Titans address selections of Hawkins, Kegler

JEFF FISHER, PHIL NERI, JOHNNY MEADS SUNDAY, APRIL 27, 2008

PRESS CONFERENCE AT BAPTIST SPORTS PARKFOLLOWING THE SELECTIONS OF LAVELLE HAWKINS AND STANFORD KEGLAR

HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER

(on Lavelle Hawkins and how he compares to some of the other receivers taken in the draft)

He is very productive and led their team in receptions. I think he was second in the Pac-10 in receptions this year. He had a very, very good Senior Bowl. He stood out in the Senior Bowl practices. He can separate, catch and is very reliable. He is a very good athlete. He knows how to get open and made a number of acrobatic catches at the Senior Bowl in practice. He is ahead of most receivers. They are well coached up there. They do a nice job of spreading the ball around and all he does is get open and make plays.

(on whether he is an inside or outside receiver)

He can play both positions. He is smart enough and can separate enough and understands the game well enough that he can be effective inside as well as outside.

TITANS SCOUT PHIL NERI

(on Hawkins' return ability on special teams)

He has done kickoff returns in the past on a limited basis. He had like 10 or 12. I think his chance would be more kickoff returns than punt returns. I don't think he has that in his background.

(on whether he was overshadowed by DeSean Jackson at Cal)

He has really come on. He was a little bit inconsistent as an underclassman. He has had a little bit of a checkered career going to LSU first and then bouncing back to San Francisco City. He had to kind of work his way into the establishment. But this year he came on dramatically and made some really nice catches. I think he has earned his position. The one thing that comes across with him is his enjoyment of the game and because of that he has made steady improvement every year. This year his focus and concentration going inside and so forth was dramatically better. He has become a very consistent guy. I don't know if he was overshadowed as much as they had three pretty good wide receivers there.

(on what he does to separate from defensive backs)

He is very efficient with his foot mechanics and getting on top of people quickly. He comes to balance really, really nicely. He is a very, very good foot athlete on his stem work. He can get on people and uncover quickly at break point. He is a little bit faster; we kind of get hung up on the speed in Indianapolis time. He ran faster on his Pro Day, so speed is not really going to be an issue. He is not world class speed, but he is fast enough to be productive.

(on if he is comparable to a receiver on the roster now)

No. I really don't want to venture that one now.

HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER

(on whether that is good or bad)

When you compare you are not necessarily comparing strengths and weaknesses, but as far as body type he is not similar to anybody. That is what comes to mind

TITANS SCOUT PHIL NERI

(on why Hawkins left LSU after one season)

He is a West Coast guy. In fact I asked him during the course of the year and he said he just got homesick. That was when Coach Saban was there. He admitted that he was a youngster and didn't handle it very well. He wasn't comfortable in the South I think is the way that he put it being a Stockton boy. He was there a year. His freshman year is when he left.

HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER

(on drafting their first receiver in the fourth round after many people outside the organization pegged that as a need)

Obviously, people outside probably did a better job identifying our needs than we did. Good receivers are always a priority. You are always looking for good ones but you have to trust your board and you have to also respect needs of other positions. Mike [Heimerdinger] in particular is somewhat impressed by what he has seen over the last couple months in the guys we have on the roster. We very well could have taken a receiver earlier in the draft but they weren't there. They disappeared before we were ready to pick and so we moved on to another position. It is hard to say, we are going to have to wait and see a few years and reflect back on the strength of the draft at the receiver position. We feel like there are still receivers on the board that will be real good pros, but for some reason there were none taken in the first round. What does that tell you? I don't know. Maybe there are strengths at other positions. We think Lavelle is a good receiver. He is a very, very good solid pick for where we got him.

(on Stanford Keglar's ability to play right away)

We have a philosophy here and it is not to draft backups. We draft everybody thinking they have a chance at some point with potential and growth a chance to start. That is why we drafted Stanford. He had a great Combine. He was very, very productive. He has good size, speed and change of direction. So we feel like he should immediately come in and be a special team contributor although I'll caution you because not a lot of these guys have done it before. He has the athletic ability to do that but eventually with the height and the 235-238 and the sub-4.6 speed and the change of direction, one would think he would eventually become a starter.

TITANS SCOUT JOHNNY MEADS

(on what caught his eye on tape with Stanford Keglar)

His movement skills and athletic ability, is the first thing that caught my eye and his ability to flip his hips and do things like that that were effortless when watching him on tape. I got to see his movement skills and athletic ability at the East/West game and at the Combine and back again at his Pro Day. He is a guy that coach mentioned has the potential to start backing up at this point with Keith [Bulluck] and David [Thornton] on either side I would gather and go down and do some things on special teams for sure because he has that ability. He is similar to Landon Johnson out of Purdue and of course Gilbert Gardner those guys have a pretty good line that come out of Purdue as far as defense is concerned.

HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER

(on lack of depth at outside linebacker and whether a rookie can step right in)

We are pleased thus far with Josh [Stamer]. Josh is really excited about being here. He spent a lot of time with Mac [Dave McGinnis] and he would be the first guy to come off the bench right now, but we will wait and see how quickly Stanford comes. He is a very talented athlete. He is going to have to absorb the system and have a great preseason before we are in a position to put him in a package.

(on whether Keglar will play outside to begin with)

Yes.

(on what the team plans to do now)

We are going to watch it. We are identifying players that we still have a great deal of interest in and if they are there in the seventh than we will have a hard decision to make. Following that we will be quite active I think in the eighth round.

(on if he has ever coached a classical pianist before like Stanford Keglar)

No I have not. I'm sure there will be a lot to learn from that.

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