New Seattle defensive tackle Colin Cole talked with Seattle-area reporters about his decision to join the Seahawks Monday afternoon.
He said he was excited to come to Seattle and ready for an opportunity to start alongside defensive defensive tackle Brandon Mebane.
At 6-1, 330 pounds, Cole will be more of a run stuffer, and Mebane is expected to rush the passer more. Cole said he enjoyed his time in Green Bay, but decided to come to Seattle because he believed the Packers would not give him an opportunity to start.
"When it came down to it, I really feel as though the plan that they had for me wasn’t the plan that I felt like my career should’ve been taking," Cole said. "I feel like they wanted me to continue to be a backup player, and I feel like I was definitely ready to take my game to the next level, to be a starter in this league and to move on from there."
Take a look at the full conversation below, courtesy of Seattle’s public relations staff.
On whether he’s surprised that he was able to sign a contract so easily: "Yeah, I’d have to say I am surprised. But I didn’t know what to expect coming into free agency. I didn’t know what to expect going into visits and going back to that part of it. I wasn’t sure. From what I was told, it was going to be like college-type stuff, where you visit a bunch of different teams and you make a decision from that standpoint. But it seemed like, once I came off the visit there, it seemed like it was a no-brainer for me. I definitely feel like we made the best decision."
On why he felt like it was a ‘no-brainer’ to come to Seattle: "Well, coming to the city, Seattle is a gorgeous city. I’d never been there before. Well, I’d been there to play before, twice, but when you’re there to play, you’re only there for a business atmosphere and you don’t get a true feel of what the city is, you know? To go out there and get a feel for the people, get a feel for the city itself, the new facilities that are there, the stadium…The trip as a whole was just awesome. I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed going to other places as much as I enjoyed coming to Seattle. That definitely molded my decision, to make Seattle my home, and bring my family out there and help Seattle get back to the Super Bowl."
On how he’ll adjust to being a full-time starter if that is his duty: "The plan right now is for me to do that. I believe that I’ll be able to get on the field and do what I was able to do last year as a back-up. I feel like last year, I was able to make a lot of plays, do a lot of good things for the Packers. I feel like Coach Mora and Coach Quinn have full confidence in me to do what I did last year. I don’t feel like they’re going to ask more of me than I was able to do. They’re going to give me the reins, so to speak, to the position, and just let me have at it. I feel like I’ll definitely be able to make plays and do what I’m able to do best, and that is to disrupt and make plays."
On whether Coach Mora told him that he would definitely be a starter: "Yeah. I’d have to say Coach Quinn and Coach Mora definitely said that I’m the guy that they expect and be at that position, be at the starting nose tackle. That’s what they expect of me. That’s what I was planning on being when I signed my contract and when I committed to coming to Seattle."
On whether he was just putting in time at Green Bay because he’d always be behind great defensive lineman: "I think the situation here in Green Bay was the fact that they had a good feeling about the guys they had. They really wanted those guys to be the starter guys. I don’t know that my play necessarily would’ve swayed one way or another for me to break the starting lineup. I feel like I played quite well, and it really didn’t culminate to any starts for me, but regardless, I was able to play well and make quite a few plays while I was a Packer. It generated so much buzz for me in free agency that I’m able to move on, move my career on to something bigger and something better."
On whether he had other trips planned that he canceled after coming to Seattle: "Yeah. I had a few other trips planned, I had some things in the works. But when it came down to it, my agent and I really hit the jackpot in coming to Seattle, and realized how nice of a city it was. It really just wasn’t worth leaving and trying to go somewhere else because I had a great feel for Coach Mora and Coach Quinn, and I really feel as though Seattle is the place I am supposed to be. I prayed about it with my wife, and I told her, ‘It’s going to be a decision that’s going to be easy for us to make because He’s going to make the decision for us. We just have to…step through the door, and we have to accept it.’ And it was easy. It was easy. I’d heard a lot of things about Seattle before coming out there. I heard a lot of things about the other places I was [going] to visit, but I didn’t feel like I needed to go anywhere else. I felt like it was going to be home. I felt very at home while I was there."
On whether they told him which tackle spot he was going to play: "Nose tackle."
On whether he’s always been 330 lbs: "My weight has fluctuated. It’s kind of hard to say 330. That may be something that they wrote down in the press guide or whatever, but my weight has kind of fluctuated between 320 and sometimes as much as 330. I’ve generally been at 325 to 328. That’s where my weight has basically been. As an interior guy like a nose tackle, sometimes it’s good to have that extra bulk when those guys on the offense want to try to drive you out of there. It’s better to have that bulk. But I definitely have to be able to move in order to make plays. On the defense, you have to be able to move, you have to have your quickness, explosiveness off the ball, but then you have to move to disengage from guys. I don’t think I need to be much bigger than what that 330 is and I don’t plan on getting any bigger."
On whether it’s all sunk in yet that he’s got a new team, a starting job and a nice new contract: "To some extent, [it] hasn’t, to some extent it has. These last couple days, I’d say from Wednesday on, it has been a whirlwind of things going on. It’s been hard for me to get much sleep because my phone’s constantly ringing, talking with my agent, trying to set things up, trying to talk about what possibilities would be out there for me, and just the anticipation of everything. It’s just been a lot of barely sleeping—I can’t say sleepless, but some barely-sleeping nights. I can’t say that it’s actually sunk in yet. I can say that, man, it is a great feeling to see my name go across the ticker on ESPN and be like, ‘You know what? That’s me! I have solidified another step in my career.’ I can’t focus too much on that. I know my job there is going to be to make plays. They brought me in for a reason. My job is to play to the expectations that they have me at, so that in itself, as well as those things that you just mentioned, have really been occupying my mind and my time. It’s still yet to sink in that I am actually the person that has [his name] going across the ticker."
On why he wasn’t drafted and how big he was coming into the NFL: "When I weighed in at the Combine and weighed in on my pro day, I was at 309 [lbs]. I believe what people missed and the reason why I didn’t get drafted is because I tested poorly at the Combine. I tested below what I could have at my pro day. I could’ve definitely done better in those aspects. A lot of times, a lot of people look at numbers and make decisions off those numbers. But when it comes down to it, a player is a player. What you see on the film is what you have as a player. I feel like when the evaluation process came for the offseason, in Seattle’s mind, they saw the talent that I have and the talent that I show on the field. Regardless of what my past was, and me not being drafted and the numbers I posted at the Combine, at the pro day and all that stuff, I think they were able to see through all that and see what kind of player I was on the field, and then realize how well I would fit into the scheme that they’re trying to get accomplished."
On whether the Packers were a factor in his decision to come to Seattle: "You know what? I’ve been in Green Bay for five years. We have a lot of great friends in this town. I definitely saw myself—before this whole process started—as being a Packer for my entire career. But when it came down to it, I really feel as though the plan that they had for me wasn’t the plan that I felt like my career should’ve been taking. I feel like they wanted me to continue to be a backup player, and I feel like I was definitely ready to take my game to the next level, to be a starter in this league and to move on from there. I really don’t feel like they were a factor in that aspect. It was just time for me to move on and move up in my career. I’m excited to be a Seattle Seahawk."
On how he feels about playing with Brandon Mebane: "I haven’t talked to him. I’ve heard a couple things about him. I don’t know much about him. I’m excited to play with a good, young guy, and maybe some of the stuff that I know, that I can do, can help him, and help us as a defensive line as a whole, to be better than what we’ve been. I’m excited to play with him, I’m excited to play with Patrick Kerney and Darryl Tapp, and the guys that we have in our linebacking corps and our secondary. I think that, as a defense, we can definitely play better than what we [did] last year, and get back to where we’ve been as an organization. Prior to going on my visit, I hadn’t paid a whole lot of attention, but I know that four out of the last five years, the Seahawks have been NFC West champions, and there’s no reason why we can’t get back to that level of play. I’m excited to have the opportunity to play with him—with Mebane—and play with the rest of the guys on the defense, and try to bring that back."
On Mebane’s lime green suit: "He has a lime green three-piece suit? Hey, that’s probably a little flashy right there, man! That’s what I like. A lot of people sleep on us big guys, but we’re some of the best dressers, I’m telling you. I’m going to get in a competition with him and try to show him up a little bit with my suits. I don’t have anything in the arsenal that’s lime green, with lime green shoes, but I definitely have a few things up my sleeve that I’ll be able to bring out this season."
Closing remarks: "It was great talking with you guys. I’m happy and I’m excited to be a Seattle Seahawk and I can’t wait to meet you guys in person."