PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Two days before leaving for New England and Patriots training camp, James Anderson and his brothers were taking a tour of The Hampton Roads Show set. More quality family time for an NFL star who rarely see’s the spotlight. “It doesn’t bother me because I don’t need the spotlight to get the job done. The faster the light shines on you the faster they find a way to get it off you,” said Anderson.
Anderson played his high school ball at Deep Creek in Chesapeake. One of his longtime teammates is Washington Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall. Anderson first met Hall at Camelot Elementary school. They played high school and college football together at Virginia Tech. “We have had different careers, but I still talk to DeAngelo from time to time and I will see him on the field as we play the Redskins in our first preseason game,” said Anderson.
After a great college career with the Hokies, Anderson was selected in the third round of the NFL draft by the Carolina Panthers where he anchored the defense for 7 seasons. Last year he was the leading tackler for the Chicago Bears and this year he finds himself playing for the New England Patriots. “At this point in my career, I’ve hung around a little bit so I want to look into winning and bring home a championship. If somebody says what is one of the best teams over the last 10 or 15 years, the Patriots will always come up in the conversation,” said Anderson.
He joins another local linebacker in Boston, Hampton’s Jerod Mayo. “I’m really excited to be joined with another 757 guy. I think that was the first thing we said when we met each other, hey your from the crib, whats up. His locker is actually beside mine, so I plan on linking up and learning from him and be close to a hometown boy,” added Anderson.
The son of a school teacher, Anderson’s foundation focuses on academic and arts education. At 30 years old and 9 years in the NFL Anderson is nearing the end of his playing career, its been a career that was built on hard work and he has exceeded everyone’s expectations. “I feel truly blessed. There may be guys who are more talented, faster or more touted. So I’m blessed to have been around this long and there is a plan for me and a purpose so I try to enjoy it every day. You look at all these great Broadway plays and those plays don’t survive without those stage hands in the background making sure their doing what their supposed to do. I’ve always felt that I was a guy that got my job done, supported my family and did what I was supposed to do.”