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Quotes: GM Jerry Reese on NFL Draft

Draft time – exciting time for us. I'm open for questions – let's go.

Q: How would you characterize where you stand with your talks with Victor Cruz?
Jerry Reese: I would characterize it as we have talked but I have nothing to report.

Q: What is your general feeling about the draft in terms of depth and particular positions that jump out as being stronger than others?
Jerry Reese: I think it is a good draft. I think there are a lot of good players in the draft at every position. I don't see one position that is stronger than the other.

Q: How do you explain Victor's absence?
Jerry Reese: Is that a trick question?

Q: No, he hasn't spoken so just your understanding of the reason behind it.
Jerry Reese: Is that a trick question – I'm not sure what you are asking?

Q: It appears as though it is the contract although he has not specifically said it.
Jerry Reese: He is a free agent. He doesn't have a contract so he isn't here. That is really pretty cut and dry.

Q: Andre Brown doesn't have a contact and he is here.
Jerry Reese: That is his choice. Guys have a choice to do that. Andre chose to come, Victor chose not to come.

Q: You signed a lot of free agents to one-year contracts. Will that affect how you draft this year?
Jerry Reese: No, not really. We just go into the draft looking for the best player up there. I feel like a broken record up here – you guys come in here and I say the same thing every year. We go into the draft – we really do – we go in there looking for the best player. And that is what is important to us, is to try to pick the best player. Then after the draft is over, after we look at all of the free agent stuff, we try to fill in after the draft. There is a lot of time before we go into the season. So many people are cut from teams. We cut down the 53-man rosters. Our team may not be ready to go until the week before we open up and play. So it doesn't affect us.

Q: Describe Victor Cruz's importance to the passing attack the last two years.
Jerry Reese: Obviously he was a big part of what we were doing in the past few years. So he did a nice job for us. Just like Nicks did a nice job. Just like a lot of players did a nice job. It is all about the team for us. But Victor was a nice piece to what we were doing. We will see where it goes with respect to his contract.

Q: Eli said that he doesn't expect Victor to come to the facility until a long term deal is worked out. Is that your understanding as well?
Jerry Reese: Guys, look – Victor is not here. He is a free agent. He is exercising all of his options. And we will see where it goes.

Q: At the combine you said that you were looking forward to talking to Manti Te'o. After last week do you have a general assessment of where he might fit into your team?
Jerry Reese: It was a good conversation with him. He is a very nice young man. And that is all I can really tell you about the conversation that we had with him. He did a good job while he was here.

Q: How do feel about a player like Tyrann Mathieu. Obviously, he's had some off-the-field issues. You saw what he did at the Combine and his pro day. How do you weigh the off the field versus what he seems to be showing on the field?
Jerry Reese: Obviously on the field he has been a good player. But obviously off the field he has had some off the field issues. Those have been well documented. So we will put all of the pros and cons together and see if he fits anywhere for us.

Q: Re: approach to the draft - Is Victor Cruz someone you assume is on the roster?
Jerry Reese: I don't assume anything. I don't assume anything. We'll see. I can tell you this – when we get ready to play - when the season starts, we will have some good players out there. I'm not sure if Victor will be there or not. But I don't assume anything, Kim.

Q: But if you don't have Victor that could affect your draft…
Jerry Reese: No, that doesn't affect our draft. We are just going to pick the best player out there. And if Victor is not here we have other receivers. It is all about the team for us. One player doesn't make your team. So if Victor is not here, there are other receivers here.

Q: Victor's situation responsible for bringing in Julian Edelman for a free agent visit?
Jerry Reese: No, we just look for good players in free agency. And he was still out there and it is like, 'Wow, this guy is an interesting player, why don't we bring him in and take a look at him and have some conversations with him'. And obviously it didn't work out for us to sign him. But we are just looking around – we are always looking around for good players.

Q: Drafting players to play now as opposed to bringing them along slowly…
Jerry Reese: Well in this day and age of bringing your draft picks in – and just sitting them for a year or two – I think those days are dwindling away. I think you have to bring them in and get those guys ready to play. You like to develop guys. And quite frankly guys are really not ready to come in, but sometimes you have to force them in there. And you see a lot of teams playing a lot of young players. We have played young players in the past. In the past, people have said you bring in the young players as developmental. And we like to develop players. But nowadays you really have to get them ready to go pretty quickly.

Q: You lost a couple of linebackers. Looking at your roster, is that an area of need to you or are you okay?
Jerry Reese: Linebacker – is it an area of need? We need linebackers, we need d-line, we need the offensive line and we need every position. We are trying to get as many players at every position that we can. And that includes linebacker as well.

Q: Is Mathias Kiwanuka still a linebacker?
Jerry Reese: Well I see him as still kind of a joker type player for us. But from my view I think he will probably play more on the defensive line more than he played at linebacker in the past; just from my view. But that is Coach Coughlin's call. You guys can talk to him about that.

Q: With the offensive line many of the starters are older than 30 or will be opening day. There are also a couple of them coming off injuries. Does that present a greater desire to bring in young guys?
Jerry Reese: You always want to get younger in your offensive line – at every position. You like young players on your team; it is a young man's game. Offensive line is getting up there in age but we have Will Beatty as a young player; James Brewer who we expect to come on and contribute this year. And obviously we drafted a couple of young kids last year that we are trying to develop and hopefully they can give us some depth in our offensive line. The draft has some players.

Q: James Brewer – what role do you envision him competing at?
Jerry Reese: I see him competing for right tackle, guard – anywhere. But it is time for him to get in there and play.

Q: At 19, do expect to get a player who will contribute immediately?
Jerry Reese: We hope so. We don't like picking 19. That is early for us. We hate picking this high. But hopefully we can get a player who can come in --- I always say this – your first three picks, you want those guys to come in and contribute for you right away. Hopefully you will get a couple of starters out of them. So hopefully we will get a good player at 19. I think we will. RE: Players in the draft coming off major injuries like ACLs.
Jerry Reese: I think modern medicine, the modern technology of getting these guys back on the field I think is so much better than it has been in the past. You see guys with these catastrophic injuries come back much quicker and much more successful than they have done in the past. So we look at it a little different but our doctors make the call on that – Ronnie Barnes and our medical staff makes the call of that. We listen to them.

Q: Do you think that Victor Cruz would play on a one-year tender this year?
Jerry Reese: You guys have to call and talk to Victor about that. I don't know. How would I know that? I don't know that.

Q: Do you think after Friday (the deadline for Cruz to receive an offer from another team) something could potentially open up?
Jerry Reese: We'll see, we'll see. Time will tell.

Q: The fact that he is restricted – he is obviously restricted. Is that a card that he wants to play?
Jerry Reese: We'll see, Paul. The Victor Cruz thing will play out. And wherever it goes it will go there. You guys are really interested in the whole Victor – I get that but there is not a lot for me to talk about right now. I'm sorry I wish I could talk to you more about it but it is really inappropriate to be talking about it.

Q: What you guys were able to accomplish with free agency, how do you feel that sets up you for the draft?
Jerry Reese: Again, if we didn't sign anybody we would still go into the draft trying to pick the best player available. And in the offseason we lost a tight end so we went out and tried to get a tight end. So we do try to fill some holes with free agency when you can. But in the draft we try to pick the best player available.

Q: How do you see the depth of talent at the pass rusher position in the draft?
Jerry Reese: There are some pass rushers in the draft, yeah. How deep it is I'm not sure. But there are some good pass rushers.

Q: How about the other side – is it an elite offensive line class?
Jerry Reese: I think there are some good offensive linemen there.

Q: Does the influx of new offenses, especially the change how you draft on the defensive side?
Jerry Reese: We look for good players. People have asked me before, 'what about this fast break offense that is going to be in Philadelphia and what they are doing in Washington'. I think we have the personnel that we can play against those offenses and on defensive side, we have brought in some college coaches who play against this almost every Sunday – this read option stuff. We are doing our homework on it and trying to get better at it.

Q: You had scheduled a visit with Pat White and then he ended up signing with the Redskins. Was that about the some of the new offenses and hoping he could run some scout team practices?
Jerry Reese: Not really. We were interested in his skill set – just as a joker type player. But obviously if he was here he could probably run that offense and give you a good look. But we think that Carr does a nice job of showing that to us as well. He is a good athlete. He can do that as well.


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