Rice Dish: Ex-Cardinal Transitions from Football to Film

Over his 12-year NFL career Simeon Rice always found creative ways to get into opposing teams’ backfields.

Now he’s using his innovation on the big screen.

The former sack-master directed and co-wrote “Unsullied,” his first major motion picture which opens on Friday.

“What led me here is watching endless amount of films,” the three-time Pro-Bowler and four-time All-Pro told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in a phone interview Wednesday morning. “Being a story-teller. Creating stories of triumph. Creating stories of overcoming…films move you in so many ways.”

Rice went to film school and wrote several scripts as he grew more accustomed to his new career and long-time passion. “Unsullied” is an action-thriller suspense which was inspired by Rice after seeing such films as “No Country for Old Men” and more recently, “The Grey.”

“I just want to entertain people with a story that takes you on an epic ride,” Rice explained to Cesmat. “Just being in a creative space, being able to story tell. The influence is all around me. I get those from living life. Everyone has a story. It’s what resonates with me.”

The Arizona Cardinals‘ first-round pick (third overall) in 1996 spent five seasons in the Valley before signing a five-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers worth more than $30 million. Rice won a Super Bowl with the Bucs in 2003 and retired in 2007. His NFL resume includes 122 sacks, 25 forced fumbles and five interceptions.

He was asked if he could still play today in the NFL.

“Yes I could,” he replied without hesitation. “I still train five, eight hours a day religiously four days a week.”

Rice believes he established his own legacy in the league.

“My numbers are what they are,” he said. “I was the fastest to 100 sacks when I was playing…there’s no doubt I had a Hall-of-Fame career.”

Now Rice is ready to make a lasting impact in his new career.