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Mark McMillian on the Blue and Grey Football Combines Coming to Sioux Falls

Former NFL player Mark McMillian joined Jeff Thurn on Friday’s edition of Overtime. 

McMillian (@MarkMcMillian29) played eight years as a defensive back in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints, and Kansas City Chiefs. In college, he was a standout at the University of Alabama. He currently coaches with the Blue and Grey football combines. Don’t miss out on May 31 when the combine comes to the Avera Sports Institute and Sioux Falls. 

Thurn asks McMillian if the NFL forced him to take painkillers after the latest lawsuit involving Jim McMahon, and other players seeking financial damages to help with addictions, injuries and disabilities from the use of those painkillers:

“No, I was never forced to take painkillers. Obviously, everybody is taking them, but I’ve never seen a trainer forcefully push that on any player. I wasn’t forced to use any drugs.”

McMillian on what he thinks as a former player about other players bringing lawsuits against the NFL:

“Some of the players I understand back in the day, even before me, and a guy who paved the way, (Jim) McMahon, and guys like that had to take them (painkillers) to get back on the field. We all know you are only good as your last play and if you don’t perform on the field, you are going to be released. Nowadays, it is a little different ballgame because the signing bonuses are so dramatic and drastic. You give a guy 10 million dollars, and you can’t take that back if he’s not on the field. When we were playing, signing bonuses weren’t as great, but you knew if didn’t perform and play, somebody else was behind you trying to take your job.”

Who is McMillian’s favorite defensive back to watch is at the position now in the NFL?

“I think two of my guys going at it on Twitter last night, Patrick Peterson (Arizona Cardinals), and Richard Sherman (Seattle Seahawks). Those two guys, I respect both of their games and play defensive styles. I’m still a big (Darrelle) Revis Island fan (now with New England), and it’s hard to see guys that can shut down half the field, but I have to go with Peterson. He adds so much to the game on offense and defense and can play pretty much any position in the secondary.”

McMillian on an overview of what he does with the Blue and Grey football combines: 

“We get the opportunity to come out and get kids tested in their 40 yard dash, their vertical leap. We jot down all their test scores and post them up. Obviously, having NFL guys on our coaching staff, we have a great deal of respect for the college coaches who reach out and ask us which kids are performing well at out camps and combines. It is an opportunity to give back to some of these kids that was laid down for me from some of the greats like Ronnie Lott who coached us up when we were little.”

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*For comments or story ideas, email Sam at, and follow him on Twitter @samtastad.

Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

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