I'm fascinated by media sessions at events like the NFL Combine. Beat writers don't want to be asking the questions they have to ask, players (and coaches) don't want to answer the questions they're asked, you get more 'Talk about ... ' statements than you can count, and narratives are beaten so hard they can't feel feelings anymore.
I'll start with some full disclosure. I worked as a Gameday Media Relations Intern/Assistant for the Cleveland Browns for two seasons. Part of that responsibility, aside from passing out stats and being extra polite to people like Rachel Nichols and Ian Eagle, was transcribing media interviews in postgame. The sound quality from the mics was often poor, and many of the questions were banal at best, but we had about 10 minutes to get it all typed up and find a way to make Eric Mangini sound like every one of his sentences didn't end in an ellipsis. Sometimes, the transcribed pages ended up being a window into my soul. Other times, they were outright indecipherable.
So naturally, we're left with some real gems. Enter the beauty of NFL Draft Scout's directory of media interviews from the 2013 NFL Combine. Packed in this text-based site tree (no frills here) are all the sessions from the coaches, GMs and players. You're welcome to spend hours enjoying everything the site has to offer, but I've carefully curated some of my favorite questions and answers from the Combine.
Arizona Coach Bruce Arians
Q: How's life in Arizona?
A: Warm. Except for yesterday. Shocked to see the snow. First time I think a golf tournament has been snowed out. It's an exciting time. Put the staff together, they are all working. It's fun.
LSU DB Tyrann Mathieu
A: My best friend right now is honesty.
Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell
Q: Have you talked to Greg about things since season ended?
A: Greg and I have spoken. We remain very good friends.
Cleveland Browns Coach Rob Chudzinski
(On what kind of guys he's looking for on the offense)
"From an overall standpoint, we're looking for good people, good athletes and good players. Guys that are tough, guys that won't be outworked by anybody and I want guys that want to be Cleveland Browns and want to be in Cleveland and want to be part of something special in Cleveland."
(Related: Chudzinski is really excited).
Oregon LB Kiko Alonso
Q: The Oregon defense was pretty good.
A: We ran a bunch of different looks. A lot of different disguises. And they just put us in great position to make plays.
FSU CB Xavier Rhodes
Q: How many teams have you talked with
A: It's not happening yet.
Notre Dame LB Manti T'eo
Q: Can you believe the fascination like this?
A: It's pretty crazy. I've been in front of a few cameras, but not as many as this.
FSU DE Bjoern Werner
Q: Grow up cheering any NFL players, teams?
A: No, it was just too many - there's no favorite team. Just when I played Madden back in the day
I took the good players and just created the Bjoern Werner Team. That was my favorite team.
USC Quarterback Matt Barkley
(on whether he's grown over past year after measuring 6-2+)
Well, this adds two feet or so (referring to stage). Maybe I grew. ... He asked if I grew. That was the question. I didn't randomly say that.
NCSU Quarterback Mike Glennon
(late to the question, maybe Flacco?)
We're tall, relatively slim guys. He's bigger than me but I'm sure at this age he was probably around the same.
We both have powerful arms that can drive the ball down the field. I don't know him personally but I imagine similar
personalities. I think right now that's kind of an obvious comparison.
Alabama OL Barrett Jones
Q: What was it like playing on a line with two first-round players?
A: "You're writing me off as a first-rounder? Thanks." (He said that laughing).
Tennessee WR Cordarrelle Patterson
Q: talk about your path through the burning sunshine of Tennessee and the cold,
darkness of junior college to get to the booming utopia that is Indy.
A: It was a good path, man. I had to go to junior college and ended up at Tennessee. I wouldn't change it for nothing. Everyplace I went, I enjoyed every second of it.
USC WR Robert Woods
Q: Talked to any teams yet?
A: Yes, I have.
Michigan State RB Le'Veon Bell
ON HIS NFL DREAM
"I think about it every day. It's something I've always dreamed about since I was little. It's crazy. My aunt has this video when I was six years old - with no teeth or nothin'. And I tell my mom and my aunt that I'm going to the NFL. It was crazy that she's still got that video, and once I saw it I was like, you know that's crazy."
DID YOU ALWAYS DREAM TO BE AN NFL RUNNING BACK?
"I didn't say my position! (in the video) I had no teeth. I mean, I didn't know what position but I just said I was going to be there. I just loved football and I knew that's where I wanted to go."
Wisconsin RB Montee Ball
Q: Is it Mon-tee or Mon-tay?
A: It's MON-tay. That's the name.
Georgia LB Jarvis Jones
Q: Where do you think you'll get taken?
A: I don't know. Hopefully I'll go No. 1.
UConn LB Sio Moore
It's like baseball players -- you put those metal donuts on the bat when you warm up.
Bowling Green DT Chris Jones
Q: Are there any DTs you modeled your game after growing up?
A: No, because I wanted to be a running back.
San Francisco Coach Jim Harbaugh
(On whether there were any insights into the game he learned from his brother's perspective)
New York Jets GM John Idzik
(From first day you came onto job Revis was a topic and today you have talked about him for eight minutes)
Eight minutes. That is pretty good.
New York Giants Coach Tom Coughlin
Q: Did David Baas have any medical procedures?
A: Baas has had a little surgery, yeah.
Q: Of what nature?
A: On his body.
Georgia S Shawn Williams
Q: Lots of different workouts at Georgia, how did that help you out?
A: It helped guys in different ways. The MMA training helped the linebackers with their hand placement a lot. It also helped the DBs because you have to be able to move your feet and be quick. That kind of helped us too.
Q: What was one of the craziest things that they had you guys doing?
A: I can't think of anything right now.
Notre Dame, LB, Manti Te'o