Approaching his fifth NFL season, Mark Roman signed with the Packers as an unrestricted free agent in March, after spending four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Originally selected by Cincinnati in the second round from Louisiana State, Roman played in 50 games and made 27 starts for the Bengals, logging 183 tackles and two interceptions in his first four years as a pro.
But in those four years, Roman and the Bengals never saw a winning season.
Now a Packer, Roman is excited about the opportunity to battle for the starting safety position opposite Darren Sharper, and to play for one of the most historic franchises in all of professional sports.
Recently, Packers.com sat down with Roman to discuss these and a few other topics in our latest round of Random Questions.
Packers.com: Where are you from and what is the best thing about your hometown?
Mark Roman: "I'm from New Iberia, La. The best thing about growing up there was having my family there. I have 10 brothers and sisters and they all still live there. Every Sunday we would have a family get together. That's probably one of the things that I like most about it. And it's a small town and everybody knows everybody."
How has the transition from Cincinnati to Green Bay been?
"Actually it hasn't been that hard. The guys here welcomed me and it's all about making the team better. If I can help make the team better and make an impact, then they're going to welcome me in and that will make it an even better situation."
What's the biggest difference between Cincinnati and Green Bay?
"It's a whole slew of things. The fans. The attitude. It's a winning attitude here. We're going to get it done no matter what. We're not going to settle for second best. Every team has that but not all teams have a legacy of that. In Cincinnati, we had lost the previous 11 years before last year when we went .500, so it's a few things. Here you feel like the whole city is waiting for August to come so football can get going."
Growing up, were there any players you tried to emulate?
"I always wanted to be Jerry Rice or Tim Brown. I never really thought about playing in the secondary. It's not really a high-profile position, well unless you're Darren Sharper. The only time they notice you is when something bad happens."
What was your favorite cartoon as a child?
PB&J or grilled cheese?
"Peanut butter and jelly. And I'm talking about a lot of peanut butter, piled up."
What is your worst fear?
"Something happening to one of my kids."
When did you first realize you wanted to play pro football?
"When I was about six years old. I always knew that's what I wanted to do."
Why did you choose your major?
"I majored in construction management at LSU. I got into it a little bit in high school and I liked working with my hands and seeing things turn into something. I wanted to get into the closest thing to that without having to be out there with a hammer and nails all the time, so construction management was a perfect fit."
Is construction management something you would like to pursue after football?
"I would like to. I would like to become a developer. I worked with a construction company down in Louisiana and got some experience so I definitely would like to follow up on that."
What is the hardest adversity you've had to overcome in your life?
"Just understanding life, the league and the way it works. Just doing whatever it takes and taking all the downfalls that come in life. If you can overcome all the downfalls that life throws at you, then all the success that you have will be that much more meaningful."
What is your best memory from playing college football?
"When we beat the No. 1 ranked Florida Gators in 1997. I had a pick in that game and we routed them. We dragged the goalpost all the way back to Gainseville."
What is one word you would use to describe training camp?
"Tough. Trying. Hard. Physical. It's all of those things and anything else you can incorporate with those words. But it's also a learning process and a time when you bond with your teammates and figure out what everybody is about. You build relationships during training camp. That's when the team becomes closer."
What do you expect your first experience playing at Lambeau Field to be like?
"I go out and look at the stadium now and it seems like being at LSU all over again. That's the kind of anticipation from the crowd that I'm expecting, just from walking in Lambeau Field. People are crazy about football down in Louisiana and I'm expecting a lot of the same here.
"I feel like LSU is the best place to play college football, but I know that in the NFL, Lambeau Field is the best place. Death Valley (Tiger Stadium) is the place to be on Saturday. And I'm pretty sure Lambeau Field is the place to be on Sunday."