Philadelphia Eagles News

OT Demetress Bell

Opening Comments: "First off, I want to send special thanks to (Chairman/CEO) Mr. Jeffrey Lurie, (general manager) Mr. Howie Roseman, and the entire Eagles family for getting the deal done. On behalf of my family, I just want to say thank you."

On when the Eagles first came onto his radar: "I'm not sure, but I think it was right around time that (left tackle) Jason Peters had gotten hurt."

On why he handled the free agency process the way he did: "Coming from a seventh-round pick, I think I owed it to myself to sit down and weigh all of my options out and take the best deal for me and my family."

On becoming the starting left tackle in place of Jason Peters: "It happened in Buffalo. They are some big shoes to fill, and I'm not afraid of competition at all. I do think I can get the job done. That's what they're going to bring me in to do and I'm sure that I can handle that."

On what factored into choosing the Eagles: "Sitting down with the coaching staff and being comfortable with the organization starts off first. To play for an organization, you have to be comfortable with your coaches and your general manager, etc. As soon as I got here, I talked to Mr. Howie Roseman and Mr. Jeffrey Lurie and they welcomed me with open arms. (Offensive line) Coach (Howard) Mudd, I shouldn't have to say much about Coach Mudd, but I think that's a great fit for me and my athletic ability. It was a hard decision, but hands down at the end of the day for me and my family, what I can get out of this organization was a hands down decision."

On working with Mudd: "We sat down for dinner Sunday night for 3-4 hours and just talked about family. I don't even think we talked about football the first day. We just talked. He told me a lot about himself and I told a lot about myself. I think me and coach Mudd go hand-in-hand as far as coach and player, and player and coach."

On whether it will be a different style of play than he is used to: "I think technique-wise, it will be a change. As far as playing, no it's football and it's always going to be football when the lights come on. I think the only thing we'll change is probably technique but I think it's to my ability."

On where he fits in when Peters returns: "I'm just taking it one day at a time and listening to (head coach) Coach (Andy) Reid and coach Mudd and what they want to me to do. Whatever they want me to do, I'll do. I haven't given any thought as to down the road and where I want to be. I have a five-year deal and I'll take it one day at a time."

On whether he feels like he's a late bloomer and has staying power: "Of course. Me and my mom just left Coach Reid's office and she tells him she was never around football and was still learning. I kind of joke and tell her we're both still learning. I don't see myself peaking for a couple more years. I'm kind of on the verge of playing good football and I'm not where I want to be yet."

On style changes under Mudd: "First off, I'll just say pass protection. In Buffalo, the technique was very set and we would just go straight back. With coach Mudd, coach Mudd's technique is sitting wider and keeping the pocket in a circle shape. In Buffalo, you just set straight back, but with coach Mudd it's more of a basketball technique in your defensive position and that's how I look at it. I think that will really benefit me."

On whether he has experience running upfield on certain plays: "In Buffalo, we had sprint draws and outside plays. I think plays like that work to my ability as far as I can move. Yeah, that'll help me tremendously."

On his most recent injuries and surgeries: "My most recent injury was an AC sprain back in November. Four weeks later, I was healthy. I might have came back with 3-4 games left at the end of the year and played two games, including the Denver game. With two minutes left at the end of that game, I got rode up on and tore my meniscus. I had that taken care of at the end of December and was cleared on January 15th. I'm ready to roll."

On which knee he injured: "It was my left knee."

On why Buffalo didn't try and match any offers he had: "I really don't know why a deal wasn't worked out with Buffalo. I would have loved to stay home, and I love my teammates. Obviously, a deal wasn't reached, so the best thing for me and my family to do was to stay in Philly."

On whether he talked to Buffalo: "There were talks but there wasn't talks. I'll just say a deal wasn't reached."

On his impression of the Eagles after playing them in Buffalo last season: "I thought they had every puzzle, I just don't think the team wasn't clicking on all cylinders at the same time. The season went kind of the way it did in the first half, but in the second half, the Eagles played great football. When we played them, I wasn't playing and Jason wasn't playing, so I watched it from the couch. I think we played a good game from the Buffalo side. Hopefully, when we play them again, we'll be able to win this time."

On whether he is better at run or pass protection: "I really don't know. I haven't kept up with stats. I would say I have to work on both of them because I'm not polished by far. Like I was telling you earlier, I don't consider myself peaking for another two years and that's just the guidelines I give myself and what I expect of myself. I think I can work on just run blocking and pass blocking all around."

On whether he's talked to any of his new teammates yet: "Yeah, guys hit me up via text message and via Twitter. (C) Jason Kelce talked to me as I came through the front door. Everybody welcomed me with open arms and it kind of made me feel special. Everybody has been just welcoming."

On how well he knew Peters in Buffalo: "I have talked to Jason. I talked to him before the injury and talked to him a couple days after the injury. I talked to him the day before I came here and the day after I came here. Me and him talk and we both decided this would be the best situation for me and my family. Me and him do have a great relationship and we were close, yes."

On whether Jason was supportive of him coming here: "Yes, he was. He was one of the reasons I came here."

On whether he has the ability to go to him for advice: "Yes, and he said whatever I need, I can go to him. Me and Jason are really close, and I'm sure whatever I need or whatever I want, I can go to him."

On whether it will be easier to fill in for him with the relationship they have: "I don't think I'm trying to fill his shoes. I think I'm trying to do my own thing. As far as taking over the position and doing what I have to, of course. You have coach Mudd and you have a five-time Pro Bowler. What other kind of coaching would you need?"

On his relationship with Peters in Buffalo: "Jason was like a big brother. As soon as I got there, he took me in. (former Buffalo offensive line) Coach (Sean) Kugler left for the Steelers, and he told me that's who you keep up with and that's whose coattails you hang onto, so I did. He didn't take me in when I first got there, but he saw me work and work. Then, he took me in and showed me the dos and don'ts. Me and him have a great relationship right now because of that."

On potential awkwardness next year if both return: "No, it won't be awkward at all. This is a business and I understand that. I know that he understands that. Whatever happens on the back side, I'm sure we'll be friends at the end of the day."

On why he changed the spelling of his first name: "Chad Ochocinco's case…you make me feel like Chad Ochocinco (joking). It wasn't a big deal. It was spelled (the ending) 'tress' on my birth certificate and I had never paid attention and had been spelling it 'trius'. They wanted to correct that and we did. It's not a big deal. I just wanted to correct that and get it right though. I fixed it now."

On what prompted him to become a football player to begin with: "When I first got to college, the coaches begged me to come out. I said that I had never played football, and I was on a basketball scholarship and this is what I would be doing. A couple of years down the road, I went to the basketball coach and redshirted. As soon as I redshirted, the football coach showed up, mysterious he popped up again, and said to just come out and watch, stand on the sidelines and look.

"That's what I did for my first year, to just come out to sidelines and look. I was always around working out and getting bigger. The last game of the season, I was learning defensive end, and someone got hurt and I was the next guy up. I played and that was my first game ever, I had 11 tackles and a sack that first game. The next year, the left tackle got hurt and everyone voted for me, and that's how I became a left tackle."

On the differences of pass protection with QB Michael Vick and Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: "I think Vick has his own style. It's an advantage to the offensive line when he does scramble. I remember him last year watching him scramble against Buffalo, and it was like we were standing in the ground. He gained 50-60 yards on one play. It's to the offensive lineman's advantage and you just can't stop blocking until the ball is gone. It's just hands down."

On whether he sees himself becoming a top five tackle in the game: "Of course. I won't be happy until I'm at the top of the tackle game. Whatever it takes for me to get there, that's what I'll have to put in to get there. Of course, in this business, you want to be ranked amongst the top tackles. My job is to keep the quarterback clean and not allow any sacks. That's my job and that's what I'm here to do."

On whether he feels he is a similar player to Peters: "Of course, that's whose coattails I was on for two years in Buffalo. That's all I knew and who my coach made me train after. Of course I look up to him, and at the end of the day, I want to be better than him."

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