<
>

Catching up with: Mark Moseley

1/30/2014

As former Redskins kicker Mark Moseley drove to New York for a big day on Radio Row, the former NFL MVP discussed his role with Five Guys, the Redskins' special teams (embarrassing) and the potential elimination of the extra point (bad idea). I'll have more from our chat (about the Hall of Fame) Saturday morning.

Moseley was going to New York to promote the Optimal Wellness Challenge; he’s hoping that by participating in this challenge he’ll eliminate his Type 2 diabetes. Among the other NFL alumni participating: former New York Giants offensive linemen Bart Oates and Jim Burt and former running back Ottis Anderson.

Here’s Moseley on:

His role with Five Guys: "I’m the director of franchise development; have been since day one. I was the one who convinced them they could franchise when they only had five stores. It’s been a great opportunity for me and my family. Now they have almost 1,200 stores open and I think over 30,000 employees around the country. We’ve grown from being a little mom-and-pop to a major player in the market."

Football preparing him for business: "The competitive part of what I do did help, but also in learning how to handle myself and how to take defeat as well as success all came from my being an athlete all those years. And how to be around people. I’m the one who sold all the franchises. I sold all of them. It helped me to communicate and how to understand what I needed to do to get them to understand our concept and when to back off and when to push. All that comes from athletics. It really helped me be a salesperson and the drive of wanting to be successful came from being an athlete. I created my second Super Bowl here with Five Guys."

Transitioning from being a former Redskin to being a businessman: "When I was in the travel business (17 years) I made that transition and built a successful business. When I really got into Five Guys, that’s when I realized I had something to offer there, too. My first five years out of football I made more business mistakes than I made the rest of my life. I thought I could do the same thing you did in football, which was lower your head and go forward. In business there’s a lot of luck and being in the right place and a lot of learning. You have to know how to accomplish those things and be patient with it. I failed at a lot of things. With Five Guys it clicked for all of us and they put together a great team."

Winning the NFL MVP 31 years ago: "I realize now how fortunate I was. People keep asking to see the trophy but I don’t have anything. They gave you nothing back then. All I got was the front page of the Washington Post -- I have it on a wall and I framed it. That’s all I have. I look back now and I realize how fortunate I was because I’m the only kicker to be nominated much less to have won. There have been a lot of great kickers in the NFL. I was very fortunate. Like in business I was in the right place at the right time with a team that needed someone to help them because the offense was not jelling yet. Had I missed any one of those field goals in that stretch [two were game-winners; four other games were impacted by his success as he made 20 of 21 kicks that season) we wouldn’t have been in the playoffs. That’s how close it was."

The accuracy of today's kickers: They don’t kick in the elements as much, off the grass and mud. Remember how ridiculous RFK’s field was? It was that way all year long …. I’ll tell you what the difference is. The soccer style guys kick line drives. When I was playing, guys used to kick so high. Today they’re right at it so the ball doesn’t have time to move around. When I was kicking, the straight-on guys got the ball up so fast that the elements had more time to play with the ball so it affected a lot of kicks. Soccer guys hit it with so much power it doesn’t move until toward the end when it loses some momentum. Ours would start moving immediately so you really had to play the elements. Today they kick right through everything.

Straight-ahead kickers: I would like to see how they would match up. I matched up well with the soccer guys the last five years of my career. I took a lot of pride in staying in the game even though I was the only straight-on kicker. That’s why my shoe and my helmet are in the Hall of Fame.

Eliminating extra points: Anything you change as far as special teams, you change the dynamic of the game. Even though that extra point is made 99 percent of the time. If you go back and look where that point is missed, it usually haunts that team. There are several of them every year and it has an effect. Football is a lot like chess and if you take something out of the chess game it changes the whole way to play the game. It’s the same thing as starting on the [25] and not having kickoffs. They did that in the Pro Bowl and I thought it was weird. You didn’t have that little hope that the kickoff might get returned and it eliminates a scoring opportunity for a team.

The Redskins' special teams: It was embarrassing to us. The Redskins always had great special teams and to drop off like they did this year was pathetic and embarrassing. Every guy that ever played special teams for the Washington Redskins was embarrassed. I’ve had several conversations with Doc Walker and Otis Wonsley and guys I played with and they just cringed when they saw the punt team cover because they did stuff you learn not to do when you’re in high school, how to cover and stay in your lane on kickoffs and how to recognize pressure so you know when to block. These guys were oblivious to those things. It was terrible.