Patriots draft pick Ted Larsen speaks to the New England Media via conference call on Saturday, April 24, 2010
Q: Can you talk about your conversion to center from defensive tackle? How did that come about and were you open to that or did they have to convince you?
TL: Yeah, I'm very glad I did it because it got me drafted. They approached me to look at the position change a few years ago, my junior year. We needed some offensive lineman and they thought I could help them out and I moved over.
Q: According to your bio it says your first year at center you were on the watch list for best center in the country. Did you just pick it up that fast and people noticed?
TL: I suppose. I don't know how that list gets made up, but I feel like I have a lot to learn.
Q: What was that switch like for you and what did you do to help prepare yourself for that?
TL: The coaching staff was great. They pretty much taught me the position and I'm trying to be a student of the game and watch as many guys as I can watch and try to be a better player.
Q: Do you feel like because of the position change you are an ascending player and maybe your best years are ahead of you when you really learn the position?
TL: Yes, sir. I hope that's the case. That's the way I feel.
Q: How much work have you done snapping on the shotgun?
TL: A decent amount. Probably 30-40 percent of our plays were like that.
Q: Tom O'Brien and Bill Belichick have known each other for a while. I don't know how much you've dealt with Bill Belichick, but are there any similarities that you see between the two coaches?
TL: I can't really tell. It's too early on that. I don't know Coach Belichick well enough to do that.
Q: What's Tom O'Brien like and what kind of coach is he to work with?
TL: He's a great coach. Everything you do is for a reason. I felt like he definitely helped turn me into a better football player.
Q: What was your reaction when you heard that they wanted you to be a center?
TL: I guess, excited. Playing a new position was something that I had never had to do, so I approached it with a lot of enthusiasm and enjoyed doing it.
Q: Did they immediately want you to go to center or did you try out on the offensive line and that's where you fit best?
TL: It was immediate.
Q: The center is usually the captain of the offensive line. Is football intellect one of your strengths?
TL: Yes, sir. I try to be a student of the game and that stuff is interesting. I still feel like I have a lot to learn, but I feel like that is a strength.
Q: What other teams did you talk with or have contact with?
TL: You talk with just about every team. That's in the past and I'm happy to be on a team and get an opportunity to get better.
Q: Did you have an inkling that you would get drafted, because not many centers actually get drafted?
TL: I guess you get feelings and people say stuff. I'm just happy that that happened and I'm excited to work at it.
Q: At any point in this process has anyone talked to you about playing guard too?
TL: Yes, that's something that anywhere you go is probably going to be the case. I'm just trying to make myself as versatile as possible so I can help the team as much as I may be needed.
Q: I saw that you even had some defensive stats last year. Did you still play defense last year as well?
TL: No, that's incorrect.
Q: Dan Koppen played center for Tom O'Brien. Did he reference anything about Dan in the process of moving you to center? Are you familiar with Dan Koppen's game at all?
TL: No, they never showed me any film, but I'm familiar that he played for him and he's a great player.
Q: What's it going to be like the first time Tom Brady comes under center?
TL: It's going to be great and I'm excited to be able to have the opportunity to work with an organization like this.
Q: I saw that you graduated last spring. What have you been studying for the last year?
TL: I've just been taking some graduate classes. I just had a summer's worth and then a fall semester, so nothing too major, but just some classes that I had always wanted to take but never had the opportunity.
Q: You're a history guy though, right?
TL: Yes, sir.
Q: Was there a specific area of focus?
TL: No, there was no area of focus.