INDIANAPOLIS - Offensive linemen, tight ends and special teams players came out for day one of the 2014 NFL Draft Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on Thursday.
In the mix of players speaking with media members was former Michigan offensive lineman Taylor Lewan.
Check out the HD video below, along with an interview transcript, of Lewan, who discussed his game, where he's improved, his friendship with Jake Long and playing through the whistle.
On if it was a gamble to come back for this past season ...
"There's always a chance in terms of getting hurt and things like that. Absolutely it's a gamble, but I wanted to be with my teammates for one more year. I wanted the opportunity to win a Big Ten championship one more time, but unfortunately it didn't work out that way. But I'm not not hurt, nothing's wrong and I'm absolutely thrilled to be here."
On his strengths as a player ...
"My strengths as a player - I like to think that I'm very consistent. I definitely play through the whistle. I think that's also one of my weaknesses, as everybody likes to comment on, but there's no doubt about it I like to play through the whistle and do whatever I can to put people in the dirt as often as possible."
On who he models his game after ...
"I would say I try to take after another Michigan man. If I had to pick myself to be like somebody, it would be Jake Long. He's an unbelievable player. He also wore No. 77 at Michigan. It's awesome to even be compared to him.
On his relationship with Jake Long...
"I know him pretty well now. We've gotten to know each other, and he's a great guy, phenomenal person. (There have been) calls, texts, I've seen him on campus a couple of times. I've gotten to know him and his wife. They're great people."
On where he wants to go ...
"Honestly any team that wants to pick me, I'd be more than happy to be there."
On if he plays the game with a certain type of swagger ...
"I don't know if I have 'swagger' or anything like that, but the main focus of my game is to give the running back an opportunity to have yards and give my quarterback an opportunity to be successful in the pocket. My job doesn't give me highlights and stuff like that, but I love doing what I do, whether it's left tackle or right tackle, guard or center in the future. As long as I have the opportunity."
On what he improved on the most this past season ...
"One thing I really, really stressed on was pass protection just because it's so huge in the NFL. Obviously everything in my game needs to get better, but my main focus was that and I think it got much better."
On where the label of 'playing dirty' comes from ...
"Where did it come from? I don't know, but if I were a coach I would want my players to play through the whistle every single play. Not necessarily dirty or nasty or get personal fouls, which I've done a couple of times. But I would absolutely want my players to try and put somebody in the dirt against their will every single play."
HD VIDEO: Michigan OL Taylor Lewan
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