Jets’ Breshad Perriman on nearly losing his dad, career low point, Sam Darnold

Post columnist Steve Serby catches up with new Jets receiver Breshad Perriman for some Q&A.

Q: When your father, former Lions receiver Brett Perriman, suffered a stroke in April 2016, what was that moment like for you when you found out?
A: It was a crazy moment, man, that’s a moment I’ll never forget. It got to the point where he was on life support. He had a 3 percent chance of living. Everything was spiraling down at one moment, ’cause my dad means the world to me. It was definitely a tough time.

Q: He was unconscious when you saw him for the first time in the hospital. What went through your mind when they told you he had a 3 percent chance?
A: Everything. You just never would imagine that you will come to a point where you would have to hear those words. It was of course fear of losing him. We weren’t gonna give in to the fear, we were gonna all stay positive and keep praying.

Q: What do you remember the first time you saw him when he was able to speak?
A: He couldn’t fully speak though. He was kind of like mumbling. He wanted to speak, but words weren’t coming out.

Q: What does the comeback he’s made tell you about him?

A: It just really solidified everything that we always knew about him — that he’s strong and he would never stop fighting.

Q: How is your dad doing?
A: My dad’s doing good. I talk to him every day.

Q: Your former Ravens teammate, cornerback Tray Walker, died after a dirt bike accident March 18, 2016, in Miami.
A: I was at a low point at that time as well. I don’t know, man, we had so much in common, that was my boy. Just the energy that he brought every time that he was anywhere close to you. It was just crazy, man. Going through that, and then a month later after that, my dad had the stroke. Not really a day goes by where I don’t think about him. That was another challenging moment for me. He was from Miami. My family’s from Miami as well. He was cool with one of my cousins, and his dad and my dad used to run together back in the day, We didn’t really like start getting really close till he got to the Ravens. We came in together, we just clicked, like first day. And then, every single day after that, you really couldn’t take us apart from each other, like every time you see me anywhere, you’ll see him right next to me, and it was the same vice versa.

Q: How did you find out about his death?
A: His brother called me and told me what happened. I just remember getting to the hospital and seeing him just really fighting for his life … and it’s just something I’ll never forget.

Q: You have a different perspective on life than most people, right?
A: Yeah, man. For the most part, just enjoy it to the fullest. I’ve seen a lot from a child to now. Just like any other family, you lose some loved ones. I guess the pain that you went through when you were younger, and when you’re younger you just didn’t really know why those things happened, you’re just young, you don’t really understand too much. Make the best of each day and enjoy the loved ones around you while we’re still here on this earth.

Breshad Perriman
Breshad PerrimanAP

Q: What are your thoughts on Sam Darnold?
A: Elite quarterback. Simple. He can put the ball in places where only the receiver can make the play. And I know he’s great when he gets out of the pocket, the pressure that he escapes, and it’s crazy just watching it. You can tell he has that champion attitude.

Q: Are you sorry you won’t get a chance to catch passes from Tom Brady?
A: (Laugh) That would have been cool. But at the same time, I’m excited right now to catch passes from Sam Darnold, that’s what I’m looking forward to most.

Q: Describe your on-field mentality.
A: Locked in. Just a dawg mentality.

Q: What do you know about Jamal Adams?
A: I know he’s a dawg. He is definitely the top player at the safety position.

Q: You compared yourself to Julio Jones when you were drafted.
A: I’m just really focused on being the best person I can be. I’m not really trying to mimic nobody. Julio Jones is definitely one of the top receivers in this league. He don’t really say too much, I’m the same way. I’m not a big talker, I just really like to go out there and do what I know I can and just ball. Even to this day, I admire his routes. I know what I bring to the table, and I just can’t wait to get out there and show the world what I bring.

Q: The biggest criticism about you is too many dropped passes.
A: I feel like early in my career I definitely struggled. You gotta just work to minimize ’em.

Q: Where is your JUGS machine?
A: In the garage.

Q: How many balls do you catch a day?
A: Honestly, I couldn’t give you a number. I just go out there and shoot ’em, and catch until I get tired.

Q: From your Twitter account: Accept criticism and let your haters be your motivators.
A: When you hear all the hate, you can’t succumb to the hate. You can’t give in to it. I like stuff like that. If you say that I can’t do something, like I’ll show you that I can. That’s something I believe.

Q: If you could test your skills against any cornerback in NFL history, who would it be?
A: Prime Time [Deion Sanders]. He’s gonna talk, he’s gonna tell you about it (laugh).

Q: If you could pick the brain of any receiver in NFL history, who would it be?
A: Jerry Rice or Randy Moss.

Q: Describe former Ravens teammate and receiver Steve Smith.
A: A beast. One of a kind, man. Seeing him my rookie year, I feel like that was a great experience for me, to see how he attacked the day, and most importantly, his mindset.

Q: Describe Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians.
A: He’s a really cool coach, man, really cool guy in general. Really down to earth. He’s gonna be straight up with you, he’s not gonna sugarcoat you. He loves to win, and he loves having people around him that love to win.

Q: Sum up your mom for me.
A: She’s just the best person in this world to my eyes. I’m a huge mama’s boy. She’s the strongest person that I know. She’s always positive. She’s like the rock of the family. When my dad suffered a stroke, she’s really the caregiver of him. She’s my inspiration … funny, down-to-earth. … If anybody was gonna meet her, you’ll feel like you know her for a long time, she’s that cool.

Breshad Perriman
Breshad PerrimanGetty Images

Q: How is your style as a receiver differ from your father’s?
A: We present some of the same attributes and abilities, but I feel like that he just wasn’t as big as me. I could use my body to kind of like shield off defenders. That’s one thing he always told me as well, like sometimes he’d try to shield ’em off but it’s easier for me to do because I have a bigger body than he did.

Q: What impressed you about his game when you watched him?
A: He attacked the baby each and every time. He would go up and get a jump ball — like he was 6-4, 6-5 where maybe he’s only 5-10. His dawg mentality really jumped out at me.

Q: What is the best piece of advice he gave you?
A: Just like everybody else, I could be as great as I want to be. It was all up to me if I wanted to really focus in and work at it and block out all of the extra noise, it’s something that I can put my mind to do and that I can achieve.

Q: How frustrating was your rookie season when you suffered a torn ACL?
A: That was very frustrating. Being a first-round draft pick, you were so eager to show the world what can do. To suffer an injury like that, and just know that you were gonna miss the entire season, it was very challenging. It challenged me mentally, but I feel like it also made me mentally. … It was definitely a tough time, though.

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Q: Was the 2018 season the low point?
A: 2018 was definitely a really challenging year. It made me fight mentally and physically in ways that I could never imagine. I didn’t have the season that I wanted to have, and it led me to getting cut.

Q: After you were cut by the Ravens on Sept. 2, 2018, the Redskins picked you up two weeks later, but cut you after five days.
A: (Laugh) Sometimes I honestly forget that that happened. That was definitely a low moment, man. The anxiety that you had trying to do whatever you can to show the coaches that you deserve a chance and then you finally feel like you got the opportunity, and then they let you go. Your mind starts racing. … It definitely just sucks, man.

Q: Was your confidence low at that point?
A: It was more confusing. I really just couldn’t make sense of it all more than it killed my confidence.

Q: Three dinner guests?
A: Mom, Dad and my grandma [Charlene]. I never got to meet her.

Q: Favorite movie?
A: “Friday.”

Q:.Favorite meal?
A: Pizza all day.

Q: How scary is this coronavirus?

A: It’s really scary, man. You would never think that something like this would happen. I’m taking it very serious. I’m definitely thankful for all the medical workers trying to keep this thing handled.

Q: What drives you?
A: What drives me is probably my family. They definitely inspire me every day to wake up, to grind. Nothing’s really ever given to you, but everything is earned. They inspire me and they drive me every day to wake up to be the best that I could be. My legacy, to carry my last name and go out there and just be the best person, be the best player for them in any and every way.