Fisher on McRath, Kropog


(opening comments)


Believe it or not we made an attempt to get up in the fourth round because there just was not much more depth at the linebacker position. We were trying to get up to have a shot at Gerald and were unsuccessful. He fell to us. We also had very high on our list and this is a player that Coach [Mike] Munchak liked Troy Kropog. Troy was also high on the list and we were fortunate to get him with the compensatory pick. We made efforts to get up, didn't get them and they fell right to us. It was a real good fourth round for us. Gerald is everything that you like in a linebacker with height, weight, speed characteristics that can really run and was productive. He should help contribute on special teams and we will coach him up and get him ready to play outside linebacker as quick as we can. Troy gives us the ability to take a deep breathe going into the ball game because Mike [Munchak] thinks that he can swing and backup up both tackles and play the guard position. He is very athletic, very smart, very talented player. Mike has had great success developing, so this was Munch's pick. He was real excited about it.

(on Troy Kropog working out at DI and with Brad Hopkins)


Yes, it is a lot like Dinger and Rod Smith. He worked out with Hoppy and Hoppy loved him. He said that he was very talented and very athletic.

(on where Gerald McRath will line up at linebacker)


We feel like he can do it all. We will typically probably line him up at outside first, but the special teams contributions was real intriguing to us.

(on whether Kropog helps fill the loss of Daniel Loper)


That is it. He is versatile and can play three positions: guard and both tackle positions.

(on whether linebacker was short on numbers in the draft)


I think it is probably the fewest number draftable players by position that we had.


It was a little skimpy there. The top ones went pretty early and there was a little gap there. Now there is a nice little crop and we were fortunate that he was still there. He is a guy we liked.

(on McRath's skill set)


McRath played inside linebacker. He is another junior so maturity-wise physically he is probably just a little behind there. He is a sideline-to-sideline guy. He made 137 total tackles this year which is pretty active for an inside backer. He is all over the field. We are excited about him because he can run so well. He is going to be an asset on special teams and as an outside backer, as he learns the defense and gets a little stronger, he is going to be a real plus I think. He definitely needs to get a little more physical, a little stronger, but he will.

(on the fact that McRath has already graduated)


He is sharp and controlled their defense, made their calls and made their adjustments for them. He is a sharp kid. He is a kid that will be able to pick it up really fast. We are fired up about him.



(on whether drafting Jared Cook affects Bo Scaife at all)


No. We expect Bo to come in. We are hoping to get that matter resolved. As I said last week, I expect Bo to come in and re-join his teammates and work in the offseason program.

(on whether it will take Cook awhile to get on the field)


He has unique skills from a receiving standpoint. We will plug him in wherever but the way we utilize the tight end and the way he plays is a little different. There is going to be an adjustment period there, but he has some terrific receiving skills.

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