Ed Thompson: When the call came from Cincinnati, who did you talk to
and what did they say?
Rey Maualuga: I talked to Coach Lewis and he said, 'you are about to
be a Cincinnati Bengal.' I was so excited. My dream has finally come true to
play in the NFL. I also talked to the defensive coordinator, Coach Zimmer, and
he said he loves the way I approach the game.
Thompson: Did they tell you where you fit into their team's plans?
Maualuga: I am a versatile player and will play where ever Coach
Lewis and Coach Zimmer want me to play. I just want to contribute, it doesn’t
matter to me, whatever position that gets me on the field the fastest. I’m
going to go there and compete for the job. Just line me up, tell me what to do
and I will go and do it.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Thompson: How much contact did you have with the team prior to getting
their call (Combine formal interview, workout or visit)?
Maualuga: I didn't hear much from the Bengals leading up to the
Draft, but I'm happy to be on a team on the rise and to play for a
Thompson: Do you know anyone on your new team really well?
Maualuga: Yes, there are three players on my new team from USC,
Carson Palmer, Keith Rivers and Frostee Rucker. I also know Domata Peko and
Jonathan Fanene. Maurice Purify is from my high school, Eureka High School in
Eureka, CA. It's a small town, so it's pretty cool that we both got picked by
Thompson: What veterans on the team are you excited about working
with and learning from?
Maualuga: I'm obviously really looking forward to playing with Keith
Rivers. He comes back to USC to work out from time to time, and I know he is a
great player. I also know Dhani Jones has played for a long time and is a great
veteran. Carson Palmer is a great leader and I can't wait to be with him every
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A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook. Or contact him by email
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