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 Post subject: Grier after round 1
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:04 am 
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General Manager Chris Grier

Quote:
(On S Minkah Fitzpatrick) – “For us, he was a player that was a targeted player. He’s a unique kid when you meet him. (He’s) unbelievably smart (and) loves football. Obviously he’s one of Nick Saban’s favorite players. This guy played right … He came off at 18 right as a freshman and was an impact player for them. He’s been a very good football player for three years. (He has) impeccable character. There was a story … You guys have all seen his story. At the end of the day, this guy is a football player. He creates turnovers. He’s had a bunch of touchdown returns as well on those. This was a player we just felt, at that point, that we could not pass up.”

(What’s your vision for S Minkah Fitzpatrick in this defense?) – “He’s going to be a safety.”

(How do you see the free safety situation that you have?) – “That will play out here in the spring and summer. I think for him, it’s a great mix now. He has a little different skill set than the other two guys. From there, they’re going to battle it out this spring. It’s all about competition and we’ll see how it plays out.”

(It looked like after the fifth pick that you might get one or two quarterbacks falling all the way to you, or you had that option at least. Were you hopeful or expecting that some teams were going to swoop in and get them?) – “Really, the way it all played out, we didn’t think any of the quarterbacks would make it to us. For us, we talked to a couple of teams about maybe moving up or down but nothing real serious. For us, at the end of the day, if one of those guys was there, we would have talked about it; but we just didn’t think anybody would be there.”

(How does S Minkah Fitzpatrick’s skill set possibly lessen the importance of adding a premium third linebacker?) – “For us, at the end of the day, his skill set and the things he does … You’ve covered him a lot. We still need to add a linebacker. We made the trade for Stephone Anthony. Stephone is going to compete for a spot there, as well. We’ll still keep looking to add to the roster and we’ll keep adding players post-draft. I think Philadelphia last year led the league in adding players after the draft as pro free agents, and it worked out well for them.”

(CB Minkah Fitzpatrick’s ability to also defend the slot, how does that benefit you?) – “He’s like a Swiss army knife. He does a lot of things really good. You’ve heard everybody talk, it’s his skill set. He gives your defense a chance to be flexible and do a lot of different things. It’s his football intelligence, his love for football and he’s been a productive player from the minute he stepped on campus at arguably one of the best programs in college football.”

(Any thought to moving S T.J. McDonald to linebacker?) – “I think you’ve asked (Defensive Coordinator) Matt (Burke) about it, but that’s for the coaches to decide here once they get going through the spring. They’ll let Minkah (Fitzpatrick) come in and get settled in and start working with the guys and see how it all fits.”

(So of all the things CB Minkah Fitzpatrick has done at Alabama, I’m not sure that he did too much coverage of the tight ends. In fact, I haven’t seen that.) – “No. He did a lot of covering receivers.”

(Right. Exactly. So do you think the tight end thing is a thing that CB Minkah Fitzpatrick can do or that’s not going to be…) – “Personally, me? I think it’s easier to cover tight ends than it is receivers. The athletes … A lot of receivers … There’s very few tight ends … Obviously with (Rob) Gronkowski, there’s different kind of matchups, (and Travis) Kelce; but the one thing he gives you, he’s a 6-foot, 205-pound guy that runs 4.45 (40-time) and can run and cover, and he’s been a good cover guy. It’s a unique skill set at that position and his history of producing turnovers is very good.”

(Are you guys done for the night? Are you guys going to try to get back into the first round?) – “If there’s an opportunity to move in, we will. I wouldn’t say … There’s still some teams that want to move out. We’ve had a lot of calls about teams wanting to move out, so we’ll investigate every call that comes.”

(You mentioned at quarterback, you didn’t expect guys to drop there. At any point, did you have conversations about moving up a bit once a couple of them maybe started to drop?) – “We had a couple of calls with teams but it didn’t get very serious. Moving up, they wanted a lot, obviously. (laughter) And they know what you’re coming for. For us, at those spots and the opportunities, we just didn’t really take it very far. Again, Ryan (Tannehill) is our guy. We believe in Ryan. He’s going to be our starter.”


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