Q&A with Terry Bradway Pt. 1

With just days to go before the 2002 Draft, Jets General Manager Terry Bradway took the time to talk about the team's needs and its approach to the draft. Here is Part I of that conversation.

BRADWAY: We have a very unique situation (in) that Herm (Edwards) really understands scouting. He started out as a scout, understands the entire process. It's a little bit different when you're sitting in a room. I think we're all on the same page relative to what we are looking for, not only now, but for the future. I think it's a unique situation because most head coaches in the league don't have that background, and that's maybe where you might have a little bit of conflict. In this situation, that's not the case.

Q. Terry, could you talk about the depth at defensive tackle?

BRADWAY: When you look at it, doing a breakdown, I think there's about five guys that will be available in rounds one or three, and eight or nine who would be available throughout the rest of the draft. (Besides) the top four, there are some other guys. Not all these players are perfect. They're all missing a little bit of something. But, you know, that doesn't mean that sixth-round players can't make the Pro Bowl. I do believe there are about 14 or 15 defensive tackles that can make it in this league and come in, not necessarily come in and be stars right off the bat, but have an opportunity to contribute. Similar to what James (Reed) did last year for us, playing 25 percent of the snaps as a seventh-round defensive tackle.

I mean, you don't know. Sitting at 22 is very unpredictable. You kind are of in no-man's land because it's hard to really determine at this point in time. Something might fall in your lap that you didn't expect, or it may fall apart. Now all of a sudden you are scrambling. That's the beauty of the draft.

Q. Terry, do you have any philosophies on drafting underclassmen? Are they scouted differently?

BRADWAY: For the seniors this process starts as soon as this draft is over. The juniors, sometimes not declaring until January 10th, it doesn't start till January. We do a lot of work, area scouts, positions, we watch enough tape on them. You still don't get that true feel you get when you go to the school in the fall. That's why you have to be careful when selecting juniors.

I know we've drafted two juniors here in the last nine years. Shaun Ellis and Marvin Jones were juniors selected by the Jets. I believe that 20 percent of the juniors that come out actually get drafted in the first round. Most of them that come out are higher picks.

There are quite a number of them, though, if they're not high picks either don't get drafted or get drafted late, and really hurt themselves as far as their career is concerned. I think you bring up a good point in that they are not scouted on the same plane as the seniors initially. That's why you have to just make sure, when it's all said and done and you line them all up as a group, they're in the right spot.

Q. Do you feel better this year as opposed to last year when you just came in?

BRADWAY: I feel great about what Dick (Haley) and his staff have done. Yeah, I do feel good about where we are. There's so many other things you have to worry about in your first year, it may take a little bit away from that in terms of free agency, so on and so forth. Coming out of these meetings, I feel real good about where we are right now compared to where we were last year. I think what happens is everybody in the room is kind of on the same page in terms of what we're looking for. That makes it a lot easier than it was coming in here in our first year.

You know, we know our players better so we know how some of these other guys do, which we didn't know last year. We feel a lot more prepared for this one. Although, again, like I said, Dick and his staff have done an outstanding job. I wish you all could be in those meetings.

At 10:00 last night when he was still going strong, Herm and I were feeling it a little bit (laughter). But it is an amazing process.

Q. Anything new that was learned in the preparation this year?

BRADWAY: I think the biggest thing is we know our team much better than we did last year, having spent a whole year with them. That's what we tried to do last year. We tried to keep this team together, tried to spend time so we could evaluate. That's exactly what we did. We made some changes. We feel we've upgraded the football team in free agency, now we hope to do it in the draft. But, yeah, I think in terms of just how we feel about our team, understanding what we've got, it makes it a lot easier this year than it was last year.

Q Do you expect any local guys to go in the draft?

BRADWAY: You know, (coordinator of college scouting) John Griffin does a great job in bringing a lot of the area guys in here to work out. We've worked a lot of them in our bubble, from other surrounding schools. I don't know if they're going to be late-round draft picks or good free agents. There's a chance that a few of these guys could find their way to camp and ultimately have a chance to make it.

Q. Can you name a name?

BRADWAY: The kid Fletcher, defensive tackle. Charlie Adams would have been a guy. I think people are still interested in Charlie, despite the injury. A guy like Fletcher has done well, works out well. He's kind of like some of the guys we have, nose tackles, like James Reed. I think he's got a chance. There's a couple kids at Penn. There's kids around. Always guys from small schools that have an opportunity to make it.

Last year, (Tory) Woodbury from Winston-Salem, not too many people gave him much of a chance. (Now he) has a chance at quarterback. Done a good job this spring.

Q. You mention all the hours of preparation …

BRADWAY: 3093.

Q. If you get three good players in this draft, that's an excellent draft. Will you look back and say, "All that work, just to get three"?

BRADWAY: I hope we get more than three. Last year we got five out of six that we really felt good about. This year we feel like we have to hit five out of five. What happens is, all the information that we gather gets used extensively over at least the first couple years that a player is in the league.

When we look at the wire each night, it becomes, "So-and-so got cut. How do we like them coming out of school?" We'll go back to his reports, pull him up on the computer, look at background, history. The base of (a player's) reports throughout his (NFL) career is his college information. That's where we've had the closest access to him — his coaches, how he acts on the field, how he acts in meetings, how he does in school, how responsible he is, all those things.

We probably know him as well now as we will even two years from now unless we can talk to a coach or a team or guy that might have gotten let go. It does seem like a lot when you think of three thousand reports and you get only five players. It really seems like a lot of work for not a lot of reward. Again, that information gets used even throughout a player's career.

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