All part of the process, last week the defensive ends at the NFL Combine met with the press before doing their workouts on the field for teams. They were peppered with questions ranging from bouncing back from injuries to scheme specifics like lining up in a 3-4 vs. a 4-3 defense.
- BYU DE Ezekiel Ansah on why he started playing football in 2010: "I was really athletic. I didn't want to just sit around and go to school. I wanted to do something. Since basketball didn't work out, I wanted to do football."
- FSU DE Cornellius Carradine: on the type of player coming back from an ACL an NFL team will get: "They're going to get a great person, a guy that's passionate about the game of football, a guy that's a team player, cares about his team, loves to win, just a great guy overall. A guy that's got a motor, a guy that is physical against the run, disruptive against the pass, and a guy that can shoot through gaps, and a guy that's just all over the field, and a guy that you'll want on your team that will come in and make impact plays on your defense."
- UCLA DE Datone Jones on the move he's been trying to perfect before entering the league: "The cross-chop rip. It's a tough move. … In Michael Strahan's last game, in the Super Bowl, he did a move; he called it his 'Hall of Fame move'. It's where he got his last sack. It was a cross-chop rip. You've got to get off the ball fast. You've got to beat the offensive lineman off the ball, give a nice head fake, get his hands down with the cross chop, then rip and you're through. I've been trying to perfect that. I think that'd be real critical to my game. Hopefully it'll help me in the future."
- LSU DE Barkevious Mingo on defending mobile QBs: "We play a lot more quarterbacks that can use their feet as well as their arms. We're asked to keep them in the pocket and not let them loose and us lose contain and let them have big runs. Numerous times, a guy won the Heisman (Johnny Manzell) because people would lose contain. Our focus when we played those guys was to keep them in the pocket and collapse it and just put a little pressure on them that way instead of taking shots at them."
- Texas A&M DE Damontre Moore on playing in a 3-4 and a 4-3 defense in college: "I feel comfortable in both schemes. It wasn't so much a big change so much as when [the new coaching staff] came in and told us that we were changing schemes and switching me to defensive end, I was like, 'Cool. Put me in wherever you have to put me in. Wherever I can put my teammates in the best situation.' And when he put me there I got on the d-line I made a lot of new brothers, you know? I was with the linebackers. I was going into a room with a lot of big guys around me and I was like, 'Wow, can I play here?' I questioned myself at times but Coach believed in me and he told me 'We can do this, just give a good team effort.' I felt like I worked hard and everybody worked hard and we ended up with good results."
- LSU DE Sam Montgomery on decision to leave school early: "I think it was my time due to family conditions, and I think I did everything I could at LSU. Two-time All-American, led the team, kept up with my academics as much as I can, it was a decision me and my family had to make. The standard of living for them isn't looking too well so I wanted to step up and be a man and take care of them. I've done everything I could do at LSU. I tried to lead the young guys so they could carry the torch."
- Texas DE Alex Okafor on how he lined up on defense in college: "I've mainly played left side end in college. Tight end switches back and forth so I've played both weak side end and strong side, just from the left side, though. As far as the next level is concerned I'll do whatever the team wants me to. I've gotten some repetition in practice on the right side so I'm comfortable on that side. I'm just ready to get a chance and an opportunity."