Player Interview: Chris Bordano
Posted on 08/26/2000 by PonyFans.com
Former SMU linebacker Chris Bordano is preparing to begin his third season with the New Orleans Saints. The 1997 Western Athletic Conference Mountain Division Defensive Player of the Year ranks fifth in SMU history with 420 career tackles. Bordano earned All-WAC honors in 1996 and 1997, as well as All-Southwest Conference recognition in 1994, making him one of just 10 Mustangs to make an all-conference team in three different seasons. Bordano recently visited with PonyFans.com.

Former SMU linebacker Chris Bordano.

PonyFans.com: Just to start out, do you enjoy the NFL and the Saints?

Chris Bordano: Yeah, I do. I mean, it's different, it's a lot different than college football in the sense that it's ever changing -there's no sense of security. That aspect of it is tough, and not much fun. But you have got to step back every once in a while and realize why you do it and what is fun about it, and if you focus on the fun aspect of it, which is actually playing, then it is good.

PonyFans.com: Are you happy with (the state of) the Saints?

Bordano: Yeah, I liked it as it was, but changes happen, and you've got to get used to the things that change, like I said, it's an ever-changing NFL.

PonyFans.com: (Former head coach Mike) Ditka is gone now, but did you enjoy playing for him?

Bordano: I did, it was a good experience. I guess I'm his style of player, with the same type philosophy.

Former SMU linebacker Chris Bordano.

PonyFans.com: Where do you think the Saints are headed in the next couple of years?

Bordano: I think we are headed in a positive direction. A lot of the things we are doing, as far as off-season goes......I mean, we really haven't gotten to the football aspect of it, but as far as off-season training goes, it's been pretty tough. It is a lot tougher than it was it the past, and with hard work, generally, positive things happen. From what I've seen so far, it looks good.

PonyFans.com: Did you have any trouble adjusting from college football to the NFL? Would you say it is a tougher jump than it was from high school to college?

Bordano: Yeah, it's tougher. Everybody's a bunch of freaks- they're just really talented people. That level of talent.....you don't see it. I mean just in practice you see things that you very rarely see in college, and (in the NFL) it happens every day, and it is no big deal.

PonyFans.com: What are you short-term and long-term goals in the NFL or with New Orleans?

Bordano: I don't know. You know, obviously I'm going to just keep doing what I do, and hopefully establish myself as a starter again with the Saints for this year, and then my contract is up (after the upcoming season), I have one more year left on it. Then I hit free agency, so we don't know what is going to happen.

Former SMU linebacker Chris Bordano.

PonyFans.com: As far as coming from SMU, a small Division 1-A college.....Did it help or hurt you going from being the best on the team to being one of many of the best?

Bordano: I think it depends on (your) perspective. If you're looking at it from a scouting perspective, they're usually not going to regard you at the same level as some of the other people coming from, say, Ohio State or teams like Nebraska or Florida State. (Going against players from) teams like that, it's a little tougher to get in, obviously , but the competition is still basically the same. You know, I know players from Ohio State and I know players from Florida State, and there is not that much difference.

PonyFans.com: Have you been keeping up with SMU football since you've graduated?

Bordano: Yeah, I'm a big fan of Coach Cavan and his coaching staff there, specifically the defensive coaches. I know the offense has shuffled around recently, but defensively with Coach (Eric) Schumann (defensive coordinator) and (linebackers) Coach (Warren) Belin- those are the people I was there with. I think they fumbled a little last year, but I think they're trying to re-build, and I think they are trying to do great things, and I think they will.

PonyFans.com: What has been the hardest hit you've given or received?

Bordano: Oh boy. Probably the hardest hit I have received was from the fullback in Buffalo (Sam Gash)- he's a real big dude (6'0'' 248). The hardest hit I have given? That would probably be Dallas on Emmitt Smith.

Former SMU linebacker Chris Bordano.

PonyFans.com: What have you been up to in the off-season?

Bordano: I have been working out, really, and I hang out around the house. I like fixing things. We bought a house, and we have been kind of re-doing it.

PonyFans.com: What do you think SMU needs to do to come back to being a contender.

Bordano: I think it is all-around support. I think obviously, SMU wants to be recognized as an academic school, which is great. And at the same time, they want to have athletics. It think there is a power struggle between athletics and academics. I've always thought that if you are going to do something, you've got to do it right. I think the school has shown that they're doing that, as far as building a new stadium and things like that-they're obviously moving in the right direction. I think it is just a matter of time.

PonyFans.com: Do you enjoy playing with Ricky Williams?

Bordano: He is a different cat. He's cool, though. As a player...obviously he is a little young, and does not know how to talk to the media yet. But as a person, he's different, but he's a heck of an athlete, and as a teammate, he's a good dude.

Former SMU linebacker Chris Bordano.

PonyFans.com: Is it true that you knocked Ricky Williams out (in a preseason practice collision, as was reported last year in the Dallas Media)?

Bordano: No- not true. (Former SMU linebacker Chris) Gedwed said that in the Dallas paper last year. It didn't happen, and I'd like to clarify it. We did not even touch each other (in practice).

PonyFans.com: Since you have been in the NFL, what has been your biggest play or your best game experience.

Bordano: Probably my rookie year against Dallas. The whole game. It was great...special teams, defense...it was probably the most fun I have ever had!

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A win would pull out a nice victory,m since Jones already called it.
Head Coach, SMU (Alma Mater: Texas A&M '78)
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