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It was, Kirby Fabien was told, a typical interview in his line of work - and if the newest offensive line hopeful of the BC Lions can survive some verbal jousting with the winningest coach in CFL history, all career goals are possible.
The 21-year-old smiled talking about the meeting with general manager Wally Buono prior to the one he and fellow first-round draft pick Jabar Westerman had upon being introduced Tuesday.
It was at the CFL evaluation camp in March and yes, Buono said as he recalled the exchange, it was a little testy, designed so other BC coaches in the room could learn more about their possible investment.
Buono: "You look like you're soft to me. You seem like a nice guy and you've got the face of a young, gentle man."
Fabien: "I'm a nice guy but there's a switch I can turn on and off. I'm not the type of guy that if someone bumps their shoulder into me at a bar I'll punch them in the face. Why?"
Buono: "You won't be pushed around will you? If you were a hockey player, would you be a goon?
Fabien: "Goons are guys that come into the game and don't play much."
From that chat and two seasons at the University of Calgary, a career was formed, not to mention an impression or two.
It only requires minimal film review to see what the Lions might be getting from a 6-foot-5, 305-pounder who was already drawing NFL queries a year ago. But the Lions are like every other CFL team in realizing it's better to know too much about a player than the other way around.
"My college coach told me that some of these guys are going to scare you in interviews," Fabien said Tuesday about the first brush with his future employer, presuming Buono and agent Jonathan Hardaway can come to contract terms.
"I just did my best not to seem intimidated. I know I'm not soft."
It's not that the Lions think that way about him either, but with six weeks before the CFL season opener, all teams are faced with making a snap judgment on players with remaining CIS eligibility if they return to school, or become free agents if they refuse a practice roster spot.
Fabien is doubly blessed that way, with two years of time left on his college clock, one more than the other offensive lineman drafted by the Lions, Matt Norman of the University of Western Ontario.
"Six weeks is more than a lot of guys get [to prove themselves]," said Lions personnel coordinator Neil McEvoy, whose club plans to move Fabien to guard from tackle.
"We're dependent on the draft, but we're not bringing Jabar Westerman and saying he's the saviour of the franchise like the Washington Redskins are with Robert Griffin III. The first-round pick in the CFL is not going to be a starter."
Still, it would be nice if the Lions got even a little playing time out of any their recent offensive line choices. Of the last eight line picks going back to 2006, only Adam Baboulas, who'll compete for a backup spot this year, and Justin Sorensen, who is trying to start his career in Winnipeg, have even dressed for a regular season game.
The Lions point to the fact they have the largest percentage of picks among non-imports on their roster overall as a sign their draft strategy is sound. Like Fabien, they won't get pushed around either.