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The Friday Five: Chris Canty

Chris Canty was one of five front-seven defensive players drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 2005 (more on that below). Six years later, he was a key member of the New York Giants’ Super Bowl XLVI-winning team. Since retiring after the 2015 season, Canty has joined the media ranks. He co-hosts the “DiPietro, Canty & Rothenberg” radio show on ESPN New York 98.7 and is an analyst for ESPN’s national radio and TV programming.

We caught up with Canty for this week’s “Friday Five” …

1. Who is your biggest mentor?

My biggest mentor when I got into the NFL, I’d have to go with my first position coach, Kacy Rodgers. I know it seems a little strange to think of your position coach as a mentor. But when I came into the league, I was in a draft class with DeMarcus Ware, Marcus Spears, Jay Ratliff and Kevin Burnett. There were five front-seven guys, and we had a chance to grow together. Kacy Rodgers was really the driving force behind us being able to have so much success early in our pro careers, and a big reason why some of us were able to have sustained success in the NFL. He taught us offensive line protections, he taught us formations, he taught us basic offensive systems. So being able to learn the game from that perspective, learning how to break down the tape – that’s really what allowed us to get our football IQ caught up to our physical abilities.

2. What’s your top pet peeve?

People that are late. I don’t like folks that are late. I understand one-off situations, but when you’re late, you’re disrespecting my time. If we have an understanding of when we’re supposed to be someplace, be there. Be on time. Showing up on time is a way that you show respect. You don’t have to be five minutes early, just be on time.

3. What’s your favorite book?

I’m gonna go with “The Souls of Black Folk” by W.E.B. Du Bois. They say that you’re not truly an educated black man in America unless you read that book. I’ll leave it at that.

4. If you could have dinner with any three people in history, who would they be?

Barak Obama would have to be one. Martin Luther King Jr. Marion Motley … And I have to have a fourth dinner guest, because I can’t have Marion Motley without Bill Willis!

5. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your teen self?

Trust the process, be patient. Don’t get ahead of yourself when it comes to your improvement, when it comes to the phase of life you’re in. Try to maximize what you’re getting out of the season that you’re in and don’t try to skip ahead to the next season. Going from high school to the college ranks, then getting drafted into the NFL, one of the things I didn’t realize is that I didn’t maximize what I could have extracted from each individual season. But you only really see that when you’re on the back end of things and reflecting on your entire playing career. It’s not only something that can be applied to sport, but applied to life. Maximize the opportunity that you have and knowing that will be a stepping stone or building block to the next season.