Re: Trading up
A: We really wanted him. You guys know what he looks like; you have seen him play. He is a game-breaking receiver. He is not big but he can catch and he can run. For a short guy he is very powerfully built. He has a chance to be an outstanding receiver.
Re: where Moss was rated
A: Well, we weren't going to take any other player but the guy that we took in the first round. But he was our highest-rated receiver. It was one of those years. It just happens at different positions, like the year we picked William Joseph. There were, what, 10 or 11 defensive linemen picked in the first round? There weren't that many this year. There were not a lot of highly-rated receivers in this draft. He is not big. That is going to work against him in the overall picture, but it was somebody we obviously had our eye on. I just did not think he was going to last until we were picking in the second round. We had the extra pick.
Q: How much does he remind you of his brother?
A: I don't want to put that on him. If he is as good as his brother, he will be great. I love his brother. He is similar, but he has to go do it. His brother was on a team that had a little better passing attack. He didn't get that chance as much. But he is an explosive, high-speed, tough receiver. He is just not real big. Normally you like big receivers but you don't want to sacrifice speed and game-breaking ability.
Re: Selecting a small receiver
A: Absolutely. We do have big receivers. And I think you hear Tom talk too, we needed that type of receiver – that we needed one with speed, not just a possession guy. And he is not a possession guy.
Re: Bias against small receivers
A: I don't have that bias. I know a lot of people do, but I don't. I remember there was a big receiver picked the year his brother came out. I heard, "We picked the bigger receiver." But he wasn't the better receiver. It is speed that kills. I'm not worried about that.
Re: Moss playing the slot position
A: Well, yeah. That is what he was drafted for, but I will let the coach worry about playing him. I'm not coaching the team. I'm not Lou Lamariello. I just wrote him a note. I said, "You are my idol as a general manager but I'm not following you to the bench."
Re: Moss not being a returner in college
A: They had the great returner in Hester, so he didn't do a lot but he can do it. He has got that, but we do have two awfully good returners in Morton and McQuarters, so that was a bonus. But we picked him as a receiver.
Q: He was your highest rated receiver on the board?
Q: The whole board?
A: Yeah, I'm not counting Reggie Bush as a receiver. Yeah. It was obviously because of his height. But we wanted him. We were prepared to pick him in the first round if our other options were gone. We had other options. But we just didn't think he would be there at 24 in the second round.
Q: Did you move up to where you did because that was your only opportunity?
A: No, we tried everybody in there. We came close with another team. We were trying every one in that range from 41 and beyond.
Q: He is not a pass rusher, right?
A: No, might be.
Q: You loved his brother? You almost tried to trade for Santana Moss when he came out, right?
A: Right, right. It is not fair for me to make that comparison. This kid is going to have to live with his brother.
Re: Moss' physical stature
A: Yeah. This guy, as you will see, is a powerfully built guy. He is strong. Physically he is short. But he has been durable. What impressed me was that he had surgery on his finger after the season and the workout, which I was at on March 3rd or 4th, that Saturday. No one even knew he had had the surgery. And we found out later and you never would have known the difference. He has a lot of talent.
Q: Did you start calling about a trade right after your first round pick at No. 32?
A: Not right away. We probably started in the mid-30's; late 30's. We weren't really hitting clubs up there as much. We didn't have enough to do that. What we had wasn't going to be able to cover it. But we knew starting around 40, we knew that we had an equitable offer with our third.
Q: Was Baltimore on the clock?
A: Just as we made the trade New Orleans picked their player and when Ozzie called me back he said, "We are on the clock."
Q: There would have been no trade had New Orleans picked him?
A: No. I was about to tell him, "If our guy is there", and that is when (the New Orleans pick) flashed up the board.
April 29, 2006
Q: What are your general feelings about coming to the Giants?
A: I feel great. The Giants have shown a great interest in me since the Senior Bowl and I always thought it would be wonderful to be a part of the New York Giants organization.
Q: Are you aware that the Giants have been in need of a speedy receiver literally since Homer Jones left about 35 years ago? Are you aware of the need around here for a fast receiver like you?
A: Yes, I have been hearing it from William Joseph and Plaxico. They told me they would love to have me on their team, and I'm just happy to be a part of it and I'm ready to come up there and work.
Q: Have you been working out with Plaxico, Shockey and Joseph down there in Miami?
A: Yes, I've been working out with William down here in Miami.
Q: How do you feel about being in the same division as Santana?
A: That's great; I get to face my brother twice a year. I get a chance to face him and beat up on the Redskins.
Q: Obviously your brother was a Pro Bowler last year; do you have a similar playing style to him?
A: I feel like we pretty much have the same playing style. Our body structure is pretty much the same if you look. We both have speed and quickness. We can turn a short play into a big play and to be able to help our football no matter what situation we are in?
Q: So who is faster?
A: I have no idea. We have never raced. I don't think we will ever have a real race.
Q: How about the prospect of coming here to play with Eli Manning, who is obviously one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL?
A: To have an opportunity to play on the same team as Eli Manning, that is a big thing. He has a brother in the NFL and I have a brother in the NFL. So I'm sure me and him together will be wonderful.