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NFL Combine 2014: Dave Caldwell press conference transcript

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell spoke with the media at the 2014 NFL Combine.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

How Ace Sanders and Jonathan Cyprien played as rookies?

"Ace did a really nice job. For a fourth round pick, he came in, played in 15 games and had 51 catches as our slot receiver, which ispretty good production out of a rookie receiver. We really feel like going into next year, the arrow is pointing up on him. He's a greatkid, he has a tremendous work ethic, he has incredible hands and we feel he can take a step up and be our answer in the slot position andas our punt returner. ... Cyp, we were talking about him with our coaching staff last week. We went through and watched him and we were reallyimpressed with how he progressed. He started 15 games as a rookie strong safety and probably didn't get the recognistion he deserved. As the season got on, he played the pass pretty well."

Can you talk more on Cyprien and his athleticism?

"We drafted him as an in-the-box strong safety that would be a run supporter but we found out throughout the year after we got him he is equally as good in the passing game in man to man and in zone coverage."

Will you meet with Manziel, Bortles and Bridgewater this week?

"We haven't sat down with those guys and we've been admiring them from afar. We'll meet with every quarterback, not including the ones at the Senior Bowl."

If you have doubts about a player's work ethic, how do you address it this week?

"In this situation, if it's something that's public knowledge, you ask them, 'How do you consider your work ethic?' and let them tell you."

Can a lazy guy convince you he's not?

"For us, a true sign of somebody who is a real competitor is somebody who can identify his weaknesses and talk openly about them. That says a lot because that means they're willing to work on those weaknesses."

With Gus' style, can he fix a work ethic/motor problem?

"I don't think it's just his energetic style, but his approach to the players and he's completely devoted to making players better not only on the field but off the field."

What is Blaine Gabbert's future with Jaguars?

"We'll treat Blaine like any other player. We're going to bring him in and have him compete and develop until we think it's not in his best interests or until he gets beat out."

Can you talk about the evolution of right tackle and the need for better athlete there these days?

"If you have a right tackle that struggles in pass protection, teams are going to put their best pass rusher on the right side and you see that here in Indianapolis with Robert Mathis - for most of his career, he's played on the right side so you better have somebody who can protect the passer. You look at a team like the San Francisco 49ers, who have a very good left tackle and a very good right tackle and if you can take care of both bookends, it frees you up to do a lot offensively."

Is there a difference in maturity level between underclassmen and seniors?

"It depends on the player. Luke came in right away and did a nice job on the right side and when he got hurt in his first game after we moved him over to the left side, he was having his best game. It depends on the player and his ability to learn. I don't think it's the toughest position to come in and play as a rookie."

Which of the top three quarterbacks is most NFL ready?

"That's tough. We're still going on with that evaluation process. We have to sit down with these guys - a lot of it will depend on the interviews,the workout, when we bring them in. Rookie quarterbacks, as a whole, generally aren't NFL ready. You get the exceptions like Andrew Luck and Matt Ryan and Peyton Manning, but those are guys that spent 4-5 years at a university playing in a pro-style offense. That's not the common thing right away for a rookie to come in and start."

How intriguing is Manziel?

"His competitiveness is intriguing. Just his ability to win and compete and move the team is something that's really intriguing."


"Very talented. Extremely talented."

What is Justin Blackmon's future?

"Justin needs to take care of himself and our biggest thing for Justin is to make sure he lives a happy and healthy lifestyle."

Do you expect Blackmon back?

"We haven't' really thought much about it. If he can get things right and he's right, we would welcome him back."

You have to draft Manziel to sell tickets, right?

"When Shad hired Gus and I, he said, 'It's not your job to sell tickets.' These decisions are football decisions and we'll put the best 53 player son the roster. If we do that and we win, the marketability and ticket sales will come."

What are the benefits of seeing Bortles, for example, throw this week?

"It shows a level of competitiveness and somebody that wants to go out and show the world. This is the biggest stage you can have for a workout so why not do it here and save yourself a bunch of private workouts later on? Each, individual situation is different and a lot of people have a lot of different reasons for why and why not. When we sit down with those players, we'll find out why they made those decisions."

This is a deep draft, are you open to trading down?

"We have 10 picks already and when we did the Eugene Monroe trade, we felt it would be a deep draft. We feel really good about having an extra four and an extra five. It would be beneficial to us if we trade down."

Status of Chad Henne?

"Chad did an admirable job - we went .500 our last eight games and we feel like another year in our offense with some more play-makers maybe and better offensive line play, he could keep us afloat. And MJD did a really nice job and competed hard, ran the ball hard and was physical."