Gilbert Brown: I'd like to work with Kenny Clark
Green Bay Packers great Gilbert Brown was the guest on Monday's season premiere of Clubhouse Live, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin's live weekly football show.
Among the topics he touched on were the 1996 Packers, the 2016 Packers and bullying. The show can be seen live at The Clubhouse Sports Pub & Grill in downtown Appleton or at clubhouselive.com.
Here are select and edited answers from the interview:
Q: You were a key member of that 1996 Super Bowl title team. When did you realize that group had the ability to win a championship? Was it the season before, when you upset defending champion San Francisco in an NFC divisional playoff game?
Brown: Yeah, I think that's when we, as you say, got our bones. Because we kept going down to Dallas and losing and all that other stuff. But that one game when we played 'Frisco,' Reggie (White) pulled us into a meeting room and he said, 'I want you all to sit down, and I want you all to watch (the 49ers). They are not invincible.' And he started doing stuff and pointing out stuff, certain things that they were doing. And we had so much confidence in ourselves by him doing that when we went down there (to San Francisco), we were just, 'They're a finesse team. We're going to punch them in the mouth and see what they've got.' And we won the game.
Q: The Packers have some question marks at nose tackle this season with B.J. Raji taking a hiatus from the NFL, Mike Pennel out the first four games due to his suspension and rookie first round draft choice Kenny Clark dealing with a back injury. How do you see that shaking out this year?
Brown: I'd like to get my hands on the young guy (Clark), kind of give him tricks of the trade a little bit. ... I know as that monster in the middle, you have to set the point. You have to push the line back. And for some reason, you have to shut off angles. And I don't know if those guys really know how to do that, yet. That (nose tackle) position right there, you have to be unselfish because you really have to do a lot of things in order for everybody to have a good game. And people don't realize how important that position is. Back when I was playing, if I don't set my point or push them out so Reggie can get the sack or Sean (Jones) can get the sack or Santana (Dotson) can get the sack - or, if I don't take on those two guys so the running back has to bounce out - then we wouldn't have been as good. Everybody has a role to play, and if you don't know your role, the defense isn't going to be as good.
Q: You're very much involved in an anti-bullying campaign in which your goal is to have zero tolerance in schools when it comes to bullying. Why is that so important to you?
Brown: Can you imagine a 7- or a 6-year-old kid crying himself to sleep every night, and that's your child and you did not know nothing about it? How would that make you feel? Knowing that when we were going to school, it would last from 8 (a.m.) to 3:15 (p.m.) and you'd get a break (from bullying), but now it's 24/7 with social media and everything. Just imagine yourself feeling that way. You ask yourself: How many times as a family have you sat down and eaten at the dinner table? I mean, really sat and eaten at the dinner table instead of little Sally doing her phone stuff over here and Billy playing a video game and Dad outside doing something? The dinner table is where you really find out about your child, really find out what's going on. ... And if you haven't done that, you need to do that because sometimes your child could be asking you for help.
Brett Christopherson: 920-993-7117, or firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @PCBrettC
Packers Hall of Famer William Henderson to appear on Clubhouse Live
Packers Hall of Famer William Henderson will be Monday’s guest on Clubhouse Live, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin’s live weekly Packers show at 6:30 p.m. from The Clubhouse Sports Pub & Grill inside the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in downtown Appleton! Henderson will join co-hosts Brett Christopherson, Ricardo Arguello and Sarah Riley for a fun and interactive discussion as they look back on the Packers’ 1996 Super Bowl championship team and preview Green Bay’s season-opening showdown against the Jaguars. Plus, register through Miller Lite to win tickets to the Sept. 25 game against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field, which will be given away during a later show. Can't make it? Watch live online at clubhouselive.com!