David Bakhtiari Interview
OT / Colorado / Jr.

Updated - 7-11-12

By: Alex Kozora

 

Alex Kozora:  What are your measurables (height, weight, 40)?

David Bakhtiari:  6’4 , 297.  Last time I ran the 40 was my freshman year and I ran a 5.01.

 

Alex Kozora:  What made you decide to join Colorado?

David Bakhtiari:  The school was big.  Anyone who comes here can tell you about the beautiful scenery.  Here is what it came down to when deciding what school it should be.  If I woke up tomorrow and could never play football again, would I be happy at the institution I was at?  And that’s what made me decide to join Colorado.

 

Alex Kozora:  What other schools were interested in you?

David Bakhtiari:  The ones I had scholarships from were: Sacramento State, Utah, Washington, Colorado and UTEP.

 

Alex Kozora:  Take me back to last season.  How much pressure was there replacing a first round draft pick in Nate Solder?

David Bakhtiari:  I didn’t take it as “guess who played my spot”.  Just moving from the right side to the left side, I still got to block the QB.  Nate did a phenomenal job.  I still talk to him today.  I didn’t see it as me replacing him, just as a new duty that I had to take.  I felt like I did a very good job and looking for it to continue.

 

Alex Kozora:  How much did he help you in the two years you spent together?

David Bakhtiari:  Honestly, a lot.  When I came to the collegiate level, I was like “Who is the best offensive lineman?”  Why is he the best and how I can I get there?  I saw Nate and I tried to emulate what he did.  We became good friends.  I still talk to him today.  He really helped me.  He taught me technique after my redshirt year.  I used to go over to his house every Thursday and we’d go over about two hours of film.  He would tell me some techniques, some things he’d see, some gestures the DL would do that would help me in the game.  He taught me how to attack them and what the defenses like to do.  I can say that Nate helped me get to where I am today.

 

Alex Kozora:  Was it a challenge to make the transition from right to left tackle?

David Bakhtiari:  When I first got here, I was flipped flopped.  I came here to play left tackle, and then I moved to right, back to left and then played at right tackle again.  Coach Marshall said that I looked more natural at the left side with my steps.  To me, it’s just a matter of flipping your feet and the plays in your mind.

 

Alex Kozora:  You only had one penalty in 630 snaps last year.  Is that something you take a lot of pride in?

David Bakhtiari:  Definitely.  I might have had two.  My freshman year, you know you have the jitters, I jumped offside a lot.  I definitely didn’t want to do that again.  Penalties cost you, so I make sure I keep myself tight and don’t take away from any types of plays we get.

 

Alex Kozora:  What is your best attribute?

David Bakhtiari:  I would say that it is my pass protection.  A lot of people tell me that I have a clean kick step and quick feet.  At my weight, I’m able to move well.  That’s the feedback I get.

 

Alex Kozora:  What part of your game are you trying to get better at?

David Bakhtiari:  I want to get better at run blocking.  Sometimes I can get stalemated.  That’s all things we can work out with leverage.

 

Alex Kozora:  It was a tough season in 2011 with just three wins.  Do you think that winning two of your last three games last season will carry the momentum over into this year?

David Bakhtiari:  It carries over swagger.  This program needs some attitude.  I see it carrying it over from the end of the season to spring ball and now to our summer workouts.  Guys are moving around with a sense of urgency.  If I had to say one word to describe how the team looks, we move with a sense of urgency.

 

Alex Kozora:  You spent one year playing in the Big 12 and last year in the Pac-12.  Did you notice any difference between the two conferences?

David Bakhtiari:  It comes down to the team.  Some may be quicker than others, some may be stronger.  Someone asked me who had better DL, Pac-12 or the Big 12.  There are definitely bigger, stronger guys in the Big 12 and faster guys in the Pac-12.  But there’s still going to be that freak that’s going to be really big and strong.  Nick Perry is a prime example.  And my freshman year I had to go against Jeremy Beal from Oklahoma.

 

Alex Kozora:  Are Perry and Beal the two toughest guys that you have faced?

David Bakhtiari:  There’s a bunch.  Nick Perry is a hell of a player.  I also played against Cameron Jordan as a freshman.

 

Alex Kozora:  Your offensive line coach Steve Marshall has 33 years of coaching experience.  How valuable is that to you and the rest of the line?

David Bakhtiari:  It definitely is.  He is a character though.  I want to put that on record.  He’s a great coach though, teaches us a lot of things.  He takes pride in his coaching and knows a lot.  In the film room, it really helps. 

He sees the details and wants to fix them.  It’s a great opportunity to have him around.

 

Alex Kozora:  What are your personal expectations for this season?

David Bakhtiari:  I want to do as well as the team does, to be honest.  If we can win the Pac-12 championship, I wouldn’t care if I had three holds a game.  I’m an offensive lineman, we’re the unsung heroes.  At the end of the day, no one even knows about us.  I want to put a ring on my finger.

 

Alex Kozora:  So it’s a team-first mentality?

David Bakhtiari:  Oh, yeah.  The personal expectations are good.  But if I had a choice between team and personal accolades, I’ll take the team.  I can only go as far as the team.

 

Alex Kozora:  Are there any NFL players that you would compare yourself to?  Do you want to be the next Nate Solder?

David Bakhtiari:  I would love to, but I’d have to grow 4 inches.  That’s not looking too likely.  I will say one guy who I’ve gotten to hang out with is Joe Staley [of the 49ers].

 

Alex Kozora:  Have you gotten any pointers from him?

David Bakhtiari:  I went to a Giants game with him.  I live in San Francisco, and my brother currently plays with the 49ers.  He actually lives with him.  One time he brought him over when I was home, I got to talk to [Staley].  My coach made me study him on film.  He’s a character.  He’s a great guy.  If I could pick anyone, it’d be him.  He’s not the tallest tackle, but quick on his feet.

 

Alex Kozora:  That’s awesome that you’ve had so many different guys you can talk to.

David Bakhtiari:  I’ve been very fortunate with my connections, and people who can help me out.

 

Alex Kozora:  Do you have a favorite NFL team?  Is it the 49ers?

David Bakhtiari:  Yeah, born and raised.  My dad really harped on the 49ers.  He really loved them.  My brother played for Harbaugh in college.  I knew Harbaugh before he even took off.

 

Alex Kozora:  Is it tough being a 49ers fan in Broncos’ territory?

David Bakhtiari:  It’s just tough finding 49ers apparel.  I represent them no matter what, even when they were 2-14.  Hopefully now they’ll be Super Bowl contenders.

 

Alex Kozora:  Who was the best Buffalo that you’ve faced so far in your career?

David Bakhtiari:  Hmm…I’d have to say Chidera Uzo-Diribe.  The kid came in scrawny and tiny.  But now, we thrive on going against each other because all we do is push each other.  I’m telling you right now, he’s going to be a beast.

 

 


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