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What the D-Line said at the Combine

Posted Feb 24, 2014

Read what Jadeveon Clowney, Jackson Jeffcoat and Michael Sam had to say.

The defensive line has wrapped up their on-field work at the NFL Combine. Most of the players talk while at the combine, and below is what a few of the defensive linemen had to say.

Jadeveon Clowney – University of South Carolina

On playing end or linebacker:
“It doesn’t matter to me, hand in the dirt, hand down. The scheme I played in in South Carolina, my hand was always down but I believe I can play standing up also.”

On who the best tackle he went against: “I went against a lot of tough tackles in the SEC. When you play in the SEC you are going to get the best game against everybody, and being the guy, I got everybody’s top game. There are a lot of guys, my hat’s off to them, next year anyways. I hope they will do good in the draft also.”

On why he should you go No. 1 over the QBs: “The Super Bowl, defense won that game, shut them down, shut them out. It takes defense to win championships hands down. You had a great quarterback in Peyton Manning, hats off to him also, but defense wins the Super Bowl.”

Jackson Jeffcoat – University of Texas

On how he best describes his game: “I can give you speed and I can surprise guys with some power. I have strength in my lower body and arms. I can get underneath a guy and use my leverage. I feel like I’m a guy that would be a positive influence in the locker room because I get along with guys well. So there won’t be any problems with that or off-the-field problems.”

On if his father, (former NFL defensive lineman Jim Jeffcoat) taught him pass-rush moves: “He started teaching me a little stuff in high school. I started playing in sixth grade. I had to beg him to let me play because he didn’t want me to play until high school. I really had to come to him to ask him. He didn’t want all that banging and pounding on my body, that football was something I could pick up later. He  wanted me to pick up my movement from basketball, soccer and baseball at a young age.”

On how much it helped to have his dad play defensive end in the NFL: “It helped a lot. He was able to teach me a lot of stuff. People think he was teaching me stuff when I was young, but really, he didn’t want to teach me too much because he wanted everything I do to be natural.”

Michael Sam – University of Missouri

On homophobic slurs in football locker rooms: “I've been in locker rooms where all kinds of slurs have been said and I don't think anyone means it. I think a little naive and uneducated but as time goes on everyone will adapt.”

On him being gay not being a story and him being Michael Sam the football player: “Well, heck yeah, I wish you guys would just say, 'Michael Sam, how's football going? How's training going?' I would love for you to ask me that question. But it is what it is. And I just wish you guys would just see me as Michael Sam the football player instead of Michael Sam the gay football player.”

On if he can play outside linebacker: “I’m a pass rusher. If you put me in a situation to get the quarterback, I’m going to get the quarterback. Whoever coaches or GMs, this league is a passing league, I’d like to believe in myself as a good pass rusher.”