PAUL GUENTHER - Defensive coordinator
JAMES URBAN - Wide receivers coach
JACOB BURNEY - Defensive line coach
Initial comments ...
Guenther: "We're happy to get two more defensive players and an offensive player here for James (Urban). I'll let him speak a little bit about the receiver."
Urban: "Josh Malone — happy to have him. He's got good size, good speed, he's three years out of high school, check all the character boxes on him that you want. He's a great kid, works hard. We think he's got a bright future, and we think his best football is ahead of him. We're excited to have him."
Guenther: "The other two guys we took ... Carl Lawson out of Auburn is a pass rush specialist. He played a lot of defensive end, outside linebacker. We'll be able to use him both as a linebacker and as a rush guy. He's a highly productive guy. Like I said about (Jordan) Willis, we do a lot of research on these type of guys, and we felt we got great value with Carl there where we took him.
"The next guy, Ryan Glasgow from Michigan, he's a lunch-pail type guy. Went there to work him out — great kid, everybody talks so highly about the guy. His brother is a guard with the Detroit Lions, so he's got some lineage there and some familiarity with the NFL game. He was one of the guys who really stood out to us at the Senior Bowl. We watched that both as a pass rusher and an interior run defender, so we're really happy to bolster our D-Line in both areas."
This draft is supposedly really deep and there are good prospects available at this point in the draft. Do you guys feel lucky to have all the extra picks here to take advantage of that?
Guenther: "Well certainly, you just kind of follow your board. We set our boards upstairs both offensively and defensively, and on the defensive side, we kind of rank our guys 1 to 100, and how they peel off we try to stay true to that and not make any rash decisions and jump ahead or jump behind of anything. There were two players we really pinpointed at this point in the draft, and they were staring at us in the face and we jumped on them."
Were you surprised to see Lawson there? Do you think his medical history pushed him down the board?
Guenther: "I can't answer that. The doctors here cleared him and felt good about where he was headed medically. He had a couple bumps and bruises along his college career that might have set him back some. At this point, he's cleared medically and we felt really good about taking him there."
Your team speed as gotten a heck of a lot better after this draft. You get a lot more sudden everywhere it seems ...
Guenther: "I do. And again, James can speak on the offense, but I thought as a defense we needed to get faster at all three levels. Hopefully, not only does it help us get faster with the guys we selected, but it keeps our older guys fresh and able to go, and maybe take some snaps off those guys. It will be interesting to see, particularly in the front, how we weave these guys in with our group."
Coach Burney, Lawson mentioned he worked with you at his Pro Day. What did you see when you worked him out?
Burney: "His outstanding effort. I put it to him, and he stood up every time. That was very impressive. This is a talented kid, a leader on that team, and he was ready to go. Some other guys faded, but he was there. So it just let me know how tough he is between his ears. With the talent, with his leadership qualities, we're getting a good football mind, as well as a good personality. We're fortunate to get him."
What is your theory to working guys out at the Pro Day? Carl Lawson said you didn't wave back to him ...
Burney: "Yeah I was wondering what that wave was all about. He did a fine job. You want to see how they do when they get pushed a bit, and he did a great job."
How does Josh Malone fit in with your offensive scheme?
Urban: "We expect him to come in, fit in the room, do things the way we do them, and compete. Anybody in that room that shies away from competition is not going to make it in that room. We're going to go out there and load the offense, make plays, and do what we have to do. After that, the chips fall where they may. We think he's going to fit right in the room, and compete to help us immediately. That's the hope of everyone who walks into that room. Competition is key."
How big is technique when evaluating prospects?
Burney: "It's tremendously important. They're all big strong and fast at this level, so the more technical, the better. Glasgow is a technician. He has square shoulders, a flat back, and is a powerful kid. That means a lot for a defense. They've done a great job with this kid at Michigan, and he's taken a hold of the position with his mentality. That's who he is; if you tell him to take a hold of the linebacker, he'll get that job (done)."
Do you consider downfield plays one of Josh's strengths?
Urban: "He is big and long and runs fast. Some of those balls from their quarterback (Dobbs) were thrown pretty far down the field. That's what they did with him. He transitions well. There's some route-running techniques that we'll get him to do our way, but that's what everybody has. He's been well coached at Tennessee. He had an injury two years ago that took him off the field a bit, so that's why his career numbers aren't what they could be. He had a fine year this year, and we think he can stretch the field at this level as well."
Do you think you've addressed a lot of the issues the defense had last year, such as age and quickness?
Guenther: "We still have six more picks, so it's still a long day for us. We're getting there. We're getting younger at some spots, and more athletic and quick at others. That's what we're trying to do."
Where are you watching the draft right now?
"(I'm) just at home. (I'm) just at home watching the draft."
Are you surprised where you were you drafted?
"Yeah, I was a little surprised. I'm happy just to get the opportunity, you know?"
What do you think your true position is?
"(It's) whatever they want me to be, but I guess edge rusher — anything rushing off the edge."
How often did you have your hand down on the field at the start of plays at Auburn? Did you play any downs starting from a standing up position?
"Yeah, I stood up and I had my hand down, so I did both."
Did you rush off both sides of the line?
"Yes sir. I rushed off both sides and up the middle, too."
You took a huge step up in terms of your production in your last season at Auburn? What was the biggest change for you during your last season?
"(It was just a matter of) staying healthy. That was the biggest thing for me, staying healthy."
Did it take a while for you to come back from your ACL and hip injuries?
"Yeah, but I've been good for like a year and a half. For the hip injury, it took like seven weeks and for the ACL, I had to sit out a whole season. But I'm good now, I'm healthy and can't wait to go play."
Do you ever bump into any former Bengals down at Auburn who played there like Willie Anderson and Takeo Spikes?
"I'm good friends with both of those guys, Takeo and Willie — I trained with Takeo when I was younger, too. We've got the Auburn ties and I just (also) know them. I forgot Takeo was a Bengal, too."
Did you say you worked out with Willie?
"Yeah, I worked out with Willie, and I worked out with Takeo too, when I was real little before I was an Auburn Tiger. When I was 11, I went out and trained with him and (XPE Sports') Tony Villani before I got to Auburn. I got pretty (in shape) that summer because I trained so hard."
How old where you when you did that?
Did you go to Willie Anderson's gym or a place that he owned?
"No, his son went to my high school and just knowing him through Auburn. I trained with him and took little things from him about how to beat offensive linemen."
Were you friends with former Auburn player and current Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah?
"Yeah, I was cool with C.J. when he was at Auburn."
How was the huddle handled there at Auburn in terms of calling signals? I heard you had a pretty good football IQ.
"I handled them pretty well, you know? Nothing was too hard, you know? And anything that is hard, I just go in and watch film to learn it. Nothing's going to be too hard for me to pick up any scheme."
Did you have any thought that the Bengals would be interested in you?
"Yeah, I did. The (Bengals defensive) line (Jacob Burney) coach came and worked us out at Auburn. He tied to kill us!"
It was different than the normal workouts you've been through?
"Yeah, I could tell he was going for broke because I saw him right before the drill started and I tried to wave at him and smile, and he didn't smile back, so I knew we were in for an intense workout."
Did he run the defensive line workout?
"Yeah (he did), at my pro day."
So we should call you a rush linebacker?
"Yeah, I guess so. A rush linebacker."
What was the call like when you found out you were selected? And did you meet with the Bengals or have any pre-draft workouts with them, or did you maybe think that they would be the team that called you today?
"I had an informal (meeting) at the Combine. I know I had talked to an assistant coach at my pro day, and he expressed a lot of interest. The call was just surreal. It's probably one of the moments I'm never going to forget, just to get this opportunity."
Have you ever heard of Barry White? Has anyone ever told you that you sound just like him?
"(Laughs) I get that every once in a while just because of my deep voice."
When you went to the Combine and ran like you ran, do you think that opened a lot of people's eyes about you?
"Yes I feel like it helped out a lot, just because I felt like a lot of people down there felt I couldn't run. I knew deep down I could run and what I could do on the field. I felt like it just opened up a lot of eyes and just gave me a big opportunity."
Just before we called you, we were listening to Mike Mayock, and others, on NFL Network. It was Charles Davis, a Tennessee alum, who said he felt like your pro potential was going to exceed what you accomplished in college. He feels like you're going to be a better pro receiver than what you were at Tennessee. Why do you think that thought's out there?
"Probably just because I'll have more opportunities to show what I can do. We played in a run-heavy offense at Tennessee, and the NFL is a lot of matchups and just going out and making plays. I agree with him. I'm just happy that I'm getting this opportunity to start off my career."
As you probably know, the Bengals also selected WR John Ross in the first round. Did you get to know him at all during the draft process?
"Yeah. I got to talk to him really quick at the combine, and talked to him in Philly before he got drafted. I'll probably hit him up and let him know we are going to be teammates, if he doesn't already know."
Were you watching his 40 yard dash?
"His 40 yard dash happened right after I ran mine and I was talking to somebody and I looked over and he was running and then I looked up at the big screen. Twitter was going crazy. I was like, 'Did someone just do something crazy?' That's how I found out he ran a 4.22."
How much do you know about the Bengals offense and the opposition you might be facing in the AFC North?
"I'm very aware. They have A.J. (Green), (Tyler) Boyd, and a lot of fellow wide receivers up there. They like to spread the ball around and run the ball, too. I'll just take advantage of the opportunities that come my way and contribute where I can. I'm really just grateful for this opportunity."
Did you meet wide receivers coach James Urban?
"Yeah, I met him at my pro day."
Did you visit Cincinnati?
"No, I did not."
What would you say some of your strengths are? Obviously we saw the time you ran, but, with your size, do you make yourself a big target for quarterbacks in the red zone or with contested catches? Where do you think you'll be able to find an immediate role?
"I feel like I'm a big target for a balanced wide receiver. I pride myself on being technically sound and getting open. So hopefully I can be a big help for them on third down, or if they need a big guy in the red zone to go get it, I can be another one of those guys for them. Like I said, I'm just grateful for this opportunity."
What do you need to work on in your game the most?
"The thing I've been working on the most is my quickness and being able to change my weight even more than I've already been doing. Just working on cleaning up the top of my route and stuff like that, so I can get out in my routes faster than I was in college. Those have really been the main things I've been focusing on."
Did you flash back at all, knowing how far you had to come to get here?
"Yeah, kind of. I've been sitting here anxiously in my living room for the past two days. I finally got a call from the Cincinnati area code, so I was ecstatic. You get sporadic phone calls you don't recognize, you grab the phone and then its like, 'Oh it's just my family.' It was nice to get a call. It was amazing. Really gratifying."
Is your brother Graham (plays guard for the Detroit Lions) with you?
"Yeah he is."
What has it been like waiting. Did you think it would be early today, or late? What were your thoughts?
"I was hoping it was going to be in the fourth round today, and it ended up being the fourth round. I'm just happy that I got picked and that the Cincinnati Bengals gave me a chance."
Did you meet with the team at all?
"No, I never talked to their defensive line coach. I didn't have a prior work out with them. I was surprised when I got the call from the Cincinnati area code, because I haven't talked with them much. But I guess I was on their board, and I was the next man up, so I am really happy to join the Bengals."
How much do you know about the team?
"I know a decent amount about the D-line. My D-line coach, (at Michigan) Greg Mattison, coached Carlos Dunlap when he was at Florida. So we watched a bit of their tape. I just know that they have a really athletic D-line. They're all really good. Geno Atkins is a beast. So, there's a lot of good guys on that defensive line."
How do you see the Bengals using you?
"I'm not sure. I want to show them that I'm a three-down guy. But who knows? I'm going to do whatever the coaching staff wants and whatever makes the organization better."
Do you already know that Detroit and Cincinnati play ...
"Christmas Eve (laughs). Yeah, it's going to be a great Christmas for the Glasgow family."
Did you grow up as a Lions fan?
"I grew up a Bears fan when I was living in Illinois. I switched to Lions after Graham was drafted, but now I am a Bengals fan."
Will there be anything that will help you assimilate to the NFL because you played under Jim Harbaugh, with the way he ran things with the team?
"Yeah. He did run it like an NFL organization, which is good. It will help ease the transition. I know there will still be a learning curve, but I think I will be helped out by the fact that I played for Harbaugh."