Executive vice president/general manager Ozzie Newsome's opening statement:
"We have just finished up with our third-round pick. To begin with how the day started, [it was] another long day of waiting until 6:30 p.m. for the Draft to start. But last night when we left you guys, we went back and met as a total staff – the offensive and defensive coaches, special teams coaches, and the scouts – and we put together a list of players that we wanted to target today, especially with the 43rd pick. And with the time that we had all day today, we had a chance to massage that list. There was a lot more tape watching today because of all of the time. Steve [Bisciotti] got involved, in that he was in town and a part of the whole process, so he was able to get involved today. So, we came up with a list of players, and at the top of that list were five players, and we got three of the five that we wanted. And not only did we get the players that we liked, but we feel like we filled some needs. Getting younger on defense is something that we wanted to do. To be able to rush the passer, that's what Sergio [Kindle] can do for us. To be able to stop the run, that's what [Terrence] Cody can do. And right now, we only have two tight ends on the roster. To be able to get Ed Dickson to add to that stable of guys we had was another need. So, not only did we target some guys, but we were able to meet some needs. I guess you all have been entertained by our draft picks already [in the conference call]. We've got some different personalities coming in, but on this football team, you have to have something when you come into that locker room, and I think we've brought some young men [in] that will be bringing something to Baltimore."
Director of player personnel Eric DeCosta's opening statement:
"Well, I think the biggest thing that we did [is] we got guys that we wouldn't want to play against. You know, these guys all have, really, a dominant trait in some respect. They do different things very well, and that's intriguing in our situation, to get a linebacker that can really rush the passer – a very explosive guy. And then we've had a lot of success over the years with these massive run-stuffers. Terrence Cody is that guy. And one thing we learned this year, playing against some of the teams that we played against, they had really good tight ends. They pose big matchup problems for your defense, and we think Ed Dickson can do that same thing. So, it's exciting. I think the scouts and coaches are very excited, and hopefully, we can continue that momentum into tomorrow."
How much personality comes through in a face-to-face interview with prospects?
*(NEWSOME) *"Well, two of the three guys, we brought to Baltimore – Terrence and Ed. So, we had the opportunity to spend more time with [them]. Sergio, we only had the time with him at the Combine and at his Pro Day. But, when we met with him for those 15 minutes, his personality did come out. You know, we have a way when – as many people [as there are] in the room when we do the interview – we have a good feel for people that we think can fit in in the locker room and fit in on our defense. And we felt like Sergio was one of those guys."
Front-seven-wise, is this as deep as the Ravens have been in a while?
*(DeCOSTA) *"Well, I think we've created depth today, which is what we hoped we'd do. We think these guys have some great veterans on our team to learn from, which I think is really important. We've seen that over the years with our defense, when we bring younger players in, [that] a lot of times they come into a great situation because they can learn from some of the best guys in the League at their positions. And we think that holds true this year as well."
What convinced you that Kindle's couple of problems from the past are behind him?
*(NEWSOME) *"Well, one of the good things that we have with our scouts… Will Muschamp, the defensive coordinator [at Texas], is a very close, personal friend of [Ravens director of college scouting] Joe Hortiz. So, we are able to get information out of the University of Texas like no other organization can because of that relationship and with the League security and all of those things that are in place. And, I'll let Sergio speak on that when he gets that opportunity."
Ozzie, how about the relationship you have with Alabama and being able to get a guy from there. And Eric, can you follow-up on Kindle already saying that he wants to be Rookie of the Year?
*(NEWSOME) *"Well, I think everyone knows that on a Saturday afternoon I'm watching Alabama football. And sometimes that can be a detriment, because I think I get the opportunity to know the players too well. But, Cody came on the scene two years ago in the game, in the opener against Clemson, and everybody goes, 'Where did this guy come from?' And Kevin [Byrne, senior vice president of public and community relations] would know this person, but [Cody] was at a junior college with a guy, Stevon Moore, that played with us and played here. And so, we had some background on Cody because of Stevon. But sometimes, because I'm so involved with the University of Alabama and see them so much, I think that can be a detriment. But it wasn't in this case. As a matter of fact, I was at the A-Day [Alabama spring game] game and I had a chance to sit and talk with Terrence during halftime of that game on Saturday."
*(DeCOSTA) *"Sergio is a hungry guy. He comes from a very successful football program. They've been in a lot of big games, and I think he's confident in his ability. And he's a competitor, and those are the kind of guys that we want. He's not a wallflower; he's got some personality. He's as tough as they come, and he's a Ravens-type of guy."
Ozzie, what weight do you want Cody at and do you have any concerns at all about him being able to hold at that weight?
*(NEWSOME) *"Well, what we've noticed is, he was at a [certain] weight at the Senior Bowl, he was at a reduced weight at the Combine, he was at a reduced weight at his Pro Day, and then I had the opportunity just last Saturday to re-check that weight. So, it's been coming south. I think he understands that… He understands that in order for him to have longevity in the League that controlling his weight is important. It's as important to him as it is to us, and I think that's more-or-less what we strive for when we're dealing with any of the young kids. It has to be important to them, and I think it is with Terrence."
What kind of medical reports do you have on Kindle's knee?
*(NEWSOME) *"Well, I think we have probably one of the most conservative medical staffs in the League. And there are a lot of players that have gotten drafted today and yesterday that we couldn't have drafted. But, having been with Bill [Tessendorf, vice president of medical services] and Dr. [Andrew] Tucker and Dr. Leigh Ann Curl for the many years – and of course Bill took care of me for 13 years – when they give us a medical grade, they are in the 98 and 99 percentile."
With the type of tight end that Dickson is, can you talk about him being a weapon in the passing game and how critical he is going to be for this offense moving forward?
*(DeCOSTA) *"He's very athletic. He ran a sub-4.6 at the Combine, which is very good for a tight end. He can stretch the field. He's got very good hands and catching range. He's a big target. He's over 6-foot-4. We think he's got loads of promise as a receiving tight end, and we think he's a pretty good blocker, too. He's going to develop in that regard. He's often detached from the line of scrimmage, but we think this is a guy who's going to be a three-down tight end for us. He's got a great guy to learn from in Todd Heap, and hopefully, he and Joe [Flacco] will develop a very strong chemistry."
There's a report with Kindle's knee that he might need micro-fracture surgery, which could sideline him for his rookie year. Is there any truth to that?
*(NEWSOME) *"No. We talked to Bill T. today, and there is no need for any micro-fracture surgery at this point."
When you look at the guys you got in the second round, are they players who you wouldn't have been surprised if they'd gone in the first round?
*(DeCOSTA) *"You know what? We thought both guys were really, really good players. We think they're starting-caliber players in the League. Had they been selected in the first round, we would have just pulled the card down and said, 'That figures.' Good players, both guys. I mean, National Championship-game players, outstanding players on their team – all productive guys. It's not a surprise. We're surprised we got them in the second round, quite honestly."
Were they considerably higher on your board than when you got them?
*(NEWSOME) *"I mean, were they in the top 40 players? I guess you could say that. We picked at 43, right? So, I know they were in the top 40."
So was Kindle a target on Day One? Or the fact that he was not picked, as you redid your board, was he a classic example of the best player available?
*(DeCOSTA) *"He's a guy that, obviously, we've studied for a long time. He was in the mix for us at any stage. We had other players that we liked yesterday, but he was in that mix. You just don't know how it's going to play. Today when we woke up, I can tell you that we were excited about the opportunity to pick him today. And he was a guy that was very, very high on our board today that we hoped would fall to us."
Could you comment on this Draft's process with the new timing of it at nighttime? Did it change things in a positive way or does it make the day too long?
(NEWSOME) *"I've had several conversations with other personnel people around the League, and we are approaching it like playing a Monday Night Football game. Some of the same things that would happen to you as a player, as a coach, as a GM, as you're preparing yourself for a Monday night game, is the same thing that happened in the last two days. Tomorrow we're back to a regular day. We'll get in, at 10 o'clock, we'll get rolling, and it'll go pretty fast. You know what? The format, as Eric said about 4 o'clock today – he likes it now. (laughing*) He likes the format. I don't think it has impacted the Draft in any negative way at all."
At what position do you think Kindle will fit best initially?
*(NEWSOME) *"He'll start off at outside linebacker behind Jarret [Johnson]. That's where we'll start him off at."
Will Kindle play special teams?
*(NEWSOME) *"He was a very good special teamer early in his career at Texas. That's one of the questions we asked him at the Combine, and he lit up when talked about special teams."
Apparently, Cody played a little fullback. Any chance that he'll wind up on offense?
*(NEWSOME) *"Cam [Cameron] said he and [Haloti] Ngata will be in the goal-line package. You know Cam."
(DeCOSTA) *"I guess we could go with the 'Tide' backfield, too – put Le'Ron [McClain] back there and then Cody as the fullback." (laughter*)
Was there much discussion trade-wise today?
*(NEWSOME) *"Oh yeah. Man, trading up, trading back, staying there, trading for something…"
Can you talk about your motivation in that? What you were trying to do?
*(NEWSOME) *"We had very little motivation to move up. But, we did have some conversations with some teams, because we felt like once we stacked the board that we were going to get a good player. There were a number of calls that came in at our pick. I think that that is one of the assets of having the additional time, that people got on the phone and just made the call just in case."
Have there been calls about your current players?
*(NEWSOME) *"No. No, we have not had any calls about our current players."
There are also reports that Kindle has to take mediation for narcolepsy and ADD. Have you talked to him about that, and would that be a concern for you?
*(DeCOSTA) *"If it was a concern, we probably wouldn't have picked him."
*(NEWSOME) *"I tell you what, he's a pretty good player on tape."
You seemed to put some of your picks in as soon as your turn came as opposed to using all your time. Is that just an example of being ready with who you wanted?
*(NEWSOME) *"I can say with all three picks today, before we got on the clock, I was already talking to the player."
Was there a situation today where you guys almost jumped ahead of the team in front of you? There were reports that the Raiders had failed to get their pick in and you guys had jumped in front of them.
*(DeCOSTA) *"There was a situation… We're not really sure of the specifics of how that all played out. I think it was a little bit of a hesitation with the Raiders and New England, I think. But, we were ready to pick. We had the name written down. We're not sure of the specifics."
Was it the same name you ended up taking?
*(NEWSOME) *"Oh yeah, yeah."
How much sleep did you guys get since yesterday?
(NEWSOME) *"Eric said that he got an hour. And maybe I got two, maybe three. But it wasn't… I probably was doing more thinking than sleeping, but my eyes were closed." (laughter*)
Eric, why do you like the new format?
(DeCOSTA) *"Well, I hated it yesterday. (laughing) *And I liked it today because we were getting ready to pick. The analogy of a Monday night game is perfect, because you just waste all this time, but once you get on the bus to go to the stadium, you're jacked up. That's how we felt. The guys were getting excited. We honestly treated today as the first day of the Draft. We met last night, and we told the scouts and coaches, 'Just go to bed tonight and wake up – tomorrow we pick.' It's a big day for us, it's our first day of picking, and we did everything exactly the same way today that we did yesterday. We met the same way, we gave the scouts the same board-stacking exercises, we had the coaches looking at a couple players, and just picked."
How hard was it to not make a pick yesterday?
*(NEWSOME) *"Part of our thinking was to move back, but not picking a player was different. Once you get a player, that's like getting that first first down or getting that first touchdown or getting that first sack. It gets you going. We had thought we had made a very good decision last night in acquiring these picks, and now we know we've made the right decision, but it was not… It felt a little empty, because we hadn't gotten anything done. We had gotten picks, but no players yet to match up with the picks."
Do you think that tomorrow there will be some good cornerbacks still left, and is that a position of priority for you?
*(NEWSOME) *"We have some corners on the board that we like. When we get to the pick, if they're the highest-rated player, we'll turn the card in."