NFL Draft Q&A: James Marten

Fred Miller is 34 years old and John Tait is 32, so the Midway Monsters need to get younger at the offensive tackle position. GM Jerry Angelo probably won't have a chance to draft a blue-chipper like Joe Staley, but a second-tier prospect like BC's James Marten should be available. The Bears conducted a formal interview with Marten at the NFL Combine and appear to have him on their draft board.

Ed Thompson: What do you think are some of the most important things you learned during these three years of starting that is going to translate well to success to the pro level?

James Marten: We ran a pro-style offense. I played with a lot of guys – offensive linemen – that are in the NFL. They come back and show us little things. I think I'm well prepared for that, just coming from that type of offense and having those guys around me to give me guidance on what it's going to be like.

ET: Tell me a little bit about who those guys are and some of the things they've been able to share.

JM: Last year Pete Kendall came back, and he's played in the league forever. It was interesting talking to him. We went out on the field and watched him do some stuff, and he's just such a smart guy. He just taught us little things. Jeremy Trueblood graduated last year. He's a tackle, too. He tells me just little things to work on that have really helped him improve his game that he wished he'd worked on at this time last year.

ET: I saw that one website drew a very strong comparison between you and Jeremy. Do you think your styles are very similar?

JM: Gosh, I mean, not really (laughs). We're just different types of players. We only get compared to each other because we're from the same school. He and I have talked about this, and he was giving me a hard time because he read somewhere that I was his clone.

ET: Yes, that's the one I saw.

JM: I don't really see it, and he doesn't really see it either.

ET: You're an extremely smart guy. Fair statement?

JM: Yeah, I never have a problem with missed assignments, and I pick up offenses really easily.

ET: But you have a pretty nasty attitude out there on the field, don't you?

JM: Well you've got to (laughs)! You've got to play the line [and] take no prisoners. You've got to go after them, and no mercy out there.

ET: Are you a quiet nasty guy or are you a talker out there?

JM: I let my play speak for itself. I don't need to talk trash out there. You only do that if you're insecure.

(Boston College Athletics)
ET: For fans who have never gotten to see a Pro Day workout, can you give them a thumbnail sketch of what they put you through on position drills as the NFL coaches were watching?

JM: Well, we were out there for about two hours. With two hours you can do almost every drill imagined: kicks, steps, pulling, run blocking with hand placement, some flexibility tests, run blocking, pass blocking, different types of kick steps. It was pretty comprehensive because we were out there for so long.

ET: How about at your Pro Day, did you have anybody come up and talk to you at all, or did anybody pull you aside to run you through a couple extra drills themselves?

JM: The Chiefs' offensive coordinator was there. The Browns' offensive line coach. The Patriots' offensive line coach. Those guys were all there, and they wanted to do some extra board work and see some extra drills that they like to see on their guys.

ET: Outside of those workouts off to the side, have you had any personal workouts or pre-draft visits?

JM: I had a personal workout with the Rams, and I have a visit with the Jaguars.

ET: Did you have an opportunity to do any of the 15-minute formal interviews at the Combine?

JM: Yeah, I did four formal interviews there: the 49ers, the Bears, the Colts, and the Cardinals.

ET: When you met with the 49ers and the Bears, did you get to meet with their head coaches?

JM: I didn't get to meet Mike Nolan with the 49ers. I did get to meet Lovie Smith with the Bears.

ET: What was that like because I've heard he's an incredible person?

JM: He's a really nice guy. He was pretty quiet in the interview, but he asked very pointed questions. He's a man of few words, but he's a nice guy, too.

ET: What types of questions did the 49ers ask? Anything different than what everybody else was asking?

JM: Not really. Just general background questions, then we did a little board work. We didn't actually have a board. We just talked over offenses and how we blocked things at Boston College, and then how they did it. We just talked about different blocking schemes and stuff like that.

ET: Now you went to high school in Indianapolis, and your family is still in Indy, aren't they?

JM: Yep, they still live in Indy.

ET: Did you grow up a Colts fan?

JM: Yeah, I was a big Colts fan growing up.

ET: How big of a thrill would that be to be able to play there in your hometown?

JM: The Colts are the only NFL team I've ever really followed, so it'd be a dream come true. Especially with all the success they've been having now, it'd even be better. My dad and I used to go to games every once in a while. We suffered through the years with Jeff George and stuck by them, so it's kind of rewarding now that they're so good.

ET: After having sat up there in the RCA Dome watching these guys play, can you imagine yourself maybe being entrusted with the blindside of a quarterback like Peyton Manning?

JM: I think I'm ready for it, but once again, it'd be a dream come true. Something I'm looking forward to.

Learn more about James Marten by visiting his player profile page. And if you missed the first part of our exclusive interview with Marten, click here.

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.



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