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Manti Te'o: Judge me off game tape, not combine

After hand-picked, contrived interviews with Jeremy Schapp and Katie Couric, there was no controlling the environment at the NFL Scouting Combine for Manti Te'o.

Some long-time combine attendees said Te'o drew the largest group of media ever for his interview session. The Notre Dame linebacker who was duped by Ronaiah Tuiasosopo into believing he was dating the nonexistent Lennay Kekua fared well but is ready to move on.

"For me, I'm glad the combine is done," Te'o told USA Today. "I've finished that, and now I'm focused more on specific things like my 40 (yard dash). I don't have to worry about so many other things.

"It's definitely difficult, I'm not going to say it's easy. It's hard, but it's definitely something you can work through."

Te'o won the combine interview session but lost the workouts. His 4.82-second 40-yard dash was slower than 12 defensive linemen and two offensive linemen.

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"The 40 time measures what the 40 time's supposed to measure," Te'o said. "I think that's something I'm going to get better at. The only way from here is up. I'm definitely going to get better at that.

"As far as play, flip on the film. That's my play."

Te'o should be careful what he asks for, though. He was completely ineffective in the BCS Championship Game against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Te'o missed tackles and repeatedly was blocked out of plays. There was plenty of strong tape against lesser opponents, but Alabama most closely resembled what he'll see on Sundays. The Heisman Trophy finalist does not want to be judged off that tape.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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