RE: Nicks. At what point did you get him on your radar? Which specific game?
A: We don't look at juniors until they declare. That is against NFL rules. We don't look at juniors until they declare. Then we start evaluating them. After he declared we looked at everything. We have three scouts that go in there. I have seen him. Our receivers coach……, once he declares then we just go at it just like anybody else – Combine, Pro Day. We hit it all.
Q: Was there any one thing or game that caught your eye about Nicks?
A: His coup de grace was the West Virginia game that everybody talks about. But you pull out any other tapes and he makes spectacular catches in the Duke – he catches one in the end zone going out the back of the end zone against his helmet. He is always going up making plays over people. That is the most intriguing thing…a lot of guys can catch without people around them. This guy catches with people, with bodies, around him in traffic, goes over people. He is a strong, physical guy who has a big catching radius; big hands. And in my opinion these kinds of guys are the successful receivers in the NFL. The Larry Fitzgeralds, the Boldins, those strong physical guys are the ones who do well. And I think he will do well.
Q: Does he have good enough speed to stretch the field?
A: I don't know how Coach is going to use him. That's up to him. He's not a Heyward-Bey or Maclin, a straight out run guy but again what receivers in the league that are great receivers just run fast and don't have the other stuff. This kid has speed. He averaged 18 yards a catch. He gets down field and makes a lot of plays.
Q: A lot of people have compared his body to Anquan Boldin.
A: The physicalness they talk about, the run after catch. This guy catches and gets up field quick. He's got a little shake to him. He's got a great stiff arm. If you watch him, he's always stiff arming guys off of him. He carries guys when they're tying to tackle him. Those are the things that Anquan did. Anquan ran 4.8 coming out. This kid is a 4.5 guy. So, the body type and the hands are probably more polished. He stepped on campus as a freshman and produced.
Q: Is his weight gain after the combine a problem or negative at all?
A: We talked about it. I went to his workout and I was as disappointed as anybody. I go down there and the guy gained some weight. The guy was hurt. He had a hamstring and couldn't work out. Nothing up to that point or anything in his body of work led me to believe that this was typical of the kid. You took him for his word that he was legitimately hurt and gained some weight. He lost the weight. You just have to trust him.
Q: You mentioned the word polished. He played in a pro-style offense. Could he be ready right away to play?
A: That was one of the things that was most intriguing. We felt that he was. He played in that pro-style offense. He lined up in various different spots there. He helped other guys like the other receivers get lined up. Just the way he plays the game, he just has such a savvy feel for getting open and beating zones. We thought his style would easily transfer to our level where some of the other guys have played in the spread offenses or doing wildcat stuff, hybrid guys. This guy was a receiver, a pro-style receiver.
Re: Clint Sintim's pass rush ability
A: He is a heck of a pass rusher. That is what we liked about him. He is a physical at the point of attack guy. He can really rush the passer – 11 sacks this year. He has played out of space for Virginia – played at the line as a D end and played linebacker. So he is a smart guy that can play multiple positions. The way we use our guys in various ways, he will fit in there perfectly. But he is a big guy who is physical. And he is a presence at the line.
Q: He played the 3-4 defense at Virginia. Can he adapt to your scheme?
A: Yeah, he will be fine. Like I said, our Sam plays up on the line a little bit and on third downs hopefully he can work in that pass rush rotation with the rest of those guys. That is the strength of his.
Q: Can he be a stand up defense end or he is a pure pass rusher?
A: A stand up defensive end?
Q: Up on the line?
A: Yeah. He is a linebacker for us but I wouldn't want him to be a full time D end.
Q: Did he play a lot of coverage in college?
A: Yeah, they played him over the slot a lot there. The 3-4, they don't a lot of man coverage, they drop to a spot and read stuff. And he is good. He has a good understanding of the routes and that deal. So he has done it all. He has been out in space, he has been at the line, he has been on the line as a Sam. So he has done everything.