JEFF FISHER, PHIL NERI, COLE PROCTOR SUNDAY, APRIL 27, 2008
PRESS CONFERENCE AT BAPTIST SPORTS PARKFOLLOWING THE SELECTIONS OF CRAIG STEVENS AND WILLIAM HAYES
HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER
We have obviously been busy. The third round is interesting seeing how everyone around the league has restacked the board and so on and so forth. We had a number of players targeted and when we got to our pick and Craig [Stevens] was there, there was no question. He is a very, very productive tight end. He has all the characteristics – height, weight, speed, can catch. He is in our opinion one of the better blocking tight ends to come out and he can do both. He gives us depth and he has the ability to play right away, contribute on special teams and do all those things. For where we were and the need, we thought Craig was just the perfect pick there. And then what we did was trade this year's five to Washington to move up from 124 up to 103 and that got us in position to have an opportunity to draft William [Hayes]. We had William in, looked at William. The entire scouting staff looked at William over the last couple of days and the coaches and there is a lot of interest out there despite the early reports of what you may have read and so on and so forth. He was a very fast rising prospect. We feel like William can come in and help us immediately at the end position. Despite the fact that he came from a smaller school, he has some skills that are rare -- his hand use, his explosion, his quickness, his effort, his change of direction. We feel like William can help us right off the bat and the end position.
(on Stevens comparison to Ben Hartsock)
Well, he is a little different in that he can do both. He can stretch the field because he has the speed. No disrespect to Ben, but Ben will tell you that he is probably a blocker first and a pass catcher second. Craig is a tough guy and he can run and catch and stretch the field. He is a complete tight end from that standpoint. He gives us the insurance and depth and will develop into a good player.
TITANS SCOUT PHIL NERI
(on the durability of Stevens in college and how important that is)
Absolutely and couple with his personality, he is a hard working kid. He has always been a dependable guy in the weight room and those kinds of things. He is one of those, you hate to use the blue collar, but that is what he is. What you see is a tough, hard nosed guy. That is kind of his background. He is a San Pedro kid who has worked his way up. Every year he has gotten better there. His upside is as a receiver. He has been a very solid player at both ends of the spectrum.
TITANS SCOUT COLE PROCTOR
(on how much time William Hayes has spend with his hand on the ground as opposed to standing up)
This year 98 percent of the time, almost 100 percent [he had his hand on the ground]. He had been a linebacker earlier in his career and then they moved him down two years. I can hardly remember him dropping at all as a matter of fact this year.
(on where they found William Hayes)
Well we went in for two-a-days back in late July and it was about 113 degrees in Winston-Salem and they were out there practicing. You just saw a kid that was busting his butt. You could just see he had some skills and you opened your eyes and said you will be back in October after they played some ball games. I went back in and the coach, they had an open week, and he gave three DVDs because he couldn't be there and he left them for me. I took them back to the hotel and only one worked. It was Florida A&M and it was one of his best games. So I definitely had to get back and look at some more. The kid had a great workout. He worked out with Wake Forest over there and [Jeremy] Thompson went just before him. He weighed 270 pounds and ran a 4.61 40. He had a good workout and he has natural skills. I don't care what level he played on. He stands out as far as his hand skills and the things he does, leverage.
(on if there is someone he reminds him of)
No. Nothing comes to mind right now.
HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER
(on if Hayes and Jason Jones can play right away)
Both of them are further along then some that we have drafted in the past. Both of them can play on early downs because they can be run defenders and both of them have pass rush skills. They are not polished yet, but I think both of them will improve very quickly.
(on how tough it is for smaller school players to make the jump to the NFL)
There is no doubt that he will refer to Dave Stewart as Mr. Stewart for the first part of camp. It is going to be a change for him but he has the ability. He has the want to. He is highly motivated. When you get a chance to visit with him ask him about his experience with Jevon [Kearse]. I think he has a story that is worth sharing with you. He has done a lot of this on his own. I think that speaks volumes for his character.
TITANS SCOUT COLE PROCTOR
(on if Hayes is a late bloomer)
Yes. He really is. The workout really perked up a lot of teams. As soon as he ran that 4.61 40 there were guys with their cell phones that hadn't been to two-a-days and that stuff. They were over on the side and calling in. It was unbelievable.