Combine quotable: “Yep, they really said that”

Combine quotable: “Yep, they really said that”
February 25, 2013, 4:15 pm
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They ask if ‘Big Foot’ is Sasquatch and if I am actually the mascot.
—Wisconsin center Travis Frederick on attending Big Foot High School
I feel I’ve got just a little more butt behind.
—North Carolina offensive lineman Jonathan Cooper on having to gain weight

The annual NFL Scouting Combine always has memorable performances, some in front of scouts and coaches, some in front of microphones:
 
Say, aren’t you…?
 
Wisconsin center Travis Frederick appeared for his media session with a beard that prompted one press-room wag to muse, “Wonder who drafts Z Z Top?”
 
Frederick, from Big Foot High School in tiny Sharon, Wisc., was queried on the craziest thing people ask him because of his background (and, presumably, facial fur):  “They ask if ‘Big Foot’ is Sasquatch and if I am actually the mascot”….
 
Read my lips…please
 
Minnesota Vikings GM Rick Spielman said last week that he was not trading disgruntled receiver/returner Percy Harvin. So the first question posed was, naturally, what about trading Percy Harvin.
 
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to get through this with without a Percy Harvin question or not in this process,” Spielman said, managing a smile. “As I stated earlier, we have no intent to trade Percy Harvin.”
 
And the last question 15 minutes later: You’re saying you won’t trade Harvin?
 
“We have no intent of trading Percy Harvin. Thank you.” No smile.
 
Thinking big I
 
If the NFL Competition Committee ever comes up with an idea to enlarge the playing field, having a coach from, say, the Canadian Football League, where the field is 65 yards by 110 yards, the Bears are ready with Marc Trestman: “I’ve got some plays if we ever get to a bigger field.”
 
Thud ‘em up!
 
Former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was runner-up to Marc Trestman for the Bears’ head-coaching job. After that decision was made, Arians took that post with the Arizona Cardinals. He had a very simple suggestion to improve the player-evaluation value for the Combine:
 
“Pads.”
 
Thinking big II
 
North Carolina offensive lineman Jonathan Cooper has lived the dream: being forced to eat pizza to gain weight.
 
Cooper, a consensus first-round pick projection in the upcoming draft as a center or guard, had his weight down by about 30 pounds last season for the Tarheels’ spread and no-huddle offense. Since then, he has worked to get his weight up to NFL levels and pizza was a major part of the weight-gain “program.”
 
“We just about tripled the number of plays we ran in practice. It really kind of sped up my metabolism,” Cooper said of the weight loss. “But now I’m up to 312 and I do feel the difference. I feel the power.
 
“I feel I’ve got just a little more butt behind.”
 
One more deep-dish oughtta do it.
 
“Honey Badger” gone?
 
Troubled ex-LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu spent Combine time trying to convince NFL teams that his “Honey Badger” alter ego is a thing of the past, along with major off-field character issues that included his being kicked out of LSU and missing the 2012 season. Has he let go of “Honey Badger?”
 
"I have but a lot of people haven't, but that's okay,” Mathieu said. “I'm ‘Tyrann’ right now but if the Honey Badger sticks, it sticks. But right now I'm focused on being Tyrann Mathieu."
 
Thinking big III
 
Alabama is expected to have two offensive linemen – guard Chance Warmack, tackle D.J. Fluker – drafted in this year’s first round. One of their teammates thinks maybe a third Tide could roll early.
 
Center Barrett Jones is projected in round 2-3 by Pro Football Weekly. Asked at the Combine what was it like playing on a line with two first-round players, Jones questioned the question:
 
“You’re writing me off as a first-rounder?” he said, smiling. “Thanks.”