Isaiah Kacyvenski met with St. Louis-area reporters today. He said he wanted a shot at playing linebacker again, not just being a special-teams guy, and he felt he had to leave Seattle to make that a reality. He said calling Mike Holmgren with the news was one of the hardest things he's had to do in a while. The full transcript is below.
UPDATE: Read the St. Louis Post-Dispatch story here.
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--on his release by Seattle-
Their plan was to sign me back. It was tough because I couldn't just wait around. Me and wife, we have two kids, we just had to weigh all the options. There were about six teams that called, we just weighed this one out and we thought the Rams were the best one.
--were Seahawks negotiating with you after the release-
I was already on my way here. I was in a layover in Denver, when they (Seattle) said we've got a contract on the table. But I told them, me and my wife had to weight a lot of options. It's my seventh year right now, and I want a chance to play a little at linebacker somewhere in the future. And it wasn't going to be in Seattle. That was one of the factors. There's probably about five or six different factors. But it was tough for me to go. It was a heart-wrenching decision for me. Seven years in one spot. Coach Holmgren, he's almost like a father figure to me. So it was tough. The whole staff. Ray Rhodes and John Marshall, everybody. It's going to be tough to play against them in two weeks. But it's a business. And I had to do what I had to do.
--more on being in the Denver airport Monday on layover while flying to St. Louis, when learning Seattle wanted to re-sign him-
By that time, I had already run the gamut of emotions. We had already weighed a bunch of different factors. We just thought, we wanted to come here and talk to Coach Linehan, and Coach (Jim) Haslett and Coach (Bob) Ligashesky (special teams). And I kind of wanted to get a feel for them. When I got here, I really got a good feeling. I talked with my wife about three different times before I signed the contract. But this is the right choice.
--how did you find out Saturday that you were cut-
It was actually Friday afternoon. It was weird day. It was a weird practice day because they kept pulling me out of stuff. I was trying to talk to people and no one talked to me. And finally at the end of the day, like 2:30-3 p.m., I got called up to Tim Ruskell's office.
After practice, I went in and I talked to John Marshall. And I said, 'No one's talked to me about anything. I don't know what's going on.' He said he'd take care of it and get someone down there for me. I went back to my locker for about 2 minutes, looked at my phone, and saw my agent called three times. And then John came in to get me. After that, I put 2 and 2 together.
--bring you back Monday-
The stock phrase in the NFL is yeah, 'We're growing to bring you back Monday.' Everyone in the NFL knows that's a famous phrase. I was wary. I was hurt. Like I said, I had a lot of mixed emotions about it.
--did you even watch the Seattle-Chicago Sunday-
For me, I work as hard as I do to play in big games like that. That's why we all. My heart was hurt not to play in that game.
Being a special teams captain over there _ it almost felt to me like I was expendable. It was just a weird feeling. I can't really put it into words. That's why I worked so hard to play in a game like that.
--playing time at LB-
I've got to learn the new scheme. The scheme's pretty difficult. I haven't seen too many schemes like this one. It's pretty interesting. The good thing is, they're keeping me on my toes, and I have to learn it. It's going to take me a little bit to learn it.
But I didn't say I wanted promises from anybody. I wanted a shot. We were so stacked at linebacker in Seattle, I wasn't going to get a shot.
I'm in Year 7, and I want to play 10 years. I don't have much time left. To re-start it somewhere and to work my way in, and get in some package or something.
--as a Harvard guy, you should be able to learn it pretty quick-
Yeah, but it's all about being able to react on the field. You can draw something up on paper and it sounds and looks easy. But you've got to be able to react very quickly. So hopefully, I can pick it up quick by staying here and working overtime with Coach Haslett.
--a Harvard pre-med does that mean QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (also from Harvard) no longer is the smartest player on the team?-
No, he is. I didn't ace the Wonderlic like him.
--talked to Holgmren since being cut, and signed by St. Louis?-
Yeah, I talked to him. He was very upset to say the least. I told him. I said, it's a tough thing. I had to weigh all types of options. He's mad. He's pissed now. I know he is. They had to make a business decision when they did it. And it came back to how much does a seventh-year player that's a special-teamer have left. . . .It was one of those things where they had cut my salary last year, the front office. And I kind of had to stay there and just suck it up. And when I asked them to give back. . .they wouldn't do it.
--the fact that he restructured, and then got cut-did that spur him to look at other options-
It definitely was a factor. I'm not saying it was the only one. I can honestly say there was about six or seven factors all pointing away from there. Regardless of how I felt, and how much I loved the place, they all pointed to me going, and me finding a fresh start somewhere else.
--Rams struggling on kickoff coverage-
I wasn't aware of that before I came. I love special teams. I've played it since I was in high school. So it's something that's a passion of mine, and I'm just looking to go on the field and have fun.
--do you sit there and wonder why cut me (as special teams captain)-
Yeah, that was also another one of the factors. I know there were various scenarios that they had to work through. I didn't understand how cutting me solved the issue. I don't know if they assumed that no one would be interested.
--more on telling Holmgren of his decision-
Telling Coach Holmgren was the hardest thing I've had to do in a long time. My stomach was in a knot for a day. I talked to him (Tuesday). Hopefully, down the road, I can call him up, and talk to him again. But right now, he's not too happy.