MARVIN LEWIS (Head coach) and PAUL ALEXANDER (Assistant head coach/offensive line coach) and JONATHAN HAYES (Tight ends coach)
Initial comments:ML: Chase Coffman, the tight end from Missouri, is recovering from a bit of a foot injury, and we are really excited about his talents and abilities. He has been a fine receiver in their offense and has played a lot in their spread formations. He is a big-frame guy, and we feel like he has the tenacity to develop as a tight end in the NFL. He brings us that big-time receiving threat as a tight end, and we are excited about that.
Jon (Luigs) has played a lot of football at Arkansas. He is a big, strong guy — very, very smart. He was a pleasure in the time that we spent with him in Indianapolis, and he was also in Mobile at the Senior Bowl, so we have been around him quite a bit. We really felt like where we were able to pick him was a great value, and he will come in and compete with the guys that we have here on the roster now at center.
In both of these guys, we get young players who have been really competitive at their schools in how they have played football. They are smart guys and very tenacious. We are excited to have both of those kids.
Q: How do you think Luigs will fit in here with what you want to do with the offensive line?PA: He will compete for the starting center spot. We have a number of guys that are here now that are in line to compete for that job and we look for him to improve.
Q: Why do you think Luigs was available in the fourth round after he won the Rimington Award in 2007?ML: You really can't count those college awards with (respect) to the NFL. There were years when the Heisman Trophy winner didn't even make a team. The guy (Luigs) has been awarded as one of the better players in college football, but we are evaluating him to come play in the NFL, and we like what he can do. We are really excited to have him. He is a good fit at the right spot. He comes in an area to compete with the guys that we have, who we were pretty comfortable with. But Jon was still there, so we brought him in and will give him a chance to battle.
Q: How good do you feel about Coffman as an end-line blocker?JH: I have known this kid since he was a baby. His dad and I used to work out together; we played together at the Chiefs. I know his work ethic. This kid will work hard to be able to play and have all the nuances of the game. The only limitations that he has are the ones outside of himself that people put on him. This kid is a great competitor; he has shown that. I think it will take some time, but not a lot of time. He is a smart kid, he is driven and he wants to be successful and win. Those are the types of guys that you want to have in your locker room.