Former Seattle Seahawk wide receiver Bobby Engram talked with KJR’s Dave "Softy" Mahler this morning about his time in Seattle and why he moved on to Kansas City.
Engram spoke by phone in Kansas City, where he’s working in the Chiefs’ offseason program.
Engram said it was time to move on, particularly after the offseason heading into the 2008 season when he asked for a new deal, but the Seahawks brass failed to renegotiate his contract.
"In my whole, 13-year career, I never missed any minicamps, any training camps or anything voluntary or involuntary that had anything to do with football," Engram said. "I love the game. I love being around the guys and I love preparing for the games. But the Seahawks management was saying one thing, but their actions were totally different, so I was just trying to see where they really stood. And when I asked for a new deal and they didn’t want to extend me, I kind of saw the writing on the wall."
Engram reiterated that he would have liked to end his career in Seattle, but understands the business-aspect of the league and chose to focus on the positives, which included winning four, NFC West Division title and going to the Super Bowl during his eight-year tenure in Seattle.
Mahler asked Engram about the difficulty dealing with knowing about the head coaching change from Mike Holmgren to Jim Mora during the 2008 season, and did it have an affect on the team’s 4-12 record, as fullback Leonard Weaver stated in earlier interviews after he signed with Philadelphia.
Engram did not agree with Weaver’s assessment.
"I don’t know, man. How do you answer that question?" Engram said. "The only thing I’ll say is the injuries were obviously a huge part of it. If you don’t have horses on the field it’s hard to run. So that was a difficult part of it. You know, the way they handled it, was it different? Yeah. But did it cause us to lose games? I can’t sit here and say yes to that."
Engram had kind words for Seattle’s signing the guy who will replace him in T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
"It’s a great move for them," he said. "T.J.’s been making plays. He’s been ballin’ on a very high level for the last four or five years. So they needed to go out, in light of all of the injury situations and in light of making some moves – me and some other guys included – to go out and get a big-time receiver. And they got the right one."
Engram said he chose Kansas City during free agency because of his relationship with head coach Todd Haley, and also that he liked the organization’s approach in putting a team together.
Engram said right now he’s working out a lot in the slot with the opportunity to compete for a starting position. Engram also said as one of the veterans on a young team that he taking on more of a mentor role in Kansas City.
Now 36 years old, Engram said he believes he could play for more than a couple more years if he stays healthy.
"I don’t want to put a number on it," Engram said. "People think I’m crazy when I say I could play for another five years," he said. "They’re like, ‘Get out of here.’ But the way I feel I could."
Listen to the entire interview with Engram in this audio link.