When you cover a NFL team, especially one that's on a discouraging losing streak, open locker rooms can be tough. Players don't want to answer the same questions over and over again about why the team is losing.
As rookie Vic Beasley spoke to the media on Wednesday, you could almost feel the relief radiating from him when he was asked questions about his alma mater, the Clemson Tigers, and his expectations for them in the College Football Playoff.
But somebody needed to ask the tough questions. That somebody was Roddy White.
Roddy joined us in the scrum and took my recorder. He asked what Vic was talking about. That's rule number one of reporting -- you have to be prepared. Don't just jump in there and start asking questions. You've got to ease into it. Roddy's a pro.
And Roddy didn't hold back, throwing a haymaker of a question at Beasley right off the bat.
"How's your day going today?" White asked.
Beasley was understandably guarded in his reply.
"My day is going pretty good. How about yours, Roddy?" Beasley said.
Well, White wasn't having any of that.
"I'm the one that's interviewing you. You don't ask me questions," White said. "I ask you questions. All right? That's how it is."
Not being one to pass up an opportunity, I let White know I planned to print this interview, and encouraged him to keep asking the tough questions. Roddy obliged.
"Now, how's your day today?" White probed, really getting to the heart of the matter.
"My day is going pretty good," Beasley said. You could tell he was opening up to White.
"How was your night last night?" White asked.
"It wasn't so good," Beasley said, and as any good reporter does, White immediately hit him with the follow up question.
"Why not?" White asked.
Now, this is where it really gets interesting. You can see White's natural talent as an interviewer coaxing honest, raw answers out of Beasley.
"Because you were not around," Beasley said. Beasley and Roddy have quite a bromance going on, apparently.
Look, sleep is important for NFL players. It's important for everyone, but considering what these players put their bodies through on a weekly basis, it's necessary for them to get adequate rest each night during the season. As a veteran wide receiver, White understands this, but do rookies really get it? Roddy decided to transition to a little bit of investigative journalism.
"Okay, did you get your seven, eight hours of sleep last night?" White asked. He wasn't pulling any punches.
"No, I only got two, because you were not around," Vic said. Roddy White is even more important to this team than we initially thought, folks.
Roddy was not happy with the answer. He was not pleased at all.
"Damn it," White said. "We've got to get this guy some sleep."
I agreed. There's no arguing with that logic.
Thankfully, Roddy has a solution in mind.
"All right, so after practice, I'm going over to his house, and we can put him right to bed," White said. Now that's a team player, folks.