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Central Michigan alums Dan LeFevour, Joe Staley and Frank Zombo spoke at Central's spring game.
Prior to Friday night’s spring practice Central Michigan alums Dan LeFevour, Joe Staley and Frank Zombo spoke to a group of reporters about their days at Central, what it’s like to play in the National Football League and awkward moments involving celebratory streaking following the Chippewas’ 29-27 victory over the Michigan State Spartans in 2009.
LeFevour spoke briefly about meeting up with his former teammates, the camaraderie they shared and how that relationship is different in the pros.
“I knew I’d miss the camaraderie, you know seeing those guys and just thinking about the stuff we went through,” LeFevour said. “That’s probably the biggest thing I miss, I guess I just didn’t realize how much. I always talk about this with Frank (Zombo) or Brian Anderson, guys that I lived with. It’s just different, you don’t live with guys in the NFL, you don’t go out to eat every meal.”
The former Central Michigan quarterback and Mid-American Conference career record holder in passing completions, attempts, passing yards, passing touchdowns, total touchdowns and total offensive yards explained the difference between being the big man on campus in college and being the second or third quarterback on the depth chart with the Cincinnati Bengals.
“Obviously I knew coming into any franchise that’s how it would be, I guess it’s just understanding your role and trying to do the best you can,” LeFevour said. “I knew my job wasn’t to start and play a lot, so I just try to do as much as I (can) and contribute to the team the best way possible.”
Staley, the former Chippewa and now starting offensive tackle for the San Francisco 49ers said he gives his former teammate, recently crowned Super Bowl champion and Green Packer Zombo a hard time for winning a ring in his rookie season.
“I’m giving him a very hard time, very jealous actually, if I was to speak honestly about it,” Staley said with a grin. “Because that’s what me and him both strive for, that’s the ultimate goal in what we do. For him to get it his first year, it’s a little bit disheartening for a guy like myself.”
Staley said he still follows the team and was glad to see the football program gain national recognition in 2009. His support for Central Michigan knows no bounds, evidenced by his celebratory reaction after the Chippewas recovered an onside kick in the waning moments of the Central Michigan-Michigan State game that eventually led to a 29-27 victory for his alma mater.
“You probably can’t put this on TV but I was in the shower, was naked shampooing my hair when they got the onside kick,” Staley said. “(When) somebody on the team said they got the onside kick, I came streaking out of the shower room, running around and it got real awkward for everybody but I was very excited.”
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