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Mack recalls Combine experience

Posted Feb 21, 2013

Browns center Alex Mack remembers what it was like going through the Combine experience, despite not being able to fully participate.

Alex Mack recently concluded his fourth NFL season with the Cleveland Browns in 2012, but he still vividly recalls his experience at the NFL Scouting Combine, which will again be held this weekend at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

“I was hurt at the Combine,” Mack said. “I sprained my ankle like two days before, so I didn’t actually participate. I just interviewed and everything else. I remember waking up real early and they almost set you up to fail.”

While he did not go through the on-field drills because of the sprained ankle, Mack went through the rest of the Combine experience, which includes interviews with the media, 15-minute interview sessions with team coaches and executives, and medical exams.

“They’re waking you really early every day, doing all kinds of stuff and the very last thing you do is all that running stuff that you see on TV,” Mack said. “It’s not an ideal situation. It’s high-stress. You’re tired from travel, so it’s remarkable when people go there and perform well because it’s not an easy situation.”

The meetings with the teams are often the most critical -- and stressful -- part of the Combine experience. The interviews go late into the evenings and players are shuffled from one team to another on a 15-minute rotating basis. Prior to the Combine, teams have to submit a list of players they would like to speak with during the weekend.

“It depends on who you talk to,” Mack said of each team’s interview style. “Some groups are really easy, laid back and want to get to know you. Some teams really grilled you.”