The Spotlight: LB No. 58 Jose Renderos
Phone Call Interview with Spartans’ inside LB No. 58 Jose Renderos on Sunday, a few questions… focusing on him stepping forward as a leader–and the personification of the Spartans and their Defensive identity.
It was an interesting conversation, and we covered a lot of topics.
As I wrote the article, we talked on the phone: Renderos was relaxed and thoughtful, but he also stayed on the tips of his toes for most of the time, like he was ready to go tackle–somebody in a heartbeat.
Jose Renderos is the BNEFF’s leading tackler (62) thru the week of September 26 and the NJ Spartans have two big games coming up; one vs the defending 2009 BNEFF Champion Bergen Hawks and then the following week vs the NY Venom who the Spartans beat in OT earlier in the year. Read below to see what he thinks about the season thus far and his opinions on the Spartans.
— JOSE RENDEROS interview transcript —
-Q: How does it feel playing on this Level as compared to playing in high school?
- RENDEROS: Uhhh, its different, much faster and different people. Its good I guess.
-Q: You are one of the few 3-yr Spartans, How has your Spartan Experience been?
- RENDEROS: Up and Down, 1st yr we did well, last couple have been so so, but I feel we are turning the corner.
-Q: Do you sense the energy level picking up, as the team is getting ready for the possible post-season birth?
- RENDEROS: I feel like the intensity is picking up more with the players.
-Q: Coach Moss says “you take a lot of pride in your defense.” What is that the next step you have to take to get better?
- RENDEROS: Decrease the mental mistakes, we usually play a good game but always seem to commit the mental mistakes.
-Q: What do you think about this defense? Can this defense be a top 5 in the league? Even if it doesn’t turn out that way statistically. Are you thinking top 5 or top 1 or 2 defense this year?
- RENDEROS: Yes I feel like we can be one of the best in the league… Top 1 or 2 in the league definitely.
-Q: There were a few games where the defense really carried the team this year—Venom, a few others. Is that what can happen every game this year and possibly in the future?
- RENDEROS: Uhhh yea, if we stop the mental mistakes the defense can win a lot of games.
-Q: Do you want the Spartans defense to be like the Baltimore Ravens defense. Can you guys be like that? Who are you in relation to the Ravens Defensive Players?
- RENDEROS: Yes definitely a lot of talent on the defense… I would consider myself the Ray Lewis of the defense.
-Q: I’ve seen some practices where the defense has kind of overwhelmed the offense. How much better does the Spartans offense have to be to help the D the rest of this year and beyond?
- RENDEROS: Just score 2 TDs and the defense can do the rest.
-Q: Last year the defense was supporting the many Spartan Qbs and the offense. You’ve definitely become more vocal. Is that a conscious decision you’ve made the last year or so?
- RENDEROS: This is just the way I am, last year I didn’t understand my role, but when I became a starter it just came naturally. I am pretty much a vocal guy.
-Q: Is there a little edginess with hawks and venom, and games coming up?
- RENDEROS: I am actually looking forward to it, a chance to take my aggression out on the field.
-Q: What are you expecting—to win? To lose? Are you expecting much more than that?
- RENDEROS: I expect to win every game!!
-Q: Tell me about a guy on defense that maybe isn’t being talked about but you’ve noticed jumping out on film or on the practice field.
- RENDEROS: Bryce (LB no. 18 – Pointer), He’s always around the play, making sacks and tackles in the backfield.
-Q: How about on offense—anybody under the radar you see as a guy who’s really coming along?
- RENDEROS: Zoom (WR No. 9 – Robert Izzo), uhhh he’s a tough little guy, like me he goes over the middle, fearless.
-Q: Were you disappointed you weren’t recognized last season as the Spartans defensive player of the year?
- RENDEROS: No, I was more disappointed with us not making the playoffs. Didn’t know I was even in the running for that last year. I don’t care about that I just want to WIN!
-Q: What’s the identity of this team now, and what do you think, in 2011?
- RENDEROS: Uhhh, Defensive team and once we get the offense practicing more we should be a pretty good running team because we have a lot of good RBs.
-Q: Do you like that you’re generally considered a pushover Team compared to the Wolves, Lions, etc?
- RENDEROS: No I believe we are actually better than those other teams.
-Q: Right now you are the leagues leading tackler, with 62 tackles, how does it make you feel?
- RENDEROS: It is what it is; I would feel better if we had more wins!
Its was a pleasure speaking with Jose Renderos, as it is rare to find a player on any level that is so committed to the TEAM WIN philosophy. He is a true leader and excellent football player that doesn’t mind carrying the weight of the team on his shoulders, despite his 5’10 / 190 pound frame. Look for him on Saturday Nights at Belleville Municipal Stadium during the NJ Spartans Season, roaming around the gridiron try to put a hurting on opposing teams’ ball carriers!