By John Boyle
Here’s what Seahawks linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis, Pick No. 132, had to say on a teleconference:
(On whether he had much contact with the Seahawks prior to the draft….) Yes, I had a formal interview with them at the Combine, and I got a chance to meet everybody, the whole staff. It was great to sit down and chat with them. It felt so great that I felt as though the formal interview went by faster than I even thought, because there was such a comfortable feeling, and everything seemed to flow pretty well.
(On whether he played safety in college…) I did not play the traditional safety, however I played the Sam linebacker role and Don Brown, the defensive coordinator for Boston College, and the way the Sam played, was almost like an in-the-box type of safety. I covered the slot receiver, I would cover tight ends, I would blitz from the edge, I would blitz from depth. I did a lot of things for the defense and coach Don Brown and saw my strengths as a player that can be tough on the inside as well as excel in space, and I was able to that for his defense. But, playing traditional safety, no. However, I know that I’m a very competitive person and wherever the team may need me, I will definitely be there, have it be safety, linebacker. My main focus right now is going in there and competing, starting with special teams, making sure I solidify my spot on that part of the team first, and from there I know that everything else will fall in place.
(On whether the Seahawks told him he would play a variety of positions…) They like my versatility, and if you watch their defense, they’re going to give you a bunch of looks. Their players are quick, they’re fast, they’re agile, they’re players that pretty much don’t fit a particular mold. As you can see with all of the corners and safeties, all these guys are tall, long, they’re not fitting that traditional mold. That’s what the Seahawks are about. They’re not about trying to fit a previous tradition. They’re about doing what’s best for their team and putting their guys in the best position to make plays.
(On whether he played Will as well as Sam…) I played Will my first three seasons at Boston College, and then I switched over to Sam with the coaching change. So, I was able to learn a brand new defense, new signals, new calls in less than a year, which was great, with Don Brown. Going from our previous defensive coordinator, Bill McGovern, to Don Brown.
(On his strengths and weaknesses…) My strength is speed and my versatility. That’s what I hone in on every game, and I really just make sure I show that in every play. I would say, not necessarily a weakness, but something I would like to focus a little bit more on is become more of an aggressive player. I feel as though that’s the only thing that I can bring to my game is showing a little more aggression. I make plays, I hit, I do all that, and I would like to thump a little bit more, which I will definitely bring to the next level.
(On whether he is more comfortable at Sam or Will…) I’m a very competitive person, and I honestly feel as though wherever I will be put, I will compete at that spot.
(On his weight…) Right now I’m at 234.
(On the pronunciation of his last name…) Pee-air-LOO-iss.
(On how long he played lacrosse…) I played lacrosse from 8th grade to 12th grade. I was actually a captain at lacrosse before I was a captain of football. I was a captain at lacrosse from sophomore year to senior year. I was captain for football my junior and senior year.
(On whether he was the fastest linebacker at the Combine…) Yes..
(On his fastest 40 time…) The hand-time was a 4.41, so I know I’m a player in the 4.4’s However, I feel as though a little bit faster, as you’re not really running in a straight line when you play football. That’s why I was able to pop on film. I’m not necessarily running in a straight line. I’m moving, I’m cutting each way to make sure I make a play.
(On whether he has ever been to Seattle…) I have not, but I’m very excited to see Seattle and open up and be blessed with these new experiences.
(On whether he was asked to do more pass rushing as a senior…) I definitely was asked a little bit more to go after the quarterback. Donald Brown, he wanted teams to react to our defense, rather than our defense being a reacting defense. This year was the first time that I rushed off the edge and did things like that. It was great to hone in on those skill sets and it’s just something that I can add to the repertoire that I’m going to keep working on and rushing the passer and doing whatever I need to do to become a better football player. I feel as though my best football is ahead of me, and I couldn’t have gone to a better situation than going to the Seahawks. I really feel as though I will become a truly better football player.
And here’s what area scout Todd Brunner had to say about Pierre-Louis:
(On his athletic “limitations”….) (laughs) Yeah, that was a big concern coming in to the draft. No, this kid is unbelievable. I just talked to him on the phone. He’s my favorite kid in this whole draft. Regardless of the grade I gave the guy, he is my favorite player in this whole draft, just to watch. He plays with energy, the guy is all over the field. Very instinctive football player, he’s just fun to watch play football.
(On whether he will play Sam or Will…) He can fit anywhere. He has ability to play. The coaches will decide what they want to do with him. Athletically, he can play anywhere. You just find a spot, and he’ll play.
(On whether he compares to Malcolm Smith…) Yes, I guess he would be. I didn’t scout Malcolm coming out; my exposure to him has been when he’s been here. There was a guy when I was down in San Fran, that he reminds me of, that we took. That would be Navarro.
(On what separates a top 10 linebacker, like Khalil Mack, versus a fourth round pick, when they are physically similar…) It depends on what you want. Mack is a little bit bigger than he is. I think he had to do with his size. He played the season at 220-224 this year. He’s put on some weight from the beginning of the season to the end of the season to the Combine. I think that’s what separated him. When you watched him play, you were looking at a guy that you thought, he was 224 pounds, now he is 236. If you’ve seen his picture, he’s a solid 236.
(On whether he was scouted as a linebacker or safety…) I scout him as a football player. The way he played, I scout him as a football player. With the staff that we have here, I know that once you get a good football player, they’ll find a way to put him on the field.
(On whether he has the skills to be a safety some day…) I saw the athletic ability, yes. In my mind, I was looking at him as a linebacker, but like I said, Pete and his staff and Dan Quinn, if they see something else, they can move him. I just wanted to make sure they saw the football player.
(On whether his versatility make him more appealing…) It definitely does. You see the guy, he can play Sam, he can play Will, he can play out in space, he can play off the end of the line of scrimmage. He’s definitely an appealing guy. There’s a guy that can do everything. Just bring him in here and let these guys find out what he does best.
(On what he learned about his personality…) He’s a great kid. He’s unbelievable to sit down with and talk to. Very humble, very business like. If you saw him at the Combine, he came in to all of the interviews, he had a tie on. He had a nice sweater on. He was very professional. There, you don’t have to. You see a lot of guys walking around in shorts and tee-shirts. He was very, very professional. You talk to him and he’s a genuine kid. He’s not putting on a show. That’s the type of kid he is.
(On making an impact on special teams…) He played a little bit there, because he was a starter. Once they get to their senior year and they’re starting, they’re not going to put these guys out on special teams. But with his athletic ability and the way he runs instinctively. He runs around, he’ll find the football. He’ll definitely be an impact on special teams here.