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Transcript: Ryan Mallett Conference Call

Patriots third round draft pick (74th overall) Ryan Mallett addresses the media during his conference call at Gillette Stadium on Friday, April 29, 2011.

Q: Were you surprised when you got the call from the Patriots?

RM: Definitely. I know Tom [Brady] is a great player, but the opportunity for me to learn from him and further my knowledge under that coaching staff was something that I was really excited about when I got the call, and I can't wait to get started.

Q: Bill Belichick said you are a film and football junkie and a son of a coach much like he is. Can you talk to us about how your meeting with coach Belichick went?

RM: Like coach said, we're a lot alike; we're both coaches' sons and love the game, and so we want to do anything we can to get an advantage, any film we can get, watch film all the time and learn your game, learn your position. That's what you've got to do and that's what I love doing.

Q: When you came here, what were your thoughts because here is a team that has Tom Brady, it's before the draft, you're visiting the Patriots, what was on your mind?

RM: I loved the visit, except for the delay getting out because of the weather. But I loved my trip. I love the coaches there. The staff is a great staff. Obviously there are great players. I'm just looking forward to having the opportunity to play for the greatest organization in the NFL right now.

Q: Was it frustrating to fall down to the third round, Ryan?

RM: Obviously it's frustrating, but for anybody just to get a chance to play in the NFL is something that a lot of people don't get to do, so it's a dream come true for me. I'm happy and I can't wait to get started.

Q: How emotionally difficult has the process been because you've been under more scrutiny perhaps than any other player for a variety of alleged things that you've done? How emotional was it when you got that call?

RM: When I got that call it was a great feeling just to know that somebody wanted me. It's been a long road to get here. I've been working my tail off for 10, 12 years now and to get here is just unbelievable.

Q: You said you're excited to learn from Tom Brady, but you're used to playing. How much will your patience be tested by having to learn and wait behind Tom?

RM: As a competitor, I want to play, but this gives me the advantage to prolong my career by playing behind Tom and learning all the little dinks and dunks from him and getting as many thoughts from him as I can.

Q: Is it disappointing, you mention 10-12 years of preparation; is it disappointing that that can be wiped out in basically one night?

RM: My name got called and that's all I wanted. That's what I said from the get go; I don't care where I'm drafted, I'm going to go and try to help the team in any way I can. So when I got that call, I was just really excited.

Q: Do you see yourself as the successor to Tom Brady a few years down the road? Is that your plan?

RM: I mean, I think that's any players' plan that's a backup - to take over once the guy in front of him is done, or whatever. So that's what I'm going to work to do. I'm going to prepare myself every week of the season like I'm the starter. That's how you've got to be as second or third string. You never know what's going to happen. There have been teams that lose two or three quarterbacks in one game, so every week I'll prepare myself like I'm starting the game.

Q: Where are you right now? Are you with friends and family?

RM: I'm with a lot of family in Arkansas.

Q: In Texarkana?

RM: I'm actually at a little bitty town at a hunting lodge

Q: So you hunt?

RM: Hunt, fish, all of it.

Q: Wait until you meet Nate Solder. He's been hunting elk for years.

RM: Yeah, Nate called me earlier.

Q: There was so much scrutiny about off the field issues and alleged drug use. Can you address that now?

RM: It's just people talking. I'm focusing on getting up to New England and learning as much as I can and getting on the field as quick as I can. It's just something that's behind me. It's in the past and I'm looking at the future.

Q: Do you feel like you were mislabeled? Or is that something that you've accepted and are willing to prove people wrong who didn't draft you?

RM: I'm going to go up there and be the person that I am. I'm a people person. I love to be around people. So I'm going to go up there and work as hard as I can to get on the field. Mislabeled - if that's what you want to call it, fine. I think I was portrayed in a different light than the people that know me and know who I am.

Q: So what do you hunt?

RM: Deer mostly.

Q: Did you ever shoot one?

RM: Yes, sir.

Q: How many?

RM: I only got one so far. I've missed a couple; that's the bad part about it.

Q: So you're inaccurate?

RM: I just don't get a chance to go that often.

Q: With all this uncertainty with the lockout, are they going to be able to get a playbook in your hands? Are you going to be able to come up here Ryan?

RM: I mean, I would hope so. I don't know what the rules are as far as what you can and can't do. I'll do what the team tells me I'm supposed to do.

Q: Do you have immediate plans to come up here this weekend?

RM: I don't know yet. I've still got to talk to the team and work some things out. I've been on the phone back and forth with them. If I come up there, great. If not, I'll be up there as soon as I can.

Q: How would you describe the connection when you sat down with coach Belichick on your visit here?

RM: It was like talking to an old coach. I'm a coach's son, so I've been around coaches and Coach Belichick is a great guy. He loves his players and he loves the game, and when you're a competitor, that's what you want. I felt like I had a great connection with him and I guess he did, too.

Q: Before you had a chance to sit down with him. What did you think of coach Belichick and what did you think of the Patriots?

RM: The first thing that came to my mind was dynasty and how well they have played in the past and their scheme, what they do. It's just something that I really like. I like how they run their system and I always thought it would be a great fit.

Q: You played against Stevan Ridley. He mentioned the rivalry. Are you excited about playing with him in the NFL?

RM: Definitely. That's the fun thing about the NFL; you go from being rivals with somebody to being teammates with somebody in one year sometimes.

Q: You said you'll learn the dinks and dunks from Tom Brady. How do you think you fit in this offense from whatever you talked to the coaches about when you were up here?

RM: I think it's a perfect fit after watching film with the coaches when I was there. And me and Tom are kind of the same. We're not fleet of foot, obviously. We don't run fast. We pick defenses apart and we know what's going to happen before the snap or we react post snap and that's why I think I'm like him a lot.

Q: We all know about your arm strength. What's the furthest you've ever throw a football?

RM: 87.

Q: 87 yards?

RM: Yes, sir.

Q: Have you ever had your arm measured for speed?

RM: At camp my sophomore year, I threw 67 [mph] going into my sophomore year of high school.

Q: I want to go back to the difficult questions so that I'm perfectly clear on this - the issue about drug use. Are you saying you've never used before? Or maybe you have and that's in the past and you're not going down that road again?

RM: All I'm saying is that's in the past and I'm looking in the future. I don't think that stuff's a problem. There has been a lot of stuff said that is definitely false. But I'm looking to the future and looking forward to being a Patriot.

Q: You say a lot of the stuff in the past is false. Can you clarify anything that you'd like to say now that you think has been unfairly labeled at you?

RM: There are people that say stuff all the time. The only thing I can do is go out and prove them wrong. And that's what I intend on doing.

Q: Can you talk about your friendship with golfer John Daly?

RM: I just met John for the first time on the Gruden Show actually. He did call me tonight though after my name got called.

Q: What do you guys talk about?

RM: He's just trying to help me know that there are going to be people trying to bring you down. And surround yourself with good people. Just take care of yourself. He's a really good guy. He's had his problems, and he dealt with them. He knows what he could've been, and he doesn't want to see the same thing happen to other people.

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