Kevin Mawae was an All-Pro and one of the best centers in the NFL in his 16 years in the League. Kevin is and will always be an LSU Tiger; he attended the University from 1989-1994. As a sophomore he was named to the first-team All-SEC playing at 3 different positions in the same season. He graduated from LSU and entered the 1994 NFL Draft.
Mawae was drafted in the 2nd round by the Seattle Seahawks. He immediately let it be known that he was there to stay. He started 14 games his rookie season at Guard and was selected to first-team All-Rookie honors.
He left the Seahawks and took off for the Big Apple. While with the Jets he helped open holes for All-Pro running back Curtis Martin and help the offense amass 357.2 yards a game which was 4th best in the NFL. In 2005 he had an unfortunate injury that cost him the season. He was cut in the offseason by the Jets.
In 2006 he signed with the Tennessee Titans and help them become the 3rd best offense in the NFL. In 2009 Sports Illustrated had a 296 player poll on the dirtiest players in the NFL and Mawae was ranked 5th. He said he was proud of being recognized as a hard player and said, “ I’ve been known to leg whip a time or two. I’ve paid the price for those, both physically and in the pocket.”
In 2010 Mawae announced he would be retiring at the 2010 Pro Bowl.
Mawae is also been involved in the Children’s Cup International Relief in Africa. He was also the president of the NFLPA and held it until he retired. For everything he’d done throughout his career, he is a likely Hall of Famer when he is eligible for election.
Pro Player Insiders caught up with Mawae during Super Bowl week at the NFLPA Legends Brunch in New Orleans.
Kevin Mawae (KM): I’m most recently with the Tennessee Titans and retired in 2009 so I’m a former player, now retired player, with Seattle and New York Jets as well native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and I’m glad I’m here in my home state enjoying the Super Bowl.
PPI: Absolutely, so we are here at the NFLPA brunch now tell us a little bit about what it means to be able to be here?
KM: Well, I think it’s humbling to be part of a legends panel guys that actually have a Hall of Fame jacket and I don’t. To be able to sit with people like Dermontti Dawson and Charlie Joiner and Willie Roaf and other guys and share our experience in the NFL its a privilege its an honor and I’am thankful for the opportunity.
PPI: You mentioned some of those names is there someone in particular your maybe looking forward getting to speak with in depth?
KM: Yes Dermontti Dawson only because he held the mantle as one of the best centers in the League for so many years when I was a young player. Some would say I took over that mantle when he retired and I’d like to think I held on to that tradition of great centers in the NFL, but there’s so many guys I knew. Willie Roaf when I came out of college to have played against some of these guys…Ricky Jackson was a big Saints player when I was in college I remember watching him play when I was at LSU… it’s not just one guy I’m just surrounded by greatness and have your name mentioned in the same vein as those guys.
PPI: Since we are here for the Super Bowl, you mind sharing with us your favorite Super Bowl memory of yours as a player or fan?
KM: Well, I’ve played 16 years and never played in one but that’s ok because in 1998 we were 10 seconds away we were beating the Denver Broncos. Had we won we would have gone to the Super Bowl against the Atlanta Falcons and as it turns out John Elway had another spectacular come from behind win in the 4th quarter and sealed his legacy forever as one of the greatest all time QBs. But a couple of years later, the last Super Bowl here in NO, I brought my dad and Father in Law here and see the experience after 9/11 ten years out of that Super Bowl and I’m glad New Orleans got the Super Bowl and Louisiana benefits from it.
–by Zach Younker
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