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Christian Morton Conf. Call Transcript - 4/25/04

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Q: As the rounds finished up, were you wondering if you were going to have to sign with somebody as a free agent?

CM: There were a lot of teams calling ever since the sixth round. They were saying "we were going to get next" and I was just hoping they would follow through. New England called and it finally came true. They put Coach [Belichick] on the phone and he said, "Did your name come up yet?" I was like "no." I was waiting for it. Everything just came true then when I saw my name. It is a dream come true.

Q: Is it better to be drafted at that point? Obviously everyone wants to be selected. If you don't get drafted you almost have a chance to pick between several teams. Is that more attractive or is it the whole aura of being selected?

CM: I thank God for whatever role he puts me in. I don't look at it that way. Obviously, they have an interest in me and I definitely love the program. With Eugene [Wilson] being there and following them last year, it is a great place. I have a guy in Eugene that I can trust and help me learn the system. I'm sure the coaching staff will help me out. Whatever I can do for the team, I'm happy to be a part of the organization. As far as getting drafted and be able to pick where I want to go, New England is the place I want to be.

Q: Why didn't you have a better career at Illinois?

CM: That is just how it goes sometimes. God puts people in the position to do things and I had a decent career at Illinois. Whatever path God leads me to.

Q: Are you surprised that Eugene is now a safety?

CM: He was a very good corner, but he is very physical which you guys got a taste of last year. Every team in the league, it is a dream to have a good corner. To be able to move to safety, now you don't have mismatch problems.

Q: How would you describe your style of play to Eugene's?

CM: Very similar. I am a taller corner. We are very similar. I'm taller and I have long arms. I like to play press. Eugene is the same way – physical, he likes to get in the receiver's face. If I were to say comparisons with me and Eugene, I think we have a lot of same things in common.

Q: When you lost your starting job your junior year did it change you at all?

CM: It helped me grow. At first it was a real big blow to me, but sometimes that is the way the chips fall. I never hung my head low. I played about the situation and whatever opportunity I had, I took advantage of.

Q: Was it humbling?

CM: It was definitely humbling. When you are coming off a really great year, then you get benched it shellshocks you, but you have to move on. Some things you can't control. All you can do is go out and play and give 110 percent. The rest is in the coaches' hands.

Q: You and Eugene are ranked one and two in pass defenses in Illinois history. Do you see yourself having a nose for the ball?

CM: Definitely. You have to in my position. Sometimes good corners don't get the ball thrown their way. Having a nose for the ball will help you make plays for the team. Being on the defensive side of the ball you have to have a nose for the ball in order for the defense to be success in my opinion

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