ANDRE SMITH (Offensive tackle, Alabama)
Q: Bengals assistant head coach/offensive line coach Paul Alexander said he spent a lot of time with you. Were you expecting the Bengals to pick you?AS: I was hoping that they were going to draft me. I am really looking forward to coming to Cincinnati. I love the Brown family, and I love coach (Marvin) Lewis.
Q: Were you surprised on Thursday when coach Alexander called and said that he was coming to see you?AS: I was totally caught off guard when coach Alexander said he was coming down. I wasn't expecting it.
Q: He said the weigh-in went well:AS: It went really well.
Q: What would "really well" be in numbers?AS: A lot of people say that I tend to blow up during the offseason. I was 337 when coach Alexander weighed me.
Q: What is your playing weight?AS: 330 pounds.
Q: How much pause do you think the weight issue gave some teams?AS: I'm sure it brought up quite a few questions, but I just know that I am really happy to be a Cincinnati Bengal. I'm looking forward to working hard and bringing championships to the team.
Q: What was it like the last couple of months with everyone talking about you, and rarely anything positive was said?AS: I'm just looking forward to changing the image of myself. When I come in, you're going to get a guy that is going to bust his butt and work hard every single day.
Q: What do you think is the biggest misconception out there?AS: I really don't know, actually. I'm just really looking forward to getting to Cincinnati and start working out. We've got the rookie minicamp coming up next Friday, and I am really looking forward to going out there and showing Cincinnati that they did the right thing by drafting me.
Q: When you were on TV there were a lot of people with you. Who were those people, and where were you?AS: I'm with my family at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Birmingham. They're all not coming up to Cincinnati with me, if that's what you're worried about.
Q: Are you a right tackle or a left tackle?AS: I played all three years at left tackle.
Q: Have you had any contact with Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer in this whole process?AS: I haven't talked to him today. But when I visited Cincinnati, I flew into San Diego with him, so that was kind of crazy that we were sitting across from each other. That was kind of ironic to me.
Q: What did you guys talk about on the plane?AS: I just told him to put in a good word for me. We really stayed to ourselves most of the time, but he's a great time, and I enjoyed being around him.
Q: You made sure no one hit him on the plane right?AS: Oh yeah. I was on the left side, so that was ironic.
Q: You wore No. 71 in Alabama right?AS: I did.
Q: Would you like to wear that here?AS: Oh yeah, I would love to wear number 71.
Q: Do you know who wore it here?AS: Yes sir — Mr. Willie Anderson.
Q: What do you know about Willie?AS: I know he's a great football player. He did a phenomenal job at Cincinnati and at the Baltimore Ravens. He's a great guy.
Q: Did you follow him growing up?AS: I followed every great offensive lineman to ever play football in the NFL.
Q: Have you talked to Willie?AS: I talk to old Willie quite often. He lives in Alabama. I've had several opportunities to meet with him and chat with him for a little while.
Q: What advice does he give you?AS: Just listen to your coaches, work hard and have fun. Do the things you did in college.