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Inside the Helmet: Ross Ventrone

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Ventrone, a 5-8, 190-pound safety from Villanova, is the younger brother of former Patriots safety Ray Ventrone (now with the Cleveland Browns). This Ventrone spent time on both the practice squad and 53-man roster during the 2011 season, appearing in six games. He was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent in April of 2010 and spent the majority of the 2010 season on New England's practice squad. He hails from the Pittsburgh area and is known for his long, flowing hair.

What is your earliest football memory?
Probably being a water boy for my brother. When he was 11, his youth team went to a national tournament in Florida and I was the water boy. The next year, I was playing with them. My first time playing in a game, I was, like, six years old. There's a picture of me, I'm crying on the field because I just dropped the ball.

Do you remember your first big play?
Yeah, when I was nine years old, in the championship, there was a halfback pass, and I was a receiver at the time. It bounced off the defender's helmet - five seconds before the half - and I caught it and ran for a touchdown. We ended up winning the championship by two points.

What was your first job?
Maintenance at my dad's union hall back in Pittsburgh. Landscaping and maintenance, cleaning all the offices. Did that, usually in the summers, through middle school.

What was your first car?
I had a maroon Jeep Liberty when I was 16 (laughs), that I drove around and beat up a little bit. I forget how many miles ... first car, I drove around a little crazy.

If you could pick any talent that you don't have right now - anything at all - what would you want to do?
I'd like to play the piano. I'd like to be a freak piano player. Yeah, I don't know why, I'd just love to play the piano. I just said it the other day, I want to take lessons at some point, maybe after football.

If you could trade places with anybody for a day, who would it be?
One person? Probably [Justin] Timberlake. He's just ... I don't know ... I love Timberlake. He's cool. So talented and, you know ... he's Justin Timberlake.

Alright, if you weren't playing football, how would you be earning your living?
I like entertainment type stuff. So, I might try to get involved in the entertainment industry somehow.

Let's say you found a genie in a bottle and were given three wishes. What would you want?
More wishes would be the first one. Then, just for my family to be healthy and happy.

Do you have any pets?
I had one ... I had a chinchilla, just passed away. His name was Walter. He had a seizure. He was the coolest thing ever, though. I had him for a couple of months. And growing up, we had a fat-tailed gecko. And my dad's friend's name was Georgie del Greco, so, we named the lizard Georgie del Gecko. Then my mom just gave it away because nobody paid attention to it. I dropped it a couple of times. No dogs or anything.

A chinchilla, though?
My boy had one and I loved it. I went to PetSmart the next day and got one.

Are they affectionate animals?
They get used to their owners and if you let them out of the cage, they go really fast, jump everywhere. When he gets used to you, he'll run up and all over you.

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