HEAD COACH RAHEEM MORRIS
"I'm really excited to pick up to more players to be a part of our football team, to have the ability to get stronger up front and also to add a receiver to help this football team next year."
(On DT Brian Price)
"Well when you talking about what we had in the past and things we've been able to do, you're talking about guys with dynamic pass rush, guys that create disruption and guys that are going to be constantly in peoples' backfields. So, with the ability of these two players to play together, it really excites us. When you bring these guys in on your visits you talk to them about scenarios and the different things that you can do, you become really excited. We were very creative last year with some of our tackles and some of our schemes and some of the things we were able to do, and with these guys coming into play all kinds of thoughts and ideas are running through your head, especially as a defensive coordinator. I'm really excited about that and what those two players can do together."
(On the DT rotation)
"You guys have been around here for a while, you see that rotation in there has been pretty consistent, has been constant. It's gone from three, to sometimes four and at times, as many as you can get up, so having three young players like that packaged with some of our older players, you may have there as well, you can be excited. We can even put this thing to as far as a four man rotation to keep them fresh. We do live in Tampa, it's really hot, we talking about bigger men, were talking about creating a pass-rush-how do we get back there. I don't know our sack production off the top of my head right now, but they haven't been what we want and what we need and these young men and these guys were putting together creates a lot of disruption for people, it creates problems in protection, creates miss matches up front and we look forward to those opportunities to get them out there together."
(On the dimension WR Arrelious Benn adds to the receiving corps)
"Well when you turn on the tape and you watch Benn you see a guy that catches the football and then after he catches the football, he's tough to get on the ground. You see a guy run after the catch. I had a lot of experience with Benn. My year at Kansas State, I had the ability to go out and recruit the young man and he was highly recruited. You're talking about one, if not the number one- one of the top five recruited coming out of high school that year. All he did was go to Illinois, go out there and produce as a freshman, came as sophomore and really produced, had really big numbers, and this year he produced, not as much as he did as a sophomore, different coordinator, lost [Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach Mike] Locksley, different quarterback, but all he's done is catch a lot of balls, be very productive when he's caught those balls and run after the catch. It excites me to provide a playmaker for what we already have on our football team, and to go along with Josh Freeman."
(On how Benn fits into the passing game)
He fits in wherever you may need him. You've seen him play the slot in college before, especially this year. He was featured as an outside receiver as a freshman, he did both as a sophomore, he has the ability to do all those things. But, what is coming here is the void we had left over from Antonio [Bryant] at the 'X' position, so just naturally you'll just start out there, you let him grow into himself and let him come out here and become his best player and were excited to have him, excited to be able to get him the ball and were excited to see what he can do with the ball. Here we go man, a playmaker."
(On if offense can get vertical with its receivers)
"Stretching the field, you're talking about a guy [Benn] that ran a 4.52 at his pro-day. When he was in college, the ability to stretch the field with his size, his girth, his mass; he's more of a bigger type of receiver. Brandon Marshall, so to say, didn't run well at the combine, T.O [Terrell Owens] didn't run well at the combine, but they're bigger bodies, they're harder to defend down the field, they create space with separation with their body control and all that stuff that they're used to doing. Just speaking of some people from the past, the Michael Irvin's of the past, and you don't want to put the young man [Benn] in that type of category yet, but those are the things- that's how you separate the field, there's different types of people. There's DeSean Jackson's that just run by you, these big men that are able to run down the football field and harder to get down on the ground by some of the smaller corner's in this football league, it excites you when you got a chance to get them."
(On what he like about Benn)
"I love the fact that he can catch the ball, and after he gets it, he's tough to get on the ground. He'll have some route development that we look forward to getting him with. He's done a lot of routes, he's been in a bunch of different spots at Illinois-he's been in a bunch of different spots, so you've seen him run the jerk-routes, and all of those type of things. You've seen him outside running the dig-routes, the go-balls, the routes required to run on the football field and in the game. We look forward to getting him down here in a position to run those routes."
(On the trade)
"We gave up a 5th [round pick] in this year's draft to move up those spots to get Arrelious [Benn]."
(On why they moved up)
"You go get your guy, we got these guys targeted, we've been studying our board for awhile, been looking at our board for a while. We get excited up there in the draft room, you go get your guy, you make your moves and we got him [Benn]. He was excited when you talked to him on the phone, everybody we've talked to today they've been passionate about coming down to Tampa and playing for you guys. They love it, they've all been here to visit, we've met some of these guys at the combine, we've met some of these guys in other situations and scenarios and everyone we've talked is excited to come down here to Tampa and play in this sunshine."
(On Price's versatility)
"It really excites me, all those guys, talking about the last three guys we drafted[at defensive tackle] Roy Miller, last year he was able to go in there and play some nose for us, he was also able to play some three-technique for us, we were able to play left and right with those types of guys, it really excited me. We talk about [DT Gerald] McCoy, we got him, we were able to see him at in-college, some three-technique in college, you're able to see him be versatile and do multiple things. He's no different than the young man we brought in today. We've seen him play nose, you've seen him play the three technique, but the main thing, simplified answer to the question, is a guy that has the ability to cause disruption, gain a pass rush, getting to the backfield and cause fear in some of these quarterbacks and that's what we look at, that's what we look for and that's what we covet."
(On the importance of stopping the run)
"You guys have all been in Tampa for a pretty long time and we've always used this phrase around here and we say it a lot during the off-season, 'it starts up front.' It always started up front, there's no secret about it. It starts right up there. If we're playing our game up front…we can end this game ourselves. It makes your linebacker better, your secondary better, it makes everybody better. It makes the guy calling the plays better and its awesome feeling and we're really excited about that."
(On whether the edge-rushers get better)
"You know everybody, you're talking about disruption up the middle, that makes people flush outside the pocket, try to rush up in the pocket and you got rushers outside that can close gaps come back, fall back, make plays, the speed guys, your linebackers, your Geno Hayes', you Quincy Blacks, they can rally to the football and that's the game we like to play. We're a speed type of team and we got faster today, we got more disruptive and we got a pass rush."
GENERAL MANAGER MARK DOMINIK
"I think everyone feels good about what they've done to this point. I certainly do. I'm very excited about the draft class we've started to put together right now and I'm looking forward to continuing to utilize the picks that we have. I would say that with the young men that we've drafted, we're staying consistent with what we've preached about concerning the importance of what they are, not only on the field, but off the field. These are great young kids and the more you get the chance to meet them, the more you'll understand why we're not only excited to draft them as football players, but as part of our community and part of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers."
(On having drafted three defensive tackles in the past two drafts)
"People have been known as quarterback collectors and I guess I'm a defensive tackle collector. The truth is, we brought Brian Price here on a 30-man visit. We have 30 people that we're allowed to bring into the organization and get to know them. Coach Morris wanted to sit down with him and talk to him about what his thought were about nose tackle, what his thoughts were about left and right and what you do about rushing the passer. We're very excited about Roy Miller. We're very excited about Brian Price. We're very excited about a lot of our defensive tackles-certainly Gerald McCoy-and a lot of the guys on this football team. But we play in Florida in the heat. We have not had a good pass-rush on this football team and it starts up front by attacking the quarterback. Brian Price, we feel, is like that. When you look at his statistics, when you look at his production and the way he played in college, you're going to see a very powerful, explosive young guy, who, as we play in this system, we believe can not only play the nose, but he can play the three, you can take him outside and play some end in certain situations. The idea is to take advantage and become a better pass-rushing football team, and we want to do that inside. That was the mindset. And again, you try to stay as true to the board [as you can]. Brian Price was very high on our board and that's why it made sense and that's why we were trying to be proactive in terms of bringing him in to make sure that the fit made sense if he was still available. We want physical guys. Tough, physical football players. Roy Miller is that. Brian Price is that. And I certainly know Gerald McCoy is that. So over the last two years, I absolutely feel very confident."
(On how closely the Draft has fallen to original plans to this point)
"You try to stick to your guns all the way through the draft-at least to the beginning of the third round. You have places where you feel you can have patience and you have places where you feel you need to make a move, and we've had both of those in this draft. I feel like it's fallen well for us so far, but I'm certainly looking forward to the other picks we still have to use."
(On trading up for WR Arrelious Benn)
"Absolutely there was apprehension [that Benn would be gone]. Last year we traded up twice. We traded up to get Josh Freeman, we traded up to get Kyle Moore. I don't think it's any secret that Tampa Bay was looking for wide receivers. You all made that very clear-to everybody, so thank you very much. But that's part of the poker you play in the National Football League. We felt like Benn was clearly the highest-rated receiver on the board and I think he somewhat justified that in my personal opinion because of how long it went for another receiver to come off the board. You do your homework and you try to look around the league. I knew our pick was about to come up so I thought it was worthwhile for us to secure the guy we wanted with that fifth-round selection."
(On offers for the 35th overall pick)
"We fielded phone calls, but in the end we decided to stick with Brian Price because we felt that was great value and a good addition to this football team in many ways."
(On CB Myron Lewis' position with the Buccaneers)
"Myron's going to play corner for us. I think there are some people out there that talk about safety, but he is a defensive corner for us. He's a big, tall, athletic corner, he's got great ball-skills, he's a good tackler, he's a great kid off the field as well, he's got very good feet for such a big man. Part of what we want to do here is build a bigger football team and I think we did that today with his selection as well. We're excited for him. We see him going outside right away this year and competing for that nickel outside job. We hope that he does a good job-we obviously selected him to do so."
(On Lewis being a replacement for CB Ronde Barber once Barber retires)
"I hope that Myron Lewis comes in here and competes and can earn a job like that because Ronde Barber has been a great football player for the Bucs."
(On the edge-rushers for the Buccaneers)
"Stylez White is still on this football team, coming off the right side, [Tim] Crowder did a good job for us last year, a young man we picked up named Michael Bennett did pretty good for us, and we're looking forward to Kyle Moore contributing a lot more for us this season from either the right or left end position, since he's a hybrid and can handle both spots. We're expecting those young men to step up and we certainly still have selections to continue to work on this football team overall."
(On having a three-man rotation with McCoy, Miller and Price)
"Depending on how we dress the defensive line, yes, absolutely. We want to get back to how we've done in the past. We've had a lot of success over the years in terms of rotating the defensive line in terms of peoples' stamina in our heat or just our football team. We're looking forward to that."
(On Head Coach Raheem Morris' influence on the draft board)
"Coach Morris has a lot of impact. Not only in knowing the kids off the field, but Coach Morris is a very good talent evaluator, so [his opinion] carries a lot of weight with me as we go through those discussions in terms of who to select. A lot that went into this draft was getting guys who played at big programs for three years as starters and I think we've accomplished that. I don't like potential as much as I like production. That's really important when you look at the draft. I think that's where a lot of teams can make some mistakes. That's what we really focused on, making sure these players had played a lot of football and had been productive at their universities. That's why we're excited to have them here on the team."
(On having planned for acquiring both McCoy and Price)
"We wanted to be prepared. I think that's the main thing. We certainly wanted to be prepared and we felt like there was an opportunity that Price may fall a little bit. To sit there and say for certain that he was going to be there at number 35, no, but we wanted to certainly be prepared. That's part of the motto. Some clubs take those 30 visits and use them for college free agents that they're going to recruit. We take those visits in different capacities, and part of that is that you're trying to prepare for any scenarios as they go along. You put together your list and make sure you're ready for those situations when they occur. We did, and that was helpful in making the selection because of what he talked about and because of what Coach Morris and he spoke about in terms of what his role is going to be on the defensive line."
(On Benn's production in college)
"Benn was very productive in college-this guy was extremely productive. He caught over 60 balls and had 1,000 yards two years ago. This isn't an unproductive football player. He's been extremely productive in college and was widely regarded to duplicate that kind of year, but was just unfortunate that it didn't work out with his system that he was in with the quarterback he had, but we've seen a very productive player. [Picking Benn] wasn't a projection at all."
(On the three-day format of the Draft)
"It was good. We had a chance to sit there at 35 and really look at a game plan and also field the offers that we talked about. I'm sure I look like I spent the night looking at the board. That's how I feel right now to be honest with you. But it was very good and we look forward to taking tonight, also, for really looking at the board and really looking at this football team and the players that we've acquired so far and what we can do to make this draft as successful as we think it can be for this team. I really liked the three-day format. I'm an advocate for it and think we should keep it this way going forward. I do think it's good TV, but it's also good for clubs and organizations to make sound decisions and get the right [players]. If we're going to pay these guys we might as well make sure we get the right ones."
All quotes courtesy of Tampa Bay Buccaneers