Lions DE and Sack Machine, Cliff Avril Interview
Cliff Avril attended Purdue University and played in games all four years. During his senior season at Purdue, he had 40 tackles, 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 3 pass deflections, and one interception returned for 43 yards and a TD. He entered the 2008 NFL Draft, and was selected in the 3rd round, 92nd overall by the Detroit Lions. Since he’s been in the NFL, he’s tallied 30 sacks, 12 pass deflections, and 14 forced fumbles. He recently received the team’s franchise tag. There are two interviews. One was recently updated.
[NEW Interview as of 03/26/2012]
Strauss : What is your favorite memory with the Lions so far?
Avril : My first sack was great. Also, finally having a winning season this past year and going into the playoffs.
Strauss : What was it like to make the playoffs?
Avril : It was amazing. But now, it’s expected the Super Bowl is the goal from this point forward.
Strauss : What is DL coach, Kris Kocurek like?
Avril : Kris is great. He comes to work everyday to make sure you’re a better player, no matter what it takes.
Strauss : How important do you think as a defensive unit to re-sign Stephen Tulloch?
Avril : We definitely needed to re-sign him. He’s the middle of our defense and he directs traffic for our defense, so it’s definitely great to have him back.
Strauss : What do you think separates your line’s play from others around the league?
Avril : I’m not sure. I’m just out there having fun and just wanting to get better everyday!
Strauss : Do you think that the Lions have the best DL in the league?
Avril : I believe we have one of the most talented defensive lines in the league.
Strauss : What separates you from the other teams?
Avril : We have a lot of young and great athletes on our defensive line.
[OLD Interview as of 06/16/2010]
Strauss : So Cliff, why do you make it extremely important to connect to the fans?
Avril : I do tweet a lot but it’s because I feel like I’m just like the next person. I’m just blessed to have made it and to come from where I am. I am grateful to have people wanting to follow me.
Strauss : When did you see your first live NFL game?
Avril : I think my first live game was a Jacksonville Jaguar game and I’m not sure who they played or who won.
Strauss : If you could meet anyone, who would it be?
Avril : Martin Luther King because he was such a great leader and I would just like to pick his brain.
Strauss : What is your favorite song to listen to before a game?
Avril : I don’t have a particular song but I listen to slow music before games.
Strauss : What is your favorite movie of all time?
Avril : Bad Boys 1 & 2
Strauss : What is your favorite snack food?
Avril : Not really a snacker, I don’t really eat sweets.
Strauss : What is your favorite TV-Show?
Avril : Martin and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Strauss : What is your favorite video game?
Avril : Never really been a gamer either.
Strauss : What is the one thing you can’t leave your house without?
Avril : My keys, my wallet, and my phone.
Strauss : Why did you choose the number 32 at the Purdue?
Avril : It was my high school number in every sport I played.
Strauss : What was your favorite NFL team growing up?
Avril : The Dallas Cowboys.
Strauss : How long have you played football?
Avril : I started playing football in tenth grade but really played until eleventh, since I didn’t see any action as a tenth grader.
Strauss : Did you play any other sports in high school?
Avril : I played basketball, threw shot put and disc, and did weightlifting competition in high school.
Strauss : What is your favorite sport to play other than football?
Avril : Basketball is definitely my favorite sport other than football, I still play even to this day, to stay in shape for football.
Strauss : When did you realize that you were going to play football in college and in the NFL?
Avril : I knew I had a chance to go to college after my 11th grade year in high school, and only until my junior year in college did I realize I had a chance to play in the NFL.
Strauss : What impact did your high school coach have on your football career?
Avril : The fact that he actually put a tape together for me and sent it out was huge.
Strauss : Describe the hardest change from high school to college.
Avril : The playbook.
Strauss : What is your favorite memory from Purdue?
Avril : My favorite memory at Purdue was probably just the entire college experience, as for it teaches you time management and other life skills.
Strauss : What impact did your college coach have on your pro career?
Avril : I still talk to him now for advice, but also just being someone I can talk to about life.
Strauss : What was it like to train for the combine?
Avril : It was crazy because you felt like your life depended on how well you did.
Strauss : When were you expecting to get drafted? What was your draft day experience like?
Avril : I thought I would have been drafted in the second round, but everything happens for a reason and I didn’t enjoy the draft process because of that.
Strauss : What was going through your mind when you were drafted by the Lions?
Avril : I was excited because not too many kids get to hear their name that day. Blessed.
Strauss : Why did you change to 92 in the NFL with the Lions? Did it have to do with you being drafted 92nd overall?
Avril : Well, since you can’t have #32 as a defensive linemen, I got #92 because it was my draft number.
Strauss : Could you have predicted how far football was going to carry you?
Avril : Not at all, it’s all in God’s hands on how far you’ll make it.
Strauss : What was it like to be on the all-rookie team your first year in the NFL?
Avril : It was a great thing to accomplish.
Strauss : What do you expect from playing in the NFL?
Avril : I expect to become one of the best defensive ends to play.
Strauss : As you’ve grown as a player, how important has film been to your development?
Avril : It’s huge, it is more important than pretty much everything.
Strauss : Who do you compare your game to? Why?
Avril : I don’t compare it to anyone, I think it’s just a mixture of people I try to get moves from.
Strauss : What is your favorite quote?
Avril : “Life’s ups and down come and go, enjoy the ups and make it through the downs, and you’ll be alright.”
Strauss : For someone aspiring to play football in the NFL, do you have any advice for them?
Avril : Play the game because YOU love it, and not for anyone else and enjoy it no matter what!
Strauss : Thank you for your time.
Avril : No problem, thank you.