Mike Tannenbaum and Chris Grier – April 29, 2017 Download PDF version

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Executive Vice President of Football Operations Mike Tannenbaum
General Manager Chris Grier

Mike Tannenbaum:

(What do you feel that you overall accomplished in this draft outside of adding football players?) – “Generally, just competition and depth. That was kind of our plan. I think (General Manager) Chris (Grier) and the personnel guys really did a good job, just going back to as early as late January, early February, trying to anticipate the strengths and the weaknesses of the draft. Obviously you never know how things are going to go, but some of the things we did up until the draft signings-wise was kind of in contemplation of how things could go (this weekend). I feel like from an offseason process standpoint, things are headed in the right direction. I think we have more competition, certainly at the interior defensive line position and obviously a couple of other spots. So overall, I think we added depth, competition and we’ll go from there.”

Chris Grier:

(For you guys, which pick kind of surprised you the most that he was there when you were on the clock?) – “I’d say probably Charles Harris. He’s a guy we targeted and we really liked. As soon as we made the pick, Mike (Tannenbaum) and I were getting texts from coaches, scouts and players and people were saying we got a really good player. So, probably him.”

Mike Tannenbaum:

(The folks out there projecting and assessing this group, some may not necessarily see a starter in the first game of this season. I assume you all are okay with that and are taking the big view. Can you just talk about that?) – “I completely agree. Again, we were trying to put the best team together we could heading into the draft, so we could operate from a position of strength and, within reason, I think we did that. So if Charles Harris plays one play or 50 against Tampa Bay (in Week 1), that will all sort itself out. (It’s the) same thing with Raekwon (McMillan) and you go down the line with the rest of them. I do feel it takes about three years to evaluate the draft overall; but I think we got good players, good people. They’re smart. They’re tough. I think they’re really good culture fits for what Chris (Grier), (Head Coach) Adam (Gase), (Owner) Steve Ross and myself believe in, and what you need to put a winner together. So from that standpoint, I think they’re the types of guys, as people, that we’re really excited about.”

(G Isaac Asiata, are you expecting him to compete for a starting job or be a starter as a rookie?) – “I think the expectation is they all come in and compete for it. You’ve heard that here. (Head Coach) Adam (Gase) and the coaching staff do a great job of preaching that: everything’s competition. And you guys saw that last year when Rashawn (Scott) did a great job and got called up at the end for the playoffs. Again, it’s an open competition, so the best players will start and they’ll play.”

(What was it that you saw from G Isaac Asiata that made you say that he can be a good fit for this team?) – “We spent some time with him. He was a 30-visit guy for us. He’s very smart with a passion and a love for football. His life story, he’s had some adversity in his life that he’s overcome, so you’re kind of drawn to those guys. He’s really made himself into a man and how he handles his life. On the field, he’s a nasty prick, and that’s what you like about him. He’s a tough, physical, nasty mauler. We just wanted to add more of that to us.”

(Regarding DT Davon Godchaux, the player you took in the fifth round, there was a very serious allegation against him last fall. What did your investigation of his background and his character and that incident tell you about him?) – “Yes, again, it’s a very serious allegation. It’s something that we spent a lot of time with. (Director of Team Security) Drew Brooks and (Team Security Emeritus) Stu Weinstein did a great job of background information. The incident happened with him and his girlfriend. They were both arrested and then two days later the charges were dropped and he was reinstated to the team. Once everything … We got the facts, interviewed the kid, talked to people in Baton Rouge about it and we felt comfortable with the result and with the information we got from the  background.”

Mike Tannenbaum:

(Could you talk about, between free agency and the draft, the mix of talent on the front seven? You drafted a linebacker and re-did them a little, and then the defensive tackles as you mentioned earlier and DE Charles Harris. What do you see now with that group?) – “I think if you just go back after we lost to Pittsburgh, we were sitting here with Cameron Wake under contract. I think we were fortunate to trade for William Hayes, who’s going to be a player that I think we’re going to be really happy with, both against the run and the pass, and his versatility. And then we were able to re-sign Andre Branch, and he did a nice job for us last year. I thought the coaches really were able to develop him and he took the next step. Then adding Charles Harris and Lawrence Timmons and being able to extend Kiko Alonso and drafting Raekwon (McMillan).  So I think the front seven, we were able to solidify some players that we wanted back, in particular Branch, adding Hayes and some young guys in Harris and McMillan. We really feel like that was an area we wanted to address and I think we certainly did that.”

Chris Grier:

(You guys brought in a whole slew of safeties for 30-visits and end up taking none of them. Is there any one that you were close to getting and they came off the board before you picked? Was there any near misses there?) – “No. For us, it was how the board fell. We had the opportunity to take the players we liked and a little bit of what (a reporter) was talking about (earlier), we are always looking to add and upgrade the speed, the size and the athletic ability on the defensive side, so we felt that at that point, it wasn’t anything that we planned not to take any. It’s just the way the board fell.”

Mike Tannenbaum:

“And sometimes with the 30-visits, it’s a way for us to eliminate a player as well. Just because they’re in the building doesn’t mean … Sometimes that’s just going to solidify a position or a concern that we have. Sometimes it’s a positive, sometimes it’s ‘Hey, this isn’t going to be a good fit,’ and we’re going to move on. Sometimes we bring a guy in, we think he may be a free agent and we want to start recruiting him. Sometimes these 30-visits serve more than one purpose.”

Chris Grier:

(Ideally, how would the five defensive players, that the team added today, have a long-term impact on the success of the defensive unit?) – “We hope it will be long term. It’s up to them now to prove that we were right. From all the research that we’ve done, in terms of the coaching staff and the personnel staff … Raekwon (McMillan) is that quarterback on the defense. It’s been that way his whole life. The expectation is that he’ll prove that he can handle that here at this level. Then adding depth on the d-line. Like we talked about with Charles Harris, you can never have enough d-linemen in this league, especially rushers. For us, it’s adding depth and hopefully these guys all become starters for us.”

Mike Tannenbaum:

(How would you describe Defensive Coordinator Matt Burke’s reaction to this weekend?) – “He became a permanent member of the personnel department. (Laughter) I think we saw on TV that we were the last team to take an offensive player. I think Matt sees that as the start of something, not an aberration. (Laughter)”

Chris Grier:

(With the defensive tackles, what was it you saw from them individually that made you decide that they were a great fit for your defensive line?) – “With (Davon) Godchaux, he’s a physical run defender. When you see how he looks, he’s a big square body. He’s tough. He’s played in those wars in the SEC, the Alabama game, those 9-6 games, the Wisconsin game. This guy is a physical, tough guy, that enjoys getting dirty, getting in there and being physical. With him, those were some of the traits we liked about him. Then with Vincent (Taylor), for a big guy, he’s had production. He’s been a pass rusher there. (He had 6.5) sacks last year, 13 tackles for loss. (He’s) a bigger body guy that can be a one-gap penetrator and create a little havoc in the backfield at times. Those are things, when you’re at the point in the draft, (if) you can get guys with size and production for a couple of years, they are interesting prospects. We are happy to get them.”

Mike Tannenbaum:

(Going back to the offense for a second, you almost made it through the entire draft without adding to your skill players on offense. Is that a statement on the guys you have and how comfortable you are? Or are you a little bit nervous in the fact that you didn’t add to the skill players?) – “We added Julius Thomas and we were able to re-sign Kenny Stills. So again, we look at it as more of what we have done in the offseason and what you do in free agency sometimes complements what you do in the draft. We were able to add Isaiah Ford in the seventh round; but again, we are taking more of a longer view of the whole offseason.”

(Kind of piggybacking off of that, is RB Damien Williams signed yet or is he still unsigned?) – “So we have his rights. He hasn’t signed his tender. He is a restricted free agent and our tender is still out there.”

(Is there a reason that this has not gotten done?) – “You would have to ask him.”

(Is it frustrating that it is not done, I guess?) – “I mean, for us, we worry about the players that are here. And again, just to keep it in context, we are in the voluntary part of the offseason program. We are thrilled with the people that are here, the players that are getting coached. When Damien (Williams) comes, that is obviously something you would have to ask him.”

(You said to ask you after the draft, and it is after the draft, if T Ja’Wuan James would get the fifth-year exercise. Do you know?) – “We are close to getting that finalized. I know we have a little bit more time and you guys will have nothing to write about for Monday (laughter); so we will just keep that suspenseful for a couple of more days. But (Head Coach) Adam (Gase), Chris and I have talked about that. We are pretty close here. We just want to get through the weekend. We are in the midst of finalizing 14 free agent signings upstairs, so there is a lot of paperwork going on as we speak.”

Chris Grier:

(Head Coach Adam Gase had said at the Combine that the draft itself, making picks, is actually really easy because of all the work you do leading up to, and it is really just determined for you once you get to those picks. With the way you described it the last couple of days it sounded like those picks – your first two-day picks – were very straightforward. Was the draft, overall, just a very smooth, and straightforward and almost easy process for you this year?) – “Yes, it was. It is funny that (Owner) Mr. (Stephen) Ross was laughing. He gets anxious sometimes. ‘If you like him, go get him! Go get him!’ For us, it is. The players fell off the way we had them on the board. There were some players there that we were surprised were still there at that point in the draft. For us, we really just went right down the board and so for us, it was fairly easy. (Head Coach) Adam (Gase) would come in and out, and he would be texting Mike, ‘How many picks are we away? Alright.’ He would come back in and then he would come in five picks earlier, then we make our decision and go.”

Chris Grier:

(You found a very good receiver in WR Isaiah Ford. What was it in particular that you guys liked about his game?) – “First of all, he’s been productive for a couple of years there. If you watch Virginia Tech, he was a player that was always kind of the go-to guy. It was always the plan to stop him. (We) like he’s a very good route runner. He’s a very smart kid when you talk to him, so he really understands leverages, coverages, running routes, finding the open spots in zones. So (we had) the opportunity to add a good player that late in the draft. We were surprised he was still there. I know again, he fell, because probably people said how he should have run faster; but at the end of the day, we just like to draft football players. It worked out with Jarvis (Landry). We’ll see if it works out with him.”

Mike Tannenbaum:

(Was Owner Stephen Ross okay with you taking an Ohio State guy in LB Raekwon McMillan?) – “Just like he is with a Michigan State head coach (laughter).”

(How much better do you guys believe the team is in run defense then at the end of the season, based on all of the guys you added?) – “For me, you start where you start. We have a new defensive coordinator and the whole team is going to be a little bit different, and hopefully we’re making progress. How we quantify that, we’ll see at the end of the 2017 season. We’re encouraged by some of the pieces we’ve added. Again, I think the thing that we’re really proud of is they’re really culture fits. They’re smart. They’re tough. They’re competitive. Most of them came from big schools and good programs. So that’s the part we’re really excited about. How much better we are? We’ll see. We’re 0-0 but we’re excited about where we’re heading.”

Isaiah Ford – April 29, 2017 Download PDF version

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Wide Receiver Isaiah Ford

(What are your thoughts on being drafted by the Dolphins?) – “I’m just excited for the opportunity. It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been dreaming about this opportunity since I was five years old and just for it to come, it’s truly a blessing. I’m ready to get there and get to work.”

(How would you describe your playing style?) – “I think that I’m a playmaker. I’m someone that can be trusted when a play needs to be made. I’m a great route runner. I love to snatch the ball out of the air or I can catch it and do something when I get the ball in my hands. So anything that needs to be done, I feel like I can come in and work as hard as I can to do it.”

(I saw that you averaged 37 points as a high school basketball player. How difficult of a choice was it then to go the football route in college?) – “I initially intended on playing both in college but once I got there, football kind of took over and once basketball season came, I just decided to give it up.”

(What made you come out early this year?) – “After the three years of production I had back to back, and talking over with my family, with looking at the team we’d have next year at Virginia Tech, I just felt like it was the best decision.”

(Do you have any special teams experience?) – “In high school I returned punts. In college, I returned punts as well; but they never put me back there all for the sake of not wanting to risk me getting injured or anything like that. But I’m perfectly fine with getting on special teams.”

(What do you feel is greatest attribute as a player?) – “I think it’s my route running. It’s something that I paid a great deal of attention to and worked really hard to try to perfect my craft.”

Vincent Taylor – April 29, 2017 Download PDF version

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Defensive Tackle Vincent Taylor

(What was your reaction to getting drafted by the Dolphins and have you had contact with them prior to the draft?) – “It was a blessing. When I got the call, they told me, ‘How (do you) feel about being a Miami Dolphin?’ I told them, ‘It’s a blessing. I’m grateful. It’s an honor. I’d love to be a Miami Dolphin,’ and when I told them that he said, ‘Okay, we’ll turn in the card and I’m going to become a Miami Dolphin.’ It was just a special moment for me and my family.”

(What was this draft experience like for you?) – “It was fun. Throughout the whole process it was fun. It got stressful and nervous at times but through it all, having faith and having my girlfriend around and my parents and my family, they just told me to stay patient and my time is coming. Miami came calling, and like I said, it’s a blessing to hear my name called by Miami.”

(You have a pretty impressive sack total. How would you describe yourself as a player?) – “I’m just a player who when I’m out there, you can tell I’m having fun. I like to have fun, make plays and go out there and compete. I think me coming to Miami, I think they’re an organization that likes to win. They play hard. So I’m looking forward to see what the future holds for me and this team.”

(Did I read that your family was displaced by Hurricane Katrina?) – “Yes, we were. Coming up as a kid we got relocated because of Hurricane Katrina and then I moved to San Antonio and then I started getting looks from colleges. I wound up going to Oklahoma State and now, today, I am a Miami Dolphin.”

(Did your family lose their home?) – “We did. We lost everything we had at that time. We just got new furniture, my house – my roof fell in – got caved in and we lost everything. Losing everything and now hearing my name called is a blessing. It is a testament.”

(You blocked five kicks in your college career. Is there any special trick to that or is that one of the units you enjoyed working on?) – “I did … I don’t take plays off: special teams plays, field goal blocks. I treat that just like a regular defensive play. At Oklahoma State, that was one way we started practices off, with field goal block. Every time we did field goal block, I gave it my all and it all paid off. My teammates were able to help.”

(What NFL player would you say you model your game after or your style resembles?) – “Growing up, I used to always tell myself I liked the way Ndamukong Suh played. I’m not saying that just because I got drafted by Miami but I’ve been saying that in every interview that I did. They would (ask), ‘Who do you model your game after or who do you look up to?’ Ndamukong Suh was always that guy I looked up to and for me to be able to be on the same team with him and just learn from him, I am looking forward to see what God has in store for me and what I can learn from him.”

(Can you talk about your emotions right now? You sound like there are may be some tears of gratitude going on.) – “I am very emotional. When it got down to the second round, I told myself going through this whole process, I do not care where I go. My coaches told me it’s not where you get drafted – whether you go first round or second round – it matters what you do when you get your foot in that door. For me, to be able to get my name called, it was a dream come true, hearing my name called in the NFL Draft.”

Davon Godchaux – April 29, 2017 Download PDF version

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Defensive Tackle Davon Godchaux

(Were you surprised to be taken by the Dolphins? Did you have any interaction with them before the draft?) – “I was very surprised to be taken by the Dolphins. They called me a couple of times but I didn’t know that they were going to pick me. I thought I’d be going somewhere up north but I’m so very excited to be a Miami Dolphin, to learn from guys like Ndamukong Suh and other guys. I’m just ready to get to work, put my head down and get to work.”

(Did you meet with them either down here or on campus?) – “I met with them at the Combine. I came in there, I was very honest about everything and watched film with them. I love the coach, Dan Marino and (Head) Coach Adam Gase. So I was very excited to have appointments with them.”

(What do you think is the best thing you bring to an NFL team?) – “Leadership and just bringing a smile every day and my work ethic. I’m going to work each and every day, learn from the older guys in the system and always be a team player. Things like that.”

(You had 6.5 sacks last year. That is a lot for a defensive tackle, why do you think you were able to get after the quarterback so effectively?) – “Just really getting off the ball and technique. I had (six-plus) sacks in my sophomore year and junior year. I think that’s pretty productive. Just getting to the ball and moving the quarterback off his spot, that’s something I can bring to the Miami Dolphins.”

(You came out of the draft as a junior. Are you disappointed that you lasted until the fifth round?) – “Yes, I thought I was going to be taken in the third round. I can tell you this, the Miami Dolphins got them a steal … I thought I was going to go in the third round and be taken Day 2. I was kind of disappointed I was picked in Day 3, but it worked out for the best. I’m a Miami Dolphin.”

(Is there an NFL player you model your game after?) – “The kind of guys like Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy, guys like that in the inside who I can model my game after. I’m excited to be going to Miami, getting to work with Ndamukong Suh, arguably one of the best inside defensive tackles. It’s going to be a very humbling experience.”

Isaac Asiata – April 29, 2017 Download PDF version

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Guard Isaac Asiata

(What is this experience like for you having to wait until Day 3 to be selected?) – “It is a humbling experience. I knew that God had a plan for me wherever I was going to go and I knew that it didn’t matter when or where I went; but what is important is to report to minicamp and doing what I can to contribute to this team to win the Super Bowl.”

(Are you primarily a guard or do you play guard and center?) – “I am a guard/center. Really, wherever they want me to play, I will learn the position. It doesn’t matter to me. Like I said, I am ready to come in and contribute to this offensive line and to the Dolphins organization.”

(How would you describe your style of play?) – “I am a real, real hard-nosed football player. I believe that an offensive lineman needs to play with intellectuality and brutality. He needs to be smart and he also needs to put guys in the dirt. That is the kind of style of play that I bring to the table, and I am ready to bring that down to Miami.”

(How was your visit with Miami when you came down here and did you have an idea this might be your ending place?) – “I was excited man. I was down there and I met with (Head) Coach (Adam) Gase and the whole staff and I told them before I left that I really wanted to be a Dolphin. They have shown a lot of love to (University of) Utah guys in the past and I am very blessed, very honored to be the next Utah Ute to go down to Miami. I am very, very excited.”

(What do you think is the best thing that you bring to an NFL team?) – “The best thing that I bring to an NFL team? I would say I am a hard worker. I am an accountable guy. I believe in winning. I believe in this program. I know the Dolphins are on the up and are about to do something here in the next year. I believe this is going to be a Super Bowl-caliber team and I am excited to be a part of it.”

(Have you always played on the left side?) – “I played on the left and I played on the right. Sometimes in games I played on both.”

(Schematically, are there things that you did at Utah that you feel mesh well with what you are going to be asked to do here in Miami?) – “I think just the outside zone (and) zone schemes … We ran a spread offense (at Utah) and we ran a lot of inside zone, outside zone and gap-power schemes at Utah – counter schemes, everything. I have kind of run it all and I feel like it will mesh really well with what Miami has.”

Chris Grier – April 28, 2017 (3rd Round) Download PDF version

Friday, April 28, 2017

General Manager Chris Grier
(Following pick of CB Cordrea Tankersley)

(Opening Statement) – “So we just added Cordrea Tankersley, (a defensive back from) Clemson. He’s a kid we’ve gotten to know. We had him in here on a 30-visit. Again, he’s had a lot of tape on film. He’s a guy that’s still learning the corner position. He’s got a lot of traits we like. He’s long. He’s got length. He’s got speed. He has ball skills. Again, he’s got a lot of stuff that we like. We think that there’s a tremendous upside still. Again, we really like the kid. He’ll be a contributor on special teams as well, so for the depth, (to) come in and compete for the roster spot. This is a player we’re very high on so we’re excited to add him. Any questions on him?”

(When you say special teams, are you thinking as a returner type guy or something else?) – “No, he’s been a gunner and stuff like that. So again, it’s just … We have a lot of guys on the back who can do that. So he’s another guy who again has value, as he works his way up the depth chart. He can play on special teams as well.”

(Now you have used all three picks on defense for the first time in actually franchise history. You are going to tell us that the board dictated that, but is it at all connected to the fact that you guys yielded so many yards last year?) – “No, I mean it really was (how) the board fell. He was the best player there that was on our board. We are looking to address and ironically, it happened to fall that way; but there were guys on offense that we had rated above him that we wanted and went before him. So it was just the way the board fell.”

(With that being said, how much better do you feel the defense looks now after two days?) – “Anytime you can add good, young players that have a lot of the qualities we like: guys that love football, that are tough kids, that are competitive and love the game. Again, you guys have heard us say that a lot. So again, we got a player at all three levels, so it helps our depth and we feel good about it.”

(Do you think any of these three draftees can be full-time starters from scrimmage and does that matter to you guys?) – “We are all about competition here. That is the one thing (Head Coach) Adam (Gase) has stressed, as you guys know being around him and the coaching staff. These guys, it doesn’t matter where they are picked, they are going to have to come in and earn it. We are excited about their future and potential but right now, it is up to them to make that next step and prove that they are worthy of the pick we selected them.”

(It seems to us, and stop me if I’m wrong, that you have three top-line boundary corners now. Does any of those three – CB Xavien Howard, CB Byron Maxwell and CB Cordrea Tankersley – can play the slot or do you see all three of those guys on the boundary?) – “I think the coaches are just going to work and let it play out this summer. I think it’ll be a fun thing for us, as well as you guys, to track on how they do. I don’t want to limit what guys can do or can’t do, so we’re just going to let them go out and compete.”

(Do you invitation the possibility of them playing inside though?) – “Yes, I think the coaches are very open to a lot of that, including, they would say Xavien (Howard) and all of those guys. I think it is wide open to anything that (Defensive Coordinator) Matt (Burke) and the coaches want to do.”

(What about his skill set specifically attracted you to CB Cordrea Tankersley?) – “His size. He’s a long limb … He’s over 6-foot,  200-pound guy. He ran a 4.38 (40-yard dash), so you can see a lot of the traits. As a press corner, those are a lot of the things you look for. We think it’s a tremendous developmental upside still for him to get better as a corner.”

(He ran a 4.38 at the Combine?) – “Yes, he’s an explosive athlete.”

Cordrea Tankersley – April 28, 2017 Download PDF version

Friday, April 28, 2017

Cornerback Cordrea Tankersley

(Is this a surprise or did you expect to go sometime in the third round and possibly to the Dolphins?) – “I mean, any round … I just want to go out and play football and have an opportunity to showcase my talent. I did want to go early, but it is what it is. I’m picked now; I’m a Dolphin. I’m just ready to go to work.”

(You visited here is that correct?) – “I did. I enjoyed my visit. It was one of my favorite visits. I’m happy to call it home.”

(How does the Dolphins style of play – as much as you know about it – fit your skill set?) – “They’re a great man (coverage) team. They run a lot of man. They want to match up. I feel like I fit their team. Also, they want to do some zone and mix it up. I feel like I fit that scheme, as well. I feel like they do an aggressive style, which I had at Clemson, so I think I fit that mold pretty well.”

(What was it like playing in the national championship game?) – “That was the greatest thing of my life to cap my senior season off with a national championship and using that momentum and bringing it to the next team, which is the Dolphins, and hopefully bring a Super Bowl.”

(Are you familiar with CB Byron Maxwell?) – “Yes. Me and Byron have a little close relationship. I watched Byron play when I was being recruited out of high school, so I’m quite familiar with his game. I kind of model my game after him. Being on the same team as him and having the opportunity to play opposite of him, that’s a blessing.”

(How do you model your game after him?) – “He’s one of those bigger corners. He’s one of those bigger corners that can match up with anybody across the board, and I feel like I can match up with any (wide receiver) in the country or the NFL, so I feel like I fit the mold same as him – somebody who is going to go out there and play confident football.”

(What did you do on special teams? I saw you played early in your career at Clemson.) – “I played a little bit of everything. I was a gunner on kickoffs. I also was a gunner on punt, as well. I also did some blocking on punts. I’m quite familiar with special teams. I played special teams all four years of my career.”

Chris Grier – April 28, 2017 (2nd Round) Download PDF version

Friday, April 28, 2017

General Manager Chris Grier
(Following pick of LB Raekwon McMillan)

(Opening statement) – “We have added Raekwon McMillan, linebacker (from) Ohio State. He is a guy that we absolutely love. Again, talk about an alpha guy, you have heard that before. This guy is a two-time captain, came out as a junior at Ohio State. This is a guy who made all the calls there. (He is) highly intelligent. We love his football intellect. We loved talking with the kid. This guy really understands football. He has leadership skills and he is a tackling machine. He is a big body in the middle that can take on blocks. He is a good player. People want to talk about whether he can run or not; the guy ran a 4.61 (40-yard dash) at 240-plus pounds. The guy can run. He is a good football player. Again, this is a guy we feel very strongly about and we are really excited to have him here.”

(How does he fit into this defense? You re-signed LB Kiko Alonso, you added LB Lawrence Timmons, how exactly does he fit in considering he is an inside linebacker?) –. “The one good thing here is adding Timmons, re-signing Kiko and now adding Raekwon into the mix, I was talking with the coaches and we are going to let it play out. We have kind of an idea of where we think they are going to play; but again, we haven’t worked with Timmons yet as well here. In terms of getting them on the field all together, we kind of have an idea; but again on our part, I am going to let the coaches talk about that when you guys meet with (Head Coach) Adam (Gase) next week.”

(Is LB Raekwon McMillan a guy that can swing outside or is he pretty much an inside linebacker?) – “No, he can (swing outside). That is what we like about him because the guy is physical and he’s smart. Again, we think he can run. We like his play speed. It is evident when you watch him on tape. He makes a lot of plays to the outside too. We are comfortable playing him wherever he has to play for us.”

(Did Defensive Coordinator Matt Burke get up the table and lobby for him? Is this a guy he really wanted?) – “I think everybody in the room wanted him so there wasn’t a case on that. This is a guy we were all very high on.”

(Was that a position in the draft where you were looking for a linebacker? I know you said you try to stick to your board rather than go to need, but at some point in the draft you go to need. Was this looking for a linebacker or was it taking the best guy available?) – “He was (the best guy available). He was on the board. At that point in time, he was the No. 1 player on our board.”

(At any position?) – “Yes.”

(The fact that he was able to come into Ohio State and make an instant impact, do you feel like this is something he can do now, elevate his game and go up to the next level?) – “Yes. Again, it’s a guy that loves football, his passion, the intelligence – and that’s the one part when the rookies come in, the hard part is the playbook. When you talk to the guys at Ohio State, they talk about this guy’s intellect, how smart he is, how he can line up everybody. When we met with him at the Combine, it was easy. He’s talking football, telling where the corner (and) safety is, the front, moving the front … He understands it. This is a guy that, if you talk to him, he’s like flat-line and calm. He’s one of those. He gets into the playbook. He’ll learn this quickly and we do anticipate him making an impact.”

(Did you bring him for a pre-draft visit?) – “No, we did not.”

(Does he play any special teams?) – “He has earlier in his career. He’s not (now), but he’s a guy that if he had to, he could do it.”

(He was very emotional during his call with us. Obviously, a lot of things going through his head. What’s his story? What is this kid thinking about that today makes it such a victory for him?) – “I think as you get to know the kid, and like I said, he’s a very calm and flat-line person. Nothing’s ever too big for him. Which is what – when you talk to the coaches there, Urban Meyer absolutely loves this guy. He says it was one of his favorite players he’s ever coached. I think for him, it’s probably all this hard work. The culmination of everything probably hit him because when we talked to him, I was telling him, ‘Get excited, man.’ And he was like, ‘Yes, sir. I am really excited to come to Miami.’ I’m like, ‘Come on!’ It was one of those so … We all got off the phone and everyone was like, ‘Wow. He’s completely calm.’ To hear you guys say that is surprising because with us it was, ‘Okay, I’m ready to go. Good. Let’s go.’”

(Do you feel comfortable now with your linebacker position? Obviously, it was a position of priority this offseason.) – “We feel good about it. But again, if there are other opportunities throughout the draft or post-draft free agency, we’ll still look to add.”

(This is the second straight prospect who’s told us he didn’t have a whole lot of contact with you leading up to the draft. You told us last night with DE Charles Harris that was intentional. Was this a similar thing?) – “This was a kid that everything was so far – in terms of intangibles and character – that once we met with him at the Combine, and I was at the Pro Day, along with our area scout, Ron Brockington. Once you’re around the kid and see (him), we were like, ‘There’s no point in bringing him here. We’re just wasting a visit.’”

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