"Coming off the season, we got asked to coach the Senior Bowl and it was a tremendous experience, getting to be with50 guys on the South team and then have a chance to interview another 50 guys from the North team on that Thursday and it was a great week.We hope to capture that momentum coming into the Combine. It's been a great opportunity the next month-and-a-half or so evaluating the film of our own style and then the free agents and the draft. It's a cool time."
What do you want to accomplish during meetings?
"It's a challenge - you get 15 minutes and sometimes it feels like the horn blows fast and it's shortened. But hopefully they let their guard down so you can find out what they're really all about. Obviously, more extensive work will need to be done - our scouts have done a great job talking to them and their coaches. That part of the process always continues and at the Pro Days, you hope to get even more information."
How much stock put into QB measurements?
"For us, if you put down traits we're looking for in a quarterback, some of the things that keep popping up are timing, accuracy and decision making.That's what we're really looking at. Obviously, people take a look at height but those are the major components are those three things and that'swhat you evaluate on film. But just as with the interviews, you take everything into account."
What's your take on Bridgewater?
"He's got really good poise and very good decision making and very accurate - that's what jumps out."
Can you fix a guy who has a bad work ethic?
"I don't think so. We're trying to create an environment for everybody to be their best and it still comes back to the player. It needs to be important to the player. They need to have humility and they need to talk about their weaknesses. When you do that, you have a chance to get better. We can help them with the process, but it's really egotistical to think we can fix anybody and that's not our mindset."
Question on the two Louisiana Tech defensive lineman at the Senior Bowl:
"I thought they did a good job competing. I know our d-line coach really liked their mindset and work ethic on a day-to-day to basis.They're intriguing. They caught our attention enough to say, 'We need to do further work on them.'
What do you make of Clowney's junior year?
"Everybody is different. One thing we look at is, sometimes as a coaching staff, you may choose to attack a player but we choose to look at the positives and say, 'What traits do we like?' Maybe his junior year didn't completely go the way he wanted. Everybody is going to have strugglesat times; it's about how they adjust to those and how they capture them and get better from those times."
What is your impression of Bortles?
"Our GM and scouting staff are into that process more. To give you a complete evaluation at this point, I don't think I'm ready to do that, but Ican tell you, we've watched enough that we're very intrigued by him, the traits he has - big, tall, timing, accuracy, decision making. Those are thethings we take a close look at it. The evaluation process is never over. The Combine is important but it's just another piece of the puzzle. I'm looking forward to seeing him really compete. There's a chance to compete here and we'll keep an eye on him."
How many of the 60 interviews will you attend?
"All of them."
What role do you play in the interview?
"Everybody is different. I try to lead it right from the start and again, it's more of an introduction and we do ask some good questions to get theirresponses. You can come out of that meeting with somewhat of an idea of them as an individual."
What is different being second-year head coach here?
"I don't think it's any different, it's just a whole new group of guys and you start all over again. It's like you're at the bottom of the mountain andyou re-start the trek up. We would like to hope it's a science and it's, 'Follow this and always make the right pick.' Unfortunately, it's not like that.We try to find out as much information we can in this time period."
How do you feel about Manziel's confidence and swagger?
"I think it's important - you need to have confidence. It's one thing to have confidence and another to have humility. Can you have confidence and humility?Why is that important? Because if you have humility, you can talk about your weaknesses and that's how you improve. That's what I'm excited to talk to himabout in our meeting. The confidence is great and all that, but are you willing to get better and challenge yourself like Peyton Manning and all the greatquarterbacks? Can he challenge himself in a way that's he open to being coached and self-evaluate the areas he needs to improve?"
What about Manziel's on-field play?
"He's very talented. How can you argue with what he's done and the plays he makes? An exciting player. I'm looking forward to watching everything andI know our staff has and we're in that process. We've been watching him for quite a while and seeing his traits, but he did some great things for his team."
Is it important to find your franchise quarterback?
"It's difficult, but it does get more attention as well because it's so important. Everybody is tagged with, 'Is he a franchise quarterback?' That's really difficult. I guess Chad Henne is ours and he's our starter and if we get him re-signed. You're going to make some mistakes, but you hope it's limited and especially at that position."
How active do you need to be in free agency?
"We need to take a look at our team and we have some needs and we need to have a really good plan and we feel we do. What's our plan? What's our attack mode?What types of players are we looking to bring into our organization? I think you'll see us play a part in it. How active or how big is yet to be determined,but we have holes we need to fill."
What did you learn about the players on your roster last year?
"We saw some guys get better, there's no doubt about it. We played a lot of young guys. A guy like Dwayne Gratz, we saw some traits in him and now that he went through a season, he can go into OTAs with a different mindset. We're excited to see him progress. And a guy like Denard Robinson. We didn't even know what position he was going to play for us - he was the offensive weapon. Now we know, 'OK, we're going to really lock in on running back,' and see what he can do. I think we've got some core guys we feel strong about."
Can Denard Robinson be a factor?
"I'm not going to say one way or another, but I'm really excited to find out. The guy is infectious, he has natural traits, the team gravitates toward him, he has explosiveness and he has really good vision so let's give him a chance see what he has. I wouldn't put it by him that he would be a story."
How do you get an evaluation on a prospect?
"You always go back to the film. You see them run and do drills at the Combine, but don't forget about the film. That's their body of work. It will be cool to visit them, see them compete and then go back to the film and find the true story."
How helpful is it to have a mobile quarterback and how do they stress a defense?
"Obviously, they have to make the throws in the pocket - step up and make the required throws. But if they pick and choose their times, whether it's through the play call or by feeling pressure, to extend the play, it creates great strain. It provides an added dimension to a game and the defense can't hone in and say, 'Well, we have a really good feel that the quarterback is going to be here in all our games, rushes and pressures.' Their ability to escape, extend the play and create big plays, that throws another dimension into it."
How difficult to rebuild an offensive line?
"It does take time. We would love to have continuity. If you can keep the same group and work with them over and over again, that's a good thing. Butunfortunately, we may not be in that position but that's OK, too. If we can bring in some good players at the positions of need along with our core guys,it's then our job to speed that process up."
Did your experience with Russell Wilson impact your opinion on shorter quarterbacks?
"What a tremendous player, but it's his work ethic, it's his leadership skills, it's the traits we've talked about - his timing, accuracy and decision making - that make him so effective. And I didn't say anything about his height. Really concentrating on those traits is what makes Russell unique."
What about Matt Scott?
"He's got a great opportunity in OTAs. Just watching him in drill work, his demeanor changed throughout the season. He's intriguing."