Catching up with safety Steve Gregory

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Steve Gregory knows a thing or two about a New England Patriots-Baltimore Ravens playoff matchup, having started for New England in the AFC Championship Game following the 2012 regular season.

Gregory, now retired and ready to embark on a career in coaching, sees this year’s game turning out differently than that one (a 28-13 Ravens win).

"The Ravens are a tough team and always bring a physical presence up front. The pressure they put on opposing quarterbacks is up there with any team in the NFL. So it’s a good matchup, but I think the Patriots have the edge. They’re just a little more explosive," Gregory said this week from his home in upstate New York.

"Add in that they’re playing at home after the bye week, when guys could recover and get healthy. Then you consider that they have Rob Gronkowski healthy, which is a huge difference. And on defense, the additions of [Darrelle] Revis and [Brandon] Browner bring a totally different presence. I think it’s a tough matchup for the Ravens."

We caught up with Gregory this week to learn more about the game from a player’s perspective, and also to discover his future career plans after announcing his retirement from the NFL this summer following an eight-year career (2006-2011 in San Diego; 2012-2013 in New England).

"I took this whole football season to unwind, to get some down time and be with my family, all with the idea in mind to get into coaching," he relayed. "I feel like I’ve learned so much about the game over the years from coaches like Bill Belichick, Matt Patricia, Ron Rivera, Wade Phillips, Marty Schottenheimer, Norv Turner and others, it’s a natural thing for me to enter into the coaching world.

"I was seen as a player that, what I lacked physically I made up for it mentally, and always took pride in meetings trying to come up with schemes and ways to attack other teams. So I sort of feel like it’s in my blood, to get into coaching."

Gregory dabbled in sports broadcasting locally this fall, but the season away from playing only further stoked his desire to coach, hopefully in the NFL.

"It was something I always had in the back of my mind, but I wasn’t 100 percent sure until taking time away from football," he said. "I’d watch games on Sunday and you’re seeing things, calling things out, and that’s when I knew, 'This is what I’d love to do.'"

January 10, 2015
Mike Reiss