EF: I guess they did. I just went in there and tried to be myself and relax and answer the questions they asked me, as well as get a feel for who they were as an organization and as people. It was fun, a neat experience.
ET: Who were some of the coaches and GMs that you thought you really connected with?
EF: They were all great guys. Every single interview I went into, they were great guys. Getting a chance to sit down with the Chicago Bears coaches, I really got a chance to feel them out as people. We had some conversation, and I think that would be the team that stood out in my mind. I felt relaxed. I felt real cool around them, and I felt they were real cool around me and yeah that was the best.
ET: Was Lovie Smith in on the conversation?
EF: He wasn't too much in on the conversation. He sat up front of me and I guess was observing, but I went in there a little like, "Man, this is Lovie Smith, an intelligent African-American man that I would always look up to watching him coach."
ET: Who else did you meet face-to-face with at the Combine?
EF: The Oakland Raiders, the Miami Dolphins, the Denver Broncos, as well as the Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, and Seattle Seahawks.
ET: Those are some high-quality teams.
EF: Great teams, great organizations. I met a lot of great guys within the organizations.
ET: In one other statement I saw about you, they used the term "uncoachable instincts" about you. Do you feel like you just have good instincts for what happens out there on the football field?
EF: I do. When I learn the playbook and know exactly what I'm supposed to be doing, there's another side of me. There's something else inside of my head that switches on, and I just take what I'm taught and make it my own. I mold it and sculpt it to how I feel as a player and what I bring to the table, so I would agree it's definitely there. I've been blessed with a gift.
ET: Are you a big game film guy?
EF: Yeah, huge game film guy. I know when I got here freshman year, not so much. But listening to the older guys and what they were telling me and coach Greene stressing the importance of the game film and what to pay attention for, I became a huge game film guy.
|(AP Photo/Joe Barrentine)|
ET: Talk about your special teams work and how you think you can contribute to the pro level in that area?
EF: At Washington State, coach Greene always stressed if you're great playing special teams you'll be a great player in general. I think I really took that to heart. Every time I stepped on the special teams unit, I wanted to be the one to make a play. I wanted to be the one on a punt or kickoff to get down there and make a tackle. Or I wanted to make the best block if I was on kickoff return or punt return.
ET: What did you get the "Iron Man" and "Assassin" awards for?
EF: The Iron Man Award is the highest percentage. You grade out what the highest percentage assignment on special teams as far as correct assignments, and along with that, the most plays on special teams. The Assassin Award is an award for the most tackles on special teams.
ET: What did you do between the Combine and your Pro Day that helped you boost all of your numbers except your broad jump, which you matched?
EF: I took what I did at the Combine and went back to the facility where I was training with the coaches behind me all the way and told them I want to work on this, this, and this. It was tough after leaving the Combine because my body was tired and sore, but at the same time I just got in there and started working immediately to see what I could improve upon with the short period I was given.
ET: Did you make any new friends at the Combine?
EF: I think Leonard Peters from the University of Hawaii. He is such a cool guy, very easy to talk to. We played at the All-Star Hula Bowl together, so in my down time at the Combine, Leonard was the coolest guy to talk to and hang out with and laugh with when things got stressful.
ET: Were there any teams who put you through some extra drills or were asking you questions at your Pro Day?
EF: The Oakland Raiders wanted to work me out as far as seeing my footwork and seeing what I could do on the field. So in that respect, just the Oakland Raiders. I did get a chance to shake hands with the Seattle Seahawks scout at my Pro Day, and I talked a little bit with the Bears.
ET: I saw you enjoy reading. What do you like to read?
EF: I'm a big fan of C.S. Lewis, more of his theoretical works than his Chronicles of Narnia and stuff. I like to read Rob Dale. Basically all of the books I like to read fall into the category of religion/inspirational.
ET: Is there anything I haven't asked you about that you'd like to make sure people know about you?
EF: A lot of people won't come out and say it because they feel like they're separate, but I think my relationship with God has played a huge part in who I am today. As well as how I perform in anything I do, whether it's the football field, school, or overall development. I think that's something I want people to know about me because it's not talked about too much when you get to the pro level and even at the college level.
|A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the Scout.com network and syndicated through FoxSports.com's NFL team pages.|