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Dan Klecko Conf. Call Transcript - 04/27/03

Q: Hi Dan. How are you?DK: Good.



Q: Hi Dan. How are you?

DK: Good. How's it going?

Q: Pretty good. What was your reaction to being drafted by the Patriots?

DK: I was just so happy to finally get this weight off my back. It was such a thrill. It really was.

Q: You had a great college career. I am sure you have heard some of these scouting services think that you're at best a late round pick, that you don't have quite the skills to be a top NFL player. What do you say to that?

DK: Hey that's fine. That's why they don't make the decisions, the guys that do those scouting reports. It's the coaches who can see who is a player and who isn't and that's all that counts.

Q: Can you just comment on playing both the defensive end and nose tackle, do you think that is what made you valuable to the Patriots?

DK: I'm not sure. I think they just saw someone who could play good, and is a football player. I do think that helps a little because I do give that versatility.

Q: How does your father feel about you playing against the Jets twice a year?

DK: I haven't really talked to him about that yet.

Q: Over the years, has he ever talked to you about the rivalry and some of the things between the Jets and the Patriots?

DK: Yeah, that is just all in football. Of course, the Jets and the Patriots always had great battles in the 80's and we always talk about that.

Q: Is there any one particular thing that your father taught you, either with words or by example that helped you become a better player?

DK: He just always taught me to have the best work ethic of anyone and that's always going to help you achieve what you want to achieve. That's pretty much the best thing he taught me.

Q: At what point of your career in high school or college, did it become apparent to you and your dad that you might have a professional football career ahead of you?

DK: I guess my junior year in college when I got pretty big and made All-Big East. Then I figured, these are the lineman that are going to the NFL I figured I could be there also.

Q: Did you have any prior conversations with the Patriots or visits?

DK: No, this was kind of out of left field. It was a shock for me.

Q: What others teams have contacted you?

DK: San Francisco, the Jets, the Bills and Tampa Bay. Those are some of the teams.

Q: When you went to bed last night, were you disappointed that you hadn't gone yesterday?

DK: No, not at all. I didn't even watch that much yesterday. I just watched movies just to keep my mind off the draft. I wasn't expecting much yesterday. I am just elated to go today.

Q: What movies did you watch?

DK: Actually, I watched Shrek and Big.

Q: Good choices.

DK: Yeah.

Q: With a father like yours who could play a little bit in this league, have you watched tapes of him? Was he a mentor on the field for you with technique and stuff?

DK: I modeled my game after him. I don't think there's many better that you can model your game after than a hall of fame type player. I used pretty much everything that he used into my game.

Q: Were a lot of family conversations about techniques and styles and ways to beat your man?

DK: Yeah, he always helped me out, like I said, who better to learn from in high school. The last couple of years, I have been doing pretty well. [I'm] not saying I didn't need him, but I have been doing pretty well figuring stuff out on my own.

Q: Did it ever become a burden to you following in your father's footsteps?

DK: No, not at all. It's a blessing. You could be in a lot worse position than that. I truly took it as a blessing.

Q: Now that you are drafted, what do you feel is the most important thing for you to do to be able to take it up to the next level? What do you have to improve the most at?

DK: Just like everybody coming from the college level, I have to work on everything, like I said my work ethic and I just have to keep that up.

Q: Conversely on that, with playing against the Miami's and the Virginia Tech's and Syracuse and Boston College, do you think that was good prep course for you?

DK: Like I said, I know it's a different level, but these are where most of these linemen are coming from and I definitely think I did play in a tough conference and that will help me.

Q: Have you watched much film of your dad?

DK: Yes, I have. I have a bunch of his old tapes and I watch them all the time.

Q: When you watch them what strikes you?

DK: Just how fast and strong and quick he was for back then. I think he could play today and dominate. It just amazes me how good he really was.

Q: Did your dad coach your teams at any level like Pop Warner?

DK: No.

Q: It's only been one-on-one type of deal?

DK: Yeah.

Q: What would you say your strength is?

DK: I got pretty good quickness and technique. Those are my two biggest things.

Q: Did the Patriots talk to you at all about whether you were coming in to maybe back-up Ty Warren, compete with Ty Warren?

DK: No, we just talked and they congratulated me. I thanked them and that's pretty much the way it went right now.

Q: Are you anxious to come here and play? Obviously they picked Ty Warren with the 13th overall pick. He plays a spot that's similar to yours.

DK: He's a heck of a player and they drafted him 13th overall for a reason. I am sure that we can learn from each other and I am sure it's going to be a great experience.

Q: You were Big East player of the year last year, you have had all sorts of accolades. What has been the highlight for you so far?

DK: I guess, making Big East conference defensive player of the year. A lot of people didn't think I would do that either. A lot of people doubted me going from high school to college and I think I proved them wrong with that. That was a big step for me.

Q: What was recruiting like coming out of high school? Who did recruit you? Who wasn't interested?

DK: There were a lot at first, Penn State, Syracuse, Boston College. My grades weren't that great so when it came down to it, it was just Temple and Umass. They were the only two offers I had.

Q: What type of defense did Temple play last year?

DK: 8-man front, 4-3.

Q: You said that Temple and Umass were your offers, did you ever think well maybe I should go to Umass and kind of start my own legacy?

DK: No. I always wanted to play there. [It's] big time football in the Big East against Miami and Virginia Tech and that was the best opportunity for me to do it.

Q: Dan Koppen of BC said you were the toughest guy that he faced in three years at BC. What did you think of him?

DK: He's a heck of a player. He's probably one of the best centers I ever played against. [He's] quick, fit, strong, he's a heck of a player.

Q: Did you guys have some interesting battles?

DK: Yeah, we've been playing against each other for the last three years like you said, just always on the field. [I have] much respect for him, he's a great player.

Q: The starting center from here is from Boston College as well.

DK: Yeah, I know.

Q: I know that Terrell Suggs is a little higher profile guy, do you see some sort of kinship with you and him as guys who maybe if you look at the production it's more impressive than the combine stuff?

DK: I don't think a lot of coaches put much into the combine stuff if it really comes down to it. If you had Terrell Suggs on tape and you're going to tell me he runs the 4.8 maybe he just doesn't time well. I think when it comes down to it, you just have to watch film. That's where the football games are played.

Q: How big were you coming out of high school?

DK: Probably about 255, 260.

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