a bond with, so I couldn't be more pleased
to be here.
Thompson: Do you think in some ways that coming off a tough loss like that one
last wee against Dallas is going to fire you guys up even more to be ready for the New Orleans Saints
team that you'll face next Monday night?
Snelling: Definitely. Anytime you lose it leaves a nasty taste
in your mouth. You have to be able to learn from it, but you also have to be able to
put it behind you because every game is important. I know we are hungry
to get back out there. When you lose, you can't wait to get back out there to
get a win. We're going to work hard during the week and correct the things we
need to correct, just try to learn and get better as a team and do our best
against the Saints.
Thompson: The Saints are scoring an amazing number of points, but you guys have
some contests where you've been able to light it up, so this matchup should
really be exciting.
Snelling: They are regularly an offensive team, and they are playing great
defense right now. And we know there are going to be some ups and downs in this
game against them, but we are very confident that our offense and defense can hang in the
game with them. It's a
division and conference game. They are going to be fired up, and so are we, so
it's going to be a great game.
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A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com.