Cincinnati Bengals Draft Rd 2: News Conference Transcripts
Initial comments ...
"We're really excited with the addition of Tyler (Boyd). He had such a productive career at the University of Pittsburgh. He got off to such a great start and has been productive in catches and receptions each year. He's carried the football, thrown the football — he's done it all there. He's a competitive, strong football player, so it's a good fit for us and where we are right now moving forward."
It seems he's a lot like former Bengals wide receiver Mohamed Sanu with all of the various skills he has ...
"He's probably more productive than Mo was in college, but he had maybe more opportunities than Mo had at Rutgers."
What does he do well in your view?
"He does a great job of using his body to create separation. He's great with the ball in his hands. He seems to understand the game very well. He's been a returner over there. We've got to get him better at some of that, catching the football as a returner and so forth, but that is something he has done and something he should be good at with his ability to run the ball."
With the guys you lost, is it safe to assume this a guy you're hoping you can plug right in there from Day 1?
"Well, we don't lose guys. We didn't lose anybody anywhere; they got opportunities. They didn't get lost. (laughs) But Tyler, yes, has an opportunity to come in to compete to play, and we've got some guys in the building who feel like they want those opportunities as well, including Mario Alford, who we drafted a year ago and has a season under his belt with us. There will be a good competition."
Getting a new crop of players is what the draft is all about, but was getting a new set of weapons for quarterback Andy Dalton a priority?
"You've got to retool the football team. That's the greatest part of the NFL. We have graduation, and guys have opportunity or they move on. Either way, we have to keep restocking with good, young talent, and I think this is another good choice for this team and a chance to get better with a guy that's still ascending."
How much did his role change with different quarterbacks each year and being used differently in the offense? Did it affect his play?
"They did more check-downs and end-arounds and things like that this year; I think he averaged something like eight or nine yards a carry or something phenomenal like that, so he got an opportunity to carry the football. You couldn't watch a game where he wasn't getting the ball some way this year. And I think all college receivers kind of play that way; the quarterbacks change a little bit more frequently than most NFL clubs."
You always talk about looking for playmakers at the receiver position. Seeing what you saw from him, do you think he has play-making ability?
"I think he has an opportunity to make plays with the ball in his hands — there's no question — and he's a strong runner. Those are things that you've got to be able to do at this level. He's got to complement the other guys in the offense and I think he'll do a really good job with that and give us another kind of weapon, which is good."
The joke was made last year that you had three AJs (A.J. Green, AJ McCarron and A.J. Hawk). Now you have three Tylers (Tyler Eifert, Tyler Kroft, and now Tyler Boyd). It's another season, another funny thing ...
"I didn't realize that. It's funny, because every once in a while, somebody says, 'A.J.' and everybody turns. Or somebody now says, 'Tyler.' So Kroft is just going to have to be 'Kroft.' They've been good for us, those names."
Wide receivers coach
What is Tyler Boyd's major attributes? What does he do best?
Zampese: "The thing that stuck out to me was his football instincts — his ability to separate sideways and laterally from defenders. You get a chance to see him do a lot of different things because they got it to him in a lot of different ways — handing it, throwing it. He threw the ball. You got to see everything that the guy has, which is nice to know. Sometimes you don't get to see all those things. So we have a good idea of what he is. We have a pretty good idea of where we can take him. He's certainly not a finished product, but he's ours and we like him. We're going to drag him and push him and make him compete, and drive him to where we think he can be."
I know you want your receivers to take pride in blocking. This guy had the ball in his hands a lot. How is he when he doesn't have the ball in his hands?
Urban: "Well, you've got to watch a lot of film to see what he does without the ball. He's going to do it our way, I guarantee you that. He's willing, he's willing. He just wasn't asked to do a lot of those things that we're going to ask him to do. There will be a learning curve there. But we have full confidence that he'll do that, and we're going to push him to do things our way."
Does he project more to a slot receiver or can he play all over the field?
Zampese: "He struck me as a guy that can play slot early, and learn the outside spot and be productive out there as we go. He's played a lot of slot. He's very familiar with where the bodies are coming from down in there. And he's got good vision, football IQ and instincts to avoid and get up field."
A knock on him is his lack of down-the-field, deep-ball speed. Did you see that?
Zampese: "I think he has competitive speed. I know the timed speed doesn't bear out, (but) when he plays, he competes, and he's productive with the skill set he has."
What stood out in his game tape?
Urban: "If you watch a variety of games for him, you get the flavor. There were games when he played outside a lot, inside a lot. They did a lot of bringing him back in the backfield and handing the ball off to him. Lap, you referenced Sanu; there's Sanu-esque things in the versatility he provides. The one thing we take great pride in is attracting football players. You can poke holes at a 40 time, but we think we got a good football player, and we're going to find ways to take advantage of his skill set. We think its a good fit."
Were you hoping for a wide receiver in the first round?
Zampese: "Well we were hoping to add the best football player we could. We did that in the first round, and did it again in the second round."
How do you feel about getting one of the guys in your top six or seven?
Zampese: "I feel very good. We can't wait to get him here and work with him."
So you think he's like Mohamed Sanu in terms of versatility and toughness?
Urban: "I don't want to compare Mo to him or vice versa. The versatility is the similarity — the variety of things he is capable of doing. It opens up some options for us. You guys have seen what our creative minds can come up with those kinds of players."
What kind of contact with him did you have?
Urban: "We're very thorough. If there's one thing we do here, we shine every rock and find out as much as we can, starting with our scouting. Coach Zampese spends more time on the road than any coordinator in the league. We work hard at it, and talk about it a lot. Its a collective effort. We're pretty sure with what we're getting."
You try to pick guys that truly like the game. Does he fit that bill?
Zampese: "It looks like he does on film. You can tell when you talk to him too. He's a competitive guy. You can see when the ball's in his hands, he's doing everything he can to get up field. He likes making people miss — likes contact. We're really excited about having him."
What do you think about the unique crop of top wide receivers this year?
Zampese: "They came in all shapes and sizes this year. Coach Urban digs into each one of those guys deeply to find out what makes them tick. He does a great job finding out exactly what's inside their heads — how they go about their business, and how they fit for us. This is was one guy who had some very positive traits for us. I felt the same way, and we're excited to have this guy."
Wide receiver, Pittsburgh
You're from Pittsburgh, played at Pitt and now you're coming to Cincinnati. How do you feel?
"I'm pretty happy. I just can't wait to start my next chapter in my life. I'm really happy and appreciative that the Cincinnati Bengals chose a great player like myself."
Being a great player like you are, what do you do best?
"The best part of my game is that I just create opportunities for myself to win. I put myself in the position to win. I put myself in the position to run good routes and beat defenders with my leverage and keep plays alive. I'm a huge playmaker.
You've played all over the field. Do you have a preference for what role your role might be?
"I feel like I'm best in the slot or outside. They can move me around a lot. Or, even line up in the backfield, so I can get mismatches with linebackers. I feel like I'm a great aspect into that program."
Is there anything that Pitt did not ask you to do last year?
"(Laughs) I'd say one thing they did not ask me to do was tackle — go down on kickoffs or play defense. But I was a free safety coming out of high school and have no problem with being on a punt return or things like that. Anything they ask me to do, I'm suited and capable of doing."
How do you rate yourself as a blocker on the edge?
"About an eight."
Out of 10?
"I would say a 6.5, just because I'm not as bulky as everybody thinks I am. But my hard-nosed instincts to be a football player and my willingness to do things to help my team win are at a high level. So I'm going to definitely give everything that it takes and sacrifice my body to help anybody on the team create a huge play."
Were you aware of the Bengals' need at wide receiver? Did you think this was a logical place for you to wind up?
"Definitely I was aware. Once the clock was rolling, I started not knowing where I'd go. But I knew Cincy needed a receiver. I'm grateful to be led by a great receiver like A.J. Green to help guide me to become a great receiver."
How exciting is it to come to an organization that has made the playoffs several years in a row, and still there's a need for you to come in and be an important part of this offense?
"Definitely. I feel like I can help the team a lot with my athleticism. They can move me all around the field to create mismatches and create opportunities for myself and create opportunities for the Bengals organization to win. The element they brought with an addition like me will help guide them to that final level that they've been waiting to get to."
Previous to the pick tonight, were you a Steelers fan?
"(Laughs) I definitely rooted for the Steelers. That's my hometown team. But at the end of the day, I'm going to sacrifice myself for the team who picked me and who would rather have me. So I'm going to have to completely go at the Steelers and cause them all hell (laughs)."
How aware are you of the current rivalry between the Bengals and Steelers?
"(Laughs) I'm strongly aware. Some of my family members and friends are all Steelers fans. But at the end of the day, they're going to always root for me and cheer for me. So, it is what it is. I'm really blessed for everyone to be on my side. And if they don't support me and have my jersey on, I know deep down that they care 100 percent about me."
Are there old photos of you lying around of you in Steelers jerseys as a kid?
"(Laughs) Definitely, from when I was a youngster. I could probably pull that up. I was probably around six or seven years old. I think I had a Hines Ward jersey on (laughs)."
Did you hear from the Steelers at any time during this pre-draft process?
"Yeah. I went in and met with the Steelers early on, after the combine. But I figured that they didn't need a receiver, because they've got A.B. (Antonio Brown) and Martavis (Bryant) — guys that can really help that program. But at the end of the day, like I said, I'm going to do everything I can to beat the Steelers."
How much time did you spend with the Bengals? Did they come to meet with you?
"I believe they were at my pro day. And I had a formal interview with them at the combine. I felt a pretty good vibe. A lot of teams needed receivers, and I felt like I was one of them. But it doesn't matter where I end up. I'm going to give it my all for that organization."
You played Houston in a bowl game two years ago and were matched up against Bengals' first-round pick William Jackson. What do you remember about playing him and that game?
"He was probably one of the top guys that I've faced. But I can tell he has a lot of dog in him. I've seen him play against other teams, and I know that he's in the same caliber as me. I know he's all about competing and trying to be the best."
Describe getting the phone call that you were drafted. Who was around you? What was that like?
"I was waiting around, just waiting for that call. It didn't matter what team picked me, I was going to be really happy and grateful. I'm just going to celebrate with all of my family. We've got about 30 people at a hotel where I am, just celebrating. I'm just so happy. This is one of the happiest times in my life."