From the Podium: Mike Tice

Just as the second round of the NFL draft was beginning, Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice addressed the media regarding first round T Gabe Carimi. Read the full transcript below.

On if he was surprised the Bears were able to draft Gabe Carimi at No. 29.

"We were pretty surprised. I'm sure you've heard that already. He was our fourth-ranked lineman and I believe throughout the building we all ranked him about the same, maybe a couple of the other guys were switched back and forth. But as it got closer to our pick, we were getting a little bit more excited that the chance of him being there was a real possibility, and boy, what a great start for the offseason that would be and we were real fortunate that he was there.

"He's been an outstanding player at Wisconsin for four years. He's gotten better every year. He's gotten tougher every year too. It's nice to bring another guy in the building that's as big as I am, and that's what we're trying to do; we're trying to get bigger. We're really pleased.

"I don't know what else to say besides the fact that we got a very good football player with a great track record. He did a nice job against Iowa and Purdue and two of those players (Adrian Clayborn and Ryan Kerrigan) went ahead of him in the draft. Film doesn't lie.

"So we're very pleased to have Gabe and add him to our room. He'll bring everything that we're looking to bring to the offensive line room: toughness, intelligence, size. He's a solid athlete, maybe not a great athlete but a solid athlete and we're just pleased, very pleased."

On Carimi playing guard or tackle.

"We do want to keep our options open. I've been known to move guys around a little bit. We want to get through the rest of the draft and figure out what's going on with some of our players that are free agents and get to that part of the offseason also. I think he's an outside player, personally, and we'll make sure that the day that he walks into the building and we put him in a spot that that's going to be the spot that he's going to play at for many years to come we hope. So we'll work our way through that."

On being familiar with Carimi,

"I did. I know a lot about him. In fact, his mom and my wife tailgate together. So they talked last night. There's a lot of familiarity. In fact, there's a lot of familiarity with J.J. Watt and (John) Moffitt and some of the other [Wisconsin] boys, the quarterback (Scott) Tolzien. Good kids, great program, really good family, very close family. Does a lot on the weekends. He's from the Madison area. We're going to have to convert that family over to Bear-ism and knock off that cheesehead stuff."

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