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Nick Caserio Conference Call Transcript - 10/11/2011

Read what Patriots Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio had to say as he addressed the media during his conference call on Tuesday, October 11, 2011.

Q: How closely did you guys look at Dez Bryant coming out of college and if so, what really stood out to you about him maybe not so much as a player on the field product, but as an off field individual?  

NC: I think there's a lot guys that we spend quite a bit of time with around the draft. His situation, like a lot of players, it seems every year there are a lot of underclassman that haven't declared for the draft that you have to go back and just sort of go through the full process that you're not able to go through between the school call, all-star games, combine, [and] those types of things. He, like a lot of players - we did a lot of work on - like we do [with] as many players that we can. We try to gather as much information as we possibly can from multiple sources and then try and put the picture all together on the player relative to our program. There's no question he was an explosive player - similar to what he's done so far with Dallas. He makes a bunch of big plays. He had a bunch of big plays early against the Jets and a number of big players early against - I think it was a Washington game - had a couple touchdowns early. He's a talented player [and] somebody that we will certainly have to figure how to defend come Sunday.   

Q: Sitting at- what was it- where was he picked? Number 24 overall. You guys were sitting there I think before you traded. Was drafting him a consideration or the whole time you were there were you looking to trade that pick?   

NC: Really you sort of take the draft as it comes. I think where you pick in that particular situation there's a handful of players that you think about picking in some capacity. Trades if they happen, they happen. In the end, we make a decision that we feel is the best for our team. I'm sure Dallas is happy with the pick they made and I would say we're thrilled with the player we have in our program so I think it's worked out for both teams.  

Q: When you guys signed James Ihedigbo he came in mostly as a special teamer- that's mostly what he did with the Jets. Did you project him as a guy that could contribute a lot defensively like he did on Sunday or was that even a little bit of a nice surprise?   

NC: James actually had a role for the Jets defensively - he played in a lot of their sub packages, a lot of their dime packages. He was probably one of their better blitzers that they had when he was on the field and he's a smart player, he's an instinctive player, he's tough, and shows up in the kicking game. He's come in and worked hard and made the most of his opportunities. When players come to our program, ultimately it's up to them. Their performance will dictate what their role ultimately is on the team and James has come in and taken advantage of his opportunities and he had more opportunities on Sunday and did a decent job. So, we'll see how it goes this week in preparation for Dallas.  

Q: With some of the rookies that come in-and-out a little bit - Stevan Ridley, Ras-I Dowling, and obviously Nate Solder has stepped in and played a lot. With a lot of those guys is it a week-to-week evaluation thing like you look at the game Ridley played on Sunday and kind of evaluate it and say 'Alright, did he improve so he can play more this Sunday?' or how do you come to evaluate the rookies on a week-to-week basis?  

NC: I think that's exactly it. And really it's more day-to-day, so everything is put together - their performance, it's the meeting, how they handle the information, how they perform on the practice field. Reality is that with the younger [guys], rookies specifically this year it's been five weeks in the regular season and another four weeks there in the preseason, so they're almost caught up to where they normally would be. So it's week-to-week. I think the most important thing is to come in and study the opponent, work hard to understand the game plan, and make the most of your opportunities in practice and when opportunities come up in the game to go out there and perform the best they can. Stevan had an opportunity to return some kickoffs last week, so that was a different role for him, but he handled it fairly well so it's really day-to-day more than week-to-week.

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