Catching up with Kabongo

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There was a lot left on the cutting room floor from today’s dead-tree edition story on the defensive line.

Basically, the meat of the story concerned the unit’s, uh, disagreement with items like this.

And this.

Fixing that perception is on them, of course.

But there are certainly some characters in this group.

Like Masengo Kabongo, who on Tuesday became the first person I’ve ever interviewed who was devouring an ice cream sandwich (a fine, well-earned selection after a brutally long practice) during our discussion.

I spoke with Kabongo briefly last season about a story on jersey numbers. He was handed No. 65 as a true freshman, which he deplored and said “could be the worst number a defensive lineman could possibly have.”

He switched to No. 55 during the offseason in what was a definite upgrade.

“They’re no doubt about that,” he said.

A few more snippets of our discussion:

On low external expectations for the line:

“I look at is a challenge. I figured they’re doing that because we’re young and most of us out there really haven’t really seen the field quite yet. It’s a challenge and what more can you ask for?”

On being better than last year’s defensive line:

“Absolutely. I feel like we’re more talented and very athletic. I feel like we just have to put it together and make it happen.”

On the inexperience issue:

“You know what? You’re right, we’re inexperienced. But … [Pauses dramatically to munch on ice cream sandwich] talent can beat out experience sometimes. If we can bring it together as a team and work together, we’ll be just fine.”

Patrick Stevens

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