By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun
7:11 PM EDT, October 4, 2011
Each week, we bring you a Q&A with a Ravens player, coach or team executive to help you learn a little more about the team. Today's guest is center/left guard Andre Gurode.
You have made the switch from center to left guard while Ben Grubbs recovers from strained ligaments in his toe. How would you describe the process of making that transition?
It's pretty difficult. Playing offense is a challenge in and of itself, but it's difficult from the stance that your dominant hand as a right guard is your right hand, and your dominant hand as a left guard is your left hand. So, if you're used to getting down into a right-hand stance and then you have to switch to a left-hand stance, then it would be similar to being a right-hander and suddenly writing with your left hand.
You've also said that there's an adjustment in terms of becoming acclimated to the depth and angles associated with that position.
Oh yeah. Sitting at certain angles, getting off the ball, getting ready for pass rushers, it's completely different on both sides.
Was there any personal satisfaction from playing so well in your debut as a Raven?
For me, it was about me doing my job, the satisfaction of getting out there and doing what I was asked to do. You're trying to perform at a high level.
Who is the toughest pass rusher or run stopper you've faced in your career?
I can't give you one guy. There's like a number of guys, and I just can't list them all. I can't even think of anybody. But each year, it's somebody different.
You are a 10-year veteran. When you line up against a young newcomer, is it about strength vs. strength or are you using your experience to your advantage?
In all cases, it's about using your technique. Whether it's a younger guy or an older guy, you have to get out with your technique and then go from there.
You played for four different coaches during your time with the Dallas Cowboys: Dave Campo (2002), Bill Parcells (2003-06), Wade Phillips (2007-10) and Jason Garrett (2010)? What was it like playing for each of them?
Each one of them, very different. Each one of them, demanding in their own way. It was a good time, but I'm focused on being a Baltimore Raven now.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones enjoys a reputation as being a maverick owner who will spend whatever it takes to bring a Super Bowl championship to Dallas. Is that a fair portrayal of him?
No, he's a good owner. He loves to win. Likes to be involved in everything. He's a good guy.
Was there any one current or former teammate who was the most influential to you in your career?
Everybody was. From past to present, everybody has. I've had the great opportunity to be around a lot of guys to talk to them and pick their brains and learn the systems.
Have you always been an offensive linemen? Even in your youth football days in your hometown of Houston?
I played offensive line and defensive line. I played both.
What convinced you to make the offensive line your permanent position?
It was just one of those things where it was a good fit, learning the offense, learning different things. And it actually worked out for me in terms of becoming an NFL player.
More important to you: a Super Bowl ring or a Hall of Fame bust?
A Super Bowl ring. Because what most people don't know is that when you win a Super Bowl, you're automatically in the Hall of Fame. Your team picture is automatically in the Hall of Fame.
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