Dan Whelan Shows Elite Mentality In Interview After NFL Debut

Dan Whelan Shows Elite Mentality In Interview After NFL Debut
By Eoin Harrington Updated
Share this article

The NFL season is underway and, for the first time this century, there is Irish involvement through the arrival of Enniskerry man Dan Whelan to the league.

Wicklow native Whelan has become the first Irish player to be signed to an NFL roster in 38 years, after successfully winning his battle with well established punter Pat O'Donnell for a place on the Green Bay Packers roster for 2023.

Whelan won over many fans with an impressive performance in week one, as the Packers got off to a winning start against the Chicago Bears.

Irish fans are understandably excited to have some representation at the highest level for the first time in decades - and an interview with the BBC off the back of his NFL debut brilliantly shows his down-to-Earth nature.

READ HERE: Top 50 NFL Players With The Funniest, Most Unusual Names

Dan Whelan speaks out after encouraging NFL debut

Ahead of the Green Bay Packers' week two fixture against the Atlanta Falcons, Dan Whelan spoke to BBC Sport Northern Ireland on how he has found his experience of NFL life thus far.

Whelan had a patient wait for a spot on an NFL roster, having come up short after taking part in the New Orleans Saints' training camp ahead of the 2022 season.


He has now settled in Green Bay, and an impressive week one performance will have settled his nerves - though they don't seem to be getting to him too much, judging by his relaxed chat with the BBC.

Whelan revealed that he had his first bath since his time in Ireland in order to relax the night before his NFL debut, and even revealed that he does not have a bed frame yet to support his mattress:

I actually had a bath the night before [the Bears game] - it was the first bath I've had probably since I was in Ireland. That helped me sleep.

I just got an apartment, I'm stoked to be out of the hotel after like nine months. I'm still sleeping on the ground, I don't have a bedframe or anything.

I have a bed, I just don't have anything to put it on! I'm almost there.

Evidently, the unusual sleeping arrangement has not impacted on Whelan's performances, with the Irishman impressing many with his important role in a decisive 38-20 opening weekend victory.


Later in his chat with the BBC, Whelan showed his true down-to-Earth said that he had not been swept up the frenzy of the NFL's big money bling yet, saying he was happy to show up to games in just "shorts and a t-shirt," rather than 'dressing to impress.'

Making the Green Bay roster was an historic occasion for Dan Whelan, and he recalled finding out he had made the roster after a day in the gym with the rest of the training squad, ahead of the new NFL season.

He is the first Irishman to play in the NFL since Neil O'Donoghue played for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1985 season, and Whelan says he is grateful for the support from home.


An opening win against the Chicago Bears was a terrific start to the season for the Packers, and Whelan says the victory has given them a great buzz going into the rest of the regular season:

I soaked it all in during the pre-game. It was similar to all the other games I've ever played in really, just with maybe 50,000 more people.

It definitely gave our team a lot of confidence and self-belief, for sure. We've gotta keep trying to progress with that each week. Everybody's thrilled, but not shocked. We're a pretty good team, we're young, we're all able to play football - that's why we're here.

Dan Whelan will hope to push the Packers on to a second win from two on Sunday night when they face the Atlanta Falcons, with the Irishman getting his first taste of an NFL road trip. The game gets underway at 6pm Irish time on Sunday.

SEE ALSO: Roy Keane Among Star-Studded Crowd At Chaotic Jets v Bills NFL Opener

Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are subscribed now!

Share this article

Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com