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Draft Day 3: Conference Calls

Posted Apr 27, 2013


On why he thinks he is a good fit in Baltimore:
“They are just a tough, hard-nosed team, and I feel that’s how I play the game, and I am just really excited to be part of the organization and look forward to getting to practice.”


On what position he feels he will play in the NFL: “Wherever they want me to play.”


On if he is ready to compete with the current veterans on the Ravens’ front seven: “Absolutely. That’s what you go into the National Football League for, to compete against the best. I am looking forward to the challenge and looking forward to start practicing.”


On if he met with the Ravens at the Combine or had a workout: “I met with them. I talked to them a couple of times, and I feel like each time we had a good connection. And like I said, I am very excited to be a part of this. It’s hard to put it into words right now.”


On his style as a leader and what he brings to the table as a leader: “I am going to do whatever it takes to do the best I can and to help the team out in any way possible. Whatever that role is, I am going to just embrace it and do everything I can to be the best possible player for the Baltimore Ravens I can be.”


On how his recovery from his shoulder injury is going: “My health is 100 percent. I am good to go.”




On if he had an inkling Baltimore would pick him: “I was on 12 visits, so I really wasn’t sure. I had a lot of options. I really wasn’t sure where I was going to end up, but I kind of had a good feeling after leaving Baltimore that [it] would be a good fit for me. I got such a good impression from the coaches, [executive vice president and general manager] Mr. [Ozzie] Newsome, that I was really kind of hoping I would end up there.”


On why Baltimore is a good fit for him: “After meeting with [running backs] coach [Wilbert] Montgomery and looking over some tape as a fullback, they did a lot of things that I had done at the Senior Bowl and some stuff I did in college that, I guess, not a lot of people have seen. Some of the things that he told me that he had in store if I were to end up there were really things that fit me well.”


On if he feels like he will cross-train as a tight end and fullback: “I would say so, yes. When they spoke with him, they mentioned kind of [using me as] a move fullback and someone that they can use to line up in a lot of different formations.”


On how much he values special teams: “Special teams has always been huge for me. All four years in college I was on special teams. Even my junior and senior year when I was getting over 100 snaps a game on offense, I was still involved. I know that will be a big role for me for the rest of my career. I’m looking forward to that.”


On how he would rate his blocking: “I’m a confident blocker. Physicality has always been one of my strongest traits. I’m not going to shy away from hitting someone in the mouth. I think I’m a good blocker – a good blocker from the backfield as well.”


On how he would describe his skill set to someone who has not seen him play before: “It’s kind of a tough, blue-collar, gritty kind of skill set. I like to think I bring physicality to skilled positions at times.”


On if he is excited for the opportunity to work with Pro Bowl FB Vonta Leach: “Yes, absolutely. I couldn’t ask for a better mentor. I feel like he’s been the best fullback in the league for a while now. I’m really looking forward to learning from him and getting to work with him.”


On if he feels like he is a different kind of FB that suits more of today’s NFL with being able to catch so well: “Yes, I do. I don’t think I’m that traditional old-school fullback that’s going to run ‘isos’ all day, but I feel that is something that I can be effective at, but I think there are other ways I can be used.”


On if he knows retired Raven Matt Birk at all: “I just met him probably a month ago. We have the same agent [Joe Linta], and we met at a fundraising event in New Haven.”


On two Ivy League players being drafted before anyone from the University of Michigan: “It’s pretty cool. It’s always cool to see the Ivy League get a little respect, and people recognize we play some serious football out there.”



On what his emotions are like right now: “I waited a little bit longer than I thought I was [going to] today, but good things come when you wait. I can’t ask for a better organization than the Ravens right now. I’m just thrilled for this opportunity.”


On if the Ravens gave him any indication on where he is going to be playing: “No, not right now, but I have played right and left tackle at Wisconsin, so either or, or, I’ll even move down to guard if that’s what they want.”


On how much he has played guard: “I haven’t, but if that’s what they need, I’ll definitely step up.”


On where and when he expected to be selected in the draft: “I was just talking and hearing some teams and visiting with my agent … I thought I’d go a little bit earlier today. I’m definitely happy with this, and I can’t believe I’m a Raven. It’s just a great organization, and I can’t wait.”


On how he would describe his skill set: “I’m a hard worker. Coming from Wisconsin, we take a lot of pride in our run game. We do a lot of power and a lot of zone. We take a lot of pride in our run game. I think I’m a pretty consistent pass protector, as well.”


On walking on the football team at Wisconsin instead of taking a Division I basketball offer: “I definitely had a love for basketball early on, but as I went through high school, I thought I’d have a better future in football. I really fell in love with the game. Just being offered a walk-on spot at Wisconsin was a perfect opportunity. I always wanted to go there; that was my dream school. I think I took the opportunity and really rode with it, and great things came out of it.”


On how much interaction he had with the Ravens before the draft: “We talked at the Combine and the Senior Bowl a little bit, but other than that, not too much. I talked to [run game coordinator] coach [Juan] Castillo. He’s a great guy, and I can’t wait to get going for him.”


On what similarities he sees between QB Joe Flacco and Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, who played at Wisconsin: “They are both, obviously, great quarterbacks. Russell Wilson definitely has that secondary threat on foot, but he can also throw the ball, too.”


Please Note

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

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