On Friday, Shaun King sat down with Buccaneers.com to become the first player featured on the site's 'Your Turn' interview series. King, the Buccaneers' starting quarterback heading into his second NFL season, answered questions that were sent in by Tampa Bay fans using Buccaneers.com. A full transcript of the first half of that interview is below. To watch a video of the interview, please click here.
Moderator: It is Friday, June 2, 2000 and today we're here with Shaun King, starting quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Shaun, you just finished up the third week of voluntary summer workouts. I know it has been hot and tiring out there, so thanks for taking some time with us today.
Shaun King: Oh, you're welcome.
What this is is part of an interview series called 'Your Turn', so named because the questions I'm going to ask you were sent in by Buccaneers fans using Buccaneers.com. We've been doing this for awhile and have had some big name Buc reps like Rich McKay, Tony Dungy, etc., but we decided to move on to the players and we let the fans vote on who they would like to see first. Since you're sitting here, you can guess that you were the top vote-getter. Those who voted and are interested, John Lynch and Keyshawn Johnson were also up there, so hopefully we'll get them on here soon, too. But you're in the chair today, so let's just dive right in.
Shaun King: Okay.
Dustyn from Ashdown: How do you think the additions of Les Steckel and Keyshawn Johnson will affect you and the passing game?
Shaun King: I think it's going to help us. I feel Les brings a knowledge of the passing that will help us and I think Keyshawn gives us an added weapon. He's a big target, he makes a lot of catches and he's able to consistently perform year in and year out.
Tom from Safety Harbor, Florida: Do you think Les Steckel will be asking you to become more of a scrambling quarterback, or are all the recent upgrades on the offensive line meant to make you feel more comfortable in the pocket?
Shaun King: Well, I think the improvements we made are going to help us not only in passing the ball but running the ball as well. I think Les just wants me to go out and do my job, not turn the ball over and make plays when I have the opportunity.
Cheryl from Inglis, Florida: How do you mentally prepare yourself for each game. Do you have the same pattern or does it vary according to the opponent?
Shaun King: We just try to learn the game plan for that week. You go over and go over it so that Sunday you know what you're doing.
Marcia from New Port Richey, Florida: Are you more confident that the offensive line is stronger now with the additions we've made, and will it be able to hold better, allowing you extra time to throw?
Shaun King: I don't think we were that bad up front last year. I think we've made some additions that will be improvements, but I'm comfortable with the whole offense. I think offensive line is going to be one of our strong points?
Robert from Clearwater, Florida: With a new center, can you adjust to the different style of Jeff Christy?
Boyd from Largo, Florida: Just how well are you and Jeff Christy getting with the snaps in the shotgun formation?
Shaun King: Well, Jeff's a great player. He's a Pro Bowler. He's started, I think, the last three or four Pro Bowlers. We won't have any problems. I've played with a bunch of centers my whole life, and there's never been a problem.
Moderator: But you've started doing the shotgun out there?
Shaun King: Yeah. He's done a great job.
John from Dover, Florida: Most QBs at any level have their favorite route to throw (deep sideline, post, curl, etc.). What's yours?
Shaun King: Anything that scores a touchdown! That's what I like to throw. I think I throw all of those pretty well.
Aaron from Cape Coral, Florida: With such offense talents as Keyshawn, Mike Alstott and Warrick Dunn, do you think you'll have a favorite target in the red zone this year?
Shaun King: It's whoever gets open. That's one good thing about our offense, that we have so many weapons now. All of those guys know that if they get open and do their job, they're going to get the ball.
Tim from Plant City, Florida: What type of advice would you give to a kid that always wanted to be a professional football player but everyone always told him he couldn't because he was too small or not fast enough?
Shaun King: Just to do your best. Everything you're doing, just give all you have and be satisfied with your results. Everybody isn't able to be a professional football player, but if you can look back on your life and say that you gave your best, I think you'll be satisfied with the things you accomplished.
Otis from Bradenton, Florida: Will the Bucs use Alstott and Dunn more in a traditional I formation this year and, if so, will Dunn be more involved in the passing game?
Shaun King: I think we're going to mix it up. Warrick was really involved in the passing game last year and I think he did a good job with that. We're going to continue to use him like that and also use Mike catching the ball a little bit. I think Les' strongpoint is that mixes up different formations and gets guys the ball and gives them a chance to do something in space.
Steve from Ocala, Florida: Is there any added pressure in playing in front of the home town?
Shaun King: No, I think it helps because you have a lot of people that support you. As an NFL quarterback, it's a tough position, but it's something I just have to go out and do week in and week out regardless of whether we're playing home or away.
Moderator: Okay, Shaun, that concludes the first half of our interview. Thanks for your time. We do have some more topics to get to, so if you don't mind sticking around, we'll talk some more football and get it up on Buccaneers.com later in the week.
Shaun King: Okay.
NOTE: The second half of the 'Your Turn with Shaun King' interview will appear on Buccaneers.com later in the week. Shaun will speak to such topics as the origin of his poise on the field and how he can maintain a grip on the football.