Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Catching Up With Clarence Vaughn

Clarence Vaughn played 5 seasons with the Washington Redskins appearing in 48 games from 1987-1991. He is a 2-time Super Bowl Champion. Clarence played strong safety and was a “core player” as Joe Gibbs likes to say. During his rookie season of 87' he came up with a couple of HUGE plays in the playoffs and Super Bowl. Clarence is currently working towards his goal of becoming a NFL or college head coach by participating in the 2009NFLPA/NCAA coaching internship program at Bluffton University. Clarence also started the Redskins Alumni website, a site where fans and players can connect...a must visit for any Redskin's fan. Clarence took some time out from his coaching internship to discuss his playing career with the Redskins...I thank him for his time and hope to see him on a NFL sideline soon.

FP: Your rookie season in 87’ was quite eventful. You endured a player’s strike, and then won a Super Bowl championship. What were those experiences like for you as a rookie?

CV: They were confusing. But the Redskins unity and them looking out for me, helped me make it through and stand strong…no one crossed the picket line.

FP: You were one of the “core Redskins” that Gibbs liked to have on his team. How would you describe the way you played and what you brought to the table?

CV: Great athletic ability, belief and faith in the coaches, and in the players, my teammates, and the desire to be the best that I can be.

FP: What are your fondest memories of your playing time with the Skins?

CV: Pulling up to the stadium in San Diego for the Super Bowl, being a rookie that year and picking off Elway in that game was an ultimate high for me that I still cherish today.

FP: Which coach, player, or person had the biggest impact on your NFL career?

CV: There were a lot of players, like Vernon Dean showing me how to back pedal and learn DB techniques from the transition from linebacker. Darrell Green, Art Monk and Monte Coleman were all good examples of establishing work ethics. Todd Bowles and Alvin Walton...my whole secondary group...this is hard to narrow down, as together they made the biggest impact. Coaching wise, Richie Pettibone and Emmitt Thomas because they challenged me to meet my full potential and push me to the max.

FP: What was your favorite moment on a football field?

CV: Sacking Wade Wilson as a rookie in the NFC Championship game (video above at approx. 1:30.)

FP: Do you follow/root for the Skins today, if so who are your favorite players currently playing for the Skins?

CV: Yes. Chris Cooley, Clinton Portis, and Jason Campbell.

FP: What is your relationship like with the Redskin’s organization today?

CV: Good as can be, I have created a Redskins Alumni site called redskinsalumni.com which allows me to work closely with the organization.

FP: Tell my readers about the Redskins Alumni site you started (I’ve checked it out, it’s awesome!) What kind of future events can Redskins fans look forward to?

CV: Thank you. It's called Redskinsalumni.com...not only does it connect the former players and teammates with each other, as we have lost touch with each other over the years but still share a bond, it also connects the fans, and even offers business opportunities for the players. Events such as autograph signings, parties like the Welcome Home Luncheon and Player of the Year award dinner. Also, cruises and golf tournaments are all posted to invite fans and also inform players who may have lost touch.

Rick Walker and Clarence reconnect the BLING!
FP: You’ve done some coaching at the high school level. Is coaching something you knew you wanted to do after the NFL and is it something you’d like to continue? Which former Skins coach do you think your coaching style is most like?

CV: I am currently pursuing a career in coaching at the NCAA level; while it is not what I desired immediately once I retired, it is something I am truly passionate about and hope to make another career in football, maybe even coach at the NFL level and win one more Super Bowl (as a head coach of course!)
I would say that I would like to model and coach like a combination of all coaches that I have played under. I embraced their different styles, from college to pro. Each coach has had a unique and certainly positive influence. I would definitely say that Gibbs, and Bill Mallory are two that I admire along with Richie Pettibone as well. Also, Emmitt Thomas...he helped and inspired me a lot. This is another hard question to narrow down. However, all these particular coaches have either won championships and/or are in the hall of fame…which I too hope to achieve at the coaching level. (Super Bowl or NCAA championships.)

FP: On your blog found at your website, you have a list of you and your buddies all time greatest QB’s and RB’s. Do you get together with them and play fantasy football? When can we expect your list of WR’s?

CV: I do not play Fantasy Football. I'm working on the WR's, since you've mentioned it and hopefully you'll see the list soon!

FP: You played at a time when the money was certainly good, but by no means near today’s standards. There are many players from your era that suffer from permanent injuries suffered on the field, and I feel the NFL has not done enough to give back to the players who got the League to where it is today. Organizations like Gridiron Greats have had to step up to help. What’s your take on this issue?

CV: I feel the same way…something needs to done. There are a lot of athletes out there that need medical attention, and there are also athletes out there that team owners won't even let go to a game without purchasing a ticket. A lot of teams are forgetting their tradition, like what got the team’s image that they have now, is from the older players.

Cheers and Hail

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