The Steelers signed free agent wide receiver Brandon London to a futures contract this past week. London has spent time with both the Giants and Dolphins since graduating from Massachusetts and will be competing at training camp for one of 4 or 5 receiver spots on the 2010 roster. Steelers Depot caught up with Brandon and he was gracious enough to answer a few questions for us.
Steelers Depot: Not many people know that your father is the head coach of the Virginia Cavaliers. How is having a coach for a father? Does it make you more coachable than most players? What advice has he given you since your release from the Dolphins?
Brandon London: Having a father as a coach is a tremendous asset and a huge advantage. Some kids take advantage of it and some choose another path in life. My dad used to workout and do all kind of drills with me since before I could remember. He\’s taught me how to break down film and most importantly he\’s helped me develop a winner\’s attitude! I think that\’s the biggest trait I\’m grateful of. That attitude has made me work very hard over the years just to get my foot in the door, and it helped me get through the 09\’ season since I watched it from a T.V. instead of being on the field. It was pretty discouraging at times and a lot of people would have gave up football as a whole and moved on. I used it as motivation.
Steelers Depot: What did you learn most in your time with both the Giants and Dolphins that you think will help you make the Steelers 53 man roster in 2010?
Brandon London: When I was with the Giants, I got to pick the brain of Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer. Those two are very good receivers similar in body length and body type as I am. I re-learned how to use my body when running routes, and keeping a defender off me when the ball is coming. In the NFL its the little things that turn into a big play. Plaxico would always pull me to the side and have some sort of tip waiting for me when I finished running the scout team routes and he would always make me get on the Jugs Machine after practice to make me strengthen my hands. Without his guidance I don\’t think I would have strengthen my skills as fast as the way I did. I owe him a lot! With the Dolphins I learned that you shouldn\’t take a day of football for granted, everyday can be your last day!
Steelers Depot: At 6-4, it would mean you would currently be one of the tallest receivers on the Steelers roster next to Limas Sweed. The Steelers have been looking for a big receiver ever since Plaxico Burress left and Sweed has disappointed up until now. Do you feel your height gives you an advantage in your game and is your strongest asset?
Brandon London: I\’d be lying if I didn\’t say it was definitely a strong point of my game. I like being a guy you can throw the ball up to in the red-zone and go after it. Being a tall receiver you\’re almost like a \’get outta jail free card.\’ You can help a quarterback get out of sticky situations sometimes!
Steelers Depot: You were described as an excellent special teams player while with the Dolphins. Undoubtedly you know the Steelers need help in this area as well and it could be the difference in you making the roster as a #4 or #5 receiver. Is special teams a mindset with you? Are you mostly used as a gunner?
Brandon London: I look at special teams as a \’place at the table.\’ If you excel on special teams then its only going to help you get playing time at natural position. You can only dress a certain number of guys on game day, so if you dress 5 Wr\’s, two of them are going to have to have some sort of special team value to them. That\’s just the way the game is. My mindset is make the 53 anyway I can. If I had to I\’d kick, punt and/or Long Snap(even though I can\’t do either) just to make the 53 man roster. I just want to play ball and be a part of something!
Steelers Depot: You once mentioned in an online chat that your weaknesses were getting in and out of your breaks faster and your on the field strength. How have these two areas of your game coming along. Do you still consider them weaknesses?
Brandon London: No not at all, from the time I said that during the interview to now I have worked my butt off to turn that weakness into a strength. I owe a lot to my old Dolphins Receiver Coach Karl Dorrell because he would put us through a lot of drills during practice that really helped me grasp the concept of staying low in the break and exploding out of it! On top of that, working with Jeff Sanders who runs Athletic Edge Sports Performance in Boca Raton, FL and my current trainer E.J Barthel who runs ETS in Teterboro, NJ, they\’ve helped strengthen my legs and I have become a more explosive athlete.
Steelers Depot: Where will you be working out in the offseason?
Brandon London: Right now I\’m working with E.J Barthel at ETS in Teterboro, NJ as I mentioned before. I want to get to Pittsburgh soon and begin working with Coach Giemont so he can assess me and see what areas I need to develop at and get better at before we start off-season workouts. I have heard great things about him and I am very anxious to work with him.
Steelers Depot: Once again Brandon, thanks for your time and all of Steeler Nation looks forward to seeing you at training camp in Latrobe. We wish you the best of luck in 2010 and can not wait to see your contributions.
Brandon London: Thanks!
Below are a few videos I dug up on Brandon London from his early NFL days.