Chat transcript with Mike Haynes


"That kid is a helluva player," Joe Namath said. "He has great range. I didn't think I made any bad throws and I was reading the coverages pretty well. He just went out there and got the ball." Those are just a few comments made about Hall of Fame defensive back Mike Haynes. For 14 seasons, Haynes roamed the defensive backfield for the Patriots and the Raiders, giving opposing receivers and quarterbacks fits. In just his third year of eligibility, the former Arizona State University standout was accorded the game's highest honor: membership in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in 1997.

MODERATOR: Thanks for joining us today, Mike. How are you doing today?
Mike Haynes: I'm doing great today...thanks for having me on the chat!

saleemc: Who was the toughest receiver you had to cover during your career?
Mike Haynes: That's a very tough question. Not only do you have to think receiver, but you have to think of the quarterback too ... For the most part, the guys who were extremely tall gave me more trouble than the guys who were extremely fast. Harold Carmichael was up there among the toughest. But trust me, there were no easy receivers to cover in the NFL.

kpaluso: What receiver today would you like to have matched up with when you played?
Mike Haynes: Mr. Moss, of's the kind of matchup you like, because you know the ball is going to him. Just like when you play the Niners, you know it's going to Jerry Rice, or the Raiders and Tim Brown. I would have loved to have gone up against Randy Moss...

timgut: Do you consider yourself a Patriot or a Raider? Do you still follow both teams?
Mike Haynes: I still follow both teams. When I'm on the West Coast, I consider myself a Raider. When I'm on the East Coast, I consider myself a Patriot. That's really true...

mdawg: Who do you feel is the best defensive back in the game today?
Mike Haynes: I don't know the answer to that. I can tell you who the most celebrated is since I've gotten out. Among the better ones today are Deion (Sanders), Charles Woodson, (Shawn) Springs on Seattle, the Patriots' have Ty Law. They're difficult to rate, because you can't base it on interceptions, or how they run with the ball. But really it's the ability to shut down your opponent, and that doesn't make for a good headline. But I don't study the game like I used to, so it's tough for me to tell...

packman04: Who is your all-time favorite NFL player? Why?
Mike Haynes: My favorite all-time player is Jim Brown. He was strong, fast, and off the field he was trying to improve society. He had a strong desire to make a difference. As a player, his records stood up for a long time. He's been out of the game a long time, but he is still the guy people use to measure other running backs.

mdawg: What's better, winning the Super Bowl or being elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
Mike Haynes: That's an easy one...being elected to the Hall. It's the highest accomplishment as an individual that you can have as a player, whereas a Super Bowl needs 47 or 48 other players that have to be on the same page. It's just different, one is a team accomplishment and one is a personal accomplishment.

kpaluso: What is the fondest memory of your career?
Mike Haynes: Playing in Super Bowl XVIII and beating the Redskins. For one season, we were all on the same page to win the championship. Plus, I got an interception in that game.

saleemc: Did you model yourself after any other player? Who?
Mike Haynes: Actually, I modeled myself after several guys. I studied film on Lem Barney, Mel Blount, Jimmy Johnson, and Robert James of the Buffalo Bills. James wasn't celebrated, but we had a lot of film on him in New England, and he had unbelievable bump and run technique and was in the right place. I tried to backpedal like Barney, knock guys around like Willie Brown, and recover like Mel Blount.

packman04: What have you been doing since you retired?
Mike Haynes: I've done some broadcasting and for the last seven years, I've been working in the licensing department at Calloway Golf. I'm the liaison between Calloway and its licensees.

MODERATOR: Last question...

packman04: What do you think of this year's Raiders team? Any predictions for Sunday's game against the hated Chiefs?
Mike Haynes: Before the season started, I picked the Raiders to be AFC Champs. Based largely on the play of their defense. I like their chances in Arrowhead. It's a pivotal game in building their confidence for the rest of their season.

MODERATOR: Thanks for joining us today, Mike. Any final thoughts?
Mike Haynes: Thanks for having me, I've enjoyed my career in the NFL and the fans have made it a great experience. I hope today's guys give it back to the fan somehow, through their play and roles off the field. Thanks for having me.

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