VICE CHAIRMAN BILL POLIAN (opening statement) Friday, April 29, 2011
"With our focus of trying to strengthen both fronts, we traded up in the second round to get Benjamin Ijalana from Villanova University, offensive tackle there. We think he can play both positions, tackle and guard. In the third round we took Drake Nevis, defensive tackle, 6-0, 300 pounds from LSU. Both players really are exactly what we were looking for. In Nevis' case, he plays exactly like our tackles play, a carbon copy, through the gap, tough, hard-nosed, relentless. In Ben's case, he is 6-3 and one-half, exceptionally long arms, very tough, very strong guy with great feet."
VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER CHRIS POLIAN (opening statement) Friday, April 29, 2011
"We went in with the focus of trying to add some good players up front on both sides of the ball. Hopefully, we've been able to do that. Both guys are a little bigger than what we've played with, but certainly still have the athleticism, the toughness, the movement and play with the motor that we look for in our guys, and (we) feel they'll be really good fits with what we're trying to do."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (opening statement) Friday, April 29, 2011
"Both guys are going to be able to help us right away. They have ability, and we certainly want to make certain we get them in the right place to do that. A couple of things of note, Ijalana played 53 straight games for Villanova, so he's a guy that has durability. He has a lot of experience, as well. We certainly look for those kinds of things, in terms of guys being able to weather the storm, particularly on the interior, both offensive and defensive line. Drake Nevis is a guy that has unbelievable quickness and really, I think, is going to help be a real disrupter on the inside and fall right in line with the guys we have. The other thing of note with Drake Nevis is that he actually played high school football where WR-Reggie Wayne played as well, John Ehret."
VICE CHAIRMAN BILL POLIAN (on where OL-Ben Ijalana will play on the offensive line) Friday, April 29, 2011
"He's plugged in. The question is where. We'll sort through that. That's what training camp will be for. But he is going to play and play early. He can play both positions. We really feel like he can play both positions. We expended a pick to go up and get him because we felt he was a first round player. There is no question he entered into the first round discussions. We think he can play both positions, so it's added value there."
VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER CHRIS POLIAN (on where OL-Ben Ijalana will play on the offensive line) Friday, April 29, 2011
"In snippets here and there they did move him around a little bit at Villanova. You saw him line up at guard sometimes. You saw him line up on the right side at times. I think that was match-up things, heavy sets, trying to run the ball. As coach said, he was a 50-game, four-year starter at left tackle, dominated that level. You do see him move around a little bit to other spots on the line, as well."
VICE CHAIRMAN BILL POLIAN (on where OL-Ben Ijalana playing through injury during his senior season) Friday, April 29, 2011
"He had a sports hernia. It speaks to his toughness, and his numbers are probably better than what showed up at the workout because he still was not 100 percent recovered from the sports hernia. But we know the doctor that did the surgery and there's no issue there, it just took him awhile to recover from it. That's why he did not play in the Senior Bowl. He was given an invitation, but could not play because of the injury and he chose to have the injury fixed rather then go ahead and play in the Senior Bowl. He did play against (New York Jets first round selection) Muhammad (Wilkerson) in their opener against Temple and did quite well. While he's clearly a great player at the I-AA level, he did matchup against some pretty tough competition and he handled himself fine."
VICE CHAIRMAN BILL POLIAN (on hoping OL-Ben Ijalana and OT-Anthony Castonzo are part of the long-term future on the offensive line) Friday, April 29, 2011
"That's the team building process. We'll find out come September."
VICE CHAIRMAN BILL POLIAN (on DT-Drake Nevis' scouting tape) Friday, April 29, 2011
"He's one of those guys where you look at the tape and you say, 'This is a Colt.' He's got the toughness, the quickness off the ball, the penetration into the gap, the motor that never stops. He has really everything we want in a defensive tackle. He's not 6'4" the way DT-Fili (Moala) is, so he's going to be a little bit different pass rusher and probably won't record as many sacks as Fili might, but he's got everything else that you want. You hate to compare these guys. I don't play that game. I don't compare these guys to people that have played well in the league, but in style of play and stature, he's an awful lot like Booger (Former Colts DT-Anthony McFarland).
VICE CHAIRMAN BILL POLIAN (on if there was a conscious effort made to get bigger on the offensive line) Friday, April 29, 2011
"Big itself, alone, is not better. We have not changed our approach there. Big and athletic is better. If you're going to get those kinds of players, you have to expend high picks to get them."
VICE CHAIRMAN BILL POLIAN (on what they'll look for tomorrow with their two draft picks) Friday, April 29, 2011
"We'll let the board talk to us. One of the discussions we had when Ben was on the board was the board is speaking to us. That's something we believe in. He's up there. He was there for a reason because as we went through the scouting process his grades and his performance told us he belonged there. Even though we had picked Anthony (Castonzo), just stay with the board."
VICE CHAIRMAN BILL POLIAN (on how much it complicates the process with the lockout being back in effect) Friday, April 29, 2011
"One of the reasons we do so well in adjusting to changing circumstances like tough schedules and three on the road and west coast and four o'clock and eight o'clock and one o'clock because that is the way coach wants it done. That's the attitude that he inculcates in the squad from day one. This is just another one of those situations that requires us to do some adjusting. In addition to that, when the players were here, many of them told us they were being very, very conscientious in their workouts, that they were working out together, that they were focused. Frankly, I came away feeling really good about the group that we have and saying they did exactly what we would expect them to do in this situation. They are adapting to it, and they will be fine."
VICE CHAIRMAN BILL POLIAN (on DT-Drake Nevis' first step off the snap and if that's something the team looks for) Friday, April 29, 2011
"He's got to have the ability to get off the ball and get his hat in the gap. That's what our people are required to do. We don't get in the middle of an offensive player and try to bench press him. Our whole approach is to get in the gaps and then run to the ball. That's why we're a one-gap defense. Drake Nevis is a one-gap player."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on if that is something you can teach to a player) Friday, April 29, 2011
"Quickness and explosion and twitch, those things you don't teach. Those guys have that. We can make up for a lot of things, but there's a lot of god given ability we look for on film that makes a difference. That's why he fits for us because he is quick, he is explosive, he is disruptive. Those are the things that I think are necessary. Now, not all guys have that. Some guys may have another asset, maybe it's their length, maybe it's their power, that also can be utilized within our system as well. But the position he plays, quickness, explosion, the ability to disrupt, get in gaps, is extremely important."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on what was he able to take away from his visits with players today) Friday, April 29, 2011
"I saw quite a few of them early this morning. They all look like they are in good shape. They've been working. I think you have to attribute a lot of that to the fact we have a lot of veteran leadership, which is extremely important. The guys were able to get them all headed in the right direction. They are a very cohesive group. But not only that, they looked refreshed and really eager to get going back as a team. But nevertheless they are adjusting well to the circumstances."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on if he sensed any frustration from the players) Friday, April 29, 2011
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on if he got a chance to talk to QB-Peyton Manning today) Friday, April 29, 2011
"I did not."
VICE CHAIRMAN BILL POLIAN (on how many players were in today) Friday, April 29, 2011
"I wouldn't know for certain. We were going back and forth saying hello. I said hello to about half-a-dozen guys, but I'm sure that's not the total."
VICE CHAIRMAN BILL POLIAN (on if the process has been complicated at all) Friday, April 29, 2011
"Truthfully it has not been complicated at all. We have had, Chris and I have had, lengthy meetings with Jim and the lawyers to discuss issues, but they've come outside of normal business hours, so they haven't cut into our draft preparation at all. Other than yesterday it has been business as usual for six weeks."
VICE CHAIRMAN BILL POLIAN (on learning a lesson about not having a guy fall to you) Friday, April 29, 2011
"I think that our scouts and Chris and (Director of Player Personnel) Tom (Telesco) do as good a job as anybody in the league in terms of positioning us to know what other people are thinking about. You're never going to be 100 percent right, but they prepare such a detailed analysis of every teams needs that as you look at our board, we can tell that this team didn't fill a need, this team isn't going to go for this kind of player here or there, that plus the scouts acuity in terms of grading, which I have mentioned before is frightening. They come off the board exactly the way we have them graded. The combination of the two tells us largely when we ought to make a move and when we should not. Our record has been pretty good in that. We haven't lost too many players simply because we sat there. You have to factor in the price too. Sometimes you'd like to move but the price is too high. Sometimes you'd like to move and there is no partner to move with. It's a fluid situation."
OL-BEN IJALANA (on his first reaction after being selected by the Colts) April 29, 2011
"I am pretty excited. You know just hanging out with your family, waiting. Nice to hear your name called. It's crazy. It's hard to hold a phone conversation when you are getting mobbed by family members."
OL-BEN IJALANA (on his location during the 2011 NFL Draft) April 29, 2011
"I am at home. I'm at my parent's house, Hainesport, N.J. I am from New Brunswick, but I live in Hainesport."
OL-BEN IJALANA (on how many people are with him at his home during the 2011 NFL Draft) April 29, 2011
"Oh yeah, a bunch of people. It's still early we can go grab dinner, hang out, celebrate a little bit."
OL-BEN IJALANA (on what the Colts' plans are for him) April 29, 2011
"They said some guard. They just recently got (first-round draft pick Anthony) Castonzo, so hopefully I can be a part of it at guard. Maybe change something at guard. Hopefully, (I) establish something new."
OL-BEN IJALANA (on how surprised he was by being picked by the Colts) April 29, 2011
"A little surprised. There wasn't any heavy interest in the draft process. It's been interesting."
OL-BEN IJALANA (on if he is the first Villanova player to be drafted since Howie Long? If so what that means to him) April 29, 2011
"That's not right, Brian Westbrook (D3-02 by Philadelphia) was drafted before me."
OL-BEN IJALANA (on if he has the mindset of coming out and being ready to play) April 29, 2011
"Oh yeah, absolutely."
OL-BEN IJALANA (on the Colts offensive line changing and if he and OT-Anthony Castonzo are the cornerstones of the new line moving forward) April 29, 2011
"I sure hope so."
OL-BEN IJALANA (on the best part of his game) April 29, 2011
"Pass protection and durability. Now, I have the honor of protecting Peyton Manning. That guy is good."
OL-BEN IJALANA (on his favorite team growing up) April 29, 2011
"The Philadelphia Eagles."
DT-DRAKE NEVIS (on coming to the Colts) April 29, 2011
"I am ready to get started. I am glad to be a part (of the Colts)."
DT-DRAKE NEVIS (on Colts WR-Reggie Wayne and him being from the same high school) April 29, 2011
"We are from the same neighborhood. I haven't talked to him recently, but I look forward to talking with him."
DT-DRAKE NEVIS (on being described as a high intensity player) April 29, 2011
"I love to play high intensity, like Dwight Freeney. I like to go 'balls to the wall' on every play no matter what."
DT-DRAKE NEVIS (on his strengths) April 29, 2011
"My strengths include my low center of gravity."
DT-DRAKE NEVIS (on games from his senior year that stand out to him) April 29, 2011
"Alabama and Florida. At the end of the Alabama game I forced a fumble, and in the Florida game I had four and half tackles."
DT-DRAKE NEVIS (on what he is better at stopping the run or rushing the passer) April 29, 2011
"I like both. That's a tough question because I am better against the pass, but my penetration comes from a lot like Dwight Freeney. He gets penetration and will get the sack, but he will also make the tackle."
DT-DRAKE NEVIS (on his first thoughts when he knew the Colts were taking him) April 29, 2011
"I am glad to be a part of a great organization with great players. I know a couple of guys. Peyton Manning he is from New Orleans. Joe Addai is from LSU, and Reggie Wayne is from my high school (John Ehret). I am blessed to be a part of the organization. I am glad (the Colts) believe in me and decided to bring me on because I will give everything I have to be the best player that I can be."
DT-DRAKE NEVIS (on if he can contribute right away) April 29, 2011
"Yes, sir. I have been working hard in the weight room. Whatever (the Colts) would like me to do."