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10 Questions

Ben Kelly on the Indians, nicknames and the Combine

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Posted: Friday April 14, 2000 10:19 PM


Ben Kelly grew up in Cleveland cheering for the Indians during the meager Cory Snyder and Joe Carter era. When he wasn't watching the Indians lose lots of baseball games, he was likely to be parked in front of the television watching "Scooby Doo" or "Dennis the Menace" after school. "The Cleveland Comet" discusses his need for a better nickname, as well as his feelings on agents and the reliance of NFL scouts on workout data over on-field performance.

1. What's your favorite movie you've ever seen?

"Major League". It's [set in] Cleveland and the Indians beat the Yankees for once.

2. What's your favorite music to listen to?

I like R&B. I like all types of groups. Actually my favorite group is the rap group Bone.

3. What was your favorite cartoon growing up?

I used to like Scooby Doo or Dennis the Menace. Those were on when I got home from school, so I used to watch them every day.

4. What's your favorite food to eat?

Steak. Prime Rib.

Are you going to go out for a nice steak dinner after you are drafted this weekend?

I hope so.

5. Do you think scouts put too much on how you do at the Combine and in workouts?

Yeah, I think so. You can find a guy that's been an All-American and is just a great player all around, but when you put him in a Combine setting he's much like everybody else -- he's very average, he fits in with everybody else and you couldn't pick him out of a group -- he wouldn't stand out. But then maybe you put that same guy on the football field and his football instincts are just out of this world.

He might dominate games over guys who performed better in a Combine setting and the drills and things they ask you to do there. I do think a little bit too much is put on offseason workouts, and I think more emphasis should be put on the player, what he does on the field, and what he brings to that team.

6. Who is the player you are most looking forward to facing in the NFL?

Randy Moss. Everybody talks about how he's unstoppable, and I want to see myself.

7. Who did you idolize growing up?

Ben Kelly wanted to play running back while growing up, and watched local hero Robert Smith for inspiration. Allsport/Brian Bahr  

I didn't really idolize anybody. You mean as an athlete.

Not Hanford Dixon or Frank Minnifield or any of the Browns corners?

Yeah, I liked them, but back at the time I used to watch them, I didn't want to be a cornerback. I wanted to be a running back, just like everybody else. I liked Robert Smith a lot, because he grew up right around me, and I used to watch him all the time. Eric Metcalf too.

8. How would you characterize the process of choosing an agent?

The agent thing is a little crazy. they all try to tell you what you want to hear. They all pretty much have the same information, which isn't much (laughs). I think the best thing that I did through the agent process is that I filtered a lot of stuff through my parents, and my father especially. When they would me, I would tell them to call my father. Between the two of us, we talked about it a lot, and we made a list of positive and negative things about each agent, and each agency, and that's how we made our decision.

9. What do you think about the nickname that you gained while in Boulder, "The Cleveland Comet?"

It's alright, you know... (laughs) It's alright, but I don't know why they really called me that (laughs). They'd write it in the papers and stuff sometimes... it's not that big of deal.

Do you have a different nickname that you would prefer?

No, I don't have a nickname. I need one.

What would you suggest?

I don't know. You can't give yourself a nickname. That doesn't look right. That'd be me, and I don't want something that I give myself, I want something that somebody else would have to give to you.

10. What's your favorite thing to do in Cleveland when you are home?

I haven't been home to Cleveland in so long. I like going to Indians games at Jacobs Field.

Are you a big Indians fan?

Oh yeah.

Are they going to win the Series this year?

They got to this year. They are too strong. If they don't win this year then something's wrong. The Yankees got a curse over us if we don't beat them this year.

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