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Smith on Britton transcript


The following is a transcript of General Manager Gene Smith's press conference following the selection of Eben Britton in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

(on if Britton was the best player available or if they wanted to add more to the offensive line) "He was the best player on our board. It is a good tackle draft for sure. We liked this guy from a position versatility standpoint. He started two years at right tackle and started this past year at left tackle. He has played some guard in history. He has played every position except center. He is a two-time captain. We like him as a person and certainly as a player because of his versatility. Both guys that we drafted were big and have character. I think they both have the opportunity to one day to be starting tackles in the NFL. How early will be dictated on getting the best five on the field and again I trust Andy Heck."

(on if he liked his spunk) "I did. In talking to him tonight, he has enjoyed this process today with his family. He's really excited and I know that they got a nice party going on at their house."

(on Britton's personality) "That's his confidence building, but he is definitely not a cocky player. You don't get elected two-time captain by your teammates unless you are highly respected. He's got good play history at Arizona. Their coaching stuff will tell you that he is a big reason why their program has turned the corner to have the season they had this year. He has leadership qualities and he felt he might go earlier, but it didn't work on that way. We are certainly happy to have him apart of our team."

(on if he heard Britton's comments to the writers) "We have drafted some guys in the past and have heard from others about how they make comments coming into the league wanting to prove they were under drafted. For the number of players throughout the years, I just feel he is just confident in his ability. I think what he is stating is just how he feels, but I don't think he is at all a cocky individual."

(on if there was another player they wanted) "He was the next guy, I can say that. With the number of tackles in the first round, I could have never said that we could have a chance to get both of these players in the first 39 picks but it worked out that way."

(on if there was any debate) "No. Our next guy went just a couple picks later and we just stayed with our board."

(on if he wants to reveal the identity of the player they missed) "No. We discuss the guys we do take but I can surely tell you that we stayed with our board."

(on if the Britton ranked above the player they wanted) "No, he wasn't. We looked through all the players and I call tell you that we when were on the clock, we worked in an order that we set prior to the draft and that is what we did today."

(on Eugene Monroe's family situation) "I'll let him explain that because he can do a better job than me. I think you will enjoy talking to both players when they do get here. I know that draft weekend, the first day in particular, is a big day. They enjoy themselves. Some people are extremely happy and some are a little disappointed. I have never been through the process myself as a college player. I certainly wasn't good enough to play in this league. I do know that both of these guys understand that it's a privilege to be in the NFL. I'm confident they will represent themselves well on and off the field."

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