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Everything Dan Pitcher Said After Drafting Erick All


Offensive coordinator

What stands out Erick All on tape?

"Very well-rounded skill set. Size, athleticism, contributor in both the pass game and the run game. He's physical. We think he can be really an all-around tight end that can help us in all phases."

How big of a question mark is his health given the past injuries?

"He (has had) a couple of unfortunate deals for him. We're very comfortable with where he's at in his recovery and how he's attacking that. We think he'll be able to contribute for us and we feel good about that."

Iowa is a bit of a tight end factory in terms of the talent it produces for the NFL level. Was that a factor in considering him here?

"He was a captain in Michigan before he even gets there, which is a big deal. He goes to Iowa and he's having a hell of a season. And again, we've referenced obviously, (he) suffers an unfortunate injury, but they know how to coach that position. It's very clear based on the guys they are producing in this league and we think that he fits that mold."

Has the tight end position in the NFL recently in terms of pass catching changed the way you guys have evaluated that position?

"I don't know that it's changed it. I think you're always evaluating it within the context of what you expect that person to do in your offense and who's already in your building. With a guy like Erick, I think he's attractive regardless of what your offensive attack is. He'll provide you some versatility that way. Certainly, we want guys that can run and catch. That is a major way for that position to impact the game and he falls in that."

How does he complement Mike Gesicki, Drew Sample and Tanner Hudson in your tight end room?

"I think he really fits there because as I mentioned before, he can be the F in 12 (personnel). He can be the single tight end on the field in 11 (personnel). He's got experience in wing sets, in multiple tight end sets, where he's done a lot of that. So, he's a guy you can play on the move, he can play the point of attack — he truly is versatile."

Was him being a captain at Michigan a big deal? You've now got one on offense and one on defense ...

"Yeah. It's a big deal. That means something to come from a storied program like that and to have been given that honor from the people there — his teammates and his peers. We always are looking to add guys with high football character and he fits that mold."

What does he do well as a pass catcher in particular?

"For a big guy — he's 6-4 and change, 250 (pounds) — he can move and separate and change directions. He's got a big catch radius. He attacks the football aggressively. He's tough to tackle. Really, you throw on his target tape from this year and there's a lot to get excited about. I think he can bring that to us early in his career."

From a health standpoint, do you expect him to play this season or is it too early to tell?

"I think so. I can't sit here and give a timetable as to when he's going to be available to us. I just know that that organizationally, we feel comfortable about where he's at right now and he's going to continue working hard to get back on the field."

When you got the opportunity to spend time with him, was there anything you learned about him in that moment that you didn't know based on reports?

"I think it just confirmed what we felt, which was that we had an intelligent, super competitive guy. That's what you see on tape. To have the experience in the two programs that he's had, you expect that. You see it on tape, and then you meet the guy in person and it confirms all those things. So, we weren't surprised by anything. He just let us know that we were on the right track."

What is important to Joe Burrow with the tight end position? What's maybe different what he expects out of his receivers as opposed to his tight ends?

"Number one, we need really competitive guys who are trustworthy, who are going to be where we expect them to be on time. That's a given — you have to be able to that to be able to contribute in this offense, and I think Erick is going to do that just fine. And it's a plus when this guy can run down the seam and he can reach and catch, and he's tough to bring to the ground. You add that to the fact that we can use him in the run game like I've referenced, and it's a complete tight end. And that's what he's going to be for us."

With the tight end position, how important is it to assimilate quickly and pick up what you guys are doing quickly?

"I think in all positions, that's important. I think the tight end position may have more on its plate than any other, because of how integral they are in the run and the pass scheme. They have to know it all and they have to be able to function quickly within it all. That's why traditionally those guys are smart, high character guys, because they need to be. He'll need to pick up quickly, but he will."

How much was tight end a position of need?

"We had three prior to this selection. We had three guys under contract that we feel really good about. You need more than that, so it was certainly something we identified as wanting to add to that group, and we're really happy we get a chance to add Erick at this stage."

Do you think you'll play more 12-personnel than you have in the past, or is that something under consideration that you'll play more, because you need to have tight ends that can do a lot of things?

"Yeah, it's helpful. It's good when you can have guys on the field that make you equally as dangerous in the run and the pass game, and we feel like he fits that mold. He'll help us in that phase, but the other guys we already have here in Mike (Gesicki) and Tanner (Hudson) obviously can do a lot too. We're just glad to add to that group."

Bengals tight ends coach James Casey is very big on trying to find guys who can do both. Is this a James Casey guy?

"No doubt. I wish you could see James right now. James is fired up, and we love bringing these guys in, in large part because we know how James is going to coach them. James is an outstanding coach, and he's going to get the most out of Erick, so we're really excited."

It seems like three of the guys — Tanner Hudson, Mike Gesicki, and this kid are pass catchers. Is this kind of evolving into what Joe Burrow's type of tight end is?

"I would characterize this player as an all-around tight end. I'm not discounting his ability to impact the pass game, I'm just making sure we respect the fact that he's a physical guy that is also going to help us in the run game. He's just a really good player and we're happy we got to add him."

How rare is the size, pass catching ability, and ability to block well? I'm sure you guys had a higher grade on him than where he was at with the medical background ...

"Yeah, usually you're living in one of those two worlds, and when you find a guy who lives adequately, or more than adequately in both, then that's a big deal. And he checks that box."

Was he fired up about being drafted by his hometown team?

"Yeah, I think he's really excited to come be a part of this organization. I think it's always helpful when these guys have a ready-made support system around them, but we would've taken Erick All if he was from Hawaii. We didn't take him because of that, but it's certainly nice that he gets to come home and now be a contributor to his hometown franchise."

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