The Patriots signed wide receiver Jabar Gaffney as a free agent on October 9, 2006. The Houston Texans originally selected the six-foot-one-inch, 205-pounder in the second round (33rd overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft. The Jacksonville native caught a career-high 55 passes for 492 yards and two touchdowns in his final season with the Texans in 2005. Before entering the NFL, Gaffney and current Patriots wide receiver Reche Caldwell played two seasons together at the University of Florida.
During the 2006 playoffs, Gaffney became a primary target for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, hauling in 21 receptions for 244 yards and two touchdowns.
Gaffney sat down with us to answer some questions about his life both on and off the football field.
What was your favorite video game growing up? I was pretty good at Super Mario Brothers. I had all the passwords and beat it.
Who is your favorite team to use in Madden 2007? Whichever team I'm on. That's the team I use. I throw it to myself all the time.
What is your favorite Christmas gift that you have received? A green BMX bike that I got when I was six years old. I would do all the jumps and tricks.
Who is your favorite athlete to watch? Growing up I loved to watch Jerry Rice. Michael Jordan, too.
Who is your favorite teammate to harass? Reche Caldwell. I've known him the longest from our time at Florida.
Where is your favorite place to relax? At home on the couch playing video games.
What is your favorite television show? Family Guy.
OFF THE FIELD
If I turned on the CD player in your car right now, what would I hear? I like hip-hop and rap, so it would probably be Young Jeezy right now.
Who has had the biggest influence on your life? My mom, especially seeing how she went through life handling herself and how she took care of me and my sisters.
Who is the fastest receiver on the team? It would have to be me. Chad Jackson is probably second.
What is one thing you wish you were better at? There's nothing I wish I were better at. I wish I were taller. If I were 6-4, I would probably be playing basketball.
What is the toughest thing about you that your mom had to put up with when you were younger? She would always get on me about my grades because she was a teacher.
When you were growing up, who was the player you pretended to be while playing in backyard football games? I was always Jerry Rice.
What do you like to do in your free time? I like to relax at home. In the offseason, I like to play basketball.
What would your perfect vacation be? Going to an exotic island and sitting back on the beach
What is the funniest prank you have ever seen in the locker room? In high school we had an underclassman come in and he thought he was big and tough. One day we came into the locker room and he was hanging upside down. One of the coaches came and let him down.
ON THE FIELD
Is there one aspect of your game that you have really worked on at receiver? I'm focusing in a whole lot more here. I have to play all the wide receiver spots with the Patriots, so I have to learn each position.
Which road stadium in the NFL is the most difficult to play in? The loudest stadium I've played in is Kansas City. Their fans are crazy.
Which player or coach have you learned the most from in your career? My receivers coach in Houston, Kippy Brown, taught me a lot.
What advice do you give rookies coming into the NFL? I tell them to enjoy playing the game and make sure not to put too much pressure on yourself, but the NFL is also a business. You have to learn to distinguish between the two.
THIS OR THAT
Which game would you rather attend: Game 7 of the World Series or Game 7 of the NBA Finals? NBA Finals.
Dine in or eat out? I would rather dine in. I can do a little cooking.
LeBron James or Dwyane Wade? Dwyane Wade. I like his game a little better. He led his team to a championship too.
Bigger University of Florida rival: Florida State or Georgia? Florida State. We know we are going to beat Georgia.
Better Gators sports team: Basketball or Football? That's a tough one because the basketball team has been pretty good. I can't choose because they are both successful.
Make a call or text message? Text message.
JUST FOR FUN
Which one of your teammates would be voted off first on the reality show Survivor? Doug Gabriel. I know he wouldn't last.
If you could spend one day with any celebrity, who would it be? I'm going to get in trouble, but I would say Jada Pinkett Smith.
If you could play beside any football player in the history of the game, who would it be? I would have loved to play with Jerry Rice. I wouldn't mind catching passes from Joe Montana either.
If you were playing in a basketball tournament and the game was on the line, which teammate would you least like to take the last shot? Reche Caldwell. He can't shoot the rock.