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Transcript: Mark Asper Conference Call

Posted Apr 28, 2012

On having to wait until the sixth round to get picked:

It was a little rough but I’m glad it’s over.

On being accustomed to a high tempo offense and the pace that Oregon would run at:

I loved it because of the advantage that it gave our team as the games wore on because we were so used to playing at that high tempo. That pace as the teams we played against got to the third quarter and the fourth quarter as they came on the other teams would be slowed down or would be dragging or very tired and we were just hitting our stride. It was great to play against guys that were like that because our offense we really got to open up the play book and do some things that were a lot of fun. When we went to Little Rock and played in the all star game, senior all star game I went to, the guys I played against we were so not used to the tempo, the huddling after every offensive snap, getting a play call from the sidelines. It was almost unfamiliar like I didn’t know what I was supposed to be doing. The play would end and I would run back to the line of scrimmage ready to run the next one and I’d have to remember, “Oh yeah we’re huddling, everybody back up we’re huddling.”

On getting used to a two minute drill at training camp won’t be a hard transition:

I don’t anticipate it being an issue, no. It’ll be like mama’s milk.

On how playing in a no huddle offense translates into playing in a regular NFL offense:

We had our moments when we needed to eat time and we needed to put drives together. I think it’s always easier adjusting to things that are slower than trying to adjust to something that’s faster. I firmly believe that and enjoy playing in an offense that had that mentality of playing fast first and then playing slow when needed to rather than playing slow all the time and then trying to speed up when it was a pressure situation.

On seeing time at right tackle early at Oregon:

The first year I was there I played, I was the swing guy. I played left side, I did everything. And then my sophomore year I played guard all year. My junior year I played tackle all year. My senior year I was slotted to play tackle but because of the personnel that we had they made the change and my coach said, “we need you to move inside, we need a bigger body in there, we need more experience next to our center”, because it was his first year. So I moved back inside to guard and finished the rest of the season at guard. I’ve played both; I’ve even played on the left side. Like I said I went to that all-star game and they wanted somebody to play center and I said I’ll do it and then I played center.

On if he considers himself an underdog coming into the NFL as a sixth round pick:

No I consider all things equal. I don’t know exactly how it will work. I’ve never done it before. I’m going to approach it with the same attitude I did the first year I was eligible to play at Oregon. Camp is a time to prove yourself and to compete against the other people that are trying for a spot. I’ve never seen myself as an underdog. I’m confident in my abilities and my work ethic and my knowledge of the game. I don’t see it as any kind of obstacle being drafted later. If I’d have been drafted higher I would still have to prove myself and have to make the squad. I would still have to show up to camp ready to go and learn the offense, gel with the other offensive linemen. I think all things are equal once it’s time to play football.

On where NFL scouts saw him fitting up front:

I heard it all. Most teams saw me as, I played interior, I played guard the most so when I got asked by teams scouts would ask me “If we drafted you and we had a game next Sunday where would you want to play?”, I would always tell them guard because I had the most experience there but at the same time I’ve never said no when my coach said try this spot, try that spot. I’ve been successful at every spot I’ve tried to play. So inside, outside wherever coach needs me I’ll go.

On run blocking being a strength for him:

Yeah, I think it is one of my strengths. I do a good job getting on blocks and staying on blocks. We kept track at the University of Oregon of what we called finished block. When you do that you are on the guy that you’re supposed to block when the whistle blows. I had the most on the offensive line by 20. I had 20 more the next closest guy. That’s something I pride myself on is the finish phase of blocking. I love running. The run game there, I loved blocking for LaMichael James, he was fun to block for. Before him I had LeGarrette Blount and Jeremiah Johnson, and before him we had Jonathan Stewart. I’ve been extremely fortunate to block for some very talented running backs. It makes it fun as an offensive linemen to have running backs like that behind you to block for.

On what his favorite Oregon uniform is:

The all black. They’re the most slimming. I actually really like the throw back that we wore against University of California a couple of years ago. The dark almost forest green and yellow because those were my high school colors. It was like wearing my high school uniform at the University of Oregon. It was fun.

On if his fellow offensive linemen gave him a nick name after his heroic effort of the Heimlich maneuver:

No, they already called me papa because I have two kids and I’m older than them. I always gave them fatherly advice even though I didn’t think it was at the time but they’d always say, “Thanks pops, I appreciate that.” So they just added the Heimlich knowledge in that realm of fatherly wisdom that all fathers are supposed to have. Down at the Rose Bowl one reporter told me that the Wisconsin newspapers and the Wisconsin fans were calling me the Heimlich guy and I told him that’s better than being known as the “speeding ticket guy” or the “Marijuana guy”.

On the story of when he performed the Heimlich maneuver:

It was real low key. It almost, people didn’t, guys on my own team didn’t know it happened until it hit the Twitter feed, the ESPN ticker. They didn’t know it had happened. My wife and I were sitting at a table right behind the guy and it was just kind of fortuitous that it happened that way because we weren’t supposed to be sitting there. Originally we were going to sit somewhere else and when we got there we told them, “When we were here two years ago for the Rose Bowl they had us over there in that booth.” We liked that part of the restaurant and they could put us there and they said, “Ok we can put you there.” Because they were going to put us over with the coaches families and stuff like that and I said, “No I’m a player I just happen to be married.” It’s not anything foreign or illegal, I’m not smuggling anybody in. This is my wife, she’s part of the team here. They said “ok sure we’ll sit you over here.” When we sat down there and the guy, right before dessert he got up and started giving the universal, ‘hey I need help I think I’m choking’ sign. One of the chefs came over and tried to help him out and that didn’t work. My wife said, “Hey honey I think they need your help. You better go help them.” So I stood up and walked over and said, “Hey does your guy know what he’s doing because I do.” He stepped out of the way and I stepped in and popped it out.