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Nick Caserio Conference Call Transcript

New England Patriots Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio addresses the media during his conference call on Tuesday, December 13, 2011.

Q: What sticks out in your mind most from the meeting and day you spent with Tim Tebow when he was here before the draft two years ago?

NC: I think any meeting you have with a draft prospect, you're just trying to get as much information as you possibly you can. You look at the body of the work on the field, you look at their production, then spend some time with them off the field, just go through and talk through some different things, football related. Smart guy, works hard, was a productive player in Florida. I'd say it was a lot like most of the meetings that we have with a lot of the players when they come out.

Q: What were your thoughts on Eric Decker when he was coming out?

NC: Good player, was really probably their most productive player offensively at Minnesota; probably between he and [Adam] Weber. Coincidentally enough, he's on their practice squad right now. Offensively, they played for, I want to say, with multiple offensive coordinators and/or coaches so the system was kind of different each year. He had one season there curtailed because of a foot injury but when he was on the field he was really productive. Big target, good hands, instinctive, good quickness, knew how to get open. Really, he's developed into one of their go-to guys offensively in Denver. I'd say a lot of the things that he did in Minnesota, he's done thus far. He's had more of an opportunity this year than he had last year. Between he and Demaryius [Thomas], who are both bigger guys that can run and then throw in a guy like Eddie Royal who is a little bit different, a little more elusive, has good quickness, is good with the ball in his hands. [Matthew] Willis has played for them a little bit so they have some guys in the passing game that can certainly present some problems.

Q: When you guys evaluated Tim Tebow were you looking at him as a quarterback?

NC: I don't really think there was any other position he played. He was a quarterback and that's what we evaluated him as.

Q: How are they using Russ Hochstein?

NC: He's their next inside player. He started six games in 2010 at guard. Their offensive line this year, I don't think they've missed a snap among the starting group between [Ryan] Clady, [Zane] Beadles who is playing left guard, he played some tackle last year, J.D. Walton has been a starter since his rookie year, [Orlando] Franklin playing right tackle and [Chris] Kuper has kind of been a mainstay for them throughout his career in Denver. Those five guys have basically been on the field for every snap so Russ hasn't had an opportunity to play offensively. I think he's played some in the kicking game, on PAT and field goal. Russ is a versatile guy, can play multiple spots, can play center, can play guard. I would say very similar to how we used him here in New England, he's being utilized. He just hasn't had a chance to play because those other players have been out there for just about every snap.

Q: Did Sterling Moore pass through waivers? What is the possibility he'll be back with you on the practice squad?

NC: I think there are a couple of different things that we're looking at from a roster standpoint. We haven't really made any sort of decisions here today. We'll see how it goes here the rest of the day and before the practice tomorrow.

Q: Are you saying we can take the rest of the day off?

NC: I'd say you're probably pretty safe, yeah. You guys don't take the day off; I know you guys work pretty hard.

Q: How much work did you do on Von Miller knowing that he was probably going to be one of the top guys picked and you were picking a little lower?

NC: Yeah, we still evaluated him because you never know how a draft is going to work out. A matter of fact, he played against [Nate] Solder so there some opportunities when you were evaluating Nate to see him against some of the better rushers that he played against, certainly put Von in that category. Between he and [Elvis] Dumervil, they certainly pose as good a threat as anybody off the edge. Von has done a heck of a job this year. He's had a lot of production. They have a lot of playmakers on the defensive side of the ball. I'd say he's one of them, between D.J. Williams and Dumervil on the other side who is a problem and then [Brian] Dawkins and Champ Bailey who are experienced guys. [Andre] Goodman has some experience, he's played a lot of football for them. They've incorporated some of the younger players like Chris Harris and Quinton Carter into the mix. They have a lot of good players on defense, there's no question about it. Their performance is not that surprising when they have that many good players on the field defensively.

Q: What are your thoughts on the job that Danny Aiken has done? I know that was a spot you guys were juggling around a lot in the preseason. It hasn't shown up a lot with a big mistake.

NC: Danny has done a nice job. We didn't get him really until right before the season. Smart guy, works hard and he has a good rapport between he and Zoltan [Mesko] and Stephen [Gostkowski]. The relationship among the specialists is important not only on the field but off the field as well. Danny's a smart guy, he's worked hard and he's done the things that we've asked him to do and he's done a nice job to this point. We're happy that we have him.

Q: When you look over at the Broncos, what stands out to you in terms of what makes them a challenging opposition this week?

NC: They have a lot of good football players. They're fast, they're good on defense, they have a good pass rush, they have good coverage players. They play fast, they play aggressively defensively. They have a lot of good players in the kicking game between [David] Bruton, [Wesley] Woodyard. They have a lot of fast guys that play on special teams and play in the kicking game as well. They have a lot of production from those guys. Offensively, they run the ball well. They lead the league in rushing yardage. They have a lot of good playmakers, they have a real consistent offensive line. Overall, they've got a good football team – offensively, defensively and special teams which is why they've been in games just about every week. Playing on the road is always a challenge and you're playing against a good football team that has won six in a row. In the end, we're going to have to go out there and play good football on Sunday and that's the goal.

Q: When Josh McDaniels was there, there were obvious Patriots connections. Do you see any Patriots flavor over there now outside of the long snapper and Russ Hochstein?

NC: Yeah, there are some former Patriots players that they still have on the roster. They have some individuals in their personnel department that worked with us at different points. I would say that's probably true of a lot of teams, you can go through and see guys that have been with other teams at different points. There are a few guys but really in the end that doesn't have any bearing on the outcome of the game. The most important thing is who plays well on Sunday and that will be determining factor as to who wins or loses the game.

Q: How would you sum up the status of your fall scouting? Where are you at this point in the process of the college scouting for the draft?

NC: We've gone through the initial fall process – all the games aside from the bowl games have been played. You've started to take that large pool of players that you began the fall with and you start to narrow that down. There's still a lot of moving parts. The next thing will be the all-star games, after their respective bowl games but the next thing will be the all-star games. We'll continue to meet, once we get to February and then we'll get to the combine. We're plugging along slowly but surely. There's certainly been a lot of time and effort invested on the part of our scouting staff. We're just kind of in the initial stages just from that perspective so we'll just move along here and just take it day by day.

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