THN was fortunate enough to grab Redskin Jesse Lumsden for a few questions and answers on Monday. Lumsden has managed to draw a fair bit of attention for a newcomer both from the fans and from the coaching staff. Here is the first part of hopefully a two-part interview; we will try to catch up with him again on Tuesday.
THN: Thanks for your time Jesse. I just want to ask you a few questions if that's alright...
Jesse: Sure, no problem.
THN: I wanted to ask you about your dad. Obviously your dad probably had a lot of influence on you wanting to be a football player. How much pressure was there, playing for a father who had such a prolific career both before and after his playing days?
Jesse: He never put any pressure on me. He always supported me in whatever I did, and I played a lot of sports before I really decided to focus on football. But once I did, he backed me one hundred per cent. He helped me out not only as a father, but as a coach and I'm very thankful for what he did for me because he definitely helped in a major way in getting me where I am.
THN: But did his success make you put extra pressure on yourself?
Jesse: No, not really. For a while it was always 'Neil Lumsden's son', but that's part of the territory and it never bothered me. It never made me angry or anything like that. That's just part of it and I accepted it and I just went out and played football every weekend like I was supposed to.
THN: Has your father been down to Camp?
Jesse: He came down for the scrimmage and flew back Saturday night, so it was good to see him.
THN: He must have been pretty proud as you had a great outing.
Jesse: Yeah, it was just great to see him.
THN: You broke a lot of CIS records playing for McMaster, one of which was tying your dad's record for five touchdowns in a game. Who bought dinner that night?
Jesse: It was a while ago, I don't really remember, but I'm pretty sure it would have been him. He was always great about buying me dinners.
THN: Greg Marshall obviously took a big risk drafting you into the CFL when you were already property of the Seattle Seahawks. He also coached you in university football; how much of an influence has he had on your football career?
Jesse: He was one of the main reasons I went to Mac (McMaster). He sat me down and told me that I was going to have the opportunity to run the ball. And that's something that I really wanted to do. I knew I was going in and Kojo Aidoo and Kyle Pyear were already at Mac and those were THE guys, and I learned a lot from those guys... they were both great running backs.
THN: Have you talked to Greg since coming to the Redskins?
Jesse: When I was back home just before training camp I did, I was on the golf course a couple of times with him.
(We both laugh)
THN: So have you eaten Blake Marshall's food? (Blake Marshall is Greg's brother and owns a pasta franchise)
Jesse: Absolutely, he fed us through our Monday morning meetings and stuff like that.
THN: Blake was a heck of a running back himself.
Jesse: Oh yeah, that's for sure.
THN: What did you learn in Seattle that has helped or changed your off-season preparations for this training camp with the Redskins?
Jesse: I think I just matured more as a person. I saw kind of the down side of football. I was always very privileged and lucky with my career. And I'm glad I was exposed to it at that point in my life because it allowed me to mature as a person and as a player and get ready for this training camp. It made me mentally tougher and made me realize I need to keep working on that kind of stuff.
THN: Did you do Yoga before that?
Jesse: I'd done it a few times here and there, I'd never really done it a ton but it's something that I need because I'm naturally a stiff person, so it's something that will definitely benefit me if I can get into a continuous routine of it.
THN: I just wondered if the injury in Seattle's training camp had anything to do with it?
Jesse: I did start once I got home and in the off-season. It's just helped me with my well being I think. I find it very relaxing and I have the patience to do something like that. Some athletes don't and they just have to be active. But I find it very relaxing and I enjoy it.
THN: Do you just stretch or do you meditate as well?
Jesse: I usually take a class and at the end of the class we do the meditation part of it.
THN: There don't seem to be a lot of players that do it and it constantly surprises me. I know Ray Brown did it and it obviously served him well playing in the NFL until he was 42 years old.
Jesse: I know Joffrey Reynolds from the Calgary Stampeders has picked it up and used it a lot in the off-season and he said it's really benefited him.
THN: How much has having fellow Canadian Kerry Carter here at training camp helped both of you settle in and is it difficult knowing that you both might be vying for virtually an identical spot on the roster?
Jesse: It's tough... well not tough... it's what I'm here to do is win a roster spot. Kerry's a friend of mine but we both understand the situation and we can be friends both on the field and off the field but we both know what we're here to do. That's what we're here for; we're fighting for a spot on this team.
THN: Has it helped though?
Jesse: Oh for sure, he's a friend. We became pretty close in Seattle and he's a great guy.
THN: You saw a lot of action in Saturday's scrimmage, you saw a lot of special teams work... obviously that must have given you a lot of confidence. What positive and/or negative feedback did you receive from the coaching staff after the game?
Jesse: You know, there are always corrections to be made, so I need to do a few things better on special teams and I need to do a few things better on offense but I did receive some very positive feedback and it definitely helps.
THN: I thought your teams work was excellent. There were a few kick returns where you were the first one down the field and kept your lane... I'm sure Danny Smith was probably happy with that...
Jesse: He's always very quick to compliment somebody if they do something right... so...
THN: He's very energetic isn't he?
Jesse: He's definitely very energetic and he's a very good coach.