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What the Linebackers said at the Combine

Posted Feb 24, 2014

Read what Telvin Smith, Khalil Mack and Lamin Barrow had to say.

The linebackers 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 linebackers had to say.

Telvin Smith – Florida State University

On former FSU and current Steelers LB Vince Williams:
“He’s a smart player. That’s one thing that helped me out. He even helped me out learning the playbook and things like that. That’s one thing he is; he’s a smart player. He’s not the fastest guy, so he has to have another edge. And that’s why he uses his brain as the biggest thing he has. He uses it very well."

On if weight will be an issue at next level:
“I still have to go through minicamps. I still have to go through the whole process. I think by the time I step on the field for my first NFL game, I think I’ll be a little bit heavier.”

On biggest transition from college to NFL:
“The biggest transition from college to pro is just the fact that it’s a job now. It’s life or death now. It’s not scholarship. It’s here. It’s you’re here right now, but you could be gone tomorrow. You just have to come in with that mindset every day that it’s life or death. This is what I’m fighting for.”


Khalil Mack – University of Buffalo

On versatility compared to some of the other top defenders in the draft this year:
“My versatility helps me in a lot of ways. If you have a guy who can rush the passer, as well as drop in coverage- that covers two of the big issues on the defense.”

On how much performance against Ohio State helped:
“A lot, especially being the first game of the season. It helped with the stage, I feel like there was
a lot of people watching that game. It helped me tremendously.”

On what he can prove here that he hasn’t shown already on film:
“I can show that I have good feet and good hands. Really, I feel I've shown all I could on film, and hopefully I can stamp it.”


Lamin Barrow – Louisiana State University

On where he has improved since the Senior Bowl:
“I think I’ve improved tremendously with my coverage. Going into the Senior Bowl, it was a question of how good do I move in open space and can I run with some of these fast slot receivers? And I think I did a good job that week of just getting down there and making some plays and getting my hands on the ball and showing them I’m good in space. Since then, I went to the Senior Bowl at about 228, 229. I’ve gained almost 10 pounds since then of muscle, got my speed up a little bit. I’m just anxious and happy to be here and ready to showcase my talents."

On if pass coverage is something he needs to work on:
“It’s definitely something I need to work on but I think it’s becoming one of my strengths and I grew on it a lot during the Senior Bowl. I’m multiple and versatile and I just want to get a chance to show that.”

On what all linebackers need to succeed in the NFL:
“Physicality, toughness and speed. The league today, there so much (of the spread?) coming in and with some of these fast receivers and running backs coming in, you’ve got to have speed to be able to get out there and cover it. At the end of the day you’ve got to be a physical guy to play linebacker.”

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