By Corey Lewis, CPT, CSCS
- Corey: Man, Teddy K, it’s a pleasure having you here my brother, you know thank you for joining me and what I’m doing here, yeah like, it’s a pleasure, you’re like a little brother to me and family to me for sure, for those who don’t know and probably should have known, Teddy, when on my last ACL surgery while I was chasing my NFL dream, mama Karras and the Karras family took me in and really took care of me, so…
- Ted: I got the cred man, you’re an Indy guy.
- Corey: To this day I owe Teddy and Karras family to most, Teddy, his sister, everybody, everybody involved really, you know really-really helped me get to them, at that point in time my life, was very low time for me, but you know Teddy made sure I was good and the family did everything possible; funny story, when that whole process started, Ted, you know as most people would, he was like yeah man, just let my mom know if you need anything and me of course not really even thinking, it was totally, it was totally innocent, but not even thinking, I literally send mama Karras the biggest grocery list of all the time and I remember Teddy brought it up and obviously, them being so nice, she did it, but I wasn’t even thinking, that was just like yeah, I’m going to be, I’m not to be; I was thinking as if like I was go shopping and locked up for a month and a half, not being able to move, but I just send mama Karras …
- Ted: I thought it was great, man, you don’t know it’s nothing either man; you are family tell us too bro.
- Corey: Oh no, it was just so funny thinking about it like…
- Ted: Oh yeah.
- Corey: How I would think about somebody just sent me a damn grocery list, like hey, by the way oh yeah-yeah for sure, considerably you know we act somebody for something, it’s almost like a rhetorical question, like it’s almost like yeah-yeah for sure, I’m going out, if you need anything let me know, but I literally sent mama Karras the grocery list and Mama Karras being as nice as she is, she happily made it all happen, literally made my time in the Karras household, you know so good and help me back to recovery and you know to this day, I like I said I owe her so much and you guys for allowing me to rehab and heal successfully and you know, I got the chance to play pro ball for a little bit, because of you guys, so thank you so much for that, but once again thank you for joining me brother, I won’t take up too much of your time, I just wanted to bring you on here, because I respect you so much, you’re one of the hardest workers I know, you know for again, for those you don’t know me and Teddy play together at University Illinois…
- Ted: Right side.
- Corey: Right side, I was the right tackle, use the right guard, I think Teddy in terms of playing; you were two years underneath me…
- Ted: Yep.
- Corey: I had played six years in college, because I had four ACL surgeries and Teddy became; as all the guys that I came in with, came and went, because I was just the grandpa at University of Illinois, Teddy became one of my really good friends, my roommate and we just, we held down that right side together and I watched Teddy grow from a freshman, you know all the way through to the point where he was playing next to me and really just holding it down, he was always years above his you know his actual age in terms of work ethic, attitude and all that good stuff and it’s no, no surprise to me that you transition successfully into the NFL, you know drafted by the Patriots seventh round draft pick, you know made a statement, I knew soon as you were drafted to that organization specifically, you were going to stick, because that’s just who you are, I knew, you know you’re one those guys who actually love football and to me, you know there’s so many guys who just do it for the check, unfortunately; but you’re one of those guys that you actually love everything that goes into the grind, into the process and I think that’s what really you know stands out for you, for me, your mental approach is so different and unique. Now, you’re moving on to your next chapter with the Miami Dolphins, you know so I’m super excited for you dear brother.
- Ted: Well, thank you, that was very kind of you man, one of the kindest speech I’ve ever heard, thank you so much, I love you bro. You’ve been getting after tour in quarantine [inaudible 05:11]
- Corey: No, it’s been good, I’ve been doing a lot of these, I’ve interviewed a lot of my old teammates, our old teammates even you know during his time, basically I launched this series along with my business partners called off-the-cuff, where we just kind of catch up, you know shoot the shit a little bit, it’s almost; it’s like an informal interview almost, because I think it’s super important during these times, a lot of times athletes are kind of put on a pedestal of; you know just put on a pedestal in general, so for quote-unquote normal people to get insights on how you’re doing and you know how you’re dealing with what’s going on in the world right now and you know how you’re handling it.
Sometimes it brings comfort to people, you know knowing that you’re also human, you know bringing light to the human side of athletes, I think is very helpful…
- Ted: Yes, it is.
- Corey: Work through what’s going on, you know and again, I appreciate your mind set so much, giving people kind of insight on that, was one reason why I want to interview you.
- Ted: I think everyone’s getting to the edgy point of lockdown though, I think everyone, I think everyone’s getting kind of restless, we lucky, we got to… we moved in two days ago down here in Fort Lauderdale, so great to be in the heat, but yeah, the biggest thing for me is that I’m a home gym convert now, so I’m getting a rack delivered tomorrow with a bunch of weight, I’m never going to go back to a gym again.
- Corey: Yes, pretty awesome, so like since you brought it up, what we; obviously I’m pretty sure you’ve kind of been in Boston this whole time…
- Ted: Yeah
- Corey: [inaudible 06:59] area, as obviously the season just ended with New England not too long ago, I should say; it’s been a since January, but um and obviously since with lockdown, what were you doing to; I think we touched on it you know together, but just what have you been doing to stay in shape, stay ready and you know as you transition into your next chapter down in Miami?
- Ted: Yeah, so well all the gyms closed down, I was going to just like a local gym and luckily a rookie last year for the Patriots yelled [inaudible 07:31], he’s old linemen, he built a gym in his garage, like right when the lockdown hit, so there were about you know 16 guys taking shifts, going to lift there and that’s what kind of converted me to make it, you know once I got my new home now, I’m going to have my own weight room too and so I’m going to have some guys, I think daddy’s going to come over and lift, because he’s down…
- Corey: Yeah, okay you know I got to get him over here too.
- Ted: I got to get him on here, yeah, but I’ve been doing old line drills on the first base line of a baseball field down the street from my house, these last couple days, so…
- Corey: Oh man, that’s…
- Ted: You got to get it in.
- Corey: Hey that’s improvised right there, that’s, I love it man, you know and that goes to show, like I said who you are as a person, you always find a way, the way you were like in on game day was like nothing I’ve ever seen, so it’s a no-brainer to me that you’re able to make it happen through this. Outside of football or how is this you know life in general been in terms of just; obviously everything is different, because of what’s going on in the world, you know how’s it been man?
- Ted: Well, you know it’s interesting because we knew we were leaving, but we just couldn’t leave, so it was kind of; we were kind of, I mean I know everybody’s you know stuck and you know everyone’s kind of dealing with that and you know trying to perform and organize a move was; I put it, you know obviously I would have moved probably a month earlier, had it not or maybe two months earlier, had it not been you know this lockdown; so you know, we were just you know packing up the house, but just organizing businesses that were open, trying to figure out ways that we could get down here, was quite a challenge, but you know it’s worked out, we’re in, you’re coming down in Miami a lot, aren’t you?
- Corey: I’m coming down man, I got some of my family down there ready who jumped the gun and moved down there and obviously I’m sure you excited about the state income tax situation?
- Ted: Absolutely, I think we got a squad too this year, I…
- Corey: Hey, Miami already was shown promise towards the end of last year, obviously even you being on the other side…
- Ted: They take away our bi-weekly.
- Corey: I know, Miami, that was a tough game, Miami always plays a patriot stuff as we know, so I’m excited about that, I mean to me the AFC East is wide open this year, so why not the Dolphins right?
Ted: Oh yeah, I’m pumped off, we got coach flow, we got a lot of familiar faces for us too, so a lot of Pat’s guys, a lot of a couple of line, James Crawford…
- Corey: Oh JC-JC-JC, yeah I got to get that, I got JC on here too, man.
- Ted: You got him man and he’s making a little career for himself.
- Corey: No-no, you know I mean I was always Showtime, you know so Showtime JC man, he always find out a way, I remember he just showed up with a single digit, you know I was like where do you get a single digit; yeah, I’m super pumped, but even I would love if… because obviously during these times, I don’t, I’m sure you’ve gotten wind of it, but you know a lot of relationships are crumbling, because you’re now forced to spend so much time together that; you know typically relationship, whether you’re married, whether it’s your girlfriend, you know fiancé and you know whatever, whatever it is, like you don’t spend this much time together, so…
- Ted: I mean you need a cooling off time, are everywhere.
- Corey: 100%, like in, it doesn’t matter if it’s your friend or your girlfriend or whatever it is, like you’re not; nobody is built to build to spend that much time with somebody, so how are you dealing with that in your situation, I love Racheal, you know she also went to Illinois with us and who is also a friend of mine, you know how is that going and how are you guys coping with having to spend more time, which I’m sure is great, but also can be a lot?
- Ted: You know I think having a move and having to plan a move really help with you know we have a directive, we have goals that we need to meet in order to get out, you know leave Massachusetts, I think like I said when it starts, I think it’s just getting a little bit of edgy time for everyone, when little cabin fever setting in, one thing we like to do is just take a walk, just so let’s take a; let’s do a lap around the neighborhood, you should get out of the four walls of your house and you know get some Sun on your face, I think that’s been really helpful, Rachel’s kind of led the charge with that, you know but other than that, it’s been a blessing to be at home and my family’s safe and I hope that your family is safe, and for everyone listening, families are safe and healthy. So, we’re doing what we got to do and hopefully we’re going to come out of this this summer.
- Corey: Though, yeah that’s definitely a hope, I know there’s, you know I know there’s some worry about the NFL season and the unknown, I’m pretty confident there will be an NFL season, I don’t know the fan situation yet, because obviously it’s just a safety thing, how do you feel about playing, you know potentially playing with; you know I guess 50, 30, 50 percent full stadium, like is that going to change your mindset? Obviously, you’re professional, all you guys are pros and I’m sure it’ll be similar comparison to a spring game, but is that going to change or you know how you, just basically your approach?
- Ted: Yeah, well I think football coming back is, it would be a huge step just for the nay, it’s just such a big pillar of normalcy, that I think it’s really important that we try to get back on time and but, as safe as we can. As far as the no fans thing, I always like things shaking up, I don’t mind inclement weather, I like being cold, I like, because I think that it’ll affect my opponent less than me, though I don’t mind the shakeup, if that’s we got to do to be safe. What I think though for us is if we know when we come back, I think we just got to go all in and I think the German soccer league is doing like an no celebration thing, I think that as players, football is such a… it’s kind of a weird word for it, but an intimate game, you’re very much all over each other, I think you just got a; we’re just going to have to roll with it and you know hopefully everyone can be safe when we take enough measures to keep guys healthy.
- Corey: Yeah, 100%, I mean if for me it’s about, it’s not necessarily about like guys, like us, the people on the healthier side, you know the younger side even I should say, but the people I do worry about obviously are the ones who seem to be affected the most during these times, that’s the people who are older underlying issues. So, for me it’s like okay, if we do get back, you know I don’t, that doesn’t mean I want to sacrifice all the people who are older, like for example my mother has underlying issue, I haven’t seen her during this time just for safety reasons right, I think people being cognizant of okay, I’m back to playing football or I’m back to work, whatever it may be, still understanding that we have to keep those; we have to think of the others who are potentially, you know negatively affected by this.
I said I say those people really have to stay quarantine, stay safe until we really have the resources and treatment and care, you know to be able to take care of them in the event that something that happens to them.
- Ted: So, and I think that you know the NFL needs to provide us with resources, that guys can keep their family safe, you know the responsibility is going to be on the player I think, you know everyone’s family situation is different, we’re going to be, there’s going to be guys that are single, that you know they don’t see anybody during the week and then other guys have you know their whole family living with them. So, I think that you know teams can implement; there’s so much I guess kind of still unknown, but just implement some type of resources where guys, we can sanitize ourselves leaving the building and stuff like that.
- Corey: Right-right yeah, for sure I mean a lot of stuff, a lot of that, that a sanitary stuff is already in place, but obviously it’s going to be high in to you know two level, but yeah, if guys are just cognizant of okay, let me make sure my family at home is good and I’m doing what’s necessary, you know maybe going through some sort of process to make sure, I take all my clothes off when I coming in, whatever it is, but you know just creating situations that you know make this a smooth transition, so we can catch up with treatment and the resources, and all that stuff. So, you know I’m very interested to see; it’s so hard to predict, because everything seems to change day by day, you know it’s like one day it’s this, one day it’s that.
Down in Miami, they’re just there, they’re at the boiling point, it seems like they’re just like beach open, let’s go…
- Ted: They open it up down here, you know I’m it’s not bad for me coming back, you know I’m going out and going to target and home depot, I mean I got to do what I got to do and you know I’m wearing the mask, I’m a mask guy.
- Corey: 100 percent man, like you definitely do what you got to do, especially you’re moving, you’re adjusting, like the last thing you want to do is adjust and sit in the house and you know you want to get to know your new surroundings and you know interact…
- Ted: Yeah, new TV.
- Corey: It’s not like the college days man, I don’t know, I don’t know, well we had we had good times in that living room…
- Ted: Well Shippo came by one day, just took the TV, like two years later.
- Corey: He literally came to the school and he was like hey, I’m here and I was like here to do what and he was like I’ve come to take the TV, I was like okay, what did we do, did we buy a new one?
- Ted: We all chipped in for a new TV.
- Corey: Oh my goodness, who has that TV, that was a good TV.
- Ted: I didn’t take anything from the house, I took one, I did take the Jimi Hendrix dartboard, I still have that; that made it down here to Florida.
- Corey: Oh that was a good-that was a good purchase; that was a good purchase…
- Ted: You can put out right in there.
- Corey: Yeah, I forgot about that, I won’t go too deep into our other roommate, but…
- Ted: We had a lot though, we had a lot, and we have a lot of great roommates.
- Corey: Oh, yeah a lot of people, a lot of people dealt with that for sure, a lot of people moved through there, I mean for sure, so it was an interesting house, but man 36 and a half, rest in peace, it’s no longer…
- Ted: An apartment building, they were; well good for them, that I think was what Derek and Michelle, I bet they’re doing great so.
- Corey: Oh yeah, I mean oh, I never forget, I had already lived there, another funny story, I had already live there, you know because I was living there with some of our old teammates who had moved on and graduated and again as we discussed early, I was kind of the grandpa of the team, because all my injuries and I was there very long time, longer then I should have been, but anyway there was this lovely older couple that ran this house and we were bringing Teddy in…
- Ted: Oh this story makes you guys look bad.
- Corey: Its great Teddy is in the house, Teddy and my other good friend Henry, am like let sign these guys up, there go through the contract and she’s just goes [inaudible 19:21], I don’t know what Henry was doing, because I wasn’t looking at Henry, but Teddy can’t stop laughing and we feel, I feel so bad for the nice…
- Ted: I know, she liked us after that.
- Corey: Loved us, loved us, like we were great, we were great, we were great tenants, but it was just so funny, I just know, I’ll never forget that, he was like she hates me, I was like well, you know you kind of laugh it out the room, but…
- Ted: I’m blaming on Henry.
- Corey: Yeah, you know every Henry was odd one; that was, Henry was definitely one of my most interesting roommates of all time and friends, he still is, every now and then Henry will send the most random text of all time, but we get it, Teddy responds two days later and then I piggyback on Teddy’s response.
- Ted: I got a call late actually, I have been; I’m going to call my guy…
- Corey: Yeah, I mean we should also like schedule zoom calls, since that’s kind of…
- Ted: You guy should just come down to Miami man, Fort Lauderdale is lovely right now, I got the pool out back.
- Corey: Hey, I’m down, I’m actually going to, I’m setting up with a call with uh with Tunney too, so.
- Ted: Nice.
- Corey: I still keep in touch with him, hey the big team about to get you pay, so…
Ted: Yeah, you got 14 this year, so…
- Corey: They big Tunney is selling in the market and then so are you man, you’ll ball out of Miami, I’m excited for what’s next for you, I know you’re going to, you know really-really make your point, I know you kind of cross in after what happened to Dave down there, I guess up there in Massachusetts, but man I think you definitely, you did a hell of a job and I was excited to see man, I love watching you play, like I said you were one of the hard workers that I’ve ever been around and you carry that over, you’ve carried it over to the NFL, so it’s; I know it’s going to be a hell of a ride and you know I mean let see how this year goes man, it’s going to be a lot of fun.
How has the virtual kind of, I guess onboarding process to Miami been in terms of, obviously there’s no mini camps, there has been nothing, everything’s virtual, has it been, you know has it been smooth?
- Ted: Yeah, you know it’s been great, you know I’ve really enjoyed the online meetings, I think the only negative would be like I’m not around the guys, you know to start building relationships that you start building in the spring, because you got to be careful, like because all you get is just the meeting, so all they know of me is, when I’m in football mode, but luckily we’ve had some zoom sessions just as online group and just kind of introduce ourselves and you know I don’t mind the schedule man, you know one, you know it’s not bad to just kind of be on your own schedule, especially when you’re moving in, you know sometimes you get that workout in the evening.
- Corey: Yeah, sure.
- Ted: And that’s been an advantage to be able to; like I’m scrambling to get the water on and I’m trying to go to City Hall, it’s closed and I’m calling people, you know just stuff like that, when you’re moving in, it’s been, you know it’s that’s been an advantage.
- Corey: No-no, you know for sure, I saw something that the transition is still going smooth, obviously as a signer you’re almost like automatically the captain of the own line of sort, you know so I know and knowing you as individual and you’re just natural leadership abilities, I know you’re going to take ownership with that at center position down there and really bring that whole line together; one of the special things about you is not only your leadership and mental stuff that I keep hitting on, but your ability to bring people together and show people the way and make everybody feel like their purpose, you’re really good at that too, so [crosstalk 23:29] I mean that’s, you know that’s important, so you know I know it’s going pretty awesome to see.
What was you have to, you know words of advice for maybe the seventh round draft pick, as you were or even just a later round draft pick or an undrafted guy right, because you know going into training camp back in the day, you were kind of showing your worth in rookie minicamp, OTAs etc. now, it seems like a lot of these guys are going to just be fresh coming into the training camp without having shown anything, even some guys didn’t have the chance to showcase their pro days right, though like, I mean what do you have to say to this guys that are probably in a negative state of mind, because you know so negatively affected by this covid19 situation out there, like in terms of how they should be preparing, you know what they should expect and all that good stuff.
- Ted: I would say don’t be afraid to be extra, I think a lot of guys worry about coming in and you know not kind of stepping on any toes or not, you know I guess maybe being thought of as like you know, kind of going too much, but this is a competition and there’s jobs on the line and there’s you know millions of dollars on the line and so, I’ve never been afraid, especially as when I was young, I’d never you know pulled any punches as far as why I was here and what I’m doing, so I did everything the coaches asked and more, you know I am, you know you’re coming in and there’s only a certain number of jobs, so I mean you definitely want to develop relationships with people and it’s cool, like in the NFL you can still be friends with a guy that you’re competing against, but I’ve never forgotten you know deep down that, you know at some level either he gets the job or I do.
So, I’m going to do more than him to make sure that it’s me getting it, not to ever never detriment someone else to get what you want, work hard on yourself and you know make sure you’re doing more than the, you know your competition.
- Corey: No, right, I mean a lot of people don’t get those insights and so obviously people watch football, it’s a game etc., but that Monday through Saturday grind, Monday through Friday and on a collegiate level, Monday through Thursday on the on the high school level, it’s a grind and no matter what level you’re on, there’s another guy who thinks he can do your job, if not you know potentially better than you and you know obviously there’s certain guys who get to a certain point where they don’t need to prove themself anymore, but you know guys like yourself who didn’t necessarily come in with the silver spoon or high draft pick etc. of course got to prove themselves and you know I think as long as people have that mindset and always carry that chip on their shoulder, you know like a Tom Brady who you just finish snap into all season, who obviously still carries that six round chip on his sholder…
- Ted: So, yeah I love Tom Brady, I think he’s the greatest of all time.
- Corey: And I, you know I’m biased, I agree totally, I’m a I’m a Buccaneers fan this year for sure, like you know I’m a Giants fan by way of growing up in New York, but I love Tom Brady…
- Ted: I thought you’re a Jets guy?
- Corey: I know, you guys always give me crap up on that man.
- Ted: You are jets and Mets right?
- Corey: No, don’t play, Giants and Yankees till I die, I’m a Knicks fan though which isn’t great so…
- Ted: I thought you were a Mets fan too, I thought you were just Jets, Mets and Knicks
- Corey: No, I can’t go, I can’t go, I mean you know it was tough watching what the Pacers had to deal with the 90s on the last dance man, you know yet you had, you got to deal with Jordan back then, it’s kind of an unfortunate ever since, but it’s all good, I like Indy man, I like it out there.
- Ted: Oh yeah.
- Corey: No, I love Indy man, I love everything about it and obviously I love you. So, now this has been great, you know one thing to wrap up, you know to wrap this conversation is basically you know how; just with this situation that’s going on, you know I would love to just get your final take on and obviously there’s so much unknown, etc. like how do you foresee the vision of the world after this, is there and obviously you don’t know, you’re no expert, I’m no expert, but I like to get, like I’m interested in hearing people’s feedback on what they think the outcome of this is going to look like?
- Ted: I think we could stick with the corona elbow, I like the elbow greetings, a little ticking away, you know I liked it, I think that’s a good one, you know there’s going to be, it’s going to take a while and this was unprecedented for a hundred years basically and so yeah, I mean there’s definitely going to be some changes, I think everyone’s going to just you know; first I hope that everyone’s going to be safe and healthy, I think you got to make it a priority to, you know what do the things that have been lead to being healthy and successful and staying off the disease.
I think that you know, I think it’s kind of a race to a vaccine and until then, we’re going to have to just take precautions and you know it’s going to be a part of our lives for a while and that’s you know unfortunate, but I think it’s all made us kind of take account of what we do and our behaviors and our lifestyle choices and I hope that everyone can learn lessons enough to be safe and healthy.
- Corey: Well, that’s a great perspective brother, I agree, I think the world has changed forever, obviously it is a race to a vaccine, but I think even when we have one, you know it’s still going to be; people are still going to be paranoid in a sense and I think people are going to, the new norms are just going to continue on right, like I think there’ll be more virtual meetings, virtual, people are becoming aware that like I can be just as efficient and get things done virtually, because they’ve had to now transition their business or their life to this, so I think the new norms just going to continue forward, obviously I pray and hope that businesses are able to get back to what they were before this, you know what they’re still obviously fortunate enough to reopen and weather this storm, you know I really hope that people are able to find a way to get through this, I pray and try to do my best to give back and help those people and you know who are struggling financially, physically, mentally, whatever it may be.
So, you know this is just kind of my way, one of the ways I like to just continue to get good feedback and let people see that athletes are normal; celeb, athletes, celebrities, influential people are normal and that they’re there, they have stuff that they deal with, just to, you know just in the way that they do. So, this was great man and I appreciate you, like I said in beginning, thank you so much for joining me, let people know your Instagram, Twitter, Teddy has one of the best Twitter’s…
- Ted: That was my old Twitter; that was my old, I had to…
- Corey: Yeah, I forgot, you…
- Ted: Illinois made me delete it.
- Corey: Yeah Illinois made you deleted then, we know what happened in New England, so…
- Ted: That was 19, I don’t think it was too bad, it was just a simple stuff.
- Corey: No-no, it was funny, it wasn’t , it I wasn’t over the top to the extent like it will stop you, but you even now, even the once of; the one post every two months, has amazing captions, well thought and even your Twitter, it still has great stuff, so what is, is a Teddy K?
- Ted: Yeah, it is Teddy K, you just search for on either of those, I’ll be the first option.
- Corey: Perfect-perfect, well yeah man, thank you so much for hopping on and I’ll let you get back to you to your busy life of transition down to Miami and becoming a dolphin, super excited for this next chapter for your brother and uh again thank you and I’ll be in touch because I’m definitely be down in Miami brother, we are going to have some fun down there, we going to win some games, because you’re down there and we going to have some fun too.
- Ted: You got to intro me to the people in South Beach, I know you got connections.
- Corey: Oh yeah-yeah, I got you, I got you, they’ll actually appreciate this, I’m going to hook you up with my guy Limo Matt and he’s the man, I’m going to do that right after this call actually, right.
- Ted: Alright, I love you bro, thank you so much for having me on.
- Corey: Brother, thank you so much and you know we will definitely be in touch brother.
- Ted: Alright man.
- Corey: Alright, bro have a good night.
- Ted: You too.