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In his words: Notre Dame's Eifert on NFL, Te'o, talent

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For more on the NFL, follow Reggie Hayes via Twitter at www.twitter.com/reggiehayes1

Friday, February 22, 2013 - 3:04 pm

INDIANAPOLIS – Tyler Eifert has often been a man of few words, from his Bishop Dwenger High School days to his time as a dynamic tight end at Notre Dame.

Meeting with the media at the NFL Combine on Friday in Indianapolis, he was quite talkative. Here are some of his comments:

What are your strengths as a tight end?

My ability to catch the ball in traffic, make contested catches and create mismatches, and being able to understand an offense and move around to different positions.

Which NFL teams have shown an interest?

I've met formally and informally with pretty much all of them. Formally, with the Eagles, Bengals, Texans and a couple other ones.

How ready are you for the NFL?

For me, I think I'm lucky to be coming in at a time when the type of tight end that I am is being used quite a bit in the passing game. But I'm also a guy who can stay in the game every down and also block. I can create mismatches and problems in the passing game.

What type of tight ends do you pattern your game after?

I strive to be a complete tight end. I don't think I'm there yet. Guys like Jimmy Graham, (Rob) Gronkowski, (Kyle) Rudolph – those are guys I like to watch and see myself being a similar player to them.

On how the NFL atmosphere will be different from college, based on advice from former Notre Dame players:

The locker room is different. It's not full of college kids. You'll have guys when they get done with the game they go back to their family and their wife and you might be going back to your apartment all alone. You have to be ready for that. You're out on your own in the real world.

On how he expects linebacker Manti Te'o to handle the scrutiny at the NFL Combine after his online “girlfriend” hoax controversy:

He's doing great. I think he's handled the whole situation really well considering the circumstances and how big it blew up to be. …I'm sure he'll get asked a lot of questions about it, but he's a smart guy, he didn't do anything wrong and he'll be able to answer those questions.

What do NFL teams want to see?

Their main thing is, can I block? Am I willing? I understand that's a concern for most teams and something I've been working at. I have a want to do it. I don't want to just be labeled as a pass-catching tight end. I'm tired of people saying that. I want to make the improvement and get better at (blocking).

On whether Eifert is the No.1 tight end in the draft:

I strive to be the best. That's my goal, to be the best tight end, to be the best I can be because I'm a competitor and I want to win.