Q&A with Michigan Tackle Jake Long

JAke Long

Q: One penalty in your whole college career? Is that stat correct?

A: I actually got one this season, I had a false start against Northwestern but those were my only two penalties. My redshirt freshman year I had a holding penalty.

Q: How much do you think you helped yourself by staying senior year?

A: It has helped me a lot. Last year I didn’t feel I was good enough to come out, I wanted to improve on things and those things I improved on. I feel I’m a smarter and better player than I was last year. I’m smarter in identifying the defenses. I worked on the little things in my game and I’ve gotten a lot better.

Q: Penalty-free football, what does that speak to?

A: Discipline. I always try to play focused and disciplined, tight and sound.

Q: How many sacks did you give up?

A: I gave up one sack this year. I’ve given up two in my career. This year it was Vernon Gholston at Ohio State. I take it personally. I wanted to make sure that I was perfect and not let up a sack but Vernon is a great player and he had a good move on me and I let it up. I think it was against Michigan State my redshirt freshmen year that I allowed one.

Q: Are there times during your penalty-free streak that you thought, that was a hold and they could have gotten me there?

A: Absolutely. I’ll admit that I hold. I’ll get my hands inside and hide it that I’m holding. I try to hide it so that the refs can’t see it.

Q: Is that a skill? That you can do it and not get caught? Have you gotten better at it over the years, avoiding the flag?

A: I think it is a skill if you can get away with it and not get caught. I try to make sure I get my hands inside every single play so that if I do hold a little bit the refs will not be able to see it.

Q: Sometimes people get reputations. Do you worry about that a little bit, that you’ll get flagged because you were penalty free?

A: I don’t worry about that. I just keep playing my game and doing things I have been doing.

Q: Can you talk about playing left tackle and what that means to you?

A: I love the left side. I started off my first two years at right tackle and moved over to left the last two years. I’m left handed and I feel very comfortable on that side. I think I proved myself as a left tackle.

Q: How much did you grow this year going through the ups and downs at Michigan?

A: You have to go through adversity in this game and this season our whole team, definitely in the seniors and all the coaches, went through adversity. We pulled together and showed our leadership, grew up fast and turned the season around.

Q: Do you have any comments on Rich Rodriguez and the whole circus?

A: I hope Coach Rodriguez does great for Michigan and carries on the tradition. I have not met him. I’ll probably do that when I go back for Pro Day. But I hope he does great things for Michigan. As long as they bring someone in with a great reputation which Rodriguez has, he’ll do great things for Michigan.

Q:

A: I just need to keep doing the things I’ve been doing. Keep working hard, learn the play book as fast as I can. Go out there and compete every single day and bring the same mentality I’ve been bringing every single day to practice and games.

Q: Can you tell us a little about what you wanted to do this season?

A: I just really wanted to improve my pass sets. Two years ago was my first time on the left side. I wasn’t really use to the past sets on that side. I got a lot more fluid this year with my pass sets. Just working on my hands, certain rush moves.

Q: Have you talked to the Dolphins? How would you feel about playing for them?

A: It would be an honor. I haven’t talked to them yet. I’ve had some informal meetings, nothing formal. It would be a great honor.

Q: Do you feel like you will play left tackle as a rookie?

A: Absolutely, I think I can play that position.

Q: What are your thoughts about pass protecting a mobile quarterback? Do you see a big difference?

A: I’ve never passed block for a mobile quarterback at Michigan. It’s been Chad who is a pocket quarterback so we just make sure we protect the pocket and don’t let anyone get in there. So I really can’t talk on how to block for a mobile quarterback.

Q: If you go to Oakland and you have JaMarcus Russell, would that be a big adjustment for you?

A: I don’t think it would be a big adjustment. It would not be hard.

Q: What is your height and weight?

A: 6’7, 313

Q: How much pride do you take in being a team captain?

A: That’s the greatest honor that I could ever receive coming out of Michigan. To just get captain once and then get it twice was a great honor. To know you have that respect from your teammates. I try to live up to it every day and live by example.

Q: What were the responsibilities for captain?

A: Being a leader on and off the field. Lead by example. Come to practice and be one of the best players out there. Lead your team to victories.

Q: How can you improve your own draft spot here this weekend?

A: I’m going to be working out and doing everything Saturday. Going my hardest. Running good and lifting good. Doing the position drills well.

Q: What about as far as personal interaction with teams and coaches?

A: Absolutely. I have to make sure my meetings go well. Give a good first impression to them. Make sure they like me and the kind of person I am.

Q: What’s your biggest hurdle to the next level?

A: I think playing against the D-ends in this league. They are fast and they are strong and they are huge. I definitely think that is going to be one thing I need to work on.

Q: What would a team get that drafts you?

A: They would get a hard-working, passionate player. Someone that comes to work and gives 100 percent every single day and has a true passion and love for the game.

Q: A year ago, Joe Thomas was in this same situation for the Draft. He had a really good rookie year. Did you follow him at all?

A: He’s a great player and represented his school in the Big Ten very well. He had a great rookie season. I’m going to have to follow in his footsteps and represent for the Big Ten. He showed me and all the other rookies that you can come in and make a huge impact, have a great season. That’s encouraging to me and to other players I’m sure.

Q: What are you going to do the day of the Draft?

A: Probably just hang out with my family.

Q: What do you know about Kansas City? What have you heard?

A: I really don’t know much about Kansas City. All I know is that a lot of the offensive linemen are gone. Probably start talking to them in time but right now I really don’t know.

Q: Any players that you admire or you pattern your game after?

A: Someone like Matt Light from the Patriots. He’s a great player. Technique is sound. He tries to do the little things right. He looks like an intense player and that is the type of guy I want to be.

Courtesy of the NFL


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