Transcript: Spielman and Zimmer Address the Media on Thursday

Rick Spielman

Draft Presser

RICK SPIELMAN: This was one of the guys that we had targeted, because of his natural athletic ability, his strength he plays with. I had an opportunity to see him play live against Wake Forest this fall, and really stood out on the field when I went down there and watched him play. Had a great Senior Bowl, great combine, fits everything from the criteria standpoint, not only positionally and schematically but also the character, the passion for the game, the smarts, everything that we look for as we build this offensive line.

I'll go ahead and open it up for questions.

Q. With so many offensive linemen available, were you thinking about possibly moving back, or was he too good to --
RICK SPIELMAN: I think we had a couple opportunities, a couple calls. But we felt very strongly that this was a unique opportunity to get a very good football player to come into our program.

Q. Was there much consideration at all to taking a tackle just because sometimes those guys go earlier in the draft than interior guys do?
RICK SPIELMAN: Yeah, we've been through a hundred scenarios leading up to tonight, and there were a couple guys that we looked at, but Bradbury was by far our target tonight when we got into the draft.

Q. Do you think he's a better center or guard?
RICK SPIELMAN: He started at guard two years ago, and then was a tight end that moved -- I think his sophomore year and his last two years he has played at center. I know just talking with the coaches, we're just trying to get the best football players in here, and then once we get into the OTAs, once we get into training camp, the coaches will figure out what's the best combination. The most important thing right now is getting the best football players we can get in.

Q. With his many positions as he has the capability of playing, how much of that play into effect of maybe some of that position flexibility with some of your current guys that you have?
RICK SPIELMAN: I think it's very important. One of the points of emphasis that we put on was guys that can play multiple positions, especially up front on the offensive line, because if you do have a guy that does get hurt, you can move guys around and still be very good football players.

I know right now just looking -- I know he can play center and guard, I know Pat Elflein can play center and guard, and I know Josh Kline has played guard and can also play some center. So position flexibility is definitely a key trait that we're looking for. The one thing I know, he doesn't play corner, so I can go home tonight.

Q. Do you feel any urgency to draft more offensive linemen high in the draft, or do you feel like you're at least covered now?
RICK SPIELMAN: You know, we'll see how the board -- we're pretty true to following our board. I know there's some other needs that we need to fill, but I'll just say we'll stay true to what we see come off over the next two days.

Mike Zimmer

Draft Presser

MIKE ZIMMER: Started at center his junior and senior year. Is very, very athletic, very smart, very tough. Got great balance. We're excited to have him.

Q. Is he a center? Is he a guard?
MIKE ZIMMER: I don't know, we'll have to line them all up and see. We're just trying to accumulate the best players that we can get, line them all up and figure it out and we'll go. But they have the athletic skill set that we're looking for with the type of offense that we're going to run.

Q. Were you surprised to see him at 18?
MIKE ZIMMER: Well, we were nervous. As it came down in there, we were getting down, and obviously you've got a pecking order and some guys that you like, but we were sweating it out there at the end, yeah.

Q. How much do you think that run on defensive linemen coming out of the top 10 affected where you were able to get him at?
MIKE ZIMMER: You know, I don't know. I'm glad the quarterbacks went, and then there was a couple defensive guys, but you look, there hasn't been a corner taken yet. Typically there's five or six of them taken. I was trying to get one, but -- (laughter).

You know, there's been a couple linebackers, but it hasn't been -- the draft is a little different this year.

Q. Did you or Rick get a chance to Garrett yet, and if so, what's your reaction and what did he say?
MIKE ZIMMER: Yeah, we talked to him. He was excited. Good kid, solid, very smart, very appreciative of the opportunity he has.

Q. (No microphone.)
MIKE ZIMMER: You know, I think it's going to work out fine. We could do some more things here as we get going, so we'll just see how it all ends up. But you know, I haven't seen them on the field yet, any of these guys. They've been lifting weights and doing their stuff. Next week we'll get on the field with them a little bit and watch them move. So we're going to be a lot better.

Q. You mentioned Gary Kubiak and the role he had in checking out players last fall. How much did his guidance have to do with setting the draft board with linemen that you liked?
MIKE ZIMMER: You know, not so much just him. I think the offensive staff did a really nice job of sitting in there and talking about each one of these guys and their skill sets, and really all the offensive players in the draft. But Rick Dennison -- you know, the one thing about these guys being together, they know the exact type of guy that they're looking for, and along with Kevin, I think that this guy will be a really good fit, and then scouts obviously -- everybody loved this kid in the draft.

Q. How common is it for Coach Patterson to ask about an offensive player or vice versa on your staff?
MIKE ZIMMER: Yeah, you know, we try like if I'm watching a corner or a safety, we talk about -- like when we took Dalvin, there was a lot of defensive players that noticed him on tape. So it happens a fair amount, and Andre is never afraid to come in my office.

Q. (Indiscernible) run game, which is obviously something --
MIKE ZIMMER: A lot, yeah, I think that'll be a big strength of his. You know, the big thing is with these athletic guys, if you can get them moving sideways and you can get one guy cut out of the gap, then this one-cut downhill run game should really be good for Dalvin.

Q. How rare is it to find an offensive line prospect with that type of movement skills?
MIKE ZIMMER: Yeah, well, his athletic traits and the 40-yard dash, the short shuttle, all the things that show the quickness and speed and athletic ability are -- I mean, it is pretty rare, yeah.

Q. He's got academic credibility, as well, at North Carolina State. Obviously you like smart players, too, don't you?
MIKE ZIMMER: Yeah, he's very smart and he's very tough. You know, he's a great competitor. Yeah, he's smart and tough and a great competitor.

Q. I don't know if you can answer this yet, but you were talking about you wanted an offensive line with edge that plays a lot like your defensive line. Have you spoken to him or have you seen video that kind of backs that mentality?
MIKE ZIMMER: Well, we talked to a lot of the coaches there. We talked to a lot of players that played against him. You know, that's part of the process. Every guy that we bring in the room, we ask them who was the best guy you played against, what was he like when he was on the field, all different things, talked to their coaches, talked to the strength coach, talked to the academic people. We talked to everybody. The scouts do a lot of legwork, so that's part of the process, as well.

Q. Addressing a key need like this, would you be more apt then maybe to go defense tomorrow with at least one of those picks?
MIKE ZIMMER: You know, it's really hard to say because you don't know who's going to be there. You know, there might be somebody we're in love with on offense and we end up taking him, or like I say, you can never have enough corners. (Laughter.) I know you guys love that.

Q. Riley Reiff, Brian O'Neill also both played tight end in high school. Is that just happenstance that you keep on finding offensive linemen that played tight end?
MIKE ZIMMER: It's just happenstance really. It just means they're probably pretty good athletes, for them to play -- most of the time defensive linemen go to offensive line, but if you get tight ends, they're typically a little more athletic.

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