OB catches up with Quan Cosby
Quan Cosby has gone from a professional baseball player in the California Angels’ farm system to being a national champion at Texas and now to the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals last season. Cosby had a 49-yard punt return for a touchdown in the critical third preseason game (against the St. Louis Rams), often called the last dress rehearsal before the season.
Cosby finished the 2009 season in Cincinnati with four catches for 55 yards and averaged 11.9 yards on 40 punt returns. Orangebloods.com caught up to Quan on Monday after he finished a 3 ½-hour voluntary workout with the Bengals.
Q: Talk about going from being a professional baseball player to being a Longhorn to being a pro football player with the Cincinnati Bengals?
COSBY: Coming back to college, as much as I’m a football player, coming back to college and sitting in a classroom again, I was thinking, ‘What am I doing?’
But the Longhorn family and the City of Austin made me realize really quickly that I had made the right decision. And then winning a national championship helps also. And then coming to Cincinnati it was really intense because I was like, ‘I have to make the team. I have to make the team.’
But it worked out. I’m a spiritual man and think things happen for a reason, and I think everything worked out according to God’s plan. It’s a new year. We just started our off-season work today (Monday), a nice three and a half hours of work. And I think I have a great opportunity to do some good things at this level also.
Q: You said two years ago Sally Brown has as much to do with the family atmosphere at Texas as anyone. Can you talk about Sally’s role in the program and what she means to the players?
COSBY: It’s unbelievable what she means to the players, to the coaches and the coaches’ wives. I don’t know how many people know this. But when I committed the second time to Texas, I actually talked to Sally before I talked to Coach Brown.
I wanted her to know how much she means to the decision-making because of how genuine she is and the unbelievable person she is. She encouraged a lot of my charitable works also because she does so much. But the second you get on campus, she’s extremely nice.
Unfortunately, in this world, a lot of us players aren’t blessed with a two-parent household. She’s a mother to some, a father to some and both to some. She shows you a lot of love, and it happens before you even commit there. I’m sure like me, it helps a lot of guys make their decision.
Q: What do you think of your teammate OchoCinco on Dancing With The Stars?
COSBY: He’s something else. But he means well in it all. He has a lot going on, but he gets it. He’s been in the league for awhile. In most cases, NFL means Not For Long.
But he looks for any and every marketing opportunity. I know this, he’s the only player in the NFL I know of with a Louis Vuitton contract. I watched a little bit of it, just to see him move. He has some of the best feet I’ve seen, but he’s not showing it yet. He’s out there a little bit uptight.
I texted him and told him to loosen up. But the funny thing is Erin Andrews texted me and said I better not vote for him because she’s known me a lot longer than him. So I’m in the middle of a little scuffle. I don’t know who to vote for.
Q: So do you think OchoCinco is attacking this dancing as much as he attacks football?
COSBY: Oh definitely. You can see it in his eyes. When they finish, watch his mentality. When he’s around us, he’s joking 24-7 except when he gets down for game day. He’s approaching that show like game day because he has that look in his eyes.
He’s always critiquing himself. He knows he was a little tight. And that’s his attitude, to get better. He works extremely hard. I don’t know how he’s going to do, but he wants to be the absolute best out there, and he’s going to work like that. Sometimes, you don’t give your body rest, and that can get in your way. But he’s approaching it like a game day.
Q: The Cincinnati Bengals have a reputation as the halfway house of the NFL, giving every castoff a second chance. Give us your take on Cedric Benson and the season he had in Cincinnati last year.
COSBY: It was pretty much a wakeup call. We had a lot of guys who were on that verge of either showing up or being out of the league. Guys like Roy Williams, Tank Johnson and Cedric. And all those guys had an unbelievable year.
They went back to the basics. Ced, after every run in practice, he finished in the end zone. That helps endurance. It shows the younger guys and shows your commitment. He just really went back to the basics and had a great year.
Barring a couple nicks, he would have definitely had a Pro Bowl year. And it hasn’t stopped. He was at our workout (Monday) and getting extra work. Of course, he’s going back to Austin for the Texas Relays and trying to talk me into it. But I don’t know if I’m going to be down there for that.
Q: What’s it going to take to be the success in the NFL that you were at Texas?
COSBY: It’s going to take continued work. This off-season, I’m looking at a lot of film of successful slots in the league. That’s kind of a different area for me, because I played mostly outside at Texas. And then I have to keep studying our offense to where I know it as well as Carson (Palmer).
Even though I came in at the end and started making plays for the team, I don’t think I played as fast as I was capable of because, I knew the offense very well, but to translate it onto the field, you’re still not sure of yourself. So I’m trying to really get to know this offense and study it and know it as well as Carson.
When I do that, a lot of things will take care of themselves. I am who I am and that is a football player. I love playing the game. That will take care of itself as soon as I know the offense as well as the rest of the guys.
Q: We saw your big punt return for a touchdown in the preseason. How much did that single play help you in making the Bengals’ roster as an undrafted free agent last season?
COSBY: I think it helped me tremendously. In talking to our head special teams guy, I think he trusted me a little more than the other guys at the time. It kind of carried on.
I didn’t get in the end zone again, but I made some plays that set up some stuff. Then I made the All-Rookie team for punt returns. So it was a really good season for me. But I love playing receiver. I know I can be productive at that position, so I want to expand my role.
Q: Talk about your charitable work and some of the things you’ve got going that will interest Texas fans.
COSBY: I’m holding a camp at St. Mary’s on June 5 in Austin. They have really good facilities and accommodate us well. I’m going to another event on May 1 to help raise money for Duchene’s Muscular Dystrophy. That’s a casino party being thrown by Mack and Sally Brown.
And I don’t know what I’m thinking here, but I’m doing a hamburger eat off against half our linemen for charity. And then I’m doing an event in my hometown of Mart. It’s a free football camp for the kids in Mart on April 9.
So I’ll be asking for some of my boys from Texas to come down and support it and see where I come from and realize how country I am. That’s one of my funnest events because it’s free, and it’s just me running around my hometown.