Do you feel like this three-month period after your season is almost as important as your collegiate career?
Robert Meachem: Yes. The reason I say that is because if you don't get your body in the best shape you can before the Combine and before your Pro Day, you are not going to make it to the next level because the coaches are not going to have faith in your work ethic.
Having said that, do you look at all at your positioning and where you may end up in the NFL Draft?
Robert Meachem: Coming out as a junior you look at everything you can possibly look at to make sure that you have a chance if you should leave. The advisory board told me late first, early second and with a great Combine – who knows?
You are a former basketball player from your high school days – have you seen that help you on the football field?
Robert Meachem: When you go up for jump balls it is like you are going up for a rebound or a dunk. When you are one-on-one with a defender, he does not know what you are doing. If you don't show any indication of what you are doing than he can't stop you.
What do you see as your greatest strength?
Robert Meachem: My yards after the catch. I used to play running back until my sophomore year in high school. Really it is being elusive and not willing to go down. You don't want to get tackled by the first guy – the first hit, I always say, ‘Make the first guy miss. If you don't make him miss, punish him.' The next time when he runs up there he is going to think about it, ‘He just hurt me.'
Some people will say you only had success for one year. How do you combat that thinking?
Robert Meachem: The receivers at Tennessee – all the people that watch games will see we rotated receivers a lot. The starter may start every game but after three or four plays he is coming out. After three or four plays you are coming out. Then you have three different quarterbacks and you still have to win – the only time we didn't win was 2005.
Do you also point to the competition you faced in the SEC and some of the better cornerbacks around?
Robert Meachem: Chris Houston played me real well. We brought the best out of each other. I didn't get a chance to go against Fred Bennett this year because they moved him to safety. He was a more experienced guy on a defense that had two freshmen. Going against Jonathan Wade every day made me the player that I am. Him and Jason Allen and the rest of the guys…
How much do you look forward to going against names like Champ Bailey and the top flight cornerbacks in the NFL?
Robert Meachem: I will love the chance to go against Bailey and Deangelo Hall because they will bring the best out of me. That is the only way you get better – going against the best.
Was there a particular visit that stood out to you?
Robert Meachem: Meeting James Lofton. It was a real nice visit. He took me to his daughter's track meet. He took me around his family. His wife – I enjoyed her company, I enjoyed his oldest son and he took me and his oldest son out to eat.
Now did a visit like that surprise you in how informal it was – meeting a Hall of Famer?
Robert Meachem: Yes it surprised me. You think you are going to go in and watch film and tell them everything you know. With Coach Lofton, he said, ‘I already know everything about you and your position. I already know you know how to block. I know you know how to run after the catch.'
What were the other visits you had like?
The Kansas City visit, they put you on top of the stage and let you be the coach. All the coaches are in there listening to you talk. At the moment, you just enjoy getting the chance to be the coach. It is like you are coaching younger guys.
Everything that you know about your offense they were asking you about – your position.
You get tired of flying?
Robert Meachem: You don't look at it like a visit – you look at it like it is a blessing.
What does an NFL team get when they select Robert Meachem?
Robert Meachem: You are getting a guy who is going to try and outwork your hardest worker. You are getting a guy who hates to make a mistake and hates to lose. I am going to do whatever it takes to help the team win. If I don't know something I am going to ask questions until I understand it.
When you hate to mistake – have you ever found that it affects you in a bad way? Do you carry it with you?
Robert Meachem: No, because in life everyone is going to make mistakes. Nobody is perfect. You try and play mistake free because if you are having fun a lot of times you don't make many mistakes. If you start thinking and trying to do everything that you drew up on paper, you make mistakes.
One of the important things for a receiver and something you mentioned earlier is blocking. It has become a very important part of the game for a receiver. How have you progressed through the years at that skill?
Robert Meachem: My blocking has progressed well. I still have a few things I need to work on – staying on my block a little longer and for the cut blocking to get better at it.
Other than that, the coaches love having such a physical guy to go block a guy. Sometimes, I need to stay on block a little bit longer. You don't want the running back taking any unnecessary punishment.
Are you ready for this to be over?
Robert Meachem: Yes, you are ready for this to be over but then again you think, ‘What am I getting myself into?' It is always exciting though.