By John Boyle
Here are transcripts of the conference calls with T Garrett Scott, DB Eric Pinkins and FB Kiero Small:
(On where he was when he got the call from Seattle….) I was finishing up a little graduation celebration with my family, and sure enough got the call.
(On his strengths and weaknesses…) I’m very athletic, I’m versatile. I can play any position. My weakness is that I need to improve on foot speed. Every lineman should improve their foot speed. I think I should work on that a little bit more.
(On how many positions he played on the O-line…) I played all the positions, but I played in games at four. Both tackles and guard.
(On where he feels most comfortable…) I feel comfortable out at tackle. But, wherever they want me to come in and compete, I’ll move to it. I did it here. It shouldn’t be that hard to adjust and just absorb things.
(On whether he thought Seattle was interested in him…) I had a workout with Coach (Chris) Morgan. That was pretty much the contact I had with him. They called me today and said ‘we’re thinking about getting you’, and sure enough I got the call.
(On whether the Seahawks told him what position he will play in Seattle…) No, I just know they want to come in and work my way to a spot.
(On his degree…) Business Management.
(On whether he has been to Seattle…) No, sir, never been.
(On coming to the team that won the Super Bowl…) That means there is high expectations of anybody that is a part of that organization. Me, being a part of it, I know coming there, right off the bat, it’s going to be demanding. I just have to be ready to turn it up a few notches and go to work.
(On his injury in the Military Bowl…) I got a little minor hip pointer. It wasn’t serious, but I was in a lot of pain. I told my coach that I had to play this game, it’s the last game. We ain’t losing. I just took the mindset that I didn’t want to be beat, so I played through it and sure enough, we won.
(On whether he has done zone blocking…) Yes. We were in the spread, with a lot of passing. We ran the ball to the inside zone and the wide zone.
(On whether he can do 3-point stance as easily as 2-point stance….) Yes, sir.
(On whether he talked to anybody else in the organization…) I talked to a guy named Jason (Barnes, midwest area scout), I can’t think of his last name, he’s part of college scouting. He stayed in contact with me throughout the process.
(On whether he has seen Russell Okung play…) I watched him some in the Super Bowl. He’s a good player. Every guy in the NFL is a good player; they made it to that level. I just want to come in, and he’d be the guy to learn under.
(On the toughest defender he faced…) I would have to say a guy from ECU. I can’t think of his name, it was number 56 (LB Derrell Johnson). And James Shell this year, from V-Tech.
(On whether his vertical leap was 33 inches…) 33½.
(On how fast he ran the 40….) I ran a 5.04 in wet conditions.
(On how much he weighs right now…) I’m 310.
(On being drafted by the Seahawks….) It was a true blessing to be a part of the Legion of Boom. I want to earn my spot on the Legion of Boom, because I don’t want to just come in and be a part of it, I want to come in and I want to compete, and I want to help out the organization. It really is a true blessing, and I give all glory to God.
(On whether he had a visit in Seattle…) I met the whole coaching staff, I met some of the players. I fell in love with the place, and they fell in love with me. I’m just ready to kick things off now.
(On what position he played in college…) I played the warrior position. In the warrior position, we guard the slot receivers a lot, man-to-man, sometimes we’re blitzing off the edge, and sometimes we’re in the box. It just depends on the formation.
(On his strengths and weaknesses…) My strengths are that I have really good tenacity, I have really good ball-hawking skills, and I’m really physical, and I bring a lot of physicality to the defense. I would probably say that my weakness is that I have to open up my hips some more, which I’ve been working on. That really shouldn’t be a problem, that really shouldn’t be a weakness. That’s pretty much all the weakness that I see.
(On whether Seattle has talked about where they will utilize him…) They’re thinking about playing me at corner.
(On whether he has any experience at cornerback…) Yes, I actually do. As a warrior, we guard the slot receivers a lot. I’m used to guarding receivers a lot. As far as speed, I have cornerback speed. I’m just going to learn from the best of the best; the Legion of Boom.
(On the conversation about cornerback…) It was pretty straightforward. They said that we like what we see on film, and we know that you can play corner for us and we’re going to put you out on an island. And I just said I can’t wait.
(On whether he is also comfortable being in the box playing safety…) Like I said, it depends on the formation. Sometimes, I was guarding the receiver in the slot, and sometimes the slot is so wide, that sometimes it feels like that I am on the island by itself. So, sometimes I feel like a corner when I guard the slot receiver. But, I also can come in the box and make plays, too.
(On whether any other teams discussed with him about playing cornerback…) Yes, the Dolphins were in discussions with me playing either safety or corner.
(On whether that influenced his training for the draft…) I was just going to go in with whatever they wanted me at. I knew that I needed to put on some weight, being 220, and I was just working on my footwork, just being a defensive back, in general, because we always do the same drills.
(On his current weight…) I’m weighing 220.
(On where he is right now….) At home, in Baltimore
(On being selected by the Super Bowl champions…) It’s a great feeling, man. The Seahawks are one of my favorite teams. The brand of football that they play. That they think enough of me to bring me in, to draft me, it’s a great feeling.
(On whether he had been contacted by the Seahawks prior to the draft…) I had some. But not as much as some others. My cousin said it from the beginning, that I would end up in Seattle. It’s been a great feeling. The closer we got to my name being called, everybody was saying Seattle. It’s a great feeling for it to come true.
(On why his cousin thought he would go to Seattle…) Because of the way I play football, I try to play a tough brand of football. The Seahawks play a tough brand of football. Either way, that’s it felt like that’s where I was going to end up. He always had a feeling, he was the one who told me I was going to Arkansas.
(On breaking face masks…) It was 26 of them. They were mine, from hitting and hitting and hitting, and then they just break.
(On describing his journey from the tee-shirt shop to being drafted by the Super Bowl champions…) Humbling and blessed. It was a journey that a lot of guys might not be able to stick it out and stuff like that, but once I set my mind to it, and knew where I wanted to be, I put everything into it. It was definitely a humbling experience, going from being a top guy in Baltimore city in football, and then working and selling tee shirts. So, both. It’s been humbling, and I’m blessed to be here now.
(On whether the Seahawks told him about his role…) I’m coming in to compete. I’m coming in to make the team as best as I can. They play a tough brand of football, and that pretty much sums it up for me.
(On how he would describe his game…) I’m hard-nosed. I take a hard-nosed approach to it. And, my effort. You can control your effort, that’s what one of my coaches always told me. I try go 110 every time. When I do get to the point of where we’re going to attack, it’s hard-nosed toughness.
(On what it would mean to block for Marshawn Lynch…) It means a lot. He plays tough. He plays like, when a guy comes to make a tackle, he is going to make them pay. Just to see the way he plays football, and as a team the way they play football. The receivers, they get out and block. It’s one unit out there playing physical football, it’s great.
(On his height…) I’m 5’8½” And, don’t forget the half.
(On what he weighs…) 250.
(On the junior college he played at in California…) Hartnell. In Salinas, California, like an hour south of San Jose.
(On whether he has been to Seattle…) No, sir. But, my running back coach, Joe Thomas, he’s from there, and he coached at Washington. We kept a tally sheet in our room. Every time the Seahawks won, he tallied it up for us.