"Hey Steve, did I ever tell you I'm on the wrestling team?" (via media.thestate.com)
We recently had a chance to talk with third-round defensive tackle Corey Peters, who's likely to get very significant minutes this season.
The Falcoholic: Corey, thanks for letting us have some of your time. Welcome to Atlanta! What was your impression of the Falcons when you worked out here in April?
Corey Peters: When I came to visit I was extremely impressed. The facility at Flowery Branch is one of the nicer facilities of any of the places that I had visited. I had the opportunity to meet the coaches and speak with them briefly. They seemed to like me, and I definitely liked them. I left with a good vibe, and actually told my agent that I hoped the Falcons drafted me.
TF: You've mentioned conditioning as being the part of your game you'd most like to improve. How are you adapting your workouts so far?
CP: I think that things are going well so far. The month of July will be extremely important and I plan to use it as the starting point of the season. What I do in July will determine the way things go in camp and into the season.
TF: We'd like you to do the John Wall dance after every sack. How do you feel about this?
CP: That's possible. Guys have been doing that dance in Louisville for a while, and John Wall took it to a new level. I think I will use it some as well. And the first time will be specifically for you, Jason.
TF: Arthur Blank has made a point of cultivating a team of smart guys, and you've received several academic honors in your time. Which of your college classes did you find yourself working the hardest on?
CP: The hardest class that I took was the History of Christianity. The curriculum itself was no more difficult than any other history course, however the teacher was extremely demanding. Pushed me to think from a different perspective, and view things from different points of view.
TF: How did wrestling all through high school help shape your playing style as a defensive tackle?
CP: Wrestling is a great tool for a lineman. It teaches you leverage and helps keep you in shape. It also helps you in situations in practice where guys start to tussle a little bit. There are so many things that cross over from wrestling to football, and over the years I have found myself in situations where my wrestling experiences have been beneficial on the field.
TF: We probably wouldn't ask this of every athlete, but you're a very smart guy -- Have you considered going back for a Master's degree? What are some of your goals outside of football?
CP: That's something that will happen at some point. I've always wanted to be a teacher and make a difference in some aspect of a kid's life. The only way that I will not become a teacher is if I decide to go into coaching, which is something that I have thought about as well. Either way I feel I have a lot to contribute.
TF: During the draft, some of us speculated that you might have the ability to slide out to end, in certain situations. Have you ever pass-rushed from the edge?
CP: I have some experience playing end in a three-man front. It is something that I am very comfortable with. On some of my visits, the teams ran a 3-4 defense and they made it clear that if they drafted me that I would play on the outside as well. I think I am much better on the inside, but I will do whatever the team asks me to do to help the Falcons win.
TF: Have your coaches given you a sense of about how many snaps per game you're expected to play?
CP: No. I just plan to work my butt off in camp and earn as many snaps as possible. I will do whatever it takes to help the team win as many games as we can.
TF: Give us some off-field Corey Peters insight. Favorite music, books... stuff like that. What kinds of things are you into?
CP: I really enjoy R & B mostly but I am pretty open minded; I can listen to almost anything. I enjoy reading history books and books written by or about football greats. Especially Tony Dungy.
TF: Finally, we're big on nicknames here. What did they call you at Kentucky? And there's gotta be something better than just "CP."
CP: "CP" was it. I know that's not that exciting. Some guys called me "Pork Chop" when I was a freshman, but that was pretty much a rookie thing.
There you have it: Corey Peters' nickname is set in stone, and we're all looking forward to seeing Pork Chop get his John Wall on. (The first Google result for *pork chop john wall*: http://www.kentuckyhunting.net/forums/showthread.php?79300-Pork-Chop-Marinade.)
Many thanks to Corey for having a word with the fans!