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Draft transcript: Bradley, Caldwell and Lee

Posted May 9, 2014

Quotes from Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley, GM Dave Caldwell and WR Marqise Lee on the selection of WR Marqise Lee.


HEAD COACH GUS BRADLEY

(Opening statement about WR Marqise Lee) “I’ll add a few things. I know Dave gave you all the stats but we are really excited about him. I know we watched more tape today. Blake is good friends with Marqise. I told him today when we were talking in my meeting and I said when you get back to Orlando and watch the draft you’ve got some guys in particular you’re going to keep an eye on? And Marqise was one of them. I know they worked out together so it’s just ironic for that. I think the other thing is we had great reports from the scouts and all the information we got plus we have Scottie Hazelton, Assistant Linebackers coach on our staff that coached at USC. Just conversations with him about how much he meant, the true leader of that receiver group two years ago. He really took guys under his wing, developed them. I know with Woods the receiver that is in Buffalo now he had an impact on his development. Just felt like he was a really, really strong leader and said there are absolutely no red flags on this guy, so that was a great endorsement on him as well.”

(Need guys who can stress a defense. Can he do that right away?) “Yeah, just because what Dave said his run after catch, his ability, his breakaway speed, that’s what you see on tape. He makes big plays, can make people miss, puts a strain on them and he’s a 4.4 guy so anytime you’ve got that speed you’ve got to be alert to it.”

(Does he catch bubble screens?) “He has some of those. Not like some of the receivers that we’ve seen longer downfield in-cuts. I think Jedd (Fisch) brought up and Jerry (Sullivan) that for his size the number of catches you see across the middle has been very impressive.”

(On Blake and Marqise on the field. What do you think they will be able to do together?) “I think with Chad (Henne) and Marqise I think the whole receiving group, his whole mentality. I love his competitive spirit on the phone, in his comments, he’s all about wanting to get to work as soon as possible. He wants to get here as soon as he can and get it going. It will be fun to watch him compete with our guys and how he fits in, but we think it will be very well.”

(Does he remind you of any other prospect?) “Just really spirited. I think you will see that everything you see in him is he’s smiling and really loves the game. He really enjoys it. I don’t know if he enjoyed this part because maybe he would have liked to go a little earlier but I know he’s excited now.”

(Did you meet with him at the Combine?) “Yes.”

(Did he come here before the draft?) “No, he did not come here. We met (with) him at the combine.”

(Who said he had no red flags?) “Scott Hazelton.”

(Were you nervous when you couldn’t make the trade?) “We had our fingers crossed, but it all worked out.”

(On his background and upbringing, does it make him mentally tough?) “Whatever his background is, he is mentally tough. Whatever helped him in that process. His competitiveness and his toughness I think is greatest attributes.”

(How does this change the dynamic of your offense being able to pencil him in there?) “Obviously it helps us. It brings athleticism, it brings playmaking ability to our offense and we still have nine picks left to go. We just need to continue to do that with our team. He’ll be an exciting player.”

GENERAL MANAGER DAVE CALDWELL

(Opening statement about WR Marqise Lee) “We were excited. This is a guy that we had him highly rated, I think the whole country did, and for whatever reason this a deep draft and sometimes players fall through and we had some opportunity there to nab him and the guy is a playmaker. He’s had 29 touchdowns over three years and when he gets the ball in his hands he’s electric. He’s highly, highly competitive, again following our theme. He’s a tough kid and as he just said on TV he’s got a chip on his shoulder because he fell to (pick) 39 and we’re excited to have him.”

(What’s your feeling about the medical situation with him?) “He’s fine. Actually he’s really clean. The issue was early on in the season and he came back and there were no issues with him.”

(Is that why he was still available?) “I don’t know. You’d have to ask the other teams and like I said, this is a good draft and there are good players, good defensive backs and somebody’s got to fall. It just so happens it was a need for us and we were able to capitalize on it.”

(Were you surprised that a lot of other receivers were still there?) “Yeah, and to be honest with you we were very surprised. We had some conversations with teams ahead of us about trading up. They didn’t feel like the compensation was right and I think they had their mind set on some players too. We were looking to go up and get him.”

(What does Lee do well?) “Run after catch, he’s explosive, he can make defenders miss, he’s very instinctive and he’s got a feel for zones, he can separate in and out of breaks very well and when he gets the ball in his hands he’s a threat to take it to the house.”

(He had 118 as a sophomore and then last year some circumstances…) “Yeah I think you look at the situation. He comes in and he gets hurt early on and you have a situation with a quarterback change with Matt Barkley who was there through his whole career and then you get a young quarterback in there, the coaching situation, there’s a lot of different dynamics and it just so happens. He had two really good years before that and it’s not like his year last year was terrible but it wasn’t up to par to what it was the previous two years.”

(Do you feel like you stole one here?) “Yeah, we feel really good about it obviously. Like I said, we were looking to trade up to get him and we couldn’t get that done.”

(Four or five spots?) “We went all the way up to where Cleveland was. We had conversations with them a little bit and at the end of the day it never went behind him.”

(You were sweating it out?) “We had other options obviously and had various other positions but once it got close we said let’s wait.”

(Would it not have been a receiver?) “Possibly.”

(You were looking for a markdown and you didn’t get one?) “Yeah, pretty much.”

(What do you project he does?) “Probably Z right now but that can change. He can play inside, he can play outside so he will play various positions and we will probably move him around.”

(One of the praises of him is he was used to being the guy. Is that what stood out?) “Yeah, he’s always produced and I think the Biletnikof Award winner two years ago and he’s a playmaker and we need playmakers. I think that’s kind of been our theme all along and we’re very fortunate. We are fortunate to have him.”

(Were you specifically looking for a big guy?) “Yeah, and he’s almost six foot, a hundred and ninety-eight pounds. He’s got room to grow. I don’t think the kid is 21 years old yet. He’s a true junior so the sky is the limit for him.”

(Is he a kick returner as well?) “Yeah, a very good kick returner and he’s done punts too.”

(Do you look at him in that role?) “We could possibly use him in that role, yeah.”

(More deep speed than Blackmon and Shorts?) “Cecil runs fairly well. I’d say better breakaway speed than Justin and better make-miss than Justin (Blackmon) but not as big and not as powerful.”

(What’s your first memory of Marqise scouting him?) “Who is that? I remember being at USC and looking up number nine and I’m like he’s a freshman. I think we had to wait and that was a while ago, when I was in Atlanta.”

(He stood out?) “Absolutely. He stood out since the day he got on campus.”

(How important was it to store up the wide receiver position?) “It’s important. It’s not just the receiver position but we’re looking for good players and difference makers. We feel like he’s got a good chance to be one of those.”

WR MARQISE LEE

(On his relationship with Blake Bortles) “Blake is great, to tell you the truth. We get along very well. I had the opportunity to meet him in Indianapolis and we’ve been cool ever since.”

(On not being drafted in the first round being a motivator) “Of Ocourse.  Just getting drafted in general is a motivator.

(On his opinion of Gus Bradley and Dave Caldwell) “(talking about offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch) I actually got the opportunity to meet with the coach in college when I was looking at going to college. We had a little bit of a relationship there. Then I got a chance to meet him in Indianapolis and a great impression. We were on the same page and we were just connecting.”

(On Offensive Coordinator Jedd Fisch recruiting him) “Yeah, when he was at Miami.”

(On fitting into Fisch’s offense) “I think I’ll fit in great. Once I go over it and get a great understanding of it, I think it’ll be okay.”

(On treatment on his knee) “Just rehab. I didn’t have any surgery. All I needed was time and that was what I had.”

(On his knee slowing him down his junior season) “(It slowed me down) a significant amount. I actually got hurt at the beginning of the season. One of the things the doctors told me was that you need time and during the season you don’t really have time.”

(On if he felt 100% his junior season) “Not until the bowl game. Going into the bowl game you’ve got that significant amount of time. During that time I had a chance to rest.”

(On if he was playing in pain his junior season) “For this year, yes.”

(On still playing through the pain) “I was still going to get out there and get it.”

(On if playing in a  pro-style college offense would help him in the NFL play right away) “I think so because I had the opportunity to be in a pro-style offense being at USC, so I think it should work.”

(On why he chose to play at USC) “I was actually going to try to get out of the state, but I talked to my sister about it, she wanted me to stay in California at that time, so I decided to stay in California. I decided to evaluate the California schools as far as organization and me competing to get a spot, and I felt like where I really had to compete was at USC.”

(On his childhood) “It was pretty rough. Unstable family, being in foster care, my brother passed. Just things like that.”

(On dealing with tough childhood) “I found an alternative. After seeing my mom stressing out, I took it upon myself to change and become a positive role model, not only for my mom, but for my sister, too.”

(On USC receivers not having success in the NFL does that affect him?) “Not necessarily, I don’t really think about it. I don’t know back then what the case was, but I know how much I plan on putting the work in just to get the job done as far as my part.”

(On biggest reason he thinks he’ll thrive in the NFL) “Because of my competitive nature. I’m a guy who listens and takes orders from coaches as far as knowing what they want me to do. On top of that, just performing and I think I’m capable of getting it done.”

(On the waiting through the first round being tough) “It’s always tough because everybody was sitting in that room wanting to get drafted as early as possible. At that time you think of it as, ‘yeah, I want to get drafted.’ But when you come in the next day and you rethink about it, at the end of the day you realize that you’ve still got the opportunity to make it to the league and prove a point.”

(On who was in the draft greenroom with him) “My stepmom, mystepdad, my biological mom, my sister, and my stepbrother.”

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