5 Minutes With Maurice Purify

Former Nebraska wide receiver Maurice Purify landed with the Cincinnati Bengals last year, and after a little more than a year on the team's practice squad, he tells Scout.com's Ed Thompson that he's ready to take the next step in his NFL career.

Ed Thompson: Last year you started out with the practice squad, look back on that experience a little bit and tell us how it's helped make you a better player this season.

Maurice Purify: Coming in with Andre (Caldwell) and Jerome (Simpson) was good. I learned a lot of things from them and Chad (Ochocinco) and T.J. (Houshmandzadeh), so I thought my first year was good. To be able to sit back and watch, learn and get ready to play somewhere. It's all been a good experience. I've learned a lot from having a new coach, he taught me a lot of new things and what I should look for.

Thompson: Tell me this, being around a guy like Chad Ochocinco, what are some of the most valuable things that you've been able to pick up as you watch him?

Purify: How he works in practice and off the field. Chad does a lot of stuff that people don't know about. You just pick up little things like that, and like how T.J. was so precise in running his routes.

Thompson: When you were at Nebraska, you finished second all-time with 16 touchdowns. You were a playmaker who finished high on their list in total catches with 91. Talk a little bit about what you bring to the NFL as a receiver.

Purify: I'm pretty much possession receiver. I get behind the defense every once in a while, and I'm a guy who gives his team a first-and-ten. I'll do all the dirty work--I like to block, I like to run down there on special teams. I'll do anything.

Thompson: The Bengals yet another good wide receiver this year--Quan Cosby from Texas. Talk a little bit about what Quan brings to the team.

Purify: A little bit of speed, a guy that can take returns back. We've seen a couple of times that when he gets in open space he's able to take it the distance on punt returns.

Thompson: Maurice, where do you think you are in your development as an NFL receiver? Talk about your readiness to step up onto the regular roster.

Purify: I feel like when I first came in here I wouldn't have been able to play. But I think I learned a lot--the speed of the game, what I need to do to get open, and stuff like that. I think I'm able to play right now. I'm ready to be on the field.

Thompson: How tough is waiting for that opportunity when you believe you're ready and you feel like you can contribute week-in and week-out? The NFL is a waiting game for most young guys these days, isn't it?

Purify: Yeah, you have to wait for the opportunity. I'm only doing the things I can control, and that's what I do on the practice squad--go as hard as I can and show the coaches that I can play.

Thompson: Maurice, I know it's an awful lot of work. Is it still fun for you?

Purify: Yeah, it's fun. I like football. Football is a great sport, and it's a pleasure to be able to do it your whole life.

Thompson: Do you want to give a shout out to the Cincinnati fans and also to your old fans back in Nebraska?

Purify: Cincinnati fans, were going to make it to the playoffs and it's going to be a great season--who dey? To the Nebraska fans, keep your heads up, we're going to make it to the top.

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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.

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