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    • Jim Gehman: 'Where are they now?' - Andre Collins Feature

      Our buddy Jim Gehman has written another great article!

      Jim Gehman: 'Where are they now?' - Andre Collins


      An All-America linebacker at Penn State, you were Washington’s top draft choice in 1990. What was your reaction to being chosen by the Redskins?

      “I remember being relieved that I was going to a winning franchise, a franchise that had had a great history. I was thrilled because, growing up in New Jersey outside Philadelphia, the Eagles were always blacked out because they never sold out the stadium. So we always had the Redskins games [on television], and I’ll tell you, 85 percent of my family were diehard Redskins fans before I’d even put on a Redskins uniform, including myself!”

      Only one player, Hall of Fame cornerback Darrell Green, had started every game as a rookie during the Joe Gibbs era. How’d you become the second?

      “My abilities just matched up with what the Redskins were trying to do at that particular time. And because it was situational, I had an opportunity to play and start. I was grateful for that. I don’t think that I was any better than anyone that we had there, just something that I did allowed them to put me on the field. The timing was just right.”

      The whole team’s timing was right during the 1991 season, and Washington beat Buffalo in Super Bowl XXVI. Was that experience what you expected it would be?

      “I probably didn’t fully appreciate it the way that I would have at the end of my career. That Super Bowl was so amazing I just assumed I was going to the playoffs and going to the Super Bowl just about every year, and that never really happened.

      “Looking back, I remember being relieved that we won because we had been the best team all year. And I remember the season getting long and there was more and more pressure to win and win big! When we finally won the Super Bowl, it was nice to say, ‘Okay, we were the best team in football all year. We finally did it.’”

      Following a 10-year playing career with Washington, Cincinnati, Chicago and Detroit; in 2004, you began to work for NFL Players Association. Now the Executive Director, Professional Athletes Foundation at NFLPA, what are some of your responsibilities?

      “I’ve learned to describe it as providing a sense of community, compassion and hope for former players. The community part is connecting the players to their local communities through our chapter system of former players and also the many events we have that bring players together in social or sharing atmosphere.

      “The compassion and hope is through our Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund, where we’re able to help players in a time of need. The assistance is used for a multitude of things ranging from educational assistance to medical assistance. I like to refer to it as a fund that provides support during just one of the many lifetime transitions.”

      To read the rest of Jim's article, click HERE
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Jim Gehman: 'Where are they now?' - Andre Collins Feature started by Boone View original post
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