Philadelphia Eagles News

Jaiquawn Jarrett Press Conference

On whether he has had a chance to settle in after being drafted: "It's still taking time to settle in right now. My family and I are just embracing it; it's never going to happen again. You only get drafted once. So it's just a great opportunity for my family and I [and] we're just enjoying it."

On meeting with the coaches in his short time being here and knowing he played collegiately right down the street: "This is like a dream come true. I've been playing here in Philadelphia for the past four years. This is a great coaching staff that [Head] Coach Andy Reid has, and they love me, and I love being here. So I can't wait to get out there and practice."

On what the coaching staff saw in his abilities as a player: "I think a lot of teams shied away from my 40 time and I think coach Andy Reid and [Defensive Coordinator] Juan Castillo did a great job of really evaluating me; and they saw something in me that a lot of teams didn't see."

On his 40-yard dash and whether he is quicker than his 4.62 combine time: "I'm not sure if I'm quicker than that but I know on the football field I play much faster than what a 40 can tell you. I think I'm a lot more instinctive on the field and I'm a lot quicker on the field than I am running a 40."

On whether he prepared a lot for the 40-yard dash: "Yeah, over the past months I've been training for the 40 [and] I've been training for the combine. So I've done everything I can leading up to the combine and I put everything in God's hands. So just getting out there and just attacking it is what I did."

On whether his preparation helped improve his 40-yard dash: "I'm not your 4.40 [second] guy, but I will give it everything I have when I'm out there on that field."

On coach Reid's comparison of Jarrett to former Eagles S Brian Dawkins: "That's a privilege just to be compared to such a caliber player like Brian Dawkins; one of the greatest to ever play the game. It's just a privilege to be known that someone considers that highly of you."

On whether he ever watched Dawkins play while he was with the Eagles: "Yes. I always enjoyed watching Brian Dawkins play. [He's] a very physical, intimidator and was an enforcer."

On Dawkins running a 4.65 40-yard dash at the combine: "See that says a lot about a 40. He might not be the fastest but a great football player."

On his ability to make contact and support the run: "I love being physical as a safety coming from Temple where we ran a Cover 2 defense. The safeties – we had to show up in run support and we had to be violent and physical in the secondary and you have to be great in pass coverage. And I think that's exactly what I showed throughout my collegiate career and I'm going to bring that to the Eagles."

On whether he played up at the line exclusively or played in center field to: "We played different varieties of coverage's; I was in the pose, I was in the half field, I was up close to the line of scrimmage. So I'm really accustomed to playing every different coverage."

On whether he ever modeled himself after a particular player: "Growing up I always modeled [former Oakland Raider defensive back] Jack Tatum. He was always known as the 'assassin' being the enforcer on the field. And that's what I love doing."

On how he became familiar with Tatum: "Watching ESPN growing up. They always showed the classic games of Jack Tatum always punishing somebody and it's inspiring."

On how he first became interested in football: "My neighborhood's basically about basketball. New York City is known for being a basketball city. There are a lot of talented football players that are in the city but it's rare that a lot of colleges go out there and look for football players in New York City. But there is a lot of talent out there."

On whether his Brooklyn mindset helps him play on the big stage: "I kind of keep that with me; being that I'm from Brooklyn I really didn't get recruited coming out of high school. So I do walk around with a slight chip on my shoulder. [I'm] not cocky, but confident in myself knowing that I have a lot to accomplish and a lot to prove when I get out there."

On whether he played safety in high school: "Yes, I did."

On whether he has ever played any cornerback: "No sir."

On whether he feels he needs to work on his cover skills: "I think I need to always improve on every aspect of the game; always work on improving on my cover skills, little techniques, footwork, and those are the things I'm working on now and going to continue to work on until I'm done learning. And when I'm done learning that's when I hang up the cleats."

On whether there was anything he learned from being part of the group that helped turn the Temple program around: "I learned a lot from that 2007 class and that 2006 class. [Head] Coach [Al] Golden brought in a great '07 class and there were very few leaders before I got there. And a lot of guys didn't buy into his methods and his philosophies. So he had to get rid of a lot of guys who didn't want to buy into the program, and the sooner that he brought in the great guys that wanted to win, the more we won."

On whether he was the last player Golden offered a scholarship: "Yes, that is correct."

On being the last player to earn a scholarship at Temple to a player being drafted in the second round: "A lot of my family members have been telling me. So it's starting to sink in that I've come a long way."

On what he would have done had he not received the last scholarship offer at Temple: "I would probably have gone to prep school at Suffolk Academy in Connecticut."

On whether he is the first player to ever get drafted out of his high school: "Yes."

On whether he thinks he is opening the doors for other players from his area to get drafted: "Yes. I think I'm becoming a role model and I think that I can become a role model for New York City kids; just to let them know that every dream is reachable. So just get out there and stay focused and chase your dream."

On whether his Mom helped instill in him the toughness he has today: "Yes. My mother did instill this toughness in me that you see today. She always made sure to discipline us; if it wasn't physically it was mentally. She made sure that if we weren't doing something right that she spoke to us and let us know why it's not right and what we need to correct. So my mother was very disciplined in my life."

On whether she ever threatened to throw him in Rikers Island Prison where she worked for being bad: "No she never threatened us. But she let us know that if we were ever to get caught or if you go to Rikers Island don't expect me to bail you out; just know that I would rather not love you still [laughing]."

On whether he can play an intimidating style of play as a rookie: "I'm going to come in and be myself. I'm going to learn the ropes from [S] Nate Allen and [S] Kurt Coleman. I'm going to get in there, and just get under the veterans wings, and hope that they can show me the defense and I can just get in there and help by any means necessary."

On whether there is a starting spot available with the possibility of losing S Quintin Mikell to free agency: "Oh I was about to mention Quintin Mikell and [CB] Asante Samuel, too."

On whether he thinks he can earn a starting spot: "I'm always going to keep my mind open coming in here to compete for a spot and that's exactly what I'm going to do. I'm going to come in here with confidence but not cocky, not arrogant, and I'm going to come in here and be a great team player."

On whether it helps being from this area and not having to relocate as a professional: "I think that will be a great opportunity for me. For the past four years the city of Philadelphia has welcomed me with open arms; me and my Temple family. Now I'm here [and] the only thing I'm changing is the locker room; I'm going from the Temple locker room to the Eagles locker room and that's just going to be another great experience for me. And I'm hoping to be successful here."

On what it's going to be like to play on the same field as a professional that he played on for four years in college: "It's going to be a great experience just to look up at those stands and see the whole stadium packed. It's going to be great."

On whether coach Golden contacted him since being drafted: "Yes. He sent me a text yesterday. But I spoke to coach Golden this morning and he's very excited for me and my family. He's done so much over the past couple years for me."

On whether he's talked to Jets DT Muhammad Wilkerson: "Yes. I did speak to Muhammad Wilkerson. He told me congratulations and he's happy for me and he hopes I have success."

On playing the Jets this season and playing his former teammate Wilkerson: "Yeah, we're going to bump heads on the field."

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