*General Manager/Executive Vice President Ozzie Newsome, Head Coach John Harbaugh, *
Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta & Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz
Ozzie Newsome opening statement:"I know the Commissioner likes dealing with the media, and I think the four of us – and there are probably 31 other teams – would love to start this draft in the afternoon and not have to go through this every year. *(laughter) *But, for you guys and young ladies, when we talked – John [Harbaugh], Steve [Bisciotti] and I – talked back after the Super Bowl, we talked about getting stronger up the middle. And over the past two days, the picks have definitely addressed the middle of our defense, starting with [Matt] Elam and then Arthur Brown – that Joe [Hortiz] and Eric [DeCosta] talked about – and now Brandon Williams, the big nose tackle that we just picked out of Missouri Southern … Anytime you're dealing with a small school player, there are some reservations, but when they get invited to the Senior Bowl, and then they get the opportunity to play against the top seniors from all the major conferences and they raise their level of play, that's when you know that the young players from small schools can definitely have the opportunity to come on our level and be a success. And I think that's what we feel about Brandon."
John Harbaugh opening statement:"Ozzie said it all. And just to talk about the final pick, Brandon Williams is a heck of a guy. He's a red star guy for us; he's smart, he's tough. Small school guy; he has a story for a reason he was there, but he's a tremendous athlete. There's a YouTube video out there of him walking on his hands. For a big man, he's really an athletic guy. So, we're excited to have him."
Eric DeCosta opening statement:"[We're] just very excited. He's a big man. He's a naturally big man, he's in really good shape. It's tough to find these body types to play in the 3-4 defense, and we think he's a real good fit for us."
Joe Hortiz opening statement:"He's like a fire plug in there. He's tough to move, he bends really well, keeps his pads down, and like Ozzie mentioned, his Senior Bowl performance, the whole week, he competed well and never seemed overwhelmed on the big stage and really held his own throughout the week and in the game. We're really excited to get him."
Ozzie, the Draft format switched to this really right around the time you started picking more small school guys. So, I guess the late hours are worth it when you find a guy like this that you really like? (Joe Platania)
*(NEWSOME) *"Well, no, we still enjoy the process. I just think we could start it a little sooner. *(laughter) *But no, we enjoy the process. The dialogue that goes on with every pick, the things we talk about before the picks, whether we should trade, not trade. I think all four of us, we really, really enjoy it. Steve [Bisciotti] enjoys it also, participating in it with us. So, the process is fun. It's just that it's like playing a Monday Night game; it goes until about midnight."
With Brandon Williams, was part of the allure that he makes a lot of stops in the backfield, but he also creates pressure as well? (Ryan Mink)
*(DeCOSTA) *"Well, he dominated the small school level, there's no doubt about that. When you're looking at a small school prospect, that's one thing that you want to see, is a guy that dominates in the game. And he did that; I think he had 8.5 sacks this year, many TFLs [tackles for loss]. I think the biggest thing Ozzie touched on, is he went to the Senior Bowl and he really played well. He had a really strong week of practice against Division I players, more experienced guys, and he looked like a legitimate 3-4 nose tackle. [Southwest area scout] Jack Glowik, one of our scouts, really liked him. Jack lives in Kansas City and got a lot of really good information about him, and we had a strong comfort level with him as a person and also as a player."
The first two guys were sort of names that we mentioned with you guys and you quickly made that decision on them. Was this as quick a decision on this guy, the third-rounder, as the other two, or were there more players in play on this pick? (Stan White)
*(NEWSOME) *"No, no. We had a master list that got started when the third round started. And probably 45 minutes ago, we came to the conclusion that if we made the pick, and didn't trade it for picks tomorrow or picks next year, that he would be the guy that we would take."
If he wasn't around, you would have traded? Is that what you're saying? (Jerry Coleman)
*(NEWSOME) *"No, no. He was the No. 1 guy we wanted. We had other guys that we really liked, that are still on our board, but he was the No. 1 guy that we felt would fit the immediate need, but also was a very good player."
John, you didn't shy away last year from faith being a part of the football team. Brandon talks a lot about faith publically on Twitter, things like that. Is that something that you look into at all during this process? (Glenn Clark)
*(HARBAUGH) *"No, that's news to me. I didn't know that. That's a plus. The thing that I liked about him was he can move. He's a little bit of a pass rusher for a big man like that. I thought he was really well coached for a small school guy. I think you guys agree with that. His head coach [Daryl Daye] has coached at high levels. He's a defensive line coach, you can tell. For a smaller school guy, he's a good technician. That's a plus, because you don't always get that from a small school guy."
John, how is Terrence Cody coming around? Do you foresee these guys kind of duking it out kind of like how Cody and 'Kemo' [Ma'ake Kemoeatu] did last year? (Aaron Wilson)
(HARBAUGH) "To me, they are in the mix, and we will have a nice little rotation at defensive tackle. Terrence Cody, he got the hip surgery. He looks great. He was walking around today without the crutches. He looked really good. Haloti [Ngata] bumps inside a little more now than he did in the past, because we added Marcus [Spears] and Chris [Canty]. We have really bolstered our front seven big time. I just think we are going to be deep. DeAngelo [Tyson] is still in the mix there. We are going to have a nice rotation upfront. It's going to be a very formidable group up front."
Coach, you guys just said how it was your goal going into the draft to build up the middle. Why is that important to have that strength sort of that backbone you talk about defensively up the middle? (Brent Harris)
(HARBAUGH) "I guess if you look at every sport … Geometry comes into play. (laughter) Didn't they teach us the shortest distance between two points is a straight line? If I just go from here to there and you can't stop them, that's where they are going to go. You have to stop people from running up the middle. You have to stop the run. You have to push up front on the pass rush – simple."
Just a few hours ago, you said that you'd like to continue shoring up the middle, but there are other needs still for this team. Tomorrow, what are some other needs you would like to address or hope to address? (Aditi Kinkhabwala)
(DeCOSTA) "We hope to draft an offensive player at some point. I think [offensive coordinator] coach [Jim] Caldwell would like that. *(laughter) *We still have a lot of other things: offensive line, receiver, cornerback – you can never have enough cornerbacks – tight end – basically just about every single position. We lost a lot of good players after the season, and we are just trying to restock and build more depth and have good competition at all positions. That's really what this whole thing is about."
When [Williams] put up the 38 reps, what did you guys think? Had you already seen enough at the Senior Bowl? (Aaron Wilson)
*(DeCOSTA) *"He's a strong guy. He plays strong. He has a strong lower body, too. When we look at all of that stuff … We watched them play the tape. We knew he was going to bench well. He's an impressive kid on the field and off the field, so we are excited about that."
You, obviously, liked [Matt] Elam before you took him, but was there anything about having him in the building today that was interesting? (Aditi Kinkhabwala)
*(HARBAUGH) *"I think the thing that jumped out to all of us is how likable he is, and you guys probably saw that as well. He's the kind of guy that is going to fit in with our guys really well. Our players are really going to like him. He likes football. He's not trying to impress you with fancy speeches or anything like that. He just wants to get out [there and play]. He wants to get in the weight room. He kept talking about going to work. That was music to my ears. I think the guy likes ball, and I was just excited to be around him. It was fun being around him."
DT BRANDON WILLIAMS CONFERENCE CALL
On what he brings to the Ravens:"Hard work and just relentless effort. I want to be that guy who when a team sees me get hyped, I just want everybody else to just feed off that, and I want to be a great leader when my time comes, just to be the best I can on the field and give everything I got for the Ravens."
On going up against better competition at the Senior Bowl and if he thought it was a big leap in talent or not:"No, sir. I always knew I could play at that talent and level. I just had to prove to the NFL that I could do it. I always believe in myself every step of the way. It just gave me an opportunity to just show my talent and show that I belong in the NFL."
On how he ended up at a smaller school:"I was partial qualified for my high school, so I had the ACT scores, I just didn't have the GPA score. So, I went to prep school for a year, and after prep school, when the NCAA came down on prep schools, so I had to either choose community college or Division II. I didn't want to go to junior college, just because a lot of athletes get lost in the shuffle there, so my head coach from my high school called me with a list of Division II universities, and Missouri Southern was on that list. That was my first visit to Missouri Southern, and as soon as I got there, they had what I needed; they had school, they had an education and they had football. I loved every minute of it. Practically, I went down on a Saturday and started school that Monday morning. It's just been a great journey. It's been a tough road, but it's been a great journey, and I wouldn't change it for anything in the world."
On if he had a lot of teams interested in him after the Senior Bowl:"Yes, sir, I did, but the Ravens are the only one that mattered."
On if the Ravens showed him the most interest and if he thought they would select him:"Actually, yes. The Ravens actually showed up to my school, probably, a few times. I was loving the Ravens. I was like, 'I can be a Raven. I want to be a Raven. I would love to be a Raven. I would love to be on that defense.' I know how nasty it is, I know how physical it is. That's exactly what I feel like I am, and I definitely wanted to be a Raven."
On if he had a visit or workout with Baltimore:"No, I didn't get a private workout or a visit to the Ravens."
On if he sat down with the Ravens at the Combine:"I saw the Ravens. I went to the table, but I didn't do like a formal interview with them."