Browns Draft: Day 2 Transcripts

Browns Draft: Day 2 Transcripts

T.J. Ward, Montario Hardesty, Colt McCoy, Shawn Lauvao - Read their first interviews as Browns...

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini and President Mike Holmgren Press Conference – 4-23-10

Mike Holmgren
(Opening statement on day two of NFL Draft) –
"I'll start out by saying it's been quite a day for us. With our picks, before we get into specifics, we had a plan coming into the day that we would try and deal with certain positions and certain players. Hopefully, if we were fortunate enough to get them, that would be great. Other than the quarterback, which was a little bit of a surprise, it felt pretty much the way we wanted it to. In Colt's case, I really didn't think that he would be available to us. I really felt that he would go before we had a chance to pick him. But when it didn't happen, it was something I really wanted to do and Eric (Mangini) and Tom (Heckert) went along with me and there you have it."

Mike Holmgren
(On pitching the idea of drafting McCoy to Mangini and Heckert) –
"Maybe I should probably let Eric answer that question. Over the course of our discussions prior to the draft we had talked about getting a quarterback. We didn't know when. We certainly didn't want to reach because of our needs that we had talked about and the things we wanted to use the draft for. At the end as we approached the pick, or as we got further in the third round, yes. I think if I'm going to be honest with you, I was pitching it to them a little bit. Had they said, ‘No, we'd rather go this way,' I made a promise to him and I told you guys we're going to do this together. But they allowed me to take that pick in there and that's what we did."

Mike Holmgren
(On where they rated Colt McCoy compared to other quarterbacks in the draft) –
"We brought in Jimmy Clausen as well, but I'm not really going to go into the pecking order of it. We liked both Clausen and McCoy. And quite honestly, later on we liked a couple other young men, but, it became an academic situation because Bradford and Clausen were gone."

Mike Holmgren
(On being tempted to trade up to draft Colt McCoy when he was still available) –
"No, I wasn't going to force-feed it that much. If it happened, it happened, but sometimes, honestly, with all the scientific study and preparation, sometimes it just kind of falls to you. If it was going to happen, that's kind of the way I wanted it to happen. So it did."

Mike Holmgren
(On how Colt McCoy fits in as the quarterback of the future) –
"Here's the thing, and I think this is important if you let me, and I want to make this very clear: Brian Daboll is the offensive coordinator, Eric Mangini is the head coach. I am around to cheerlead and to encourage and help in any way I can. But I am not coaching the football team. I am not. What happens with Colt, or Jake (Delhomme), or any player on our team, I will have a definite interest in it, but as far as making those types of decisions for the football team, this man will do it. Particularly with a young quarterback coming in, there's a normal amount of pressure on any quarterback coming in when he's a publicized guy and all that, and I really will steer-clear of any timetable with any of those guys. We signed Jake for a reason. We signed Seneca Wallace for a reason. We have a good young guy here as our third quarterback right now, then we drafted a good young guy. So to make this work in the best way possible, we just kind of have to let it happen with everyone developing. That's how I would answer that."

Eric Mangini
(On when Colt McCoy may play) "With any of these rookies, it's unfair to put any kind of timetable on them. You have to give them a chance to come in and compete and put their best foot forward and see what happens. It's nice to have someone like Mike in the building to talk to about developing guys and to evaluate the situation. I think that's a real bonus. Whether it's him or any of our picks, each guy develops a little bit differently. We hope they all come in and contribute right away, but we've seen it so many times. Sometimes it's right away, sometimes it's a little down the road. The important thing is that the development continues and they contribute in a way that they can to help us win the games."

Eric Mangini
(On why T.J. Ward was drafted where he was in the second round) – "When I looked at him and spent time with him he reminded me a lot of Lawyer Milloy. I think he's got outstanding instincts in the running game. He's one of these guys that can navigate through traffic and it's almost like the blockers don't exist. Very rarely does he miss tackles. I don't want to throw the black cat on him because everybody misses tackles in the secondary at some point, but he's very good in that area and I like that a lot about him. As a player, that's who he reminded me of watching him on college tape. And spending time with him I liked him, Rob (Ryan) liked him, the rest of the staff liked him, and I think it was a position that we needed to continue to reinforce."

Eric Mangini
(On evaluating the quarterback situation this year compared to last year)-
"We have to see all three of these guys and Brett (Ratliff) who we have a little bit more experience with, but we got to see the three new guys within the system and how they pick up the information and how it all fits. With Seneca and with Jake they've been here, they've been working, they've worked with the receivers and that whole group has been working together, not really with the coaches, but amongst themselves, and that's helped their development, but were just going to have to see how that goes as we go through OTA's."

Eric Mangini
(On what he thinks makes McCoy special) -
"I spent a lot of time with him on a school visit. I went down there for the workout. We watched tape together. We talked about a range of subjects and I learned a little bit more about raising cattle then I wanted to, but he gave me all the ins and outs there. He drove me back to the hotel and we just spent a lot of good time one on one and I enjoyed that experience, I enjoyed that time with him both from a football perspective and a personal perspective. Then he came in the buildings, spent time with everybody else and made a good impression. I think that you look at his track record, you look at the situation that he came into and the pressure he was under there and the way that he responded, the range of throws that he can make, I think all of those things are really positive things. Mike (Holmgren) talked about his movement. He's played in a lot of big games, he's won a lot of big games, he's been very successful at that level and I know he probably waited a little longer than he wanted to be drafted. We talked about that on the phone and I think that sometimes good things come to those who wait and it's not how you get into the building, it's what you do after your in the building and everybody has a great opportunity when they come in here to be successful and make a case for themselves to contribute on Sundays."

Mike Holmgren
(On the weather in Cleveland affecting Colt McCoy) -
"Well, we'll find out. I think if you asked any quarterback in the world if they like playing in Buffalo later in the year, they prefer to play in nice weather, but I have seen quarterbacks function and once they learn how to do it in cold weather I think it is a little bit of a learned response, comfort response if you will, but it's certainly something that we have to find out."

Eric Mangini
"And he will get plenty of chances to practice in it."

Mike Holmgren
(On their theory on the height of quarterbacks) -
"I think actually when I met him, I think he is listed at 6'1.5", you know it's in one of the books somewhere, but when I met him I actually didn't, you know how when you meet some people and you say whether your shorter or taller whatever you say, I didn't think that. I said ok, this guy's a little bit bigger than I thought. I don't think that's going to be the determining factor, I think if guys are not 6-3 or whatever it is, they've learned to, the good ones, learned to find the lanes, play. Best example is obviously Drew Brees, and he has done that and he's done that very well."

Eric Mangini
"I would probably agree with that and when we first got to New York we talked about Drew Brees, that was the year that he was available and I think we had (Doug) Flutie in New England and saw how he operated, it was a little bit later in his career, but the way that he was able to figure out how to navigate through a group of tall offensive and defensive linemen I think it's a true statement, you figure out a way to be successful and there's a lot of guys playing in the league at a range of positions that were too short or their arms were too short or whatever measurable you want to look at, but they just figure it out."

Mike Holmgren
(On Colt McCoy being more successful because he came into the league through the back door) -
"I think it helps him in the early years absolutely. I think there's, as I've mentioned earlier, I think as a quarterback, if you're drafted on the first or second day, it is the glamour position. It's kind of the position most talked about, usually most written about and so on. For the guys picked in the first round or way up there, yeah it's all on them. We've seen that here already in the last few years. If and Eric said it very well, I'm sure Colt was a little disappointed. The expectation level and the buildup for the draft, you can see it in their faces on television. It is really quite something. If it doesn't quite meet the families expectations or his okay, but, I think at times it makes the transition easier, I really do. He is who he is and it's kind of fun to write about these guys, and he's a very articulate guy, he'll be a fun guy to talk to, but I think as far as a football thing, I think it could be easier."

Mike Holmgren
(On wide receivers being thin in this draft)
- "I think that Tom and Eric and I talked about it during the day, and we've been talking about it the last couple days and we will talk about it again tomorrow. You have your free agency period and your filling in holes, hopefully.  Then you have the draft and you plug in a few more spots.  After the draft, most teams, there are still a couple of little areas that you want to make the pile bigger or you want to fix.  I would say wide receiver is one of those. If we don't take care of it with the next three picks that we have.  But, we are going to look at that.  That's not the only position, we are going to look at a couple more things and shore up here and there.  We are not done forming the thing yet."

Eric Mangini
(On Montario Hardesty) -
"I really like him.  I think he's tough, he's physical, and he's got a nice burst.  He tends to punish defenders at the end of runs.  I think that he does a nice job cutting and making guys miss. He's got good balance.  I was excited when we got him.  I like big backs, I like little fast backs too.  I like them all that can gain yards.  I think that with him, Peyton (Hillis) and Jerome (Harrison), we have added some options there that we can use in a lot of different ways.  He carried a heavy load last year and did a really nice job.  In talking to Eric Berry when he was here, he couldn't really say enough good things about him.  I just asked him about players you would like to play with again in pro football and he talked a lot about him.  For his professionalism, his approach, all of those things that are like music to your ears when you're sitting on the other side of the desk."

Eric Mangini
(On the injury histories of Ward and Hardesty) -
"I've seen guys that have come in relatively clean and they get banged up and guys that have had some injuries that have fought through them and have come back as strong, if not stronger.  They are both tough guys and they have had some things in the past.  We do really extensive research between the combine medical checks and our own medical checks, if they have visited, to make sure that we feel good about where they are medically and in both cases, we did."

Mike Holmgren
(On if injury histories were part of the draft discussion) -
"I think in the preparation, it's a big part of the discussion.  Our medical people, we have to trust them and they have to really let us know honestly how they feel about these guys because it's a big investment.  Once we get the green light, which happens before the draft, then we go."

Eric Mangini
(On if injury histories were part of the draft discussion) -
"Those guys really do a great job, Joe Sheehan on the medical side and Lew Merletti on the security side.  They spend a lot of time, they go as in depth as anybody I've been around, to make sure we have all the information.  As Mike said, once you get the green light, then you feel comfortable picking."

Mike Holmgren
(On if the organization has a "win now" mindset)
- "I feel good about it.  Like I said, I'm not coaching.  The whole idea was to improve and let's go.  Really, we all went in with the same mindset and I'm very excited about the draft and what has happened so far.  I think Eric said it in an earlier press conference: Choosing players that can come in here and contribute, hopefully start, but play a lot and be a part of any success we have next year.  That was our goal and I think these fellas, to the man, have a chance to do that without stretching it too much.  I really think they can contribute."

Mike Holmgren
(On what makes a quarterback successful)
- "I think that just the ability to play the game physically.  You have to have a certain talent level.  We researched that and he has displayed that talent level in college, now it has to come into our league, which is harder.  It's harder.  I think what separates it and where you see the change is how mentally tough and how a young man handles adversity.  Because at that position, early in your career in this league, I don't care when you were drafted or who you were in college, it is hard.  The game is faster, you're playing against better people and if it shocks you, I've seen it shock people that it just doesn't work.  The mentally tough guys that deal with that initial shock say ‘OK.  Now I get it.', and keep learning and are willing to stick with it, now you've got something.  That's why typically guys can't come in and shoot it lights out right away, I don't care who they are.  Now we have talked in here in this room about (Mark) Sanchez and about (Joe) Flacco and those guys that went to teams that allowed them to play the position a little differently.  They're good defensive teams, good running teams that didn't ask as much of those guys as a lot of teams have to or do.  So their growth is a little different, their learning curve is a little different.  That's what I think separates the guys that make it, the guys that are just OK and then the guys that don't make it."

Eric Mangini
(On Shawn Lauvao and his style of play)
- "He's tough, he's physical.  One of the things that you like about watching offensive linemen or something that always jumps off the screen to me, and maybe it's having a defensive background, is guys that clean the pocket.  Which means when they are not blocking somebody, they go and help somebody else out and it's usually one of those hits that defensive linemen remember.  There were quite a few of those with him.  You appreciate that.  I thought he played with a good base and I thought he used his hands well and had really good awareness.  Passing off games, you could see on tape that he understood how things were unfolding and had a knack for dealing with those things.  A lot of that is anticipation and understanding the whole scheme.  All of those were positives and here is another guy that we can add to our group to compete and hopefully contribute."

Eric Mangini
(On Lauvao's versatility)
- "He played in college left tackle, right tackle, guard.  He has played a bunch of different spots."            

Eric Mangini
(On what position Lauvao might play) -
"We will talk about that.  You know I'm big on guys that can play multiple spots, especially if he ends up being your sixth or seventh guy. They need to back up multiple spots.  He will probably start there."

Mike Holmgren
(On Shawn Lauvao)
- "Naturally speaking, he kind of looks like a guard. That's not everything, but I think he kind of looks like a guard."

Mike Holmgren
(On pushing Mangini to draft McCoy earlier)
- "Let me answer that.  Don't ask him.  He didn't say anything, he give me the eyes.  I've learned that.  I go, ‘Eric, what do you think?'  He (rolls eyes).  Like I said, it was good.  It was the perfect example of us working together.  Because if I allowed (Mangini) to make every pick just flat out, we would have six corners."

Eric Mangini
"One of them probably could have played guard."

Eric Mangini
(On using the first two picks on defensive backs and adding Sheldon Brown)
- "Well, I think it was definitely a position where we had to add depth. We had to add competition and we used a lot of guys in a lot of different spots last season.  Mike Adams played safety, he played corner, he played star, he was a jack of all trades.  Contrary to our discussion, you can't have too many corners and arguably, you can't have too many safeties.  I think you need to have a lot of depth.  You face so many teams that run multiple wide receiver sets, you're in two-minute defense, you're on third-down defense. Those guys play and they play a lot.  You get an injury or two and suddenly, a position that looks like you had a lot of depth is pretty thin." 

Mike Holmgren
(On working together with Mangini and Heckert) -
"Tom is not sitting here with us; he had some more work to do upstairs.  We all understood our role.  Tom orchestrated the draft and I think did a marvelous job getting the board ready. We are not done yet, but I mean in the first couple of days.  We work well together in the room and always talking about where we are heading, possible trades, we all answered phones.  We had a way of a protocol of doing it in the room. I think it's important for our football players to see us work that way because it's teamwork and that's what we want to have our players do.  It's not important who gets the credit, it's important that you get the job done and do it properly and do it well.  That's part of it.  We looked at areas of need, but we weren't going to reach if we could help it, just to reach for need.  Early on, we needed to make the piles bigger in certain areas, like the secondary, but we didn't reach.  There was a matchup of talent, player availability and need.  So, it worked out well for us.  I think as we go from year to year here, hopefully as we improve and your team gets a little stronger, your core group of player's gets a little larger, then the draft becomes a little different.  I might only have two holes with two thumbs to fill in the dike.  Whereas now, you have a few more things and we also talked about it. We can't fix what we want to do in one year.  I think honestly, we took a good step, hopefully, if these young people come through like we hope they can.  They have still got to prove it.  I think we took a good first step here.  The draft today and yesterday and tomorrow I'm sure, worked the way I had hoped it would as far as the preparation, the communication, how we did things as a leadership team and eventually how we picked the players."

Browns offensive lineman Shawn Lauvao conference call 4-23-10

(On whether he prefers playing guard or tackle) - "The biggest thing is that I started at guard. Back in high school I played tackle. Then I got acclimated back to tackle. Whatever they want me to do I am more than willing. I know the coaching will be first class. Whatever they see fit and wherever I can help the team is the biggest thing for me."

(On if he had an idea that the Browns were interested) - "Honestly, the biggest thing I heard in general was a middle round grade. So I was like hopefully I can slip into the second or third round. That was my general consensus, but I was honestly thinking fourth or fifth round. To get drafted in general, that itself is truly an honor. The biggest thing is that I had a lot of teams calling me, making sure they had my draft information. I mean I probably had 20-25 teams calling me to make sure they had my draft information. I was pretty sure teams showed a lot of interest, but I never really knew."

(On what he studied in college) - "I studied education and sociology. I graduated back in 2008 and I was working on my master's in curriculum and instruction."

(On how long it took him to earn his bachelor's degree) - "Three and a half years and I'm six to nine units away from getting my master's."

(On what he knows about the Browns) - "I know they are in Cleveland. I know you guys have two players from Hawaii in David Veikune and Kaluka Maiava. I know they have diehard fans and I know Jim Brown is a legend there. And I know you got rid of two quarterbacks in Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn. I know that much."

(On what he got his undergraduate and master's degrees in) - "My undergraduate was in education and sociology and my master's is in curriculum and instruction."

(On if he envisions himself as a long-term NFL starter) - "Yes, definitely. The biggest thing I bring is my work ethic. Whatever the coaches ask of me. I'm more than willing, which is the biggest thing. As in prevalence to playing tackle, it's not my natural position, but the biggest thing is that I am more than willing to learn. The biggest thing, as I was reiterating before, is that football is something that is important to me and I'm real passionate about. My biggest thing is that I don't want to disappoint, I want to help the team anyway possible, come in and compete, give effort and show them that I belong."

Browns Quarterback Colt McCoy Conference Call 4-23-10

(On what it was like to wait around for a team to draft him that he wanted to come to)- "It made for a long day. The last two days have been pretty long, but at the same time, I am where I am supposed to be and that is Cleveland. I couldn't be more excited. From the time I left Cleveland I called my folks and I said that I would love to be a Cleveland Brown and it is a dream come true."

(On if he understood the Browns draft strategy not taking him prior to this pick) - "I didn't really understand, I will be honest with you. At the same time, I understand the needs that each team needs and each team has as far as getting everybody that they want and this whole draft is based on personnel decisions. I'm sure it's not that people didn't think that I was a good enough quarterback to be taken early. It's just based on what teams need and I am fired up to be a Cleveland Brown. I hope that they are too and from talking to Coach (Mike) Holmgren and the guys on the phone earlier, I am really excited."

(On why he feels he is a good fit for this organization) - "I just really like the city. I was only there for a day but I know it's a good, hard working, blue collar town, and that's exactly who I am. I grew up in the country, I work hard, and nothing has ever been easy for me. I've earned everything I have ever achieved, and I am going to do the same thing when I get to Cleveland, and have the support of all the fans there."

(On the probability of sitting behind Jake Delhomme and learning from him) - "Well that is great. I fully expect to come in there and learn from Jake, do my best, work my tail off and do exactly what the team needs me to do. That's what I have done my whole career. When my name is called, then I am going to go out there and produce and be the best. That's how I was raised and that's how I've been coached and like I said, I'm fired up and I can't wait to get there."

(On his accuracy and how it is his best asset) - "I do think it is a huge strength. I don't think it is something that you can teach. I think you have it, and I think if you have it you can critique it and work on it and that's what I do. I continue to work on my accuracy and my throwing. Like I said, I want to be the best and I'm going to do what it takes to be at the top and to lead my team to a lot of victories."

(On if he thought he was going to go to another team today) - "It's hard not to get your hopes up as team and team after team goes by, it's tough, but at the same time, like I said earlier, I understand the needs of teams. You know lots of teams in this draft have great quarterbacks and some teams need a quarterback and it might not be their first and foremost thing that they need to do or guy they need to draft. I understand the whole process. It made for a long day, but it made for a really exciting day too because I am so excited to be a Cleveland Brown."

(On gaining added incentive to come into league due to teams not drafting him earlier) - "I'll definitely use it as motivation. You can put everything else in the bag and all the teams that passed and that decided to go different ways. I understand the needs of teams and I am obviously confident in my abilities as a quarterback and in the things that I can bring to the team and I'm so glad that is going to be brought into Cleveland. I couldn't be more excited and couldn't be more happy, and definitely, definitely, I'll use that as motivation."

(On if he is with his family) - "Yeah, it's all my family."

(On who called him and what was said) - "I actually talked to Coach Mangini and Coach Holmgren, and, dadgum, Coach Holmgren's assistant. You know what, I talked to Coach Holmgren and Coach Mangini the most and they were really excited and they asked me if it had been a long day and I said, ‘yes sir.' They said, ‘We want you to come play for us and we believe in you,' and I said, "You won't regret it. I'm fired up to be a Cleveland Brown and we're going to win a lot of games.'"

(On playing in the cold/windy weather in Cleveland) - "Oh it doesn't bother me at all. All of the cold games that I have played in, I've played really well in. We played in Nebraska, we played up in Kansas, and played up in Missouri so we've got some cold weather games on our schedule every year and it hasn't bothered me and honestly I look forward to it. I think that is something that can almost be an advantage."

(On being introduced by his college coach Mack Brown and teammate Jordan Shipley being taken one pick prior)- "It's great. I'm really excited for Jordan and all the guys that have been picked off of our team, Sergio (Kindle), and Lamarr (Houston) picked today. Earl (Thomas) picked yesterday. It's just a really exciting time and to have Coach (Mack) Brown introduce me and to call my name, man that's really, really special."


Browns General Manager Tom Heckert press conference 4-23-10 – Montario Hardesty

(Opening statement on Montario Hardesty) - "Montario is a guy that we really, really like. I said the same thing about the first two guys, but this is another very, very tough football player. We think he's very talented. He had a big year this past year. He did have some nicks before that, but we think he's healthy and he's another kid we brought in and he should be fine."

(On if there are any injury concerns with T.J. Ward and Montario Hardesty) - "No, that's why we have doctors and trainers. They feel comfortable with both these two guys and that's what we're going to go with."

(On T.J. Ward's past surgeries) - "That was before, that was not this year."

(On if Ward has had three surgeries) - "Right."

(On Montario Hardesty's running style offsetting Jerome Harrison's) - "Oh yeah, there's no question. He was 224 lbs. when we last saw him and he's a very physical runner. But he's also not just a straight ahead banger. He's got speed; he ran a 4.4 at the combine, so he's more than just a banger."

(On trading up to draft Montario Hardesty) - "We talked to a bunch of teams about moving up, but we're just kind of waiting to see how things fell. A couple of running backs went in there. We were concerned, but he was a guy that we liked and we felt comfortable going up and getting him."

(On if Hardesty has feature back potential) - "That's what we've envisioned. We'll see what happens."

(On if he is surprised with Colt McCoy's slide) - "I mean it's just one of those things. If people like him they are going wait. There are only a few teams that need quarterbacks. So we will just have to wait and see where he goes."

(On if it's a conscious decision not to rush and take a quarterback) - "You know that was just a situation where we said we would take the best available player that we had on the board, and we weren't going to stray from that. That's what we've done."

(On addressing the team's wide receiver situation) - "Well you know we have two more picks here so we will just have to wait and see how the board falls. You know, I wouldn't rule us out moving up again, but it just depends on how things go here the next few picks."

(On if the team has been looking at any defensive linemen) - "Really, there was a bunch of guys that we had targeted. I think we were 11 picks away or something like that. We were just getting concerned that some of those guys were going to be gone by the time we had. So we figured we would trade up and get the best, the guy we had the highest up there, so we did it."

Browns Running Back Montario Hardesty Conference Call 4-23-10

(On his injury history at Tennessee and how is feeling now) - "When I first got to Tennessee, I tore my ACL and couldn't play that whole entire season. I had surgery when that season was over on my other knee, just a scope. It really wasn't anything that serious, I haven't been hurt my last three years there. I haven't missed a game, but I missed two games since I tore my ACL for an ankle sprain. I played every game this year. I'm healthy know, just excited about being a Brown."

(On his running style) - "I feel like I'm an all-around back. I feel like I'm a back that never, I don't ever want to go backwards. I always want to gain positive yards. I never want to have negative yards. I feel like I can split out, and catch the ball outside, run inside and outside. I just want to be a complete back and just be that spark that my team needs. I want to be a leader and that spark that my team needs from the running back position."

(On additional information about his injury history) - "I had an ankle sprain and I thought that I missed two games with that and the stress fracture, wasn't just a stress fracture, it was a stress reaction and that happened in December when the season was over. After my ankle sprain, I guess there was a lingering effect. I was in a boot for like four to six weeks when the season was over. But I didn't miss any games, didn't miss any spring practices, and didn't miss from anything after that."

(On if his goal is to be a feature back in the NFL) - "My goal is just to be the best player that I can be. When I come into rookie minicamp and training camp with the Browns, I'm going to ready to go, learn the offense and get better and just help out as much as I can in my rookie season, you know as a Cleveland Brown. So for me, I'm just going to go in there, do what I need to do, learn all my stuff and you know I feel like if I do that and I roll with things, it will be fine."

(On if the new Tennessee coaching staff believed in him last season) - "Definitely. I was a captain my junior year at Tennessee and then I came back and I was a captain also my senior year. I finally got the opportunity to be the feature back and really be able to flourish and do everything. You know they spaced me out a lot at wide receiver and let me catch passes from out there. I was really able to showcase my game and didn't have any nagging, little ankle injuries or small things like that. So I was just blessed for the opportunity. I just wanted to go out and do as much as I could with it and right now I'm blessed with the opportunity to be a Cleveland Brown. I'm definitely going to come in and continue to be the same player that I am. Work hard, study hard, be a great teammate and try to be a great player on the football field."


(On what it meant to be voted a team captain two years in a row) - "I just feel like that's the type of person I am. I'm the type of person that I want to outwork everybody. I don't want anybody to outwork me. I mean, I think that's the biggest thing with me. I don't want anybody to outwork me. I want to outwork everyone on the field. I want to outwork everyone on the field with me, outwork the next person, you know the next running back that's about to come up. I want to outwork everybody. So I don't want to ever feel like I'm being outworked. I think that's the biggest thing that my teammates caught on to. How hard I worked and how much of my heart and passion I put into the game."

(On how much contact did he have with the Browns and if he expected to end up here) - "It's kind of crazy for the draft. For me, I really didn't know. I went on a worldwide tour everywhere. I toured a lot of different places, went to a lot of different sites. I had an interview with the Browns at the combine and I interviewed with the Browns. The running backs coach (Gary Brown) for the Browns came in and worked me out and that was pretty much it. That was pretty much all the contact I had with them. For me now, I'm just thankful having an opportunity. You never know where you're going to go, but I'm excited to be a Brown."

(On describing running style) - "I feel like my running style, you know, it's weird. I've never really had to describe because some people say I'm a bruiser, but I'm not a bruiser at all. I made a lot of people miss this year. I made big plays against big time defenses like Alabama, Auburn, Georgia. I just feel like I'm an all around back and I can do everything on the football field and that's what I want to be known as. That's what I'll work hard to do and that's what I want to be known as. A guy that can run inside, outside, always fall forward and put a lot of heart and passion on the field, and you can see my hear and passion come out with my play on the field."

(On if he thinks he can be a star and a long-term feature back) - "I want to be star. I'm going work to be a star, definitely. I'm going work to be star. I'm going work to be the best that I can be. And I'm going be the best that I can be and I'm just going to make sure that I contribute as a Brown this year."

Browns General Manager Tom Heckert press conference 4-23-10

(On taking T.J. Ward) - "We just took T.J. Ward with our last pick and we think he's a really, really good football player. He's a super tough kid and makes a lot of plays in the run game. We think he can cover. We worked him out and we think he has good athletic ability, but he's a super tough kid and we think he adds a lot to our defense."

(On what T.J. Ward adds to the Browns secondary with the other offseason moves) -"Obviously we think we really helped our secondary this offseason, so that's a good thing. I know statwise we weren't great versus the pass and this should help."

(On taking two defensive backs with the first two draft picks) - "Again, after all last night and this morning and this afternoon, we felt pretty comfortable that T.J. was going to be there and we thought that was probably going to be our pick."

(On defensive back Nate Allen, who was selected with the previous pick by the Philadelphia Eagles) - "We liked him, but T.J. was the guy that we wanted and we hoped fell and he did."

(On safety Taylor Mays) - "We think Taylor is a good football player too, but T.J. was a guy we spent a lot of time with and a guy we felt comfortable with who could come in and help our defense."

(On how much time was spent on Colt McCoy and Jimmy Clausen) - "We talked about it. We think they're both very good football players, but we just felt really comfortable with T.J. Ward at this pick."

(On T.J. Ward's injury history) - "He's had a little injury history, but we brought him in here for a physical and our doctors and trainers and everybody felt comfortable with it, and we're fine with that."

(On if they will are considering moving up into the second round) - "We've actually spoken to some teams, so there's a chance of that."

(On T.J. Ward's ability to cover inside the box) - "I think he's more than that, but that's probably his natural position. He's not just strictly a box guy. We think he runs well enough and he's athletic enough that he can play both."

(On T.J. Ward's injury at Oregon) - "He's had a high ankle sprain this year. It was nothing real serious."

(On whether or not every draft pick from today can become a starter) - "We hope they are. We said that yesterday. We hope these guys come in here and start for us. But, I think the total objective is we want football players that are tough, smart, and I think we've done that with our first two guys."

(On the reports of talking with St. Louis to trade up for the #33 pick were true) - "No."

(On if this pick was an example of building the team up through middle) - "Well, I think there is something to that. I've said before I think offensive and defensive lines are obviously real big. And that is where we need to improve on somewhere down the line. But, like I said before, were not going to reach just because of that position. We just felt T.J. (Ward) was the best pick at this time and so we did it."

(On why T.J. Ward was not rated that high in pre-draft books) - "You know it's kind of strange, I really don't know that. I think maybe the missed time this year; you know I think he started in six or seven games this year. So that probably has something to do with it. But we think he is a good player."

(On if he could be considered a steal) - "We will find out. I don't know. I'll let you know in a year or so."

(On if the drafts new format is advantageous) - "Well, I will tell you it is nice to be able to, actually it is nice but it's boring. We're not going to sit there and watch a lot of tape and say alright were going to change these guys around. So there's not much of that happening. And I think so far, I don't think there have been any trades yet, and that's kind of surprising. Everybody thought all these guys were going to trade after everybody looks at the board and it just didn't happen."

(On whether there is any parallel between Ward and Brian Dawkins) - "Yeah, his toughness and intelligence are very, very similar to Dawkins. Now obviously, Brian Dawkins is a heck of a football player so I am not comparing T.J. to Brian just yet. "

(On whether this pick was a need pick or best player available) - "I think he was the best player available. You know we had a couple of guys in different positions that went right before us. But it was probably the best available player."

(On if you would like a safety to be taller than Ward) - "I think you would. I've never been around him so I don't know. All of the safeties we've had in Philadelphia, it's not a ton of guys, but they haven't been real tall guys. So I don't think that's a real issue. You know I think when you start getting guys around 200 (pounds) the size, the weight is probably more of an issue and he is 212 pounds so he is fine there."

(On if he worried that another team would pick Ward) - "Yeah we had quite a few trade-down calls. People that wanted to move up to our pick and we just stayed."


(On if Dexter McCluster was a candidate in the second round) -
"He was definitely a candidate at the pick. Yeah, he is a heck of a football player too."

(On if he was surprised more quarterbacks have not been taken) - "You know, every year you have for some reason the quarterbacks kind of get lost in the shuffle. You know first of all there are only a few teams that need quarterbacks so that why they keep falling until somebody that needs a quarterback is ready to take them."

(On what T.J. Ward needs to improve on) - "I think he has three career interceptions and obviously we would like our safeties to have more than that. I think his ball skills are fine. You know they did use him in the box quite a bit so he had fewer opportunities to do that. But I think the more and more he's played more of a true centerfielder or half-safety I think he will get more comfortable doing that."

(On if T.J. Ward's infectious hitting and enthusiasm on the field attracted you to him) - "No question about it. No question about it. You know that's obviously the first thing you notice when you watch him. He's lighting people up and that's an intriguing thing for us."

Browns Defensive Back T.J. Ward Conference Call 4-23-10

(Welcome to the Cleveland Browns)- "I'm doing good, thank you."

(On if he was a walk-on at Oregon) - "Yes sir. I was a walk on."

(On walking on at Oregon) - "Just a lot of hard work, support, determination and just focus on what I needed to do and what had to be done. I had a lot of support from my family and the coaching staff and everyone at Oregon. Just along with that and my hard work, I got to where I am now. I am truly blessed."

(On if he is worried about prior injuries) - "Oh no, not at all. I'm 100 percent. I'll be ready for this first mini camp coming up and I am ready to contribute in any way the coaches or the staff need me to. I'll be ready as soon as I get to Cleveland."

(On the strengths in his game) - "In this year's draft, with the safeties, it's a pretty talented draft. I think I can play both safety positions. I may be able to play corner, I feel I can play corner. I'm an aggressive player. I'm very passionate. I can play the ball. I can play the man. I can play in the box or out the box. I think I'm just pretty diverse compared to the other safeties."

(On if he is surprised that he was picked 38th overall) - "Yeah, I'm kind of surprised I went this high, but when I went on my visit, I had a good talk with coach (Eric) Mangini and Coach (Mike) Holmgren. It was a wonderful atmosphere, everyone around was real friendly. I just had a great visit. I had some good feelings. If I had to pick one team that was going to draft me, I'd pick the Browns and gratefully they did."

(On having Jim Brown announce his name) - "Just having a Hall of Fame pro like Jim Brown and the man that he is just say my name, was pretty wonderful. I'm at a loss for words right now."

(On his hard-hitting style of play) - "I think I just use my power to my advantage. I'm pretty compact, so I'm pretty good at exploding. When I get to the ball carrier, I just give it everything I have. I think that despite my size and my frame, I'm still about 210 so that's about average or maybe heavier than the average safety in this draft. I just use all my energy and all my strength with every hit and every tackle."

(On celebrating being drafted) - "I'm at home in Antioch, California. It's about 20 people, 20 of my family members and closest friends. They are a little bit more excited than I am right now, it's hard to keep them down and keep the volume down, but it's just great right now. I've been waiting for this my whole life and it's here now. Now, I just have to grow and expand on this and do work when I get to Cleveland."

(On which two safeties he would model his game after) - "If I had to pick two safeties, I think I would study Jack Tatum and Troy Polamalu."

(On being selected ahead of Taylor Mays)- "That really wasn't the first thing that crossed my mind but, I'm sure he's going to get drafted pretty soon. I'm just glad I'm with the Cleveland Browns right now. I'm not really focused on the position of other players, but I just feel really fortunate right now to get drafted where I did and I'm ready to play."

(On mentioning Polamalu as a safety who he would study and if he could be the Browns answer to the safeties in the AFC North)- "I am hoping I can be their answer but I've got a long way to go, just ready to get in on the first day of practice and start working hard to maybe be their answer."

(On mentioning Jack Tatum and why he models his game after him)- "I'm from the Bay Area, being a kind of longtime Niner and Raider fan so just through the history and highlights and things like that, I've heard of him and I've watched a couple of his reels and my dad talks about him a lot because my dad played safety as well. He said that he modeled his game after Jack Tatum. Just the way he played with the take no prisoner mentality and hit everything moving, that's kind of how I like to go about my business on the field."

(On what it means to have good character)- "I think it means doing the right thing when no one is looking, as well as when everyone is watching. Just being an honest person, trustworthy and responsible, and all of those things just add to a good character."

(On whether he needed surgery after his previous knee injuries)- "Oh yes, I had one surgery in high school and I had one during my freshman season."

(On whether he knows anything about the Browns rivalries)- "I'm not too familiar with the Browns' rivalry, but I'm sure I'll get into it as soon as I get there. I'm pretty passionate about just the history of any team that I'm on and as soon as I get on the team and on the field then their history will be mine so whatever rivalry they have, I'll be a part of that as well."

(On where his dad, Terrell, played football)- "He played at City College of San Francisco, then he played at San Diego State and he got drafted by the (Philadelphia) Eagles in the seventh round."

(On clarification of his dad's name and if he played for the Eagles)- "Yes, his name is Terrell Ward. T-e-r-r-e-l-l Ward."

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