LIONS PRESIDENT & CEO MATT MILLEN
On drafting QB Drew Stanton:
“With the 43rd pick, we were able to get the player we’ve been looking at for a while. We’re really excited about it obviously. We’ve got a homegrown kid who is athletic, who’s got a big upside, who we’re anxious to work with, I think he wants to be here. What’s most important to me is: the kid is a football player. He loves to the play the game. You guys are probably more familiar with him than I am. Just looking at him on tape, he’s one of those guys you get excited about. I think he gives us great competition at the quarterback spot which I’m excited about. We are thrilled about it.”We had targeted a number of players and the math worked right that we could make that move down with Buffalo and we did and we were still able to get the player. To me, I thought that was a great move for us.”

On what this means about QB Josh McCown: “It means we’ve got great competition.”

On whether they’ll keep four quarterbacks: “No, we’ll probably keep three, but there will be four to work. You can’t ask for a better situation. We’ve got two up-and-coming kids; we’ve got ourselves a nice veteran and a young veteran. We’re thrilled.”

On whether he’s concerned that after the first two rounds of the draft that they have only taken one player who can help them this year: “No. Because I’m comfortable with where we’re at. We still have a few more rounds to go – I’m okay with that.”

On how many calls he got while they were on the clock for their first round pick: “We got zero.”

On how many calls he got before the draft: “Before, I talked to three teams and we were going to talk again if they had an interest but they didn’t. It made it easy actually – that was great. There had been conversations prior to that. They knew where we were, we knew where they were. So when the day started, it was actually a pretty easy decision.”

On who they had targeted with their original second round pick: “We had guys targeted up on the board and we had a number of guys that were in that group. So when you played the numbers and played the math, one of them would be there for us. That Drew Stanton pick, I’m excited about that. I know you don’t expect me to say anything except that.”

On whether he’s concerned that after the first two rounds that they haven’t taken a defensive player: “Like I said, we have a few more rounds to go. We’re okay – we’re in good shape there.”

On whether he things that his defense is in better shape than the media do: “I don’t know what you guys think. All I know is what we think of it.”

On what he thinks of the defense: “I think we’re pretty solid but I’m looking ahead, obviously. I’m looking to get anybody who can contribute and make us better. That’s what we’ll go back into this draft room and try to get finished.”

On where they had Stanton on their board: “I’m going to tell you the truth and you’re going to think I’m making it up – like you’re expecting me to say this. I’m telling you as God as my witness, he was the next quarterback on our board.

“We had him sitting there in a group, it was a tight group and he was at the top of that group.”

On whether he had him rated ahead of QB Brady Quinn: “No – but like I said, it was a tight group.”

On whether he set such a high price for teams interested in WR Calvin Johnson that it would have to ‘knock his socks off’: “No, actually it was just parameters. We just spoke in parameters – just generally what we were thinking. It never came to fruition which is fine. We couldn’t be more thrilled – it made it easy.”

LIONS HEAD COACH ROD MARINELLI
On drafting QB Drew Stanton:
“I don’t know that there is a lot to add to it. It’s our type of guy; that’s what I’m excited about. We went out and had a chance to go up for his workout and watched him work. We’ve studied him and boy he’s got the toughness; he’s a local guy; he wants to be here; football is everything to the guy. To me, it’s a great pick. We’ve got the four quarterbacks right now. Things workout, things will work it out.”

On whether Stanton exudes the leadership qualities he wants out of a quarterback: “Oh yeah – and toughness and willingness. Mike (Martz) had a chance to work with him when we went up there a little bit during that pro day. Part of the evaluation is watching a guy take coaching and the hunger and the look (in his eyes). There’s a gut feeling to some of this stuff. That was impressive to all of us. The guy is a tough guy; a great leader.”

On how you can see that in a guy who went through a season like MSU did in 2006: “You look for the character – the football character part of it. Then, I’ll tell you what, when you get unsolicited recommendations when you walk into that campus and there were two or three people that work there – and how they come up and talked about this guy. How they talked about him in the summer, working and all of those different types of things that you look for. It’s not just the arm and all those things now. Those things can be managed and fixed and worked on. It’s some of the things that are inside of a man to play this game that you’re looking for. We’re excited about that.”

On whether there is any concern about having not helped the defense yet: “I think you always want to get better on both sides of the ball. You know, we hit it so hard last year too. We had our first and second round pick last year (on defense) and then Anthony Cannon made our team as a linebacker last year and obviously we really like him. We think Dee McCann has come along really well as a corner. Now, we’ve got the next part of this draft. We’ve got two third round picks we can look at. The one thing that you don’t want to do – there was a clump of guys there on defense too – and some of it might have been a reach. We like them, but we might be able to get them in the second and this third round too. We hate to reach, just to reach. You like him and he still has an opportunity to be there. There’s a clump of guys that I think we like. We’ve just got to put that thing together and keep researching.”

On the 2007 draft class of quarterbacks: “They all just seemed to keep moving up as we got closer the last two or three weeks. You watch the tape and you just see these guys coming as people – it was a good group. I think it’s a very good group of guys.”

On how they had the quarterbacks rated: “We had that group – I mean they’re all just locked in our board like that. I think everybody saw them pretty much the same.”

On whether there are any injury concerns with QB Drew Stanton: “Everything we’ve got on him, he’s going to be fine – ready to go. We’ll get him into rookie camp and get him going.”

On whether they ran his workout: “No, it was his pro day. Then you also have a chance to work with a guy in (his) pro day. You can take a guy to the side and have a chance to work with him with some individual work.”

LIONS QB DREW STANTON
On his reaction of being drafted by the Lions: “I’m actually down in Miami right now at a hotel called the Shore Club that was rented out by Drew Rosenhaus, who is my agent. My reaction was that I was ecstatic. I’m so excited to come up there and return back home. It’s a great opportunity and it’s a franchise that I’m very excited to be a part of.”

On if being from the area is the reason for his excitement: “That plays into it, but it’s not a big reason at all. It is the situation that I’m coming into. Learning from a seasoned veteran like Jon Kitna is priceless. Also, there is the opportunity to work under Mike Martz and coach Marinelli that is so motivated and so interested in turning that franchise around. He’s so enthusiastic. It pours out of him in a sense that he’s so excited and so passionate to be apart of the Lions and he wants that type of player. Obviously, being a kid who has grown up around that area and followed the Lions, it is a dream come true.”

On the history of the Lions franchise: “I think that the Lions have struggled in the past. That’s what folks say about Mike Martz — look at the job he was able to do after a couple years with the Rams and getting them to a Super Bowl. Those are the things that excite you. Being around people like that, who have such a great offensive mind, that make it fun, but also have success in the National Football League, it’s something that I look forward to getting to work with right away.”

On his private workout with Mike Martz at his pro-day: “It was amazing, because it was only a 15 or 20-minute period that he took me to the side and wanted to see me make different throws, work with him, and coach me the way he said he would coach me. I really like the way he conducts himself. The knowledge he has is endless. He told me so many little things, that seem like commonsense, but they make all the difference in the world at this level, especially with accuracy, foot work and those things. It’s really unbelievable the knowledge he has and the short period of time that he can get results.”

On the similarities between the Lions and Michigan State offenses: “A little bit, I think there are some similarities. Obviously this offense is the next level and beyond, with the things they are capable of doing with the weapons that the Lions have. It’s real exciting for me to get the chance to run that offense and learn from those people.”

On if the pressure of being a hometown boy is overwhelming: “Not really. Detroit is a great sports city. You can see the reaction that the town gets. I was there last year when the Tigers made their run, which was unbelievable, and the Red Wings, the Pistons. When the Lions turn it around it is going to be unbelievable. I’m so excited to try to be apart of that.”

On playing with Lions’ first-round pick WR Calvin Johnson: “I actually tried to just get into contact with him. I know the quarterback from Georgia Tech, Taylor Bennett, who was his roommate and spoke highly of him. I have his number and I’m going to try to get a hold of him, just so I can make contact and start our relationship off on the good foot. That type of a player comes around once in a while and to call him my teammate is unbelievable.”

On getting hooked up with super-agent Drew Rosenhaus: “He started recruiting me last year, at the beginning of my junior year, when there was some talk of me coming out. He just stuck through it. I obviously went through the whole process with him and really liked him. Some of the stuff was coming up with (Terrell Owens) and all that, so I had some red flags and really wasn’t interested. He was persistent. Once you get beneath the surface on him, he is an unbelievable guy. He’s very ethical and likes to get deals done. He’s all about his clients. That alone really pushed me towards him, but then the fact that I was ranked as one of the top picks of the draft and then I didn’t have the success I would have hopped for, but he never wavered on his decision. He told me that I was the guy that he wanted and I really respect him for that, because I know I am very capable of playing in this league. For him to do that, when he could have gone somewhere else, that speaks volumes on the type of human being that he is.”

On his health: “I’m fine, I’m 100-percent. I think doing some of the different training techniques that I’ve done, while I’ve been down here in Florida, I’ve gotten great results. I never had any real lingering effects anyway. I’m 100-percent and feeling great. I’m really excited to get up there to Detroit.”

On if there are similarities between Michigan State and the Lions: “Definitely. I think I drew comparisons to that when I was talking with coach Marinelli and everybody that was apart of the Lions franchise. I said that this is a franchise on the rise, very similar to Michigan State when I was getting recruited. There are just a couple more things that need to happen, before they are really contenders and I want to be a piece of that puzzle. Especially being a hometown kid, for me to get an opportunity to come there and try to do that is something that is going to be very special for me.”

On the quarterbacks that came off the board prior to being picked: “That situation is out of my control. I think Drew (Rosenhaus) was pretty aware of that, when he told me that. He told me some guys might fall, but I think Detroit is still going to be the team that gets you. He’s been saying that for a while, that I’m going to end up in Detroit. It’s like I said, it’s personal preference. Some people have me rated below those guys and that’s why they went ahead of me, but I have no control over that. I plan on going out there and doing the best that I can and try to let my actions show on the field.

“(Drew) said from the very get-go that he thought I would be the second pick of the second round and then when (Detroit) fell back, he said don’t be surprised if some other guys might go ahead of you. Then right after he said that, Kevin Kolb and John Beck came off the board.”

 

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