Kyle Turley was a first round pick of the Saints in 1998 out of San Diego State appearing in 79 games as the starting tackle in his five seasons with the black and gold.
Turley is perhaps best remembered for his antics during a 2001 game against the New York Jets when after a heated fight with Jets defender Damien Robinson he emerged with his helmet only to throw it across the field afterward giving an obscene gesture.
In his defense he was protecting quarterback Aaron Brooks as Robinson grabbed his face mask and proceeded to bend Brooks backwards by his neck.
Turley later said that he literally thought Robinson was trying to break the neck of Brooks but was still fined 25k by the Saints organization for conduct detrimental to the team.
In 2003 Turley was traded to the St. Louis Rams after contract talks for a long term extension fell through with the Saints. He played two season with the Rams and two with the Kansas City Chiefs before retiring in 2007.
Now with his football career behind him Turley set a new goal and launched a successful county music career after moving to Nashville. Kyle released his first album ”Anger Management” early this year which debut in the top 200 country albums on iTunes.
Kyle’s “power country” style music has been featured on CNN, FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN, Time Magazine, 60 minutes, Dennis Miller Live, Sports Illustrated, CMT.com, and many more networks across the country.
Recently Kyle set up an interview with WhoDatDish.com to talk about his his past career in the NFL and his transition to a new lifestyle as a country singer in Nashville.
Q – Keith Null (whodatdish.com): After playing with the Saints for so long give us your take on what it means for the city and the fans to finally get a Super Bowl win?
A- Kyle Turley: It means everything as obviously it’s the first one since the start of the franchise. It means the world to the fans, New Orleans and the Gulf Coast area. They have overcome so much adversity, it’s the greatest thing ever.
Q – Keith Null (whodatdish.com): Your song “My Soul Bleeds Black and Gold” is obviously a tribute to the Saints organization, what was your motivation behind writing it?
A – Kyle Turley: It’s a tribute to the Saints and the city that I wrote a while ago. My time with the Saints was the best five years of my life and playing career. I was proud to have worn that black and gold uniform.
Q – Keith Null (whodatdish.com): Going back to your playing days what is your fondest memory during your tenure as a Saints and would you say you consider them the favorite team you played for?
A – Kyle Turley: Oh most definitely they are the favorite team I played for. Being a first round pick and playing under coach Mike Ditka was a huge honor including winning the first play-off game, unbelievable.
Q – Keith Null (whodatdish.com): Are you in any way regretful you were unable to come to terms on a long term contract with the Saints in 2003 and that you were not able to to finish your careers as a Saint?
A – Kyle Turley: Most definitely as unfortunate as it was it was a weird time for the Saint franchise. Randy Mueller was fired and Mickey Loomis was brought in and it all fell through, it was unfortunate. Playing with other teams makes me realize how special the Saints organization really is, very sad.
Q – Keith Null (whodatdish.com): What do you see in the Saints team of now that makes them so different and so successful from teams of the past?
A – Kyle Turley: Continuity, Drew Brees and the receivers have established themselves as among the best in the league. Unbelievable offense equals success.
Q – Keith Null (whodatdish.com): 2009 was obviously a season to remember for the Saints franchise and their fans after beating the Colts in the Super Bowl. Being a former player give us your take on what they need to do to remain on top in 2010
A – Kyle Turley: The retention of players is key, they must stay healthy and play hard. They have a good nucleus in place.
Q – Keith Null (whodatdish.com): You were able to play with perhaps two of the more popular Saints players in Deuce McAllister and Joe Horn. What was it like playing with these two and was Joe Horn as big of a trash talker as everyone says?
A – Kyle Turley: For sure he was a trash talker, he was a confident due, I respect that type of play. 100% all the time from both of them. I was able to play with allot of great players in my time.
Q – Keith Null (whodatdish.com): When Saints fans think Kyle Turley they obviously remember an excellent tackle but of course are instantly transported to the 2001 Jets game when you were ejected for throwing Damien Robinson’s helmet. Obviously you were coming to the aid of Aaron Brooks but did really feel that Robinson was trying to break the neck of Brooks?
A – Kyle Turley: Oh yeah, clearly that’s what he tried to do. Aaron let a shrieking scream that I’ve never heard on a football before. I’ll never back down from that.
Q – Keith Null (whodatdish.com): What do you think the Saints chances are to repeat as a Super Bowl champion this season?
A- Kyle Turley: As good as chance is anyone and most likely better. They have the swagger and in nucleus intact as long as they keep focused and stay healthy probably better than most teams in the league.
Q – Keith Null (whodatdish.com): Do you have any plans to make a visit to the teams Metarie facility, maybe sing them a song to get them motivated for the upcoming season?
A – Kyle Turley: I don’t know they probably have a pad lock on the gate for me. We will see
Q – Keith Null (whodatdish.com): Obviously you are interested in music but what made you make the mover after professional football into country music?
A – Kyle Turley: It’s just music, it’s rock and country. It’s a natural progression as this is what I have always done. I have had success and I hope it will continue.
Q – Keith Null (whodatdish.com): What was the biggest obstacle to overcome once in Nashville as a former NFL player trying to turn professional country music artist?
A – Kyle Turley: Living in Nashville you can freely go out and play open mic nights to get your name out there. My football status opened allot of doors to me.
Q – Keith Null (whodatdish.com): Your debut album Anger Management released earlier this year and in it you make reference in the song “Flying Helmets” to that 2001 incident with the Jets. Can you tell me of the process you went through while writing the all the songs on the albums and if you felt it important to make that reference in Flying Helmets.
A – Kyle Turley: It’s really just a general NFL song not just that particular incident. It helped me and it hurt me in some ways. I’m the guy that throws helmet’s, I’ll stand up and take it.
Q – Keith Null (whodatdish.com): Half the proceeds from the sale of anger management go to the non-profit Grid Iron Greats Assistance fund to help aid former players in need with financial assistance and social services. How important was it for you to be involved with this fund and be willing to give half of the record sales to it?
A – Kyle Turley: It’s very important and it always has been. The issues continue to compound and the unfortunate thing is the NFL and the players union have not addressed it. There are alot of things that still need to be fixed and anything I can do to help veterans players I’ll do.
Q – Keith Null (whodatdish.com): Can you draw any comparisons between being an NFL player and a country music singer if any?
A – Kyle Turley: Completely different athletically but it’s entertainment. I enjoy getting people up and motivated rather it be with football or my music career. Being a musician you win every time, you don’t have to deal with losses, It’s been an easy transition.
Q – Keith Null (whodatdish.com): Lastly besides the tour you have planned towards the end of 2010 are there any projects or albums you have planned in the future you would like to let us know about?
A – Kyle Turley: Another record is ready to record and be released right around the corner and I’m proud of my development as a musician. I hope to get the continued support of all the fans. WHO DAT and take care!