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Ben Watson Conf. Call Transcript - 4/24

They just told me welcome to the Patriots and they were happy to have me. I was definitely happy to be a part of the organization.



Q: You are a first round pick coming to a Super Bowl champion. Was it right coming back your senior year?

BW: Oh yeah. That was definitely the right choice for me. Even if I hadn't been picked, I'm happy that I was, it was just the right choice for me at that time.

Q: What was it like for you when the phone rings and it is the New England Patriots on the other end?

BW: I wasn't expecting that call. I was just walking and then all of a sudden I got the call. I was just ecstatic to hear them on the other end.

Q: Were you expecting the call to come a little later on?

BW: I didn't know when I was going to get it. The draft, even though it is still the first round, is six hours long, so it gets kind of monotonous. I was happy when I got the call from the Patriots.

Q: Do you know the Patriots had any interest? Did anyone talk to you - [Scott] Pioli or [Bill] Belichick? Did you have a sense that they might possibly grab you?

BW: No, I had no idea. I didn't know which way the draft was going to go for me. I hadn't talked to the Patriots except for the Senior Bowl. I guess I had a pretty good interview then and they just decided to get me at that point.

Q: What was your relationship with Richard Seymour and have you talked to him since the whole process started?

BW: I talked to him a couple of times when he has been back to Athens. I got there to Georgia and I had to sit out one year because I transferred. I spent a lot of time with him. I was on the scout team also. He would beat my head in on the defense. We are also both from South Carolina so we have that in common.

Q: This team has some veteran tight ends. They have some good young tight ends. Are you a bit surprised they would go the tight end route and what did the Patriots tell you when they called you?

BW: They just told me welcome to the Patriots and they were happy to have me. I was definitely happy to be a part of the organization.

Q: Did you get a look at Tom Brady in the playoffs and just your impressions?

BW: Yeah, I did. He seems like a guy who definitely has control in the pocket and in the huddle. He seems like he obviously can lead a team to the Super Bowl.

Q: Why did you transfer from Duke?

BW: I transferred for reasons as far as football goes. I went there for academic reasons. It is a great school. When I was there, I just wasn't happy with the football situation as far as having a chance to win big games and go to bowl games and play in a big-time football atmosphere. That is what I wanted out of my college football experience. That is why I decided to transfer.

Q: What should Patriots fans expect from you when you step on the field?

BW: They can expect a lot of energy. They can expect somebody who is happy to have a chance to play NFL football, especially to play in a place like New England where they have won so many Super Bowls.

Q: Can you talk about your ankle problems last year? How did that happen?

BW: It happened in practice maybe two weeks before the season started.

Q: Did it linger all year?

BW: No. I got over it towards the middle and the end of the year. It is feeling great right now.

Q: What do you do well?

BW: I think I do a lot of things well. I think I am a complete tight end. I can catch the ball. I can block. I think I have the talent to be able to move around and give our offense a lot of versatility.

Q: Can you talk about your Senior Bowl week? Supposedly your stock went up because of what you did at the workouts and in the Senior Bowl itself.

BW: The Senior Bowl was a great week for me. I went into it with the mindset that I was going to try to prove that I could play with the best athletes and the best football players in the country. The week went great for me. I was blessed to have great coaches and I just went out there and played football.

Q: Did you find that your Senior Bowl success was better than what you had during the regular season of your college career?

BW: I would say so. I think just because I think the Senior Bowl puts everyone almost on a level playing field. The whole NFL is there to watch and it is just a big stage. The NFL wants to see how you stack up man-to-man with the other great players in America.

Q: Do you know much about New England and the area?

BW: No, I don't. I have never been there, but from what everyone tells me it is a beautiful place.

Q: Do you like cold weather?

BW: Yeah, I love a little snow.

Q: How about a lot?

BW: I heard that.

Q: Did you see anything from that game against Miami when the fans were throwing the snow up in the air? They had something like 25 inches that day.

BW: That is the picture that came to my mind when I heard the Patriots. The fans up there are going to be crazy. I like that though. I like fans getting into the game.

Q: Obviously speed is a part of your game. How comfortable are you in spread sets lining up outside at wide receiver?

BW: I think that is one of the gifts that I have been blessed with. My speed is definitely an attribute that helps me be more versatile on the offense. I didn't do a whole lot of it at Georgia. I did it enough to get comfortable with it, but I definitely want to do it a lot more.

Q: Another thing that stands out is your Wonderlic score of 41. How does that help you on the field?

BW: I think the most important thing is in order to play well, you have to know what you are going. My Wonderlic score and being able to pick up on things and be able to learn quickly is definitely an advantage for me.

Q: What was the toughest question?

BW: It was probably one of the easiest ones like what animal do you see yourself as. The math and the thinking questions weren't that bad. It was the stuff like what is your favorite color and stuff that you don't think about.

Q: What was your answer to the animal question?

BW: I see myself as a cheetah. I love the speed and the power.

Q: Do you come from an athletic family?

BW: Yes. My dad played football at the University of Maryland and my mom was a synchronized swimmer at the University of Maryland so I have pretty good genetics.

Q: Any extra pressure coming into a defending Super Bowl champion?

BW: No, if anything I think it is a great opportunity for me to learn and then to contribute. Just because you are the Super Bowl champion you obviously have great players and I'm looking at it as an opportunity for them to push me even further to develop my game.

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