Minkah: 'I was never a fan'

This week current and former NFL players, college football players, football fans, pretty much everyone who follows football, will be tuned in to the NFL Scouting Combine on NFL Network.

Minkah Fitzpatrick won't be one of them, though.

"I definitely watched it before I went," said Fitzpatrick. "I don't watch it now. Not at all. Now that I know what goes down there, I don't watch it."

It's safe to say Fitzpatrick wasn't a fan of the Combine. And to be real, let's not sugar coat it. He didn't like it at all.

"I was never a fan of the Combine," said Fitzpatrick. "I don't see the point of it. You have been playing college football for three or four years, you have all of this film. You get invited for a reason. But I have never been a big fan of it. I feel like for some people it hurts you more than it helps."

One of the main things Fitzpatrick wasn't a fan of were the physicals. Yes, he understood they were a necessary evil, but he just couldn't wrap his arms around how they were done.

"I think most people would say this, the physicals were absurd," said Fitzpatrick. "You would go to each room and you would have a whole bunch of people pulling at your arms, messing with your knees, and messing with this, messing with that. A lot of guys, including myself, I had an MCL sprain my freshman year. I missed one game from it. It didn't bother me. It was on my injury report, so all of the doctors and trainers were pulling on my knee. After I finished doing all of that my knee was sore from it, from them doing all of the regular doctor stuff."

And then there were the Combine hours, or lack thereof when it came to trying to get some sleep.

"You are up at four in the morning to take a drug test that you have to wait in line for 30 minutes to take," said Fitzpatrick. "Then they keep you up until 12 at night.

"I didn't feel as tired. I wasn't too beat up. But a lot of guys, especially the day of the field events, guys were tired because they couldn't sleep because they were keeping us up and the nerves and anxiousness."

Another part of the Combine that gets the nerves going for players are the interviews. Every club submits a list of players they want to interview while they are in Indianapolis for the Combine, and some of the players end up with a long list of teams they have to sit in front of and take questions from. While Fitzpatrick didn't interview with the Steelers at the Combine, he did have some interesting interviews while there.

"They were different for each team," said Fitzpatrick. "Some teams were super laid back. Asking me questions about my family, my parents, my siblings. Others were trying to be all hard, breaking apart my film, trying to be all tough. It depends on the team. Some guys are laid back, others try to be aggressive and intimidating and see how you react. It was different for every team.

"The on-field part you can prepare for. The mental part of it is something you either have it or you don't. All of the interviews, I had 14 interviews in one night, that wasn't fun. You can't prepare for that. You either have it or you don't."

The on-field stuff. Now that is one area where you won't hear many complaints from Fitzpatrick because that is where football players are in their element.

"The actual football stuff, when we were on the field doing the drills, I had fun doing that," said Fitzpatrick. "That was fun out there. That was what we were there to do. We are football players. We are not Combine athletes. We want to go out there and play football.

"I was with all of the safeties and corners. There were guys I was competing against in the draft. If somebody went out and did something good, I didn't have to compare myself to them but go out there and execute like I do."

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