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3/28/2005

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Joe Rodriguez's Exclusive Interview with Notre Dame's Alltime Sack Leader Justin Tuck

Rodriguez: When did you make the decision to declare for the
NFL draft, and what helped you make that decision
possible?

Tuck: Well, after thinking about it and talking with my family I deciding that this was the best thing for my family and me. I think that the firing of Coach Willingham had a impact on it, but the biggest factor was that I will graduated in May.

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Rodriguez: Who was your favorite NFL player to watch growing up?

Tuck: LT and Reggie White and Mike Singletary

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Rodriguez: Is there anyone in the NFL now that you could compare yourself to?

Tuck: Jevon Kearse and John Abraham

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Rodriguez: When you lineup on defense what goes through your
mind?

Tuck: I just try to block everything out, because at that point you have done the work in practice all week, so now it is time to have fun. So I'm all about having fun and fun for me on the field is sacking QB's and hitting someone in the mouth.

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Rodriguez:How would your rate your pass defense vs. run defense? Are they even or do you have more expertise versus the other?

Tuck: I think right now I'm more skilled at getting to the QB and my run defense has improve every year. So i would that I'm slightly a better pass rusher.

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Rodriguez: What is your main goal coming into the NFL?

Tuck: Be the Best.

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Rodriguez: Can you tell me how a team would benefit by drafting you in this 2005 NFL Draft?

Tuck: They would be drafting a leader, and someone with a great work ethic. Also they would be getting someone that can pressure the QB.

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Rodriguez: Could you envision yourself playing LB in a 3-4
alignment? What advantages or disadvantages could you see playing LB in a 3-4 alignment?

Tuck: I could see myself doing that because I started my college career at LB, but I would rather play DE.

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Rodriguez: Have any teams shown interest in you now that you have declared for the draft?

Tuck: A lot of teams have shown interest.

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Rodriguez: In today’s NFL, are there any defensive units that impress you, if so, which ones and why?

Tuck: New England, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Washington.

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Rodriguez: How would you say you perform in “bigtime” games late in the 4th Quarter? Do you still have gas to make plays? How do you get it done?

Tuck: I think I perform better in big time situation. I think that
started in high school. But late in the 4th when your team needs a big play you just have to suck it up and get the job done. Some people just want it more and I just happen to be one of those people.

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Rodriguez:Your former teammate Julius Jones was drafted by the Cowboys, have you spoken with him about coming into the NFL?

Tuck: Not yet, but I will soon.

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Rodriguez: Was there anyone that College (offensive lineman) that did a good job slowing you down? If so, who?

Tuck: I think the two best off. linemen that i faced was Alex Barron (FSU) and Barnes (Washington).

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Rodriguez: Who knows what team will draft you, but if the Cowboys drafted you what would that mean to you?

Tuck: Smiles. I would be happy because that was the team that I was in front of the T.V. watching when I was growing up. So I would be very happy. VERY HAPPY.

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**Thanks to "Tuck" for participating in our interview, good luck in the draft!**

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