Senior Bowl Q&A: Purdue DT Mike Neal

Mike Neal (Darron Cummings/AP)

Purdue defensive tackle Mike Neal talks with a smile on his face but has been practicing with something to prove at the Senior Bowl. "I'm here to stay and I'm here to play," he said. He also talked about feedback he's gotten from coaches and scouts, his goals for the week and the offensive linemen he respects.

Q: What's it been like getting a chance to come to the Senior Bowl?

A:
It's been a journey to this point. Five years of college and coming here and competing with the best talent in the country, it's an experience I will always remember.

Q: Who has impressed you that you've gone against in practice?

A:
That's hard to say. Pretty much everybody. There is so much talent. It's all around us. I've never been around this much talent in one room, so it's hard just to name one guy because a lot of guys stood out.

Q: What are you hearing from teams you've met with, as far as feedback on what they are looking for out of you?

A:
Just watching me use my hands, show my quickness, show my speed. Just playing with my hair on fire.

Q: Who did you meet with so far?

A:
I filled out questionnaires for the Packers. I've got some meetings with the Saints, the Eagles and also the Jaguars. So pretty good teams coming in, so we'll see what they're talking about and listen to them.

Q: Does it get nerve-wracking talking to all those NFL teams?

A:
Not at all. It's something I've dreamed of doing since I was a little child and the opportunity is here.

Q: What were your goals coming into this week? What did you want to show people?

A:
My main goal was to come out and just show I could play at the next level, show that I had the ability and the talent just to turn heads. That's my main goal – to turn heads this week?

Q: What is going to get you recognized this week?

A:
It's about winning all my pass-rush reps and just dominating on the run blocks, showing my quickness and ability?

Q: Have you gotten enough feedback to determine if teams think you are better against the run or the pass?

A:
Not yet. They don't really say too much. They try not to disclose too much. But, like I said, I'm out to prove I can play ball.

Q: Do you get a feeling during interviews about which teams you are really connecting with and which ones might just be going through the interview?

A:
Really, I try to connect to everybody. I'm just trying to get noticed by any and everybody, no matter who it is. I'm trying to get noticed and get my name out there and just let folks know that I'm here to stay and I'm here to play.

Q: Who are the guys that gave you trouble in college or that you really respect going against?

A:
Quite a few guys. One guy, he's here, Mitch Petrus from Arkansas. He's pretty good. I played against him early on in the season. The tackle from Oklahoma State (Russell Okung) is pretty good. There's quite a few guys. The guy from LSU (Ciron Black) is good. A lot of guys are playing tough. We're all trying to prepare for that next level, so you've got go hard and give all you've got.

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