Press Conference Transcript: Webster, Whisenhunt, Sunderland on RB Bishop Sankey



(opening remarks)

Obviously, it's good to add another player. We wanted to add a running back in this draft and targeted a few of them but the first one being Bishop Sankey. Really what he brings to us is a great deal of versatility, vision, feet, ability to catch the football. The important thing for us in picking one of these backs was to get the right fit for the coaches offense. Versatility and the ability to play on three downs was really one of the main criteria.

(on if this will help fill the loss of Chris Johnson in this offense)

Well he is a different type of player than CJ (Chris Johnson). We were looking for a guy like this. A guy with some versatility and not exactly just trying to replace CJ. We will have multiple backs that play and coach can address some of that. Definitely we needed a running back. I think I told you guys that that is what we were going to target when you asked about our needs and that's what we did.

(on if he started a run on running backs)

I like being at the head of the line because then we get our guy and trigger it. I think that happened last year too a little bit when Giovani Bernard went to Cincinnati. It was nice to trigger it.

(on what set him apart from the other running backs)

They are just all different style of players. They all do something. (Carlos) Hyde is a really good player, the strong pounder type. (Jeremy) Hill at LSU is a big back that does several things himself but he is also a big between the tackle runner and a good player as well. They are just all a little different.

(on if he considered the move back much of a risk if he wanted a running back)

You never know when you are moving back what's really going to happen. There were a lot of players on the board so we felt that we had a chance to get a running back if we move back and we were able to do so. It was nice to be able to move back, pick up the back, and also get a pick with it.


(on if he reminds him of another NFL running back)

Not really, not so much. We liked that group that was there and they are all good players and it really just came down to having the opportunity to pick the guy that we thought was the best overall match for what we are trying to do.

(on what the ideal carry number will be for Bishop Sankey with the number of running backs on the roster)

I think it's going to depend on the game a little bit Jim. I like our group and we have a lot of versatility with that group. Some of it is going to depend game plan wise on which attack we are using for an opponent. Some of it is going to depend on how we go as an offense. That's something that we have to see in OTAs and how far we can go with it. The one thing that we really liked about Bishop is whether we are in a sub offense or in a base offense, we felt he could contribute in either one of those and that was important to us. We felt like we have guys who do a little bit of each, of either I should say, but we needed a guy who could do like Ruston (Webster) said, all three downs. That's attractive.

(on Bishop missing OTAs )

I think right now the only thing that we know for sure he will be part of is rookie minicamp weekend. That's when we will have a chance to give him all of the information. He will get an iPad and he will be able to take that with him. We will be able to actually put everything on it and he will be able to get that as well as video from practice. That will be a great tool for giving him an opportunity for him to actually see what we are doing and have what we are calling it and all those things.


(on what his reputation is at the University of Washington)

He has a great reputation. He has great character and comes from a super family. He has never been in any kind of trouble or anything like that. He is one of the leaders on the football team. He is a good student, a top student on top of everything else. He never misses practice. The intriguing thing about him is he has a ton of carries and he very seldom puts the ball on the ground. He has a great style. He is more than just kind of a speed guy. He can run inside and can run outside. He can get outside, he can run through guys, and he can break the long runs. He has great hands out of the backfield, and he is a good blocker. The three things a back has to do is run it, carry it, catch it, and then block. He is a well-rounded back. He is very good.


(on if he sees a comparison to LeSean McCoy or Giovani Bernard )

Well I think that they are all a little different but the ability to catch the ball, the vision, and the shiftiness. I think those things are similar. He is a little bigger than Bernard but there are some similarities there. 


(on if they ran pro-style runs at Washington or he will have to learn it)

He will be able to pick up whatever you give him. He is a smart guy and talking to their academic people, he is a top student. When he first came in there, they have all of the student athletes come in, and in a matter of weeks I was told they didn't even have to bother with him. They have never had a problem with him academically and he carries a good grade point average. I don't see that being a problem. He can run whatever you want to run. He will be able to pick everything up. The guy that he most reminds me of is a guy from when I was with the Giants, we had Tiki Barber. He runs a lot like Tiki. Tiki put the ball on the ground, this kid doesn't.


(on if he likes that he is a junior so he has less carries on his body)

I think that running backs, their shelf life is not quite as long. I'm sure a lot of them, when they come out early is that is one of the things that they are thinking about is going ahead and getting into the NFL and making the most of their career. He has handled things with his body really well. He doesn't take a lot of straight-on hits or big hits and so he has been very durable.


(on if impressive numbers posted at combine played a decisive factor)

We look at all of that. Our tapes have film of him playing. They have their pro days. They have the combine. Everything is on one tape. Yeah, we look at that. He was very impressive and not only with his numbers, but what he did in the drills, changing directions and catching the ball.

(on fairly or unfairly being known as the player to replace Chris Johnson if he will be prepared for that)

I think so. I mean I think this guy is solid and will handle that really well. He's just completely different as a back. Their skill set is not the same. So, when you see him on the field, it is not going to look anything like Chris and he will make his own mark.


(on if there was a particular game which showcased him better than others)

He was pretty consistent throughout his whole season this past year. His consistency was the amazing thing. He gained yards in every game. He was good in every game and there were games that were probably a little better than others. You know the Stanford game, he had a great game against Stanford which was a very good football team. He was good against Oregon, so most of the games we put on. He is a productive back, so he is a big part of their offense. He moves the chains for them. He's a go-to guy. So, you can put on almost any game and you find him being productive.


(on if trade down satisfied numbers of picks or was he trying to get back in the draft tonight

I mean, I wouldn't rule it out to get back in tonight, not easy to do. So, we'll just have to see. But, I think it helps us having that extra pick. It makes up a little bit for what we don't have in the third round and may give us some options.


(on pass protection an issue that keeps a rookie running back off the field and how conformable does he appear with that issue)

That was one of the things that was attractive about him. We felt like we had seen on tape that he was able to do that and do it well. When we looked at these backs, one of the things that were important in evaluating them was their ability to do that because that's a tough deal. It's an important part of it. Obviously, we will look forward to getting a chance to see him do that here, but that was one of the things that we felt he was good at.

(Do other running backs pick up workload when Bishop Sankey will not be present for OTAs)

Leon, Jackie Battle, you know all those guys will get those carries, those opportunities during the OTAs. I mean, let's face it we would like to have him here, but he will adapt. He'll have opportunities to come in here. One of the things like Marv said, he's very intelligent. That is one of the things that really impressed us about him as well. So, he will be fine. Having that information there, being able to update it, being able to get an actual video I think will be very helpful.


(on if team doesn't get back in draft tonight, will he step back and look at what needs the team may be looking at)

Well, you know we wanted to get the running back. That was a big deal. We have taken two offensive players, obviously. So, we will take a look at defense and defensive spots. But, once we get through this and see who has been taken. If we don't get back in the third round, then we'll regroup and just try to take the best player we can.


(on if he sees potential for Bishop returning kicks)

Well, we'll see. I think we have a number of those guys. Dexter's (McCluster) done it. Leon's (Washington) done it. So, we got some options there, but I don't think you can ever have enough of those guys.


(on what he thinks is deepest positions left in draft)

We have said all along that wide receiver is deep, it's still deep. I think it was kind of the deepest position going in. There are some defensive backs, corners, a few safeties, so we'll see.

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