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Quotable: General Manager Thomas Dimitroff


General Manager Thomas Dimitroff

Opening Statement

"An interesting two rounds to say the least. We put a lot of time and energy into these two rounds. We felt very strongly about our first round pick, and with our 83rd pick, we wanted to continue to add more versatility and depth to our defensive line with the addition of Corey Peters from Kentucky. We are also looking to maintain an active defensive line with a lot of depth. Rotation and versatility are huge along the front line and we believe that we added some consistency with the acquisition of our picks. We did this with our second pick and then came back on our 98th pick and added Mike Johnson, a tackle/guard. He's another versatile offensive lineman from the University of Alabama. We were fired up that he was available. The fact that he's versatile and played in the SEC helped to make our decision easier. He's a smart football player who is definitely a big part of a winning program. He knows what it is like to play in front of large crowds and high pressure situations. I can't stress enough how his abilities add versatility to a line, not only at offensive tackle, or offensive guard but also at the center position."

Do the additional players that were drafted in the third round have the F-B-I (football intelligence) that your looking for?

"Football intelligence if a big part of what we are trying to develop here, and both of our picks today were in line with what we are looking for regarding this football team. Football intelligence and proper conduct off the field are two major characteristics that were important to us. Our coaches felt very comfortable with them (Peters and Johnson) throughout our interviewing process. We believe that they were well-developed, and versatile enough to be legitimate contributors to this team as we move forward."

How did you come to the decision to draft Mike Johnson?

"He continued to impress us with each game that he played. The last two games he played against Florida and Texas were very impressive. They were very productive games for him and he continues to impress us. He is a very athletic player with a big body that can pull very well. We look forward to his progression and seeing how he learns under our coaches. He comes from a system ran by Coach Nick Saban and played under Joe Pendry at Alabama. Joe Pendry is a fantastic offensive line coach that spent a lot of time in the National Football League. All of these factors work to his favor and are a plus for Mike Johnson."

At what position will you start Mike Johnson?

"We are trying to determine that and it is still being discussed. Again, he comes in with the versatility to line up at many positions. We have a nice rotation where he can roll in at guard or the tackle position."

Did you think Corey Peters would have been available when your draft opportunity arose?

"During the third round, a lot of defensive linemen were coming off of the board. Normally, when there is a run on linemen, everyone moves up. There is no question that a number of organizations were interested in Peters during the third-round. We had a number of calls from our contacts from other teams around the league that gave us the feeling that they would have drafted him during that round if we did not take him."

How do you project tomorrow will be with the five remaining picks?

"Right now, we are actively involved. We have a four, two-fives, and two-sixes. We have it calculated right now, but I don't want to get into the specifics as to our philosophy. What I will say is that the players that we have picked are the positions that we wanted to fill in the first two-days. We are very excited that we ended up with a wheel-back, a defensive tackle and an offensive lineman."

Do you think you got a good bargain with Mike Johnson as the last pick in the third round?

"Yes. That third-round pick was a compensatory pick, and in essence, it is a fourth-round pick for us. We picked up Thomas DeCoud a few years ago in this round, and those are always very good value picks. Interestingly enough, our contacts at Denver advised us that he was one of the players they were also looking to draft. I only bring up Denver because we have familiar contacts there that also seem to have similar outlooks on players and systems based on my past connection with them. It's always interesting talking about some of those players that you pick up."


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