BALTIMORE RAVENS DAY 2 DRAFT TRANSCRIPTS
GENERAL MANAGER/EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OZZIE NEWSOME,
HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH, ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER ERIC DECOSTA,
DIRECTOR OF COLLEGE SCOUTING JOE HORTIZ, DT CARL DAVIS & TE MAXX WILLIAMS
Ozzie Newsome opening statement: "OK, we just finished Day 2. In the second round, we felt very good about where the players were stacked going into today. And as the players started to come off the board, we felt like the tight end – Maxx [Williams] – was somebody that we really wanted. One of the best things that we have going for us is having additional picks. That's why we try to have a lot of picks in every draft, so that if we get in a situation where we feel like we have to move up a couple spots to get a player that we really want, we're able to do it, and that's what we were able to do with Maxx. Again, this offense that we'll be running with Marc [Trestman] is very tight end friendly. We have Crockett [Gillmore], now we have Maxx, and we could potentially add another one – because of the way they want to play – and you add 'Juice' [Kyle Juszczyk] into that. We don't have to put three wides out on the field a lot. So, it just helps us out, helps Joe [Flacco] out. Coach [John Harbaugh] talked to Joe tonight when we made the pick, so we felt good about that one. And then we got into the third round. We were working some deals with some teams. With the 90th pick, it was getting very close to the time limit, and there was a guy that we've watched. And since I've been in Baltimore, I've always loved to get me a big defensive lineman. And we're getting a guy … Of course, you know Kirk [Ferentz] was here with us when we first came to Baltimore, so [Carl Davis] is coming from a good program. But as we sit, we were able to get a tight end and a defensive lineman, and we're sitting on six picks for tomorrow."
Eric DeCosta opening statement: "I think if you look at a lot of the successful offenses in this league, they've got tight ends, multiple tight ends, and that was a priority for us going into this draft. And we spent a lot of time talking about tight ends, trying to find tight ends, and this was our favorite guy in the draft, and we're excited to get him. Quite honestly, I never dreamed that he would be there for us even in that range of players. We thought he'd be gone – we thought conceivably in the first round, but definitely, Top 40 picks in the draft. So, we were happy to get him. And then Carl Davis is a guy that dominated at the Senior Bowl, and I think a lot of scouts will agree that if you go down to Mobile [Alabama] and dominate for the week and play extremely well in the game, that's a really good sign. And guys that do that, we think have the skills to play at a high level in the NFL, and we think that Carl is one of those guys. He's going to fit our defense scheme-wise. As Ozzie alluded to, we've got great connections at Iowa, so we feel like we know a lot about Carl Davis. We know exactly what we're getting as a player, and we think he's a great fit for us."
John Harbaugh opening statement: "Just excited about both these two guys. Eric had reminded me as Maxx was maybe going to be available for us about a conversation we had about two-and-a-half months ago. I had watched [Williams on tape] – and I don't call [DeCosta] too often – and I called him right away and said, 'How about this kid at Minnesota?' He's really a good fit for our offense. He does – as Ozzie said – complement Crockett really well, and it works well for us in terms of what we want to do offensively. Then Carl Davis is a big, physical interior defensive lineman that helps us stop the run. He has also pass rush ability, so we're really excited about these two guys."
John, Ozzie said you talked to Joe [Flacco]. What his demeanor after [hearing the pick]? (Jamison Hensley)
(HARBAUGH) "He was fired up. He was fired up. The thing about Joe that I love about Joe – Joe was with his kids. He goes, 'That's right! It's about our pick time, right?' He wasn't really following it. He was following his kids around. But he was really excited when he found out who we got, and with both picks, he realizes that he has some guys that he can throw to."
Ozzie, is this simply a case that it was Pittsburgh sitting at No. 56 and you wanted to get ahead of them, or would it have mattered what team was there? (Joe Platania)
(NEWSOME) "It wouldn't have mattered what team. We get to a point that we feel like it's time to go get a player. We wait through three or four picks, and then I get a little antsy, and when you have ammunition, you just go and get the player. But it wouldn't have mattered who was picking at that spot for us to move up and get the guy."
Did you have any suspicion that Pittsburgh could be in the market for a tight end? (Ryan Mink)
(NEWSOME) "I'm very good friends with Rick Smith in Houston, and Eric is very good friends with Dave Caldwell, and we have no idea what those two guys are doing. So, I have no idea what Pittsburgh was doing."
Eric, when the run on running backs and corners kind of got going, did you guys kind of feel like it was getting wiped out a little bit as you got closer to Carl Davis? And there was a back that went right before you guys, a Northern Iowa kid, David Johnson. (Aaron Wilson)
(DECOSTA) "We just draft the best guy, and it's what we do, and Carl Davis was the best guy. There are certain players that you like and different coaches and scouts like, and it's disappointing [when they're picked], but in the end you have to make a pick. So, we'll come back tomorrow and make some more picks, and hopefully we have a good player to pick from."
About tomorrow, do you feel like there are some running backs, corners and some pass rushers that are still available? (Aaron Wilson)
(DECOSTA) "Oh, yes. We have some guys we're sleeping on for sure, and there are a couple guys that we're really excited about in the fourth round, multiple guys at several different positions. I think it's really set up nicely for us, especially considering what we were able to do yesterday and today. I think our needs and the board really gel well."
Ozzie, playing off what he just said, three picks in you filled a hole at wide receiver, tight end [that] you needed, and then you really got a replacement where DT Haloti Ngata left. Do you feel like after two days you really filled some holes and got some good talent?* (Dave Ginsburg)*
(NEWSOME) "Yes, but I think it was the product of the process that Eric, Joe and the scouts have done – along with the coaches – is the way the board is stacked and to be able to come away with the three players that we did. But the most important part of this draft is us doing a really good job tomorrow. To have those additional picks … When we let players walk out of the door – because they get huge contracts that we can't match – then we get those picks, and now we have to be able to utilize those picks to be able to get some good players to come in and help our football team. That will make our draft."
Ozzie, you got another player with NFL bloodlines in Maxx Williams. Is that becoming a trend? Is that something you really look for to have those kind of bloodlines? (Ryan Mink)
(NEWSOME) "No. You know, I didn't realize that until I was talking to him on the phone that his father [Brian] had played in the league. And then once I hung up the phone and once Steve [Bisciotti] had talked with him and John had talked with him, Steve turned [and said], 'Another son of a player up on the board that you had gone and got.' So I'm checking, but I don't know if there is." (laughter)
(HARBAUGH) "One interesting story is when Breshad [Perriman] came in – you guys don't know this – we were walking down to do the photo session down here, we walked by O.J.'s [Brigance] office, and O.J. happened to be in there with Bill – his nurse – and he was doing his work. And I said, 'Have you met O.J. Brigance, yet?' and he said, 'No.' And I don't think he really knew the O.J. story, and he went in, and Breshad was great. And O.J. was talking through his machine, and he said, 'I played with your dad in Miami,' and Breshad was like, 'Wow!' They played together in 1996 and 1997, I think it was. Another amazing connection."
Eric, you talked about [how] you were surprised that Maxx Williams was there. Kind of surprised that Carl Davis was around that late, too? (Jamison Hensley)
(DECOSTA) "You see those size, speed defensive linemen … George Young used to call those guys 'planet players' because there are just so few of those guys that play at that size on the planet. Yes, it is unusual. Those guys typically go higher in the draft, especially a guy that went down to Mobile and played very well."
Joe, has the cornerback situation with the guys in the draft played out pretty much like you expected? I know last year there was a run of them early, and do you think there's enough depth there that there are still some solid guys available on the final day? (Jeff Zrebiec)
(HORTIZ) "Yes, in terms of the guys that have gone, we anticipated most of them being gone at this point, and some other guys have snuck in there. But there are still a couple guys left on our board that we have some feel for and coaches had some feel for and scouts had some feel for [that] we think we have an opportunity to get tomorrow."
Eric, you talked about Maxx Williams kind of being the guy separating himself at tight end. What qualities does he have that made him the stand out player at that position in this draft?* (Cliff Brown)*
(DECOSTA) "He's smart. I think he's athletic, he has great hands, and he gets open. I think he's tough, he's competitive. He's not a perfect player – none of these guys are – but we just felt like he really fits us well – reminds us a little bit of Owen Daniels and Dennis Pitta and guys like that who we've had. We have a history with certain guys, and we saw a lot of the same qualities. I think he's going to be a guy that's going to make catches for you in the red zone. He's going to be an outstanding third-down receiver just to catch the ball and get first downs for us. And I just like the fact that he's a younger guy, which I think is actually in this case good. He has a lot of developmental ability, and I think he's very, very smart."
CARL DAVIS CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT
On his emotions of getting drafted and if the Ravens were a team he talked to before the draft:"No, we really hadn't had a lot of contact, and I didn't think I was on their board at all. But this is a great organization – especially on the defensive side – and I'm very ecstatic right now. Words can't even explain how happy I am, especially to be able to play a part of a great program with so much tradition. I'm just really looking forward to it."
On if the Ravens' physical, blue-collar defense fits his defensive mentality as a player:"Definitely. That's how we played at Iowa – kind of tough, smart, physical guys just getting in there and getting down and dirty, just having to make plays, do the dirty work, do the trench work. We know we've got to dig a lot of guys out and make some plays and make stuff happen, but I'm willing to make it happen."
On how he would describe his game:"I'm more of a physical guy. I like to knock guys back. I can be a finesse guy sometimes, but I'm more of a power guy. I'm a guy that can anchor in on the double-teams. I feel like I've got a lot of different things I bring to the table. I can pass rush once I'm in a good position; I feel like I'm flexible enough to be able to get to the quarterback."
On if there is anyone in the NFL that he models his game after:"One of my favorite players is Ndamukong Suh, and that's a guy I have always watched his game. I've been watching him since he was at Nebraska and watching him develop in the NFL. That's somebody that I like his game, and I would like to take after."
On how big his versatility will be going forward, and where he prefers to line up:"Honestly, I'll line up anywhere. I'm long enough to play on the outside and I feel like I've got enough speed, but I'm also stout enough and carry enough weight to myself, endurance to me that I can play right there sitting in the middle. It doesn't matter to me. I feel like I can do it all."
On how important the Senior Bowl was to him with scouts saying he impressed there:"That was a very good week, just to show everybody that I can win one-on-one, show them that I can play. And I can play against anybody, and I can dominate just anybody. It got me an opportunity to get outside of being that 'Iowa defense,' and just be able to play on the field and just be able to make plays. Basically, when it's me against another man, all it is is your pride on the line right now, and I just wasn't going to be stopped there. It really did help me, I believe."
On some draft analysts suggesting he could have been selected in the late-first or early-second rounds, and if he has a chip on his shoulder because he was selected in the third round:"Oh my God, it's ridiculous how I'm so motivated right now, because I was expecting to go somewhere … I feel like I'm one of the best defensive tackles in this year's draft, and I saw a lot of guys that got picked ahead of me, and that puts a chip on my shoulder. And I feel like, especially when I've got a chip on my shoulder, there's nobody that can stop me. I feel like I'm that much of a dominant player. Playing in this program for the Ravens, it's going to be beautiful, because I feel like I'm going to be able to manifest all of my skills and live up to my potential. And I know I'll get some great coaching."
On if he likes the challenge of coming in and trying to help fill the void left by former Ravens NT Haloti Ngata:"Oh yeah. Somebody has to carry the fire, somebody has to make the tradition go on, and why not be me? I know they've got other guys up there, [Timmy] Jernigan they got, [and] those are terrific players. I plan on learning from those guys that have already been there, that know and played next to Haloti. He's a great player, but he's human, just like we both are. And if he can do it, I feel like I can do it."
On where he was expecting to be drafted:"I was expecting late-first [or] early-second. Everything else, when I slid all the way down to the third round, I was really down. I was still confident, I still knew who I was as a player, but I just didn't know what was the reasoning for this. It was just out of my control, and all I could do was just pray and hope somebody would come get me. It's basically my job to make every other team regret not taking me earlier, and just make myself the best player so I can get in there and dominate and show everybody what I've got. It's a beautiful league, and they reward you for making plays and producing. That's all it comes down to."
MAXX WILLIAMS CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT
On how he would describe his game as a tight end and whether he emulates TE Jason Witten: "That's who I want to be like – the guy is Jason Witten. [I] grew up every day trying to do everything for the team – blocking, catching and just being a difference, and that's what I've always tried to be for my teammates is going out there and making a difference on gameday. And that's what I'm looking forward to doing."
On what advice his father gave him about the NFL and the draft process: "He said, 'You know what, you have to earn respect. You have to go in, shut your mouth and go to work every day and earn the respect of your teammates and show who you are, because now you're at the highest level where no matter what, everyone's the best there is. You have to go out there and prove that you can play with them and go to work every day.'"
On what he was thinking with the Ravens and Steelers picking closely together: "My heart was pumping all day. The last two days, my heart has been pumping, and I'm just kind of waiting for my name to get called and my phone to ring. You get more and more excited, and finally, I was fortunate enough to hear my phone ring, and now I'm a Baltimore Raven."
On if he thought the Ravens were likely to draft him: "I always had a good feeling with them. I met them at the Combine, had a great meeting with them out there and just had a good feeling going in to all of this that they were calling my number, maybe."
On what makes him a big-play receiver at the tight end position: "I credit it to … I do my work. I get as much preparation as I can. I go out there, and I just play as hard as I can. Good things happen when you work hard."
On what he has to do to improve his blocking: "I have to get stronger. I knew that going into this draft that I knew I had to get stronger knowing that I was younger. But to me, it has just been working hard right now and doing everything I can to prepare and work on being a better blocker going into this season."
On how much pride he takes in his blocking skills: "You're a tight end; you have to be able to block. This is the NFL. Tight ends are meant to block and go up there and catch. So, I know I'm going to have to get in there, and I'm going to have to prove myself that I can block all those great guys out there."
On whether he feels he still has to develop strength and grow into his body: "I'm 21 years old; I feel like I'm ready to go in everything, but you always can get better – always can get better at blocking or better at catching, everything like that. For me, it's just going to go in and try to improve as much as I can from year to year."
On whether he feels ready to take on a big role with the Ravens: "I told everyone I was trying to be a starter right away. You have to have your goals and what you want to go for, and that's what I want. I want to be a starter. I want to go in and prove that I can make a difference and help win a championship."
On if the Ravens mentioned any similarities between him and TE Todd Heap during the draft process: "I think it was more watching what I can do and wondering what they could do for me and if I was the right fit. So for me, it was just talking about what I could do and how I could help."
On if he visited any other teams during the draft process: "I did. I worked out for Atlanta."
On his game as a receiver: "As a receiver, I say I like to go out there and try to make plays. That's the best way I can describe it. I go out there, try to make plays, try to use my body as a tight end knowing I'm a little bigger than a receiver. [I] try to use my body, manipulate it and make the catch."
On whether his 40-yard dash time pushed him into the second round: "Whatever happens, happens. I got drafted a Baltimore Raven. My dream [has] come true, so to me, it doesn't matter."