On draft picks that play similar schemes in college to the Bears' scheme:
"I think that, obviously, it gives you an advantage as you are coming into a position to make the team. But eventually as we go along though spring and into training camp and those things, I think the players we have drafted in the past have been able to catch up to those that have played our system in college."
On who is the closest to making an impact on Sundays:
"I think it's a hard thing to say. I think that you go by the rounds that the guys are drafted, I think those guys are closest to being able to play. But there is a long way to go before they prove to us that they can come in and contribute. Obviously, we think they have the qualities and the things that we like to help us."
On drafting linebackers and where Michael Okwo fits:
"I believe that each year we have drafted a guy that has fit into our system and we think Michael obviously fits into our system. He is a guy that has some suddenness to his movement and plays aggressive. He is good in pass coverage, and he does a lot of things that you look for in a Cover 2 system. They are the same things that we looked for in the previous three seasons in the guys we drafted, so we think that he fits the mold that we look for."
On second-round pick Dan Bazuin:
"He has a great motor. Obviously, he has been very productive – 30-something sacks. But in watching him, and obviously I have nothing against the MAC conference. It's a great conference. I have coached in the conference, but he also played with great effort and [was] very productive against teams like Michigan. We were just very pleased in watching him with his effort and his production, and we think he will bring a motor to the defensive unit."
On where Bazuin fits in:
"Left end is a position that, a lot of the time, you are over the tight end. Or in our other front, you become a five-technique. Mark Anderson fits the mold for the right end. Dan is somewhere between a three-technique and the right end. He has athleticism, while at the same time he has some bulk where he can get in there and take on the base blocks by the tight end and be productive. Obviously, any time a defensive lineman gains weight, you go from the outside and move in and you continue to move. But right now, Dan has been drafted as a defensive end, and we feel comfortable about that."
On fifth-round pick Corey Graham:
"In our defense, you have to play rush, you have to play off, and you have to be able jam to get up there as a Cover 2 corner and jam. So in evaluating the tape of him, we felt very comfortable with all the different things that we looked for and we felt he showed all those things. But the thing that we liked about Corey is that he is athletic, and we think he is going to do nothing but get better. He has been well-coached at his school, but I think that getting around the guys and competing against the guys here that he is going to get much better and continue to grow. We think that he has some untapped talents."
On third-round pick Michael Okwo:
"We felt that Michael, he was exactly what we were looking for in our linebackers. We felt he was one of the top guys in the draft where we had him ranked, so we were very excited to get him where we got him."
On fifth-round pick Kevin Payne:
"Kevin, we just felt that he was just an extremely physical in-the-box safety that was very productive. The thing that I was impressed with was, watching the Senior Bowl tape against the best players in the country, he showed me something there. Great range in the deep third and also the ability to come up and make open field tackles, physical tackles. So the thing that we really liked about him was he was a physical in-the-box safety."
On evaluating players from non-BCS conferences:
"At this point, I have to give our scouts credit. They make it pretty easy for us. They go out and do all the ground work and present guys to us, and we evaluate them. And they did a great job, and I would think that they would say that that is not harder versus to a team that has a better record. I think that they go out and check out all the schools, and they do a great job with their evaluations and they put us in position where we can evaluate guys that can help our system. So they do a great job as scouts."
On what the makeup of the secondary will be:
"We talked about how Mike Brown is going to be a starting safety, and whether he plays free or strong depending on how the other guys and how they end. You know there is going to be a lot of competition at the safety position, and once again with Michael [Okwo] and Kevin [Payne] and Dan [Bazuin], all these guys, what we have done, what we feel, is that we have 11 starters coming back. We have created some healthy competition, and we want to put ourselves in position as a defense that whenever an injury or something to that degree happens, where we lose a player, that we have a player that is qualified to step in. So this is going to help us."
|John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and Editor in Chief of BearReport.com. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.|