Philadelphia Eagles News

Head Coach Andy Reid

Opening Remarks: "Ok, just summing up the day as far as the draft goes. We picked up in the fourth round (CB) Brandon Boykin of Georgia. Brandon is really a dual role position player in that he can play corner and he can play also the inside/nickel position. He's done those both at a high-level of competition at the college level.  Add to that he was a returner. He was one of the best dual returners in college football this year, so we welcome that skill onto our football team. I think sometimes that is a skill that gets neglected in this is the return part of it.

Then, we came back in the fifth round and picked up Dennis Kelly. Dennis is an offensive tackle from Purdue and he's in the size range of the Tra's (Thomas) and the (Jon) Runyan's, like (T) King Dunlap. He was a four-year starter at Purdue and a team captain and all that stuff so he was highly intelligent. We brought him in and he didn't go to the combine. We worked him out and had a chance to visit with him.  I really liked what we not only saw on tape but him as a person. Like I said, when he walks in the room, he's one of those where the light dims down a little bit because he's a big human being.

In the sixth round, we took Marvin McNutt, a wide receiver from Iowa. We have a little bit of an inside source at Iowa with (defensive coordinator) Juan Castillo's son playing one of the corners there. What you'll see with Marvin is he is a big, physical receiver with great hands, a good character kid, and is very strong with the ball. When you watch him, he is a very smooth athlete who is big. I think when he timed, it was like, 'Whoa, he looked even faster there than he did in the game.' You talk about making some unbelievable catches, you see that with this kid. He's good with the yards after the catch and he's very productive there. He's a good person.

Also in the sixth round, we picked up (G) Brandon Washington. Brandon probably fell a little bit further than we anticipated. Brandon had been a standout offensive guard the season before this one, and then they moved him out to left tackle. His production was okay at left tackle. As a guard, he really did a fine job. One thing is that the transition from guard to tackle is pretty tough. It wasn't because of being passive, it was because of being too aggressive at the tackle position where he overset the rush defensive ends and had a tendency to get beat inside a little bit there. At guard, he was really an unbelievable player and he played extremely well there. We're obviously going to keep him at guard, that makes sense. We'll start him back at the guard position and in an emergency we can move him back outside. He's a very, very good athlete and you'll see he's chipper on his feet, has very good length to his arms, and he's a good bender and has good hips.

With the last pick, we took a chance here with (RB) Bryce Brown. I mentioned this to Bryce and (general manager) Howie (Roseman) and I talked a lot about this kid and we spent a lot of time evaluating him. He's had kind of a wild ride here through college football since being the number one running back coming out of high school into college. He went to Tennessee and actually played as a freshman and saw time, legitimate time, and had big plays for them. You're talking about a kid who is an inch under six foot and is 220 pounds who runs a 4.4 forty. You're talking tremendous, tremendous skill here. He catches the ball effortlessly and is a smooth, smooth runner. He has all the talent in the world but it's just a matter of tying things down here. He went to Tennessee, and with the coaching change, instead of going to SC, he went to Kansas State where his brother played. He goes to Kansas State and gets a high ankle sprain and really doesn't play right away and really didn't get much of anything out of that experience there. But he went back to family, and his father was a part of that. After the coaching change, he wanted to get both sons playing together. No excuses here, but I'm just giving you the story, right? What we saw there was talent. We brought him in, and (running backs coach) Ted Williams is a phenomenal evaluator of running backs, I mean you guys know his track record with running backs and he worked with him as a player.  Our scouts felt comfortable with him as did (offensive coordinator) Marty (Mornhinweg). When his name was there at the end as opposed to going into free agency with this highly skilled player where you're going to be in a bidding war, we decided to use that draft pick there knowing there is a potential upside to him, sort of what we did with King Dunlap. You guys know that worked our very well for us, so it's a similar type of situation to King."

On whether it was Brown's injury or off-the-field issues that hindered him in college: "When it really came down to it, it was really more of the injury. Was his heart all in at Kansas State? I can't tell you it was. I just have my own feeling there. When he gets here, he can tell you guys exactly how he's feeling. I have a close friend who coaches at Kansas State and I don't think he was all-in."

On whether Brown can be a returner: "He can. Has he done it? No, but he did it in high school on kickoffs."

On whether he feels comfortable with the current backups at running back: "We'll see how it goes. We're good with young guys and we'll see how that works out. With Dion (Lewis), I would have liked to have gotten him a little more time last year as we went on. I didn't end up doing that and I probably overplayed (LeSean) McCoy a little bit, even though he doesn't want to hear that. As he continues to get older and have the number of reps under his belt that he does, you'll want to back off the number of reps that he does."

On why Kelly was not invited to the combine: "When I put on the tape, I wondered the same thing. (Former director of player personnel and current Colts general manager) Ryan Grigson was with us at the time – he played at Purdue and was a former offensive lineman at Purde- and I'm going, 'Ok, this is a good football player right here.' It's just one of those things and you see one or two guys a year go through that. He happened to be the one and it's unusual."

On whether offensive line coach Howard Mudd recommended him: "He did like him quite a little bit, yeah. Actually, Howard liked him a lot."

On Boykin becoming the kick returner: "He's going to get a chance to. We're going to give him a chance to do that. (Special teams coordinator) Bobby (April) had him as his top combo guy, and he's seen a couple, right? He's seen a lot of guys come through."

On why Boykin and McNutt dropped in the draft after being invited to the Senior Bowl: "I think that's a little bit of it (Boykin's injury). I think he's been a cornerback at times and you've seen him lose leverage on the receivers. I think that was all new for him, playing in particular inside. You saw him get better, better, and better. We have a strength coach here (Keith Gray) who was the strength coach at Georgia and he knows this kid very well. You get tremendous work ethic, he wants to learn and be good, and is easy to coach. The one thing you saw when you break down the tape is he goes all out. There is one speed. There are times when you're inside when you need to choke down a little bit, and he did that as the season went on. Then, he got hurt."   

On Boykin recovering from his injury: "He should be good, yeah. He should be fine."

On the importance of watching a prospect on tape who is a nickel cornerback: "Listen, I think what you do is you look for a corner. You want a good player, right? So he's a good corner and then they moved him inside and then you saw him go through that learning process. By the end of it, I mean, you're talking about one of the better inside guys. We were fortunate enough to see him inside. Maybe that's what you're getting to. We were fortunate enough to see him inside where you didn't really have to feel like you're rolling the dice."

On his confidence at the safety position with safeties Nate Allen and Jaiquawn Jarrett: "Listen, (S) Kurt (Coleman) is a pretty good player, too. I think you saw him develop into that in the latter part of the season. So, I think we're okay there."

On whether he plans to add a veteran at safety: "Well, we're going to keep our eyes open for everything. You know how we do. I'm not closing the door on anything. I like the things that I've seen from our safeties. I saw them go through that maturation process. Young guys, you have to give them an opportunity to grow a little bit."

On his thoughts about the solid offseason the team has had thus far: "It's a positive thing. When you're around the team right now you feel that. There's a good feeling about it and I think they're excited to get going here. I sensed that last week when they all came back and they were doing their things. We can't work with them on the field. I'll know a little bit more about that. (QB) Michael (Vick) was taking the offensive guys out and throwing with them. His feedback was all positive. Again, the coaches will go out this next week. I don't want to excuse this, but I think (general manager) Howie (Roseman) has done a nice job with that, a nice job of signing these players. He orchestrated this draft and I thought he did a heck of a job with that. He really had a nice control of the room and a good feel for what was happening in the league. Time will tell here on the players. From my standpoint I think we brought in, not only quality guys, but also good football players. I look forward to seeing them put the wings on."

On whether he thought the draft process went differently this year opposed to previous years: "Every year is different, but I think the foundation that was set going into the draft allowed you to do that. So I go back and tell you that I thought he did a heck of a job of re-signing our own players which then allowed you to go into this draft and say, listen, 'We don't have to force a thing. Let's just sit there and if somebody falls we have enough ammo to go get you, but yet we don't have to force one thing in here.' In the end, with that seventh-round pick, we had some flexibility there to kind of work with it. Take a little shot. Maybe take a risk. We're in a position where we can do that with that pick. That's a tribute to what he did, that foundation that he built there."

On whether he sees Roseman maturing as a general manager and as a draft evaluator: "Absolutely. I think every year that he has done it, he has gotten better and better. I'll put him up against anybody. I think he's tremendous. We're very fortunate to have him here."

On whether he looked at guys in the draft to contribute sooner rather than later based on the urgency of this year: "I owe the organization and respect the organization more than that. That's a selfish way to go about it. That's not how I operate. I want to win more than anybody obviously. That's my job and I enjoy competition, but at the same time, I'm going to do what's always best for the Eagles. That's what I'm going to do. Not what's best for Andy. That's not the right way to go about things. That would be a very selfish move on my part."

On whether there is any caution to a season filled with excitement considering how things turned out last year: "I'm a realist on things. I mentioned it to you as we went through it last year, that it doesn't matter how much talent, it's coming together as a football team. So when we're accumulating all the talent there's a process that has to take place and we're on a fast clock. Which is, okay, it's not an excuse because everybody had the same clock. We had some moving parts and it was important that we came together and there's a process that takes place there. Sometimes it's getting slapped right inside of the head, right? Sometimes that's what happens. That's what happened. Our guys rebounded and they didn't lie down and cry. They stood up and kept fighting and finished strong. That's what happened. I look forward to bringing this crew in, but again, we're going to have to come together as a football team. I think we have a good nucleus. Sundays are what counts and you have to make sure that you build a good, solid foundation and work yourself now."

On what it was like to see some of his old players this morning honor former Eagles S Brian Dawkins: "That was awesome, that was awesome. I saw a couple of you guys crying. You had tears in your eyes. That's what it's all about. It's an emotional game, right? That's exciting, that's exciting."

On whether the game is about stopping the pass now given his first two draft picks: "Well it is, yeah. Especially in this day and age and I think you're seeing it and you study this. With the college kids and the offenses that these guys are running, they're throwing the football and the ball is in the air. That's eventually going to carry over to the National Football League. I think you're seeing that now. You saw (Panthers QB) Cam (Newton) come out and start putting up 400 yard games. You look at Cincinnati and these quarterbacks are coming in here knowing how to throw the ball. You better have the guys that can move on the defensive side that can run. Run, run and cover."

On the fans approving his draft strategy: "I'm a little fired up because I want them all there for Lehigh, man. I want every fan that we can get there. I want them all there and I want them excited. I want them all fired up. There's nothing like it. I'm telling you, I've been doing this long enough now, when teams come into Lincoln Financial Field, if we're all right – fans, players, coaches – if we're all right, that's a rough place to play and I love that part of it. Absolutely love that part."

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