Here is a transcript from the pre-draft press conference held Tuesday at Halas Hall.
JERRY ANGELO: Good to see you guys. Lovie's not here today, he had a personal matter that came up unexpectedly. Glad that you're all here. Good attendance. We always appreciate you being here at Halas Hall in front of us.
We are anticipating a good draft. I know not having a No. 1 pick will definitely put a cloud on the draft, but that doesn't mean that we don't have good expectations for the draft. I made a statement that I potentially see, given the work that we've done, three starters from this draft class. We certainly have needs that some of you have talked about -- pretty obvious in some cases, maybe not so obvious in others. We want to go into this draft addressing those needs. We certainly feel there's the potential to do that. We also feel that we're going to be able to create some good competition at certain positions that we want to do that at, given that now we know the landscape of what this draft is going to be.
A lot of it is contingent on the medicals, what they do at the combine. We've been able to digest all that information and feel real good that the numbers of players that we're going to have on our hot list will facilitate the things that we would like to get accomplished this weekend.
COULD YOU BE INVOLVED IN FREE AGENCY AGAIN?
JA: Well, free agency will still be an option in all likelihood. Most assuredly it won't happen until after the draft obviously. There will be an after-market. I think it will probably be a little bit better this year. It's my intuition, nothing I can present facts and substantiate, but I do feel given the quality at certain positions, what the landscape is in terms of what I perceive of how teams work, there possibly could be some fallout players at positions that we're looking at. Are we counting on that to happen? No, we're not, we're planning on this weekend to address the things we need to address.
WHY ARE YOU NOT TARGETING A RECEIVER FOR SURE? is it MORE COMPLICATED THAN THAT?
JA: It is complicated for this reason: We do like other players at other positions. The receiver position is certainly something that we're looking at strongly for the obvious reasons, but I don't want to rule out other players at other positions that we feel will be better players in all honesty that could help our football team as well. We're never going to rule out defensive linemen. That's always kind of been our mantra since I've been here, and we'll always continue to look at defensive linemen. There's other positions that we feel potentially you would classify them as a need as well. I don't want to get focused on one position and then miss these other players. We've done a pretty good job I feel over our tenure of going into the draft open-minded, understanding that needs are important and they have to be filled -- if not in free agency, it has to come through the draft. That's why you'll see a lot of prognosticators after the draft tell us that we picked players too high or whatever. But in all cases, when you go into a draft and you have to have players [at positions] of need, you have to take them where you can get them and in all likelihood it's going to be in those first three picks.
DO YOU EXPECT THREE STARTERS FOR THIS YEAR, OR THREE STARTERS DOWN THE ROAD?
JA: Three starters down the road. I probably didn't do a good job of clarifying this because I've said that every year. When we put a final grade on a player, that grade reflects what that player's going to be, in all likelihood in year two and three. I remember when I was with the Cowboys, Coach Landry always would say if a player hasn't reached what we graded him at in year three, then obviously that in all likelihood was not going to happen. When we get a player graded, I want to take the onus off the scouts, to say: When you give that player that final grade, don't think that player has to come in and do that his rookie year. That's what is going to happen over a period of time and we really are looking at the second year, but the third year is when it has to happen.
CAN THE RECEIVING CORPS BE BETTER AS IS?
JA: Well, I think it will be better just given the fact that our quarterback is going to play better. I feel that will be something that is going to help that position and really the whole offense overall. If we stay status quo and nobody gets hurt, with our present receiver corps -- and when I say "receiver corps," you guys have to bring in the tight ends, too. I think Greg Olsen had an outstanding year, as did Dez in terms of their receiving ability -- I feel we'll be OK. Now saying that, it's not realistic to go into a season and think that you're not going to incur injuries. And part of why the receiver position is a need is because we want to create some depth there for that reason. But I feel that we're going to be better as a whole given the quarterback and given the continuity of Hester going into his second year. Rashied Davis being slotted as the slot receiver. We do like Earl Bennett quite a bit -- the familiarity, and it was a caveat with the Cutler trade, that he has the familiarity with the quarterback and the quarterback with the receiver. So we feel good going forward. Is it to say that even if we didn't come out of this draft -- and we always have to prepare for the downside -- without a receiver, that we couldn't do something post-draft? We certainly could and we will have a contingency plan for that as well.
WHAT RECEIVERS COULD FALL TO YOU AT NO. 49?
JA: Potentially good, but we're not going to manufacture a receiver. We're not going to do that. If there's another player that we feel may not address a position as needed as a receiver, we're still not going to rule that player out. Potentially there could be a player that we really like. It depends on who's going to start the second round. Give you an example, you're talking about Britt from Rutgers, you're talking about Nicks from North Carolina, you've got Harvin in the mix. When does that start? Do those players go in the first round, at the end of the first round, or are they the start of the second round? If they're the start of the second round, that might push a guy down that we like. But we won't know that obviously until the weekend.
WOULD YOU TRADE UP TO GET RIGHT GUY?
JA: Would we do that? We would do that, but I don't feel like we have enough ammunition to do that to be realistic. As you know the compensatory third pick can't be traded, so I'm not anticipating that happening. Would we rule it out? No, but I doubt it. That player that we like in all likelihood is going to have to be there at pick 49.
IS THERE A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RECEIVERS AT 49 AND 99?
JA: If the player that we like is there, it will be vastly different. In all likelihood that player could be gone. Obviously that's why I say you always have to prepare for the worst, not live it. We still like the next tier of player at the receiver position. We want to take the players compensatory to the value of the pick. That's very, very important. At the end of the day, the team that has the best players on Sunday wins. We've always believed that and even if you get these need picks on draft day, players get hurt and you're right back into that handbasket. We've all been there before.
WHY IS THE TRANSITION FOR WR'S TO THE NFL SO TOUGH?
GREG GABRIEL: I think the receiver position's one of the hardest positions for a rookie to come in and play. We've done a study on it, we did it a few years ago. Generally speaking, it's the third year when the light comes on with the receivers. There are a few guys that come in and play and contribute right away, but for the most part they have a small contribution the first couple of years and it's in their third year that they break out.
IS YOUR JOB EASIER AFTER THE CUTLER TRADE?
GG: It's still a hard job. We've got to prepare, we've got to get players. The first round is one pick. We've got eight other picks in the draft and we have to make sure that those are all valuable picks.
TALK MORE ABOUT CHOOSING A RECEIVER IN THIS DRAFT?
JA: It will be easier now given the fact that we created what I feel is a strong player profile at the receiver position and at the other 21 positions as well. But I feel we know what we are looking for. I do feel this, if we do take a receiver within those first four rounds, I really believe this receiver will have an impact even acknowledging what Greg says and I am 100 percent understanding of this. But what I have seen us do when we've been in Chicago is when we have a penchant for a player then we will get him up and going. You saw that with Matt Forte, I thought you saw that with Devin last year. We will get that player up and going. There will not be as much of a learning curve that most rookies have to come in, particularly at receiver because if they're not penciled in as the starter or in a definitive role then he's got to learn all the positions and that's what we saw with Earl Bennett last year. That becomes very problematic with the receivers and I think that's in part why they don't matriculate quicker as other positions do in a system.
JERRY, YOU SAY YOU NEVER LOOK PAST THE D-LINE, HOW MUCH DO YOU TAKE INTO ACCOUNT YOU HAVE THREE ENDS COMING OUT OF CONTRACT AFTER THE SEASON?
JA: It does come into account. That's why I say we're not just getting fixed on a position and not being mindful of that as well. When we have our talks throughout we have to cover all of our bases. That has come up. We do like our defensive line. If we did nothing to our defensive line this year we feel good going into '09 that we're going to have a pretty good front just with our present players. But that does come into equation and we'll see on draft day. We've done all of the defensive linemen like we do every year. I've always said it, we treat them like quarterbacks and if the right one is there at the right round, we'll pull the trigger.
HOW DO YOU EVALUATE MOHAMED MASSAQUOI?
JA: Like him very much. Very explosive, very tough, physical, he's got good size. He can do everything. He'll go inside, he'll do the dirty work. Very good blocker. He's got his drops, probably that's the biggest knock on him. This is probably his best year this year, the arrow is going up. Quality person in terms of his learning, his work habits. Nothing not to like about him intangibly.
JERRY, SET UP AT QB AND RB, ARE YOU SLEEPING BETTER AT NIGHT, EASIER AS YOU PREPARE FOR THE DRAFT?
JA: Obviously, the quarterback position speaks volumes. I think we all sleep better at night. He saves lives. But going forward, we've got to do other things to help him. We feel our offensive line, and I want you all to understand this to, when you're building on offense or defense, you have to have a philosophy. Our philosophy was to build that offensive line. We want to protect the quarterback first and then we want to supply him with the needed weapons. So I felt like we were able to do that. Our pro department did an excellent job of identifying some players young and old and we feel real good about our offensive line and that was a concern coming out of the season. Now, we're building inside-out and we're going to look at some of the perimeter people. Yes, we feel real good about having our quarterback and running back in place.
GREG, GIVEN HOW WR'S STRUGGLE WITH TRANSITION TO NFL, ARE MACLIN AND CRABTREE MORE OF A GAMBLE BECAUSE THEY ARE THIRD YEAR SOPHS?
GG: It's a gamble in that they come from spread offenses and they don't run the precise patterns that you see in our game so they are doing a lot of things differently than what we ask NFL receivers to do. So it's really more of a learning process. They have the talent. It's being up to speed on the learning process.
JERRY CAN YOU COMMENT ON PLAX?
JA: Much has been written about him. Because of the uncertainty of the future how could you really say for sure if you went after him that that is going to manifest itself in the '09 season. I can't say that. Nobody else can. I know New York has pretty strict laws up there and what he did is looked at pretty seriously. So I can't really answer that right now in terms of how we view him but I am not looking at him as an option.
YOU HAVE A LOT OF CAP SPACE LEFT, PLANS TO SPEND IT?
JA: It's not like we have a $20 bill that is burning a hole in our pocket. It's not that mind-set. We want to measure twice and cut once as we do and if it's not on players from the outside, it will be our players and you know that is the way we want to go moving forward and continue to be consistent with that philosophy. So if someone comes along that we feel could help this football team then we'll look at him and we can be competitive financially as what you're alluding to.
NO BUDGETARY CONSTRAINTS?
JA: No. Nothing like that. That question has been asked of me before. We certainly have the resources to do what we need to get done. It's a supply and demand business, you've got 32 football teams, it looks like the demands are more than the supplies. There is just not the supply of players there and we just don't want to be paying players out of desperateness. That's not a good philosophy.
HOW MUCH OF AN ISSUE IS SIZE WITH RASHAD JOHNSON?
JA: It is an issue. As I say, we have a player profile at each position and that comes into play strongly, particularly at the safety position. It's not just Bear-related, it's collectively around the league the durability has become a real concern there. With size, durability is a part of that.
CAN YOU COMMENT ON SHERROD MARTIN?
JA: He's a safety. We've talked internally about it, we like the player. He certainly has outstanding athletic ability, he's got a good makeup but again that is beauty in the eye of the beholder.
HOW DEEP IS SAFETY DRAFT IF YOU GO PAST 49?
JA: The one thing about the safety draft, I found this in my days in Tampa, I find it true today, that is one position where you can get players later in the draft, even through free agency, I believe the Clark player at Pittsburgh was a college free agent. We've seen a lot, Robert Griffith up at Minnesota who was arguably the best defensive player in our division was a free agent, so that's the good news about the safety position. You can get players later on becuase they don't have the physical prowess that maybe a corner will have so we feel good that there is a good handful of safeties that could potentially help us this year.
WANT TO DRAFT THE SECOND SAFETY OR THE 13TH WIDE RECEIVER, SOMETHING TO THAT?
JA: A little bit because obviously the second safety is going to be better looking than the 13th. It's not last call, but it's certainly something you take into consideration when you look at players. When we took Greg Olsen he was the first tight end taken. So, obviously, he looked pretty good to us when we were sitting in the 20's, no pun intended.
HOW EXCITING IS DRAFT TIME AND HAS THAT CHANGED FOR YOU OVER THE YEARS?
JA: Well good question, draft time's an exciting tome for everybody because you've spent so many ... the hours, the man hours for our scouts obviously myself, Greg and then getting it down to a small list of players, recognizing those players and now you're going to be in a position to draft some of them and the excitement the anticipation of not knowing for sure which ones and then watch how that comes together. Hard to really define unless you've really done this for a living, but it is each and every year it's challenging. No two years are alike and then the drafts have changed because there are 32 teams now and that's made it more difficult. I think people are looking more at the ceilings of a player and what he could be and not looking maybe at the worst, and I always use that term the floor, what is the worst he can be. I thing what you're seeing now maybe the word reach isn't the right word but you see more of that going on now because on Sunday we do know this, you have to have X amount of players who can play over coaching, it's still a game of play makers, it's still a game of speed, so you're not getting maybe the players that had the benefit of going through his full tenure in college and being developed like the old days, so to speak, so it's made it more difficult that way because there's more projection going on and I don't want to even delve into the character issues because of the moneys and how they've escalated, and I've talked about that in the past, too so it's become much more difficult to me to draft today's players.
DO YOU HAVE ANXIETY?
JA: There's not real anxiety. It's just more, you know there's an excitedness. I've done this, this'll be my 29th draft. I like to think that I'm getting better every year but I can't say that honestly and I know you can't, so but it is exciting, I feel good about the prospects of this year's class, understanding we're not looking for home run guys, you know you're not going to get a home run player at the 49th pick, we're realistic about that. We want to get a good quality player that we can win with and as I said fit one of those needs that we're talking about.
ANY CHANCE YOU COULD TELL US WHO YOU WOULD HAVE SELECTED AT NO. 18 BEFORE THE CUTLER TRADE?
JA: Good question Mike. I thought, I think the receiver group this year is outstanding, all the juniors came out and that was a position I know Greg and I talked about it quite a bit. We felt like we could get a really good quality receiver, it's just almost like when Tommie Harris came out, I think we took him with the 14th pick in the draft. No defensive lineman was drafted prior to that, which in itself, you won't see that again, but I felt like the quality of that position was so good that maybe you could really get a blue receiver at 18 so those were some of the preliminary talks that we had going on, some other positions that we had talked about too, but primarily that was the one.
COMPARE ROBISKIE AND MASSAQUOI AND WILL ROBISKIE BE AROUND AT 49?
JA: I can't say that Bob, I think he could easily be gone by 49. Both again they both played their whole college career, didn't come out early, feel they're great, Robiskie as I touched on with Massaquoi is a great person, son of a coach, good intelligence, great work habits, with size, has better speed, probably a little bit better catcher in terms of consistency, does more outside the numbers, you know at Ohio State than maybe what Massaquoi did. The picture I have with Massaquoi is doing more inside the numbers but both are going to be good pros.
DOES A COLLEGE'S HISTORY OF PRODUCING A CERTAIN POSITION WEIGH IN THE PROCESS WITH A GUY LIKE LOUIS MURPHY OF FLORIDA?
GG: I think in some cases it can enter into it, but you still have to look at each player individually, see what his traits are, what his character is, does he fir the criteria we're looking for.
DO TOMMIE'S INJURIES AND CHRIS WILLIAMS CHANGE YOUR APPROACH TO THE DRAFT?
JA: Last year we made a conscious decision and we talked about it as an organization and Greg and I spent a lot of time on this too, but yes, we are looking at that and we are going to be more disciplined in our approach to taking players with medical concerns, and I want to emphasize that. There are in my opinion more players and it was asked about what makes the draft more difficult, that's one of them, there just seems to be more wear and tear on players. Maybe it's the way we evaluate them, we're so finite at the Combine. There's probably almost, they tell me between 12-hundred and 15-hundred MRIs taken at the Combine which is an inordinate amount. I mean we all have something wrong with us but so we know these players and there's just more things about a player from a medical standpoint that we're being exposed to but we have to do a good job of being more disciplined because we've had some issues. But I go back to Rex Grossman, never missed a game, never missed a practice. I look at Cedric Benson same way, never missed a game, never missed a=2 0practice. They had great physicals coming out, but they were hurt almost the goodly part of their career here in Chicago so some of it's bad luck.
EVALUATE JASON WILLIAMS?
GG: He's a good player from a good program.
GG: It's a good Division-IAA program, he's a dominant player at the I-AA level, he's athletic, he's played well at that program.
WHAT DOES A GOOD QUARTERBACK MEAN?
JA: That's huge Mike because like I said, you can go through a whole career and never have one, and I spent the better part of my career, as I touched on, without one. I have to go back to Phil Simms, the last on I've been with. It's like a Super Bowl, you could be in this business a long time, be in good organizations, on good teams and never win a Super Bowl. So very, very hard as we know. But how many if you took a poll, maybe you'd come up with 10 that you feel good about going into a season so it's a huge piece, and I've always said that each and ever year, and maybe I embellished it too much at time and used some words, some adjectives that maybe I embellishing it, fixated was one of them. But I'm also understanding of this, that there's a good chance you go through your whole career and not have one, so you just can't count on having that guy. We've done a pretty good job here in Chicago of playing around the quarterback. I mean to get to the Super Bowl in '06 without having a marquee quarterback - and no disrespect to the accomplishments that Rex made - I think that's pretty good. That says a little bit about our organization, our coaches you know and how we built our football team. We've won a lot of football games withyout a quarterback, we've been a pretty competitive team and I feel that again that bo des well for the organization, coaches, players alike. Now, with a quarterback let's hope things come a little bit better, maybe we won't have to be as error-free when we go out there on Sunday, but again we just have to wait and see.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN MORALE-WISE TO HAVE A QB?
JA: It's huge, Mike. Like I said you can go through a whole career and never have one. I spent the better part of my career, I touched on, without one. I have to go back to Phil Simms, the last one I've been with. It's like a Super Bowl. You could be in this business a long time, be in good organizations on good football teams and never win a Super Bowl. So very very hard. So how many? Maybe if you took a poll maybe you'd come up with 10 you feel good about, going into a season. It's a huge piece and I've always said that each and every year. Maybe I embellished it too much at time and used some words, some adjectives, again embellishing it ``fixated'' was one of them. But I'm also understanding of this, there is a good chance you go through your whole career and not have one, so you just can't count on having that guy. We've done a pretty good job here in Chicago of playing around the quarterback. I mean to get to a Super Bowl in 06 without having a marquee quarterback and no disrespect to the accomplishments that Rex made, I think that is pretty good that says a little bit about our organization, our coaches and how we b uilt our football team. We've won a lot of football games without a quarterback we've been a pretty competitive team and I feel that again that bodes well for the organization, coaches, players alike. Now with a quarterback let's hopefully things come alittle bit better, maybe we won't have to be as error free when we go out there on Sunday but again we just have to let and see.
SAYING THAT, DO YOU NEED TO GET HIM A WEAPON?
JA: It is if it's a weapon. I don't want to draft a receiver and get you off my back a couple of months and then find out he's just a vanilla cone. That's not the goal. We want to come out with something that has some sprinkles on it or has a little twist to it. Bring alittle playmaking ability to the position and that's what we're fixed on. If we don;t feel we're going to get a little twist to this guy, then we don't want to take him. We want a guy who has a little juice to him, OK? So don't beat us up too badly if we don't do what you think we should do. We are trying to do that, OK?
HOW DO YOU RATE THIS DRAFT OVERALL?
JA: I never look at a draft as being good or bad, that's hard. There are some drafts where it has been bad. I look at the draft when we had the fourth pick in the draft. When you look back at the draft that was a bad draft. And I think drafts are judged based on the top. With those top 10, 11, 12 picks are. I think that was probably one of the poorer drafts I've ever been involved with. But throughout the draft there are going to be good players. What you need to do and what is paramount and I think we've done a pretty decent job of doing this is create good player profile of what you are looking for. There is no such thing as the perfect player. You've got players' strengths, you got weaknesses. The square peg in the square hole. That's what you have to be mindful of. As long as the coaches understand we can't facilitate what they need with the perfect player, tell us what you willing to compromise, as long as understand that, and accentuate on the strengths you will find good players in the draft. I think we've had a decent batting average with the middle rounds, maybe some later-round picks because we've done a pretty good job of communicating that amongst our scouts and our coaches.
WHAT TRAITS DO YOU NEED IN A RECEIVER?
JA: The one thing you don't want, you don't want all of the same. OK. That's one thing I can say emphatically. you want to have something that meshes in how they complement one another, naturally Mike you are always going to look for speed. I think speed speaks for itself. If you don't get speed then ob viously size comes into the equation because of the blocking. We will want to run the football. We play two seasons here in Chicago with the weather. So that;s going to be more important to us, so the bigger receiver does a have a role here. Particularly doing the intermediate stuff, the blocking I'm talking about but we do have a clear picture of what a receiver looks like here in Chicago.''
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A RECEIVER IN THE 2ND ROUND OR THE 3RD AND 4TH ROUNDS?
JA: Potentially as I said earlier there could be a big difference if the receiver we like isn't there then there will won't be that big of a difference in those two levels you are alluding to.''
WOULD YOU STILL LOOK AT SOME OFFENSIVE TACKLES?
JA: We targeted the tackle position. We're looking at a few tackles, if that tackle is there at the right round, given what you are saying, because we still want to look at that position for a younger developing player, we'll take him. It'll change our roster a little bit, we'll have to carry nine offensive linemen versus eight. The other thing when you look at our roster and you should be mindful of. We have four tackles on this roster presently. And all four of them have played on the left side. This is the best we've ever been at the tackle position. We're also looking at the tackle position, we shift our thinking our philosophy on how we look at linemen we're looking more for tackles who can play guard, rather than guards who can play center, that's a shift in our thinking this year. I feel like there will be some prospects. Again if he is a player of value we would pull the trigger on another offensive linemen.
DID HAVING MINICAMP SO EARLY ACTUALLY HELP?
JA: It helped. it was good to see particularly at the receiver position, we were able to look at them. I think what really helped not so much from my perspective, from a personnel standpoint but for the coaches. Coaches when they come out of the season they are a little bit more anxious about acquiring players and I'm very understanding of that but I think when we went through that minicamp they feel better about our players now that they are able to see them do alittle more. So I think it helped that way. We are more realistic about what we have and obviously going forward what we need.''
HOW DOES THE DRAFT STACK UP AT DEFENSIVE END?
JA: it is a good nucleus of trait guys again at defensive end. I think maybe it's a stronger group than maybe in past years. The one thing about the defensive end position and Greg and I were talking about this with Lovie. That truly is a hit or miss position. You are reallylooking at the traits, the ceiling of a player and there are some defensive ends who have outstanding traits but unfortunately they don't manifest themselves in the NFL. And if you are totally looking at the stopwatch and relying on speed and that;s important, that could be a real misnomer. the problem with defensive ends if they're not double digit sackers, then what you got? And that's where the floor part comes in. And unfortunately I've learned my lesson the hard way, we had Keith McCants, we had Eric Curry, we had Regan Upshaw. I only have to look at my bone collection to know that it is very difficult to do. And I got to look at my track record. Probably the best thing that could be said for my evaluation on these defensive ends if I don't like you, that's probably a pretty good sign.
IS CINCINNATI'S CONNOR BARWIN TOUGH TO EVALUATE BECAUSE HE HAS PLAYED SO MANY POSITIONS?
JA: It makes it tougher to evaluate. But the one thing about Barwin is he's got great intangibles. He's got a tremendous work ethic, a passion for the game. I would be hard-pressed to see him failing. How great a player he's going to be, that again is going to be determined from team to team. But I think Barwin, just given his aptitude for the game, what he's done in one year ... it really is amazing. I don't think I've ever seen a player change a position in his senior year and lead his team in sacks if not his conferen ce, go to the Senior Bowl, take his shirt off, put the defensive shirt off and then start pass-rushing after they brought him down there as a tight end. Again, it's a testament to his talent and to his character.
HOW DO YOU LOOK AT VERSATILE GUYS WHO PLAY MULTIPLE POSITIONS?
GG: We're going to look at a primary position first, and then we'll talk about a secondary position and then if he can help us in two areas or in three areas if the third area is as a returner or something like that. You're always going to look at that, but our league is very complex. You can't expect a guy to come in and play more than one position, so you have to find the primary position for the player.
SOME FANS BELIEVED THEY'D NEVER SEE A GOOD BEARS QB IN THEIR LIFETIME?
JA: I really didn't understand it until after the fact. I was really taken aback. But I'm not a Chicagoan. I've been here. I certainly understand the importance of the position. I truly felt bad about it, I really did. They told me it's about defense and running the football, so that's kind of what we stuck with it. But I'm glad for our fans, certainly for our football team, and let's just hope that he plays close to expectations. You guys are tough now. This is a tough place to play the quarterback position. I said this to ownership and I said this to our scouts, that you have to take in the Chicago media, the Chicago culture, when you bring in a quarterback. It's different. It might be this way in other places, but it's not this way in a lot of places, and that to me is a factor. Part of why we brought in Cutler, following the John Elway legacy, playing at Vanderbilt in the SEC conference, I think he's got the mettle to come in here and do the things that we all know and want him to do."
HAVE YOU TALKED TO JAY CUTLER ABOUT HIS SOCIAL LIFE?
JA: I'm not going to micromanage a person. If we have to do that, that's not a good sign. Some lessons they have to see and learn for themselves. I don't think that's a big thing at this point. It's what he does on Sunday is how we're going to evaluate him. That's the bottom line. He's got a good foundation coming in here. He's a young quarterback. He's played in this league, he's shown what he can do; he gets it. That's the biggest concern I have, [but] he gets it.
THE ISSUE IS HE HAS DIABETES. IS THAT A CONCERN?
JA: When we did our research, we know he goes out and we know he does those things. We talked to our medical people, we talked to the Denver medical people. It comes with the territory. We're comfortable with it. I really can't answer it beyond that.
ARE YOU GOING TO DRAFT A QB?
JA: Well, it's not a position of need.
HAVE PLAYERS CALLED TO THANK YOU FOR TRADING FOR CUTLER?
JA: No thank yous are in order. It's doing your job. That's the bottom line. I've not gotten any calls and really I didn't expect any and really don't want any. That's my job. When they brought me in here, they brought me in here to be the best we can be, and we understand the dynamics of a football team. The only thing I don't like maybe what you touched on that it's a 180. I don't think we were in the doldrums. It's not like we don't have a resume that we can stand in front of our fans and you people and not feel respected by. Again, it was a big thing. I'm not underscoring that. I see that, I know that, but again, that's what they hired you to do and we were fortunate. We had some good things happen for us. Hopefully it was the right thing to do. Time will tell. But we're real excited going forward obviously.