ML: “Obviously it’s kind of an interesting story with
“In today’s three picks, we got bigger and stronger. That was big. What we’ve done thus far in this draft has been very helpful, as far as playing the physical football we want to play against the people we compete with week-in and week-out. In order to have an opportunity to play further and further and win playoff games, we’ve got to become a more physical football team. We’ve added five players thus far that are extremely physical and have been productive on their campuses, and we have a chance to continue add to that again tomorrow.”
It’s going to be tough to cut down this team, considering all the depth you have been building up in free agency and the draft:
ML: “We’ve got some competition. We’ll put some more chairs in the defensive-line room, I guess (laughs). But that’s good. You can’t have enough of those linemen, we know that. The linemen on both sides of the football have been the energy recently on this football team. That’s good. We got bigger and stronger here.”
When you talked to Mohamed earlier in the day, what was his mood?
ML: “I think he had turned his phone off, but I got to speak to his agent. But I left a message (with Sanu). But I think a couple other people reached out to them, too. We talked to the agent and he was OK. It’s an unfortunate situation. I think the guy that played the prank on him really thought it was funny. But you’ll get a chance to visit with him tomorrow about it, I’m sure.”
Wide receivers coach JAMES URBAN
What did you learn about Sanu when you visited him after his pro day?
JU: “It verified everything that I thought; he’s a big, tough, physical guy, and he has great hands. When we had the private workout with him, in the film room he was sharp. He can verbalize all the things that you want him to see. He knows and understands coverages and those things. He had 115 catches this year, so when you see him in person it’s very impressive.”
How did you ensure Sanu knew it wasn’t a prank call when you selected him?
JU: “He had my cell phone number in his phone, so I called him from my cell phone.”
How did you approach the prank call incident with Sanu once you selected him?
JU: “I said, ‘Hey Mo, it’s James Urban. Are you ready to be a Bengal this time for real?’ And he said, ‘Yeah.’ He was excited.”
It appears that Mo can play anywhere as a receiver:
JU: “Coach referenced it a little bit. He was recruited as a safety there, so he’s got that mentality. He blocks. He played primarily inside this year for them, mostly because that was where they wanted to get him the ball the most. He played Wildcat; they lined him up in the backfield and arc-released him out and have him run routes from in the backfield. He’s very versatile that way.”
Did he play any one spot more than the other?
JU: “Inside more this year. He played outside earlier in his career as well. Like I said, they moved him inside this year primarily because that was their primary receiver for most of their pass routes. He’s had several different quarterbacks in the last few years. I think they’ve had kind of a turnover at quarterback and he’s still had that production.”
What do you see with his route running that allowed him to make 115 catches?
JU: “He’s very crafty. He had a great knack for sticking his foot in the ground and using his big body to get in between the defender and the ball. He uses his body very well. He has a great natural instinct in zone, a good feel for where the zones are and how to stick and slide in zone. He has great hands too. So you put those things together, you get 115 catches.”
Defensive line coach JAY HAYES
With the drafting of DT Brandon Thompson, does this help solidify the formula of playing fresh defensive lineman the entire game ...
JH: “Definitely. The wave affect has served us well and keeps our guys fresh and really helps us to break the will of people. Hopefully getting in the two guys we got today will add to that. When you’re talking about Brandon Thompson, you’re talking about a guy that did 36 benches at the combine. This is a strong, strong guy and has a good understanding of playing the run game and can push the pocket. He’ll add to the room and is the type of guy that is very bright and will be able to catch on to what we’re doing.”
Congratulations on finally getting the correct call this time:
MS: “Thank god. Thank god.”
Can you laugh about that now?
MS: “I’m hysterically laughing about that now.”
Did you have any reservations when you saw the 513 area code come up on your phone this time?
MS: “I saw a voicemail from 513. Then Coach Urban called me and I picked it up and he said ‘Are you ready to be a Bengal for real this time?’, and I said, ‘Of course I’m ready to go.’ Now I’m a Cincinnati Bengal.”
I know you didn’t make a visit here, but it sounds like they worked you out pretty extensively on your pro day:
MS: “Yeah, it was good. Coach Urban came the Saturday after my pro day. We met in the film room and talked and got to know each other. Then we went and caught balls.”
How tough was the fake call for you yesterday?
MS: “It was a terrible experience. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. I’m just thankful that God gave me the blessing to be picked by the Bengals, and I’m very thankful to be a Bengal.”
Have you been able to figure out who it was?
MS: “My agent called him, and it was a kid playing a prank, and he said he was very sorry and that he didn’t mean anything by it. I’m glad it’s over. Dreams came true and now I’m a Bengal.”
Do you find it ironic that the Bengals did in fact take you?
MS: “I did. When I saw the number I knew I was going to be a Bengal. I’m excited. This is a great feeling. I’ve never felt this way in my life and I’m ready to go.”
Did you get to see much of the Bengals last year?
MS: “No. We don’t see a lot of them up here. I’m excited to be there tomorrow and meet everyone. I’m excited to learn the system and play fast.”
How excited are you about the possible opportunity to line up next to
MS: “I’m very excited. I’ll learn as much as I can from him because he’s been there for a year. I’ll learn a lot from everyone in the meeting room. I’ll learn a lot from Coach Urban and I’ll make sure I embrace my teammates and am ready to go.”
How would you describe your strengths?
MS: “I attack the ball, run very good routes, am quick and sudden and have the natural ability to find the ball when it comes my way.”
Some people consider you as a possession type guy who’s a good short to medium route receiver. Do you think you have the speed to go on deep routes?
MS: “I would say I have some speed to go on deep routes. I’ll try to show that this year and we’ll see how it turns out.”
Did you go in motion a lot at Rutgers?
MS: “I played inside, outside, moved in motion out of the backfield, cross formation, spin motion — lots of different types of motions.”