A Word With: Lloyd Welford
This week, Rhino Charge host George Marinos sat down with Rhinos’ March Defensive and Special Teams Player of The Month, Lloyd Welford, to discuss everything from his love of the Green Bay Packers to the Rhinos’ defense.
GM: I’m here with Lloyd Welford, safety for the Hanover Rhinos. How would you describe your month of March?
LW: March madness. Month of March was full of anticipation and excitement. Got the early season jitters out. First loss. First W. On my way home from the Hall of Fame now, to top it all off.
GM: Which Hall of Fame is that?
LW: Pro Football Hall of Fame. Left me with chills several times, and makes me ready to work.
GM: What was your favorite part of the Hall of Fame?
LW: The busts were a highlight. I was looking forward to seeing Brett Favre’s and other Packer greats. They had a Road to the Super Bowl presentation that was dope. Threw the football around on the turf field too.
GM: What was the Road to the Super Bowl presentation like?
LW: It’s a 20-minute recap of the Super Bowl 50 season. It’s in a small theater.
GM: So, since you are a Packers fan, I have one burning question. Who is better, Favre, or Rodgers, and why?
LW: If I had to start a franchise with one of them in their ‘prime’ so to speak, I’m taking 12 all day. Brett Favre has broken my heart too many times in the playoffs with his interception habit. At least twice against the Giants. Even as a Viking, he did the same thing at crunch time. The defense stays letting Rodgers down, or in my opinion, we have at least 1-3 more Super Bowl appearances. I love Favre. He’s a true iron-man. I doubt we will ever see someone endure the league like he did. But 12 is unbelievable too often.
GM: How did you feel when the Packers let Favre go, and how long did it take you to warm up to Aaron Rodgers?
LW: It was bittersweet, but I knew we had something special with Rodgers. I was already warmed up to him when we he fell to 24. The only clause in that is, Favre did a tour with a division rival. Not cool. And completely torched us both affairs. Don’t miss the meaningless interceptions, that’s for sure.
GM: Focusing on our team now, what’s it going to take for the Hanover Rhinos to compete for a division title this year?
LW: The first thing that comes to mind is unselfish play. Sounds cliche, but it’s true. Everyone needs to play their part, even if it’s cheering the squad on, we need that energy. At least, I know I feed off it. Also, we need to find out what we do well, and perfect that. Everyone needs to be comfortable so we can just play fast football. I would love to see or offense look as snappy in a game like they do in practice. I love the game, and if anything else, we need to have fun.
GM: You’ve been having a lot of fun this March. You grabbed interceptions in each of the first two games, and set the team career record for interceptions. How fun has all of this been?
LW: The first game was rough. Individual accomplishments only go so far when you take a L. Can’t help but wish I did more. Does feel good reaching goals though. The second game was how it’s supposed to feel, that’s why you play the game. And it helps I reached my goals. Early too, I still have opportunities, and that’s exciting.
GM: Take me through the atmosphere of that first game. Under the lights in a stadium, one possession game, watching it from the stands for me, it felt like a movie scene. You wanted the good guys to pull through so bad and it was right there. What was it like being in that moment?
LW: I’ve played enough to know any play can change the outcome. So there’s always hope. To keep it real, on the sideline (we) seemed a little too discouraged when we were down. We need to keep the faith. The defense will keep us in games always.
GM: How about that big strip by Adam Day in the final two minutes?
LW: Adam is a beast, I’m happy he’s on my side. I would probably have a lot more tackles if our backers weren’t so hungry. You had the feeling we were going to make one last play to give our offense another opportunity to start clicking.
GM: How would you describe the two weeks between the 1st game and the 2nd game?
LW: The anticipation is real. Almost like getting your feet wet. I always wish we could keep playing when the game is over, so you can imagine how anxious I get. I can’t wait until Saturday (vs. the Maryland Phantoms).
GM: This feels like the biggest Rhinos game in 3 years. What are your thoughts?
LW: I can get behind that. All playoff games aside, because it never truly felt like we had the Cinderella in us the previous years. But Saturday seems like a good gauge to see if we can keep the momentum going, and prove we can show up week to week. A winning streak would do lot for our morale.
GM: How much pride do you take in playing for the local team where you grew up?
LW: I don’t want to say it’s a dream come true, but when I heard about a semi-professional team coming to Hanover, I was hype. I always wanted to test my skills on a higher level and felt I was good enough. Just never had the drive or consistency. But being a part of something real in Hanover where we can impact the community is pretty amazing if you think about it.
GM: Thanks for your time.