*Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnhan, and linebackers coach Ricky Hunley met the media following Cincinnati's second-round selection of Odell Thurman. The transcript follows: *
HEAD COACH MARVIN LEWIS
"Obviously we're just thrilled to be able to draft Odell. He kept hanging around, and when we got there, he was still there. I think a lot of people knew he was the guy we were targeting and it worked out great."
On what kind of player he is:
"He's been an outstanding player. He gets great pad level and he's a good knee-bender. He plays blocks very well and has been an effective blitzer. He's just got great athleticism and explosion."
On his contribution to special teams:
"He's another guy that can really run and affect us on special teams, and a big part of the prize is for Darrin (Simmons, special teams coach) as well."
On the versatility that he brings the team:
"I think the thing that we're excited about is his ability to play football. We'll get these guys and Chuck (Bresnahan) and Ricky (Hunley) get a chance to put them in place to go out and play. This is a guy that you like the look in his eyes. He is just a great player."
On run-ins with the law:
"He had some things that we had to check out. He had a thing there at Georgia earlier in his career, but he seemed to overcome it."
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR CHUCK BRESNAHAN
On where he sees Odell Thurman fitting in the defense:
"With a guy like this, you can be a little creative if you want, but you let him learn a position and see what he can offer you early on. He's a guy that knows how to play the game, and he plays the game the way you want it to be played. He's overcome some things in his life and has really gone through some tough times. He has risen to the top in the way he's handled himself, through the process of background checks and all of that stuff. I'm excited. He is a true talent, and we're really lucky to get him at this pick."
On whether or not he can be an every-down player in the NFL: "He has the ability to be an every-down linebacker. Where he fits early is going to be up to him and how we see him fit in with the people we have. He has the ability to be a good football player every down in this league."
On how this defense is different from the one the team had before the draft began today:
"We now have two good football players that are going to add to this football team. As far as how that changes us, I'm not going to make any statements on that until we get to a certain point. We have two good, solid football players, and both bring unique characteristics that add to this team. One is very dynamic and energetic in his personality and leadership skills. The other is more of a leader by example. With young players, it's great to have that as a bonus to go along with their playing skills. It truly adds to what we've got."
LINEBACKERS COACH RICKY HUNLEY
On if the selection of two linebackers sends a message to the veteran linebackers on the team:
"We send a message to our guys every day we go out to practice. We expect them to be ready to compete every day they go out there. No jobs are handed out. You have to earn your keep. Like coach Lewis always says, 'There aren't any free rides.' Odell and David have to come in here and bust their tails. We have some smart savvy veterans, so it won't be easy. We like the competitive environment."
On how he feels to have the first two draft picks be players at the position he coaches:
"I'm very happy. We had both rated as very good football players. You're going to be excited to see the things that Odell and David can do, just like we were excited to see what (last years picks at LB) Landon Johnson and Caleb Miller could do. I could not be more excited than I am today, because I would have never thought both of these kids would land in our laps."
On if he would categorize Thurman's hitting ability as nasty:
"He gets the job done. He plays downhill, he'll smack people in the mouth, and he can close to make football plays."
On if he sees himself in either of the team's first two picks at linebacker:
"I love these two guys, I really do. I love their personalities, the energy they bring and the way they play football. They're winners, and you couldn't ask for more than to add them to the guys we already have. We have a great group of players right now."