Jermaine Gresham Press Conference Transcript

Q: Did you feel like you were on this team's radar all along?JG: "I had a good feeling. I took a visit here, so I had a feeling I could end up here."

Q: You had a great season in 2008, then missed all of last year with an injury. How much did you realize you missed the game after sitting out in 2009?JG: "When you have something you love taken away from you, it makes you appreciate it that much more. You realize how much football means to you."

Q: You come off as a pretty confident guy, almost cocky. Where does that come from?JG: "You have to believe in yourself. I'm not cocky, and I don't approach the game that way. You just have to believe in yourself."

Q: Where did learn that?JG: "My mother taught me to believe in myself."

Q: How often were you asked medical-related questions leading up to the draft?JG: "There were a lot of medical questions, especially at the combine. I performed well at the combine and at my pro day, so I think I answered a lot of questions."

Q: Every defensive coordinator I talked to said you were a matchup nightmare for defenses. Did you realize that you were that much of a weapon?JG: "No, not really. I just went out every Saturday and competed. I just went out and tried to beat whoever was out there in front of me."

Q: What do you know about Carson Palmer?JG: "I know he's a quarterback that puts it on the money. He's a pro bowl quarterback, and you can't ask for anything better."

Q: I don't know how much you've heard about the problems this team has had at tight end in the past, but are you aware of what's expected of you here?JG: "I'm OK with that. I just have to be me. I just have to put the pads on and show them what I can do."

Q: What is the biggest thing you need to work on as a pro?JG: "My technique is the biggest thing. It all comes down to technique and how you position yourself."

Q: You were one of four players from Oklahoma drafted in the first round. I guess that speaks to the quality of the program:JG: "All I can say is 'Boomer Sooner.' "

Q: How do you rate yourself as a blocker?JG: "My effort is there, but I'm a poor technician. I need to work on my technique — keep my head up, stop being so rounded, do the little things, and I'll be good."

Q: Do you expect to excel at blocking?JG: "Most definitely. Coach Hayes is a great coach. The things I learned in college, I got better each year. I'm still improving. The sky's the limit on my blocking."

Q: Did you watch last year's Hard Knocks?JG: "I didn't see much of it."

Q: How do you feel about being united with Chase Coffman at TE?JG: "It feels good. I know the type of player he is. I played against him for three years, and he's a great competitor. I've seen him go out there and make some amazing catches. I'm just happy to be able to play along with him, because he's a good player."

Q: What was draft day like for you?JG: "I was happy it was finally here, but when it started going, it was nerve-racking. I didn't know where I was going to go. I didn't know who was going to pick me. There was a chance I wasn't going to go in the first round, so I didn't know where I was going to land. It made me wonder and made me nervous."

Q: Did you have a point where you chose football over basketball?JG: "My sophomore year in high school, my high school coach told me, 'Your future is going to be in football.' I could see the changes happening, and he was right. My sophomore year, I finally realized what my high school coach told me. Football is my calling, and I needed to focus on that."

Q: Why did he think football was your calling over basketball?JG: "What I could do on the football field, compared to the basketball court, was rare in his eyes."

Q: How much did you weigh when you enrolled at Oklahoma?JG: "I came out and was maybe 220 or 225. I'm 260 now, so I've put on about 35 or 40 pounds. That's a lot. That's thanks to (Jerry) Schmidt, my strength coach at OU."

Q: Coach Hayes said you talked about playing basketball at Oklahoma as well:JG: "I was approached to play basketball for the team, but it was hard because it was at a transition from my junior year to my senior year. I was thinking about going pro, and I didn't have enough time for that."

Q: What do you think makes you rare?JG: "Just the way I compete. There are a lot of athletes in the NFL — they're everywhere. I think what separates me from them is the way I compete."

Q: How do you compete?JG: "Hard. I don't want to lose. Anybody can say that, but I feel I have an edge over anybody I'm competing against."

Q: What do you know about the Cincinnati Bengals as a franchise and a team?JG: "I'm a little piece of this puzzle because they were already great last year. And hopefully I can just come in and help with the little things to help get us past the first round of the playoffs and make the Super Bowl."

Q: Do you think the pro-style offense ran at Oklahoma has helped prepare you for the NFL?JG: "Yes, most definitely. I think coach (Kevin) Wilson helped me to be able to play (multiple) positions on the field — to not limit myself to one thing; to be able to go anywhere on the field and be productive."

Q: Oklahoma does a lot of different things on offense, and used you in a number of different ways. Do you think that versatility will prepare you for the NFL?JG: "Most definitely. I think Coach (Kevin) Wilson (Oklahoma Offensive Coordinator) helped me prepare to play every position on the field. It helped me not limit myself to one thing, and being able to go anywhere on the field and be productive."

Q: Anthony Collins is here with you today. It looks like Big 12 guys stick together:JG: "It's how we roll."

Q: Did you know him before today?JG: "Yeah, he played at Kansas. We met earlier when I came on my visit. Good guy."

Q: How do you think you and Chase Coffman can complement each other on the field?JG: "Matchup problems. We can run. We can block. However you want it, we're going to give it to you."

Q: You had a few problems getting here today. Can you describe your day? What were your original plans?JG: "I originally had a flight at nine. I woke up, got to the airport, and as soon as I got my ticket the guy said that the flight was cancelled. They told me they didn't have any more flights to Cincinnati today, so I thought, 'I guess I'm stuck, I guess I can't go.' But luckily, the lady up there found me a flight. So I got on it and finally made it."

Q: Where did you fly out of?JG: "Oklahoma City. I connected in Detroit."

Q: What did you do during the draft yesterday? Where were you? Who was with you?JG: "I was at my apartment by myself, watching on my couch."

Q: By yourself? Why?JG: "I didn't want to put my family through that, through the stress of where you can go, where you can't go, up and down. That's for me to worry about, not you guys (my family). I don't want to put them through that, so I just watched it by myself."

Q: Were they nearby?JG: "No, they weren't nearby. I was in a different city."

Q: What do you think Carson Palmer will like the most about you?JG: "I'm a big, moving target. I catch everything."

Q: Is 260 pounds your ideal playing weight in the NFL?JG: "Yeah, 260 is fine with me. It doesn't matter to me. I've played at 265 before, too. But it feels good to me."

Q: The last couple of years, the Bengals have had trouble signing their first-round pick. How important is it for you to sign in time to get into training camp?JG: "I need that. I can't afford to sit out and miss a little bit. There's slots, and whatever I get, I get. I play the game because I love it, and money is secondary. Hopefully, with where I got picked, I'll get enough money for me to help my family. I'm not greedy. That's the way I look at it."

Q: Do you need it because you haven't played in a year and a half?JG: "I need it mentally. I can't afford to sit out and do nothing just for some money."

Q: Is that why you signed with the agent that you did, Ben Dogra and CAA? They are pretty experienced with this ... JG: "Yes. Ben is a very, very, very good agent. His understanding of the process and how he approached me, he was very professional. I respect that, and that's why I went with him."

Q: What size shoe do you wear?JG: "15."

Q: People always seem to comment about how big and powerful you come across, and that your strength is your power. Do you feel like you can overpower people?JG: "Yeah, I think so. It depends on who I'm going against. It's kind of hard when you're going against D-ends as opposed to a DB. It's just my mindset on the field: let's go, let's get it on."

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