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Draft Day Quotes - Polian, Caldwell, Hughes

THURSDAY, APRIL 22, 2010   COLTS DRAFT DAY QUOTES – FOLLOWING FIRST ROUND CHOICE DE-JERRY HUGHES   PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (Comments on drafting DE-Jerry Hughes) Thursday “It was a long and arduous first round.

*THURSDAY, APRIL 22, 2010 *

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PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (Comments on drafting DE-Jerry Hughes) Thursday

"It was a long and arduous first round. There weren't many names left on the board in the first round.  Our board was incredibly accurate.  We are thrilled to have Jerry (Hughes).  We've been searching for the elusive third rusher for a long time and now we feel like he can fill that bill.  We are happy to have him.  He can put his hand down and he can stand up in the 'joker' role.  He's a pure pass rusher.  That's what he does.  The sacks and statistics speak for itself.  He's done it against great competition.  He's a converted running back.  He was a running back in high school.  He was recruited to TCU as a running back.  They changed him over to defense the first day he got there.  He has performed admirably ever since."

HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (Comments on drafting DE-Jerry Hughes) Thursday

"He's a talented guy.  He's a guy with some versatility, particularly as a third down rusher.  He gives us an opportunity to get up the field on the outside.  He can also do some of the things we've done with three-down personnel and a guy that can roam around for us a little bit.  He can play that position as well.  We think he's going to be able to give us some power along with that rush, and he's a guy that certainly has all the moves in his package and when John (Teerlinck) gets his hands on him and works with him, he'll get him to play like all of our guys do when they get after the passer.  We are certainly pleased to have him."

PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (On why the Colts drafted Hughes) Thursday

"He's been on a guy that has been on our radar for quite some time.  He is well known.  He was talked about in terms of coming out last year.  He elected to stay.  He had a great year this year.  He is far from an unknown."   

PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (Comments on drafting DE-Jerry Hughes) Thursday

"We've said for seemingly forever that the third rusher who could substitute for Dwight (Freeney) and Robert (Mathis) is something that we have not had.  When Freeney and Mathis were 100% healthy, the results spoke for themselves.  When they've not been 100% healthy, the results have not been what we've wanted.  That's the priority.  The third rusher has been a priority of ours for seemingly forever.  He also adds some versatility because of his athleticism.  This is a guy that runs about the same speed as Robert Mathis.  He has both the ability to rush the passer and can also stand up and move around.  He gives us a lot of flexibility to create third-down packages that we have not had before and would like to have."

PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (On DE-Jerry Hughes playing special teams) Thursday

"He runs well enough that he'll be a force on special teams."

PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (On if DE-Jerry Hughes could play defensive tackle as well) Thursday

"He is not a tackle.  We've said for the last seven years we needed a third rusher.  We needed a guy who could step in there and perform at a similar level when one of the other two guys was out and injured.  We haven't had that guy because they are so hard to find.  Players to have this kind of speed and this kind of ability to come off the edge are first-round players."

PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (On if the Colts considered trading out of the first-round.) Thursday

"We had a number of offers.  Our hope was that we'd have a player left in the first-round that we had rated as a first-round player.  Fortunately he was there.  We preferred to pick a first-round player but had there not been one there, we would have traded out."

PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (On the draft goals for Friday and the second-round) Thursday

"You let the board talk to you.  I said we would pick the best player.  I this case the need line crossed the talent line by a hair and the skin of our teeth.  Tomorrow we will do the same thing."

PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (On if DE-Jerry Hughes is similar to DE's Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis) Thursday

"In style.  At this stage of his development he does not have quite the punch that those two guys have.  In style, very similar."

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DE-JERRY HUGHES (on being drafted by the Colts) April 22, 2010

"I was just shocked.  I was excited, overwhelmed with it."

DE-JERRY HUGHES (on being the third pass rusher) April 22, 2010

 "I'm going to come up there and get acquainted with the system. Go out there and do what I do best on the field, just rushing the passer."

DE-JERRY HUGHES (on watching DEs-Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis) April 22, 2010

 "Absolutely, those guys right there are the epitome of what defensive ends-pass rushers are.  You've got Freeney and Mathis coming off that edge bringing that speed, bringing the force, bringing all the moves. You can just sit back and become a student of the game by just watching them."

DE-JERRY HUGHES (on the pre-draft interest the Colts had shown) April 22, 2010

 "I had no idea I was on their radar.  I had no visits or any contact with the Colts.  I met with them one time at the combine."

DE-JERRY HUGHES (on the anticipation level of the day) April 22, 2010

 "I was very anxious.  Very excited.  Living a kid's dream."

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