PATRIOTS TIGHT END RYAN IZZO
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about getting the call from the Patriots?
RI: I was sitting in my room talking to my agent coming toward the end of the draft just trying to figure out where I would go and I got a call from one of the scouts at the Patriots. Then they put Coach [Bill] Belichick on and I'm so blessed to be able to be picked by such a prestigious organization. I'm just really excited.
Q: At that point do you have other options set up just in case?
RI: Yeah, there were options if I didn't get drafted to go to other teams as a free agent, but obviously once my agent contacted me and said the Patriots were very interested in me and I got that call from the Patriots, I was ecstatic and my whole family was and we're just really happy.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about how you view yourself as a player, whether it's guys in the league you might model your game after or what you think your strengths are?
RI: I think I'm a really versatile tight end. I don't think I - there was still a lot of that at Florida State just because circumstances that [inaudible] this past year or having a great back like Dalvin [Cook] in the backfield. I think I'm a really versatile tight end who isn't afraid to put his hand in the dirt and block as well as make opportunities in the pass game. I think that's something that really helps me. It's one of my strengths.
Q: How much do you think your blocking ability helped you get drafted here?
RI: I think it was huge. I think the tape was out there. These past two years of me blocking my tail off and really putting my heart out there and my love for the game. Just my unselfishness to block the great backs and do anything for the team to win.
Q: Had you had a lot of contact with the Patriots throughout the pre-draft process?
RI: Yeah, I had a formal interview with them at the combine. I had an interview with Coach [Nick] Caley, the tight ends coach, at Florida State. So they were on my radar and they had me on their radar. I'm truly blessed to be picked by them.
Q: Are you looking forward to joining a tight end room with Rob Gronkowski?
RI: Of course. It's somebody that you watch on TV and you try to model your game after every day with everything you do. I'm really excited for the opportunity.
Q: Were you on the phone with your agent right when they called? Did you have to hang up on him for a moment?
RI: I was actually talking to my agent maybe two or three minutes before that. I was actually in the room with my family discussing options for me if I didn't get drafted and then I got the call so I was really happy about it.