Titans Recap Martin, Day 2 of NFL Draft


(opening statement)

You always feel like it is a good day.  The draft is probably like college recruiting, you feel great about it.  We feel like we had a productive day in terms of filling some needs and getting some talented football players.  Zach Brown is probably about as talented a football player as you can find, big, fast, very athletic.  Mike Martin is what you want in a nose tackle.  He is tough as nails.  He is a grinder.  He doesn't mind doing the dirty work and brings the kind of mentality that we want on our defense.  We felt good about both picks and we are looking forward to seeing them when they get in here.

(on Martin being short by defensive line standards)

I guess if you said what's Martin's issue, probably length but I just think in there sometimes that is an advantage.  I think if you look at Jurrell Casey and guys that I have been around through the years that played nose, it is such a leverage game that that can work to their advantage.  I think really in a lot of ways that works to his advantage.  That combined with his motor, which is relentless, I think allows him to succeed.

(on the versatility of Martin on the defensive line)

I would say that he is going to be in the middle.  He was born to play in the middle.  That is not a bad thing at all, but Coach Rocker could probably speak to that.  He is a tough guy.  He just has the mentality it takes to play nose.


(on his role on the defensive front)

I think the thing we have to remember is that this guy was a state wrestling champ in high school there, and he understands leverage about playing down in the defensive line.  I think when you watch him on film he stays on his feet, and I think he cannot just play nose he can probably eventually help us play at the three technique.  Those are the things that you see with him.  The biggest thing you have to understand is this guy comes to work every day.  That's the thing that excites us, and that's what he brings into the defensive line room—the workman's mentality.  No doubt that we all feel good about him that he can do multiple deals, and I think that's with time.  Right now, we see him as a nose tackle and as we keep going and developing we will see where it leads.

(on if they are going to use more of a 3-4 look when he is on the field)

No, we can also play him in that 3-4 look, but we're going to stay with what we've been doing since we got here.  We're not going to jump the defense, we're going to stay with what we believe in and do those things.  We just feel that he brings a workman's attitude and there's no doubt he can help us on defense.

(on if he was particularly hard to block when watching his film)

Again, the guy understands leverage.  When you watch him on film you don't see him—he's the one manhandling big people.  He understands how to control big people.  I think that has a lot to do with his wrestling background.  The thing is, he's 6'1 and 300 pounds.  We're not going to stretch him out anymore, but we love him for what we got him for and I think he does a good job with what he has.  No doubt he's a big man, he's got a nice physique, he can play football for us—he's a football player and he can help us here.


(on what he saw when he evaluated Martin)

The same thing, that he's an all-out football player.  The fact that he was considering coming out last year, and didn't have as good of a year as he would have liked to have had and decided to come back and show that he is capable of doing a lot more, and he did.  Just going out from practice when you saw him out there, just like all the guys were saying he's a worker, he's a grinder, he's the type of guy who's going to do the things that are necessary to beat guys on the offensive line.  He's that kind of guy, the matter of the height of the guy isn't what you would look for, but other than that he's an all-out football player.


(on blocking Martin)

He is a nuisance to block for a guard.  He is a guy that gets leverage, he gets in the gap, he gets the guard, he is quick off the snap.  In our division when you are playing zone running football teams that is what creates the problem in the middle is penetration by the nose tackle that the guard can't get the fit on the nose tackle with the center scoop block.  If you watch the film when he goes against Iowa and teams like that, that play the pro offense, he does a great job of making a lot of plays in that situation.  He is a guy that just makes plays and because of his height, like Ruston mentioned, he is hard to get a fit on because he has that natural … it is kind of what (Jurrell) Casey does to people.  It is hard because as linemen you have to get your hands … you have to be perfect to get these kind of guys.  They are quick off the ball and when you watch the tape you just see a guy making plays, and making plays.  I guarantee you ask any guy that plays against him, those centers, that is the guy that they don't want to play against.  They can make guys look very bad if you are not playing hard every snap.  It is fun to watch a guy like him.  That is his fit initially is in the middle and he can create some chaos in their along with Sen'Derrick (Marks) and (Jurrell) Casey and that kind of group, the young guys.  Like Rock said, at some point maybe he can play some three and he is one of those guys that you can't underestimate his pass-rush ability.  He had 10 sacks in the last couple of years.  He creates problems in the middle and that is what we are looking for.


(on if Martin reminds him of any defensive lineman)

He's got that John Randle thing to him.  All the stuff that everybody is talking about right now, everybody said the same thing about John Randle.  John Randle was a smaller guy, a squattier guy.  The question was where do you play him when he first got in the NFL, but his tenacity and his love for the game and his passion.  When you look at Mike Martin, he's gone through this his whole life.  He's always been the underdog type of guy, and he's always come out swinging and he's always come out ahead.  He's a smart football player, just like Rock (Tracy Rocker) and Mike (Munchak) said, he's a great leverage player and when you're playing on the nose and some of the blocks you have to deal with he's the perfect guy to handle it.  He's a natural pass rusher, you can see it on tape, he's quick, he gets on people really quick, he reads protection very fast, he's got a great first step, he can flip his hips, he's got the balance, he's got the total package—he's just 6'1.


(on where his board stands at the moment)

I think we are in pretty good shape. There are still a lot of names up there and there are still a lot of guys that we like at different positions. It's interesting being at 20 in comparison to last year because you have to wait and watch some guys go, but we have a lot of names on the board. The good thing about our scouts is they like a lot of players, so we should be in good shape.

(on adding players at positions with good numbers already)

I think that Munch (Mike Munchak) would agree that we want to create competition and these guys will do that. Hopefully we brought in the type of guys that are going to come in and battle for jobs. We have the type of players already on this team that they are not going to give up their jobs. Yeah we will have some competition, but that should make all of us better.


(on creating competition) 

When you play in the league and they draft guys it always makes guys uncomfortable because you don't know what that means. I think that's going on these next couple of days and then guys actually get in the building and guys start working together, then you realize that the best guy is going to make the football team. I think it becomes a real positive thing and I think that guys realize that we are doing what it takes and we are trying to put the best team out there to win. I think players appreciate that and these young players start to earn the respect of the veterans. I think that they realize that these guys are pretty good football players and have a chance to help us just like happened last year. They understand that the game is a business and you can't keep everyone. It creates some good competition and once you get through this weekend it's business as usual when we start up next Monday.


(on both picks today having a wrestling background)

To me wrestlers do have that natural leverage and they understand leverage and they understand how to use their hands, and typically they are tough guys. That's why I think that you see it more in guards and centers and defensive tackles. It's something that to me, when a guy has been a wrestler, especially when he has been a successful wrestler, it says something about his toughness and his commitment.

(on all three draft picks being four-year players in college)

I like four-year starters. It's kind of like what we were talking about with the wrestling thing, it says something about a player that can start four years at a big school. Whether it's Michigan, Baylor, or North Carolina, you have to be a special player to do that. It doesn't always happen that way, but it's good to get four-year starters. They have seen a lot of ball and I think it helps them when they come in the league.

(on if day three will be more drafting for need positions)

We will look at needs and when we can do that, we will. We will kind of see how the board falls off. If there is a player that can really help us, somebody that slipped that we really liked, we will take a look at that as well. We want to fill all of our needs before we get out of the draft, but sometimes that's hard to do. We will see what happens.

(on the defensive end position in the middle rounds)

Yeah, we looked at some ends in these previous rounds. It's something that we have looked at, but for whatever reason there was a better player there or it didn't happen. We will continue to look at that position.

(on if it was tough to not draft Peter Konz)

Yeah, Konz was tempting and we had good discussions on him as well as a couple of other guys. It definitely was something that we thought long and hard about and Munch (Mike Munchak) and I talked a lot about.

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