Darrell McClover came into the NFL in 2004 as a seventh-round pick out of the University of Miami by the New York Jets.
McClover spent his first three seasons at the University of Miami playing as a reserve linebacker behind linebackers like Dan Morgan and Chris Campbell. He shined in his senior year playing alongside NFL stars Jonathan Vilma and D.J. Williams.
In McClover's first season in the NFL he started all 16 games making 15 tackles. Unfortunately he didn't see any playing time with the Jets in the 05-06 season and was let go after the season was over.
The Bears signed him that off-season and McClover played in 35 games making 27 tackles as a special teams ace from 2006-2010. McClover never got a shot to start at linebacker for the Bears, but I'm sure the Bears would welcome him back with open arms if the opportunity was there.
Considering McClover is a free-agent, the Bears could add him because he fits into the system they run on defense and special teams.
I had the chance to catch up with Darrell last week and I asked him about everything from the NFL lockout, how Lovie Smith runs practices and what he plans on doing once he retires.
Q: How tough has the lockout been on you? How often have you been training and conditioning?
A: The lock out has been pretty tough, but at the same time beneficial. Especially looking at the way my career has been going this past year. It has pushed me to spend more time into looking at life after football. I train and condition three to five times a week.
Q: Have you gotten together with any players this off-season to train? Who have you stayed in contact with?
A: I haven't gotten together with any players to condition. My training consist of my own personal regiment. Players who I have stayed in contact with have been Rod Wilson, Nick Roach, Tim Shaw.
Q: Who was your favorite player growing up? Or did you just have a favorite team?
A: I didn't have a favorite player. My favorite team growing up was the Indianapolis Colts.
Q: Do you stay informed on what’s going on or do you usually wait until something big happens?
A: I stay informed on issues and concerns during the NFL lockout because it not only affects active players but also retired players as well. So its good stay up to date.
Q: What is your most favorite and least favorite part of football?
A: My most favorite thing about football are the playing the games. My least favorite thing about football are the meetings.
Q: What is your most memorable moment in football? What level did it occur in?
A: My most memorable moment was in the NFL, coming out of the tunnel during the Super Bowl. There's nothing like it.
Q:What's a fact that maybe some people don't know about you?
A: I can sing.
Q: What's different about Chicago compared to the other teams you've played for?
A: The difference are the fans, they make Chicago a fun place to play.
Q: Who are your closest friends on the team or around the NFL?
A: Jonathon Vilma, Tim Shaw, and Rod Wilson.
Q: How does Lovie Smith run practices? Is he that quiet guy that the media claims he is?
A: Lovie says very few words on the field, but in the classroom he is very knowledgeable. He holds us accountable for our roles and jobs.
Q: If you weren't a professional football player, what profession do you think you'd be in?
A: Human resources.
Q: How great was it to play with Jonathan Vilma and D.J. Williams at the University of Miami? Does it feel like a long time ago?
A: Playing with DJ and JV was great. I remember when we came in as freshman at UM. It definitely doesn't seem like that long ago.
Q: Favorite movie?
A: New (Inception) great movie.
Q: Favorite food/meal?
A: Nice fish filet ( does not matter as long as its good).
Q: What do you plan on doing when your career is over? What do you hope to get out of the NFL?
A: When my career is over, I hope to live comfortable and take up a career in personal training. I'd like to manage my own gym. I hope to be able to have a nice life once it's over.
Q: You're pretty active on Twitter, do you enjoy social networks?
A: I just started getting into it. I felt like it was time to stop avoiding it. It seems like everything is gravitating to it. Also I was recommended to do it.
Q: Who do you thank for getting to this point?
I thank my dad for his support growing up, my wife and all my coaches.
Q: Thanks for your time, hope to see you in the blue and orange this season.
A: Thanks for having me.
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