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Ted Karras Conference Call Transcript - 4/30/2016

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Q: Just generally, what was your reaction when you got the call from the Patriots?

TK: It's a big thrill. I'm excited to be part of the Patriots' organization. It's definitely a relief and I'm ready to get going to work.

Q: What was the waiting process like for you?
TK: It's definitely tough seeing guys getting picked in front of you. It's kind of a whole crazy day. My family and friends were over and it was really sweet when the Patriots called my name. I'm really grateful and really ready to get to work for the Pats.

Q: Where are you right now?
TK: I'm at Northside, Indianapolis, at my house.

Q: What's it like to have grown up in a family with all those NFL players?

TK: My whole family is football players and football coaches. Every male in my family has played college football. I'll be in the fifth in the NFL in my family and I'm very grateful to join that fraternity. I'm very grateful for the opportunity to play in the NFL.

Q: Did any of them give you any advice either before that helped you get to this point or now as you're about to go into the NFL?

TK: A lot of them have been giving me advice my whole life. We're a tough family. We've all played and everyone's an interior lineman. That's kind of been our MO throughout me growing up. I knew I was going to be a lineman early and they've been giving me tips throughout each stage of my career and I've been able to deliver so far.

Q: Didn't you just want to be a quarterback or running back? [laughter]

TK: Never. I never had the fantasy of being a quarterback. I knew from an early age I was going to be a lineman. My first position was nose guard. My first [jersey] number was in the 60s, so it was pretty predetermined for me. I knew what my role was going to be on a football field.

Q: What age was that when you started playing and found yourself on the line?
TK: I was eight years old, third grade.

Q: What do you feel you brought to your team while in college while you were there?

TK: I felt I was a leader. I felt I brought a hard-nose attitude. I worked every day, maybe not considered the most elite athlete but I got the job done and excelled at the job. I not only got the job done but did the job well. That's kind of how I've always been. I've always been a little less highly regarded than the next guy but seemed to step in and do the job well.

Q: The interior of the Patriots line is a pretty crowded positional group right now. What in your character will enable you to battle through that and give yourself a chance to get some playing time?

TK: I'm excited to meet everyone, I'm excited to be a part of a team. Since I graduated, I've just been training and haven't been part of a team. I'm excited to go in and compete. I can't say how crowded it is or what the day-to-day is going to be like, but I'm ready to come in and work and prove my worth. 
Q: Where did you train and how much contact did you have with the Patriots?

TK: I trained in Phoenix, Arizona, at Exos. I think it might have been in Scottsdale. The contact I had with the Patriots was coach [Dante] Scarnecchia came to my pro day. He worked me out. 
Q: Did you say you graduated already?

TK: Yeah, I graduated undergrad two Decembers ago and I got my master's [degree] this February.

Q: What are your degrees in?

TK: My undergrad [degree] is in communication and my master's in recreation sport and tourism.

Q: Where you used exclusively on the inside [of the line] or were you a left or right guy? Do you have any tackle experience?

TK: I played 43 games at right guard and my last game in college at center. At the [East-West] Shrine game, I played left guard.

Q: I read you have a unique pregame superstition. Where did you get that superstition and do you have any other superstitions?
TK: Are you talking about me dousing myself with water?

Q: I am.

TK: Yeah, I don't know where that came from. It started in high school. I always felt I had to play football being wet. I know that's kind of weird but that's about it. I don't really have that many superstitions. I try to follow the same routine. I know if I play center, I know I'm not going to be able to get that wet. 

Q: How did that go over in November? I should say, how does that go over in November?

TK: You're definitely cold, but I've never really felt the temperature of a game when I'm playing. When you're playing, especially O-line, I'm no sleeves, no tights guy. When you're playing football, there's no reason to ever think about the temp as an O-lineman.

Q: Do you have any connections with Massachusetts or the Boston area?

TK: It's definitely going to be cold later on in the season. I'm ready to take that on. It's not going to affect me at all.

Q: Have you been to this area before? Do you have any relatives or any family or friends that live in the Massachusetts area?

TK: I've been to Boston once when I visited BC (Boston College). Other than that, I don't really have any connection to Boston or the New England area.

Q: In the East-West Shrine game, what coaches did you work with?

TK: I worked with O-line coach Mike Maser and our head coach was June Jones. We ended up winning 29-9, I believe. I was a great experience. I loved being able to be around guys who are going to the NFL. It was just a great experience. I love being on a team and it was good to be on an O-line again. We didn't go to a bowl so we were done for a month. It was fun to be able to put the pads on and be in a competition again.

Q: You said you were preordained to be an offensive lineman. That doesn't mean you have to like it, nor did you have to like football because of your family, but it seems like you really have an enthusiasm for the sport. How much of that has to come from yourself and not your family?

TK: I think it has to do with both. I mean, I knew from a young age that this is what I wanted to do. With my dad being a small college football coach, I was around practices all the time. I was very eager. I know it may not be popular now, but I wanted to play when I was a third-grader. I wanted to play padded football. I knew that was the sport I was going to choose and I liked being a lineman. You're rewarded for being physical and I thought that was a great part of the game. It suited me well and so far it's paid off.

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