THIRTY OR so years later, Jim Schwartz remembers his former Georgetown teammate as being "really serious, someone who worked hard."
That isn't exactly the persona comedian Jim Gaffigan portrays today. Gaffigan, who announced Monday that his TV Land show won't have a third season, by his choice, has made a career of playing a certain type of white-bread, mid-American schlub; there's a line of dad-comedy-style car commercials, and a vaguely creepy portrayal of Colonel Sanders on behalf of KFC.
"I saw him just this summer" in Maryland, said Schwartz, who is from Baltimore and has a shore house near there.
The Eagles' defensive coordinator was a linebacker for the Hoyas from 1985-87. Gaffigan was an offensive tackle and guard who transferred in after a year as a walk-on at Purdue, Schwartz recalls. Gaffigan's older brother Joe was a Georgetown offensive lineman and captain, and Gaffigan has said both his parents went to Georgetown.
Gaffigan, who opened for Pope Francis in Philly last year, recently spoke about Schwartz and football to the Tennessean in Nashville, where Schwartz first gained coaching prominence as the Titans' defensive coordinator from 2001-2008.
"The thing that I love about Jim's story is that he and I kind of pursued the pipe dream," Gaffigan said. "Jim wanted to be a pro football coach, and I wanted to be a comedian. They were dreams that were kind of viewed as impractical. I'm sure there were plenty of other guys on the team who wanted to be football coaches and some who wanted to be an actor or a comedian, but we were the two who followed our passion."
Gaffigan didn't play football his senior year.
"I didn't play because I was literally having nightmares about two-a-day practices," Gaffigan told the Tennessean. "I remember walking back from an early- morning practice and seeing other students coming back from a party. I was like, 'This is what I'm doing in college?' I mean, I loved football, but when I started having nightmares about wanting to quit, it really made me think. At the same time, it was very hard to quit."
On the Hoyas' 1985 roster, Schwartz is listed at 6-foot, 200, wearing No. 37. Gaffigan, No. 63, is 6-1, 220.
Gaffigan graduated with a degree in finance, Schwartz in economics.
The simplified narrative from people covering the Eagles has been, ex-practice squad defensive end Steven Means good, 2014 first-round draft choice Marcus Smith bad, but that perception might be colored by Smith's poor first two seasons here, and by all the time he missed in this training camp with a concussion. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz also likes Means, Schwartz said Tuesday, but not necessarily at the expense of Smith.
Asked what he'd seen from those two, Schwartz said: "Same stuff we've seen from those guys in training camp just about every day. You guys were probably on Steven Means before anybody else because you saw the same things we saw. And Marcus was doing really well. He just had a setback with the concussion and missed time. But he sort of picked up right where he left off.
"The thing I'm most proud about with Marcus is that he's done a good job in the run game. It's a little bit like talking about Jaylen Watkins (a corner turned safety who has worked on tackling); he's a very skilled athlete. He's fast and he's smooth. I think he was a quarterback when he first went to Louisville. I mean, that stuff shows. Where he's really making good improvement is setting the edge of our defense, attacking tackles. He did that against a physical group from Pittsburgh. That was a great sign."
Linebacker Nigel Bradham said he has a hearing in Miami Wednesday on the aggravated battery charge from last month, when Bradham got into an altercation with an umbrella-and-chair-rental attendant at a South Beach hotel.
Bradham said he won't have to attend, and that he doesn't expect the matter to be quickly resolved. The NFL said last month it was looking into the incident. Bradham said he doesn't think he'll be suspended.
"I feel like if anything bad was going to happen, it would have happened already," he said.
Offensive coordinator Frank Reich said two things are paramount for the first-team offense in Saturday's preseason game at Indianapolis, the last preseason action for the starters. "Consistency, and we've got to score," Reich said. The first-teamers don't have a real TD drive yet . . . Stephen Tulloch suffered an ACL tear in 2014 celebrating a sack of Aaron Rodgers. Specifically, he was mimicking Rodgers' "Discount Double Check" commercial when he crumpled to the ground. Tulloch said Tuesday that would not dissuade him from future celebrations. "It's freaky. It's an accident. There's nothing you can do about it," he said.