Bucs Q&A: Geno Hayes

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Florida State LB Geno Hayes on Sunday in the sixth round of the NFL Draft. Want to get to know Hayes? Here's an interview he gave to the media at the scouting combine in February so you can get to know Tampa Bay's newest linebacker.

Surprised not a lot of LBs are projected to go in the first round?

Geno Hayes: That doesn't even bother me. Projections don't bother me at all.

Comfortable playing special teams?

Geno Hayes: That's nothing. I could play that all day, doesn't matter to me. It's part of paying dues anyway so if special teams are something I have to play I'll play it. Not a big thing to me.

When teams ask what you can do for them what do you tell them?

Geno Hayes: I'll tell them I can help organize a defense, help the players out once I learn the system. Help out young players once I get in the position. I can make plays for them, I can be that guy they depend on, game in, game out.

Will you do everything here except for the bench press?

Geno Hayes: I don't feel comfortable with my target weight so I won't do it until my pro day. I'm trying to get at least 26 and I didn't feel comfortable getting it up here.

How important is the Combine?

Geno Hayes: It's real big because you have all 32 teams at one place so it's very big for you to go out and shine.

How did playing for Mickey Andrews and FSU prepare him for the NFL?

Geno Hayes: It got me ready in a big way. Coach Andrews has this NFL-ready defense and he kind of programs in your mind that the defense at the next level is going to kind of play the same way, the speed of the game is going to play the same way.

Bobby Bowden ever going to retire?

Geno Hayes: To tell you the truth, I don't know. Only he can tell you that. He's still young enough to do it. He's got a lot of fight left in him. He can still be their coach.

What are the strengths of his game?

Geno Hayes: My awareness, my intelligence, my speed, my ability to make plays.

What do you need to work on?

Geno Hayes: My hand placement, staying low, shedding blocks a little bit better.

Are you surprised at how much draft-eligible players are analyzed leading up to the draft?

Geno Hayes: It doesn't surprise me at all. It's long when you get here and it's hard when you get here because you have to be patient and you're tired when you get up and do it so and it's hard but it's part of paying dues so you have to do it sometimes. If you don't want to do it you shouldn't be here.

What have you heard about his draft status?

Geno Hayes: They were saying like a third-round draft pick. That's irrelevant to me.

Is Florida State becoming new ‘Linebacker U.?'

Geno Hayes: As far as I can remember Florida State's always had good linebackers. Penn State and Florida State are two great schools, always put out good linebackers year in and year out so you can call it ‘Linebacker U.' I believe we have the best linebackers in the country.

Do you know Derrick Brooks?

Geno Hayes: Yes, I know him real well. He's a good friend and I've talked to him a lot recently. He was telling me to keep patient, stay humble, be truthful with the coaches and teams, that kind of stuff. He was telling me basically just to go out here and do my thing.

Can you fit into a Cover 2 scheme?

Geno Hayes: Yes, it's a very good scheme I can fit into. I know I can.

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