Feb. 25, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Left tackle Rodger Saffold is one of four Hoosiers at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. He met with the media this afternoon and the transcript is below:
On where he has trained:
"I trained in Bradenton, Fla., at IMG with Jammie Kirlew, so that was a lot of fun just being down there with a bunch of our guys from Sports Stars. They really did a great job for us, lifting, and running, and also other things off the field."
On what he worked on in Bradenton:
"We definitely worked on all those but what they did was make sure that none of the interviews were rehearsed, we were still doing what we knew how to do, that we were smart on our own, that they were just telling us answers and making us memorize them. Those types of things you have to learn. And then when the new test comes it should be easy for you."
On the training being like a job:
"It's definitely like a full-time job. We were up around 7 a.m. and done around 5:30 p.m. If you want to be able to play in the NFL it's definitely something you need to be able to do to get yourself ready. You can't just relax.
On the best pass rusher he faced:
"The best pass rusher I ever faced was (Wisconsin's O'Brien) Schofield. He is a real big speed guy. He is lighter but his inside moves were really crisp. Just being able to have that speed and have that counter speed is really beneficial to him."
On the teams he has talked with:
"I talked to the Jaguars, the Bills and the Colts. I also talked to the Dolphins, talked to the Falcons, talked to the Raiders, talked to the Chargers, and I have many more interviews tonight."
On what he has seen on the field in 41 straight starts at left tackle:
On his back injury in 2008:
"Pretty much (seen everything). I haven't seen a lot of 3-4 defenses, but I've been able to see a whole bunch of different things and basically I'll be preparing myself for those type of defenses once I play in the NFL."
"I did have a spine injury, but right now that's not even a problem for me. I used to have to wear a brace, but I was still able to play every game. In 2009, I didn't have to wear a brace at all. I haven't had any problems. I am not limited in any type of activity."
On how painful the injury was:
"I don't know if anybody has ever had lower back pain, but when you have a fracture back there -- I mean I couldn't put on my own socks. It was hard putting on my own shoes. Just being able to rehab and do what I needed to do to get back on the field for my team was good enough for me."
On his performance at the East-West Shrine Game:
"I just wanted to play. You've always got to fight for what you want in life, and in the East-West game I really wanted to play against competition I never would've faced in the Big Ten. I was able to do that, I played well, but it wasn't really a confidence boost because you always have to have confidence in yourself. I really just enjoyed the time that I had down there, and just the experience of learning from the SEC and ACC guys was an experience I had never received.
On playing at Indiana:
"I had different experiences. It was really great down there. Playing for Coach (Terry) Hoeppner, being one of his last recruiting classes of his life, that's something that you can be truly proud of. And just being able to go out there and play your hardest for somebody like him and his wife (Jane), that was very big for me. It was a very emotional ride for me, but I have no regrets."
On seeing Coach Bobby Johnson:
"It's always good seeing your coach down there. Of course when you get it in there for the interview and he's looking at you, you kind of want to look around at everybody. It was very good talking to him. It really made me feel more comfortable out here, especially with me being the only Indiana offensive lineman down here.
On having Coach Johnson in the NFL:
"It can go either way. It could be good because anybody could just go ahead and glorify you, but somebody that knows your weaknesses can make you better on the road to being a part of the NFL. And also just being able to work harder knowing that he knows that you have those weaknesses. Just being able to be aware that he knows your weaknesses, to be able to work a lot harder."
On Coach Johnson's influence on him:
"He helped me a lot on the field, but he also helped me off the field. You have to be responsible when you're out there by yourself. I've had a lot of talks with him when it was just he and I talking about life. He's been able to help me be a better man myself, and ultimately that helps you on the field. My character definitely changed my freshman year being able to be that loyal guy that was able to help your teammates. Because I was more accountable, I ended up taking more responsibility while I was playing. I continued to work on that through this summer and just being accountable helped me throughout my whole career."
On if the Combine has been what he envisioned:
"Not yet. I haven't done any of the running or the benching or anything like that. All the things that we're doing now are definitely expected because I know they have to take every precaution available to them in order to make the right decision. Right now we are dealing with more than medical things. But when it comes down to the running and the benching I know I'm going to be prepared."
On the biggest thing he needs to do at the Combine:
"Basically I need to show everybody that I'm here to take advantage of my opportunity. I'm not going to be somebody that just sits in the background to watch people run the 40... I'm going to go out here and I'm going to take it. I can't sit back and watch anybody. I have to make sure that I can focus on myself and just go out there and show everybody what an Indiana football player is all about."
Special thanks to Inside Indiana editor-in-chief Ken Bikoff for providing the transcription.