PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (opening statement) [
"It seemed like a long morning and afternoon. In the fourth round, we picked Jacques McClendon, an offensive guard from the University of Tennessee. He is a converted defensive lineman, so he has a tough, physical disposition, very smart, he can run. He had a nice year this year. He played very well against Alabama. He held his own against (Tampa Bay second round draft pick Brian) Price from UCLA. We feel like he's in the mold of the same kind of players that we've drafted in the fourth round before that have come in here and performed well on the offensive line. We're happy to have the pick and happy to have him. In the fifth round, we drafted Brody Eldridge, a tight end from Oklahoma. He's a two-year team captain. He was the blocking tight end, (Cincinnati first round draft pick) Jermaine Gresham was the receiving tight end. He played quite a bit this year when Gresham was hurt. He also played some guard. He's 263 pounds, and he's an outstanding, tenacious blocker. He's physical, tough (and) can move you. He runs a 4.73 (40-yard dash), which isn't bad by tight end standards. He doesn't have a lot of experience in the passing part of the game, but that's not what we were overly interested in at that point. We were looking for someone who can improve the blocking at the point of the attack, both in short-yardage and goal line, and in our basic double-tight end packages. We're quite satisfied that he can do that, and we're anxious to have him."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on OG-Jacques McClendon) Saturday, April 24, 2010
"He gives us, like Bill had mentioned, a pretty stout guy inside at our guard position, but one with athleticism, as well. He's a guy that we think can give us some real anchor there in the middle. (He's) highly competitive (and an) extremely bright guy. I think he completes his masters here shortly this spring. So, he's a guy that certainly does have the intellectual capability to learn our system and learn it quickly."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on TE-Brody Eldridge) Saturday, April 24, 2010
"He's a guy that is a very fine in-line blocker, one that you'll be able to see can handle the edge, both from a pass protection standpoint and also from a run game standpoint. He certainly will be able to give us some help in our short-yardages situations. He's a guy that is going to have to develop a little bit, in terms of the passing game, but overall, I think he's going to be a great addition for us."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on OG-Jacques McClendon competing for a starting guard position) Saturday, April 24, 2010
"As (former offensive line coach) Howard (Mudd) used to say, 'You throw them all in the pot and what comes out in late August is what you got.' We'll play the best five players, position doesn't really mean much."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on last primary blocking tight end the team had) Saturday, April 24, 2010
"We thought TE-Gijon (Robinson) could fill that role, that was his strong suit in college. This young man is much stouter, much stronger."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on the fourth and fifth round draft picks addressing short-yardage needs) Saturday, April 24, 2010
"I think all of the things that we're doing with the offensive line, as well as our tight end position, we're looking to improve in those areas."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on OG-Jacques McClendon needing to impress because he wasn't at any post-season All-Star games or at the NFL combine) Saturday, April 24, 2010
"No, not at all. We've taken other players who haven't been to the combine. We don't think that's a positive or a negative to be truthful. The fact is we think he has a chance to be exactly, he's got the tools, to be exactly what (former Colts OG-) Jake Scott was, exactly what OT-Ryan Diem was. Those were all players we drafted in that round, who came on and performed very well for us because they are athletic, they're smart, they can move around, they are tough. It's a good place for him. We think he can come in and compete for a job."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on if OG-Jacques McClendon can play left tackle) Saturday, April 24, 2010
"No. He's too short to be a left tackle."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on not drafting an offensive tackle in the first five rounds) Saturday, April 24, 2010
"This was a very thin draft, again, parallel universe, this is a very thin draft for offensive tackles. Once you got past the first round it thinned out pretty dramatically. From my perspective, in my universe, it was a thin draft for offensive tackles. We don't ever believe in forcing a pick or in forcing and trying to fill a need and taking a player that you're hoping to fill the need. We think we're okay at tackle with the fellas we got. We didn't do too badly last year. We added (OT-Adam) Terry, who is a good, competitive guy, and if he comes back off the injury in good shape, then we feel we have a good, competitive player there. As I said, once those early tackles went off, then you had other names you heard, but there were medical concerns and things of that nature that caused them to be less than stellar. Once we went through our first run through in February, it was obvious that it wasn't a bang up year for tackles."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on difficulty of finding a kick return specialist in the draft) Saturday, April 24, 2010
"Well, you can find them. Like I said last night, I think that is a luxury. If you can find someone who can do both, that's great. If you can't, you can still do quite well, it just gives you a little less flexibility roster wise. That's not a position I'm losing sleep over."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on if the season began tomorrow if the kick and punt returners would be WR-Sam Giguere and DB-Jerraud Powers) Saturday, April 24, 2010
"Probably. Although, I, personally, have some trepidation about using Powers there. We'll see."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on what he does now while waiting for the seventh round to get here) Saturday, April 24, 2010
"We'll begin to formulate our collegiate free agent strategy. We'll watch what goes on and get ready to make the maximum use of the picks we have. DB-Antoine Bethea was a sixth round pick. We'll find somebody good in these next three picks."
PRESIDENT BILL POLIAN (on K-Adam Vinatieri's status coming off injury) Saturday, April 24, 2010
"He's right on schedule."
OG-JACQUES McCLENDON (on being drafted by the Colts)
"I couldn't be any better right now. I'm sitting on Cloud Nine. To be drafted by the Indianapolis Colts, such a prestigious organization, this is one of the greatest honors I've ever received in my life. Today, I can't even explain how I feel right now."
OG-JACQUES McCLENDON (on his expectations where he might be his drafted)
"I had no expectations at all. I'm an under-the-radar guy. I didn't play in any All-Star games, didn't go to the combine. I just wanted to work, and I can control what I can control. That was working hard every day, and making sure I'm on top of everything I can do. It just ended paying off in the end. I'm just grateful for the opportunity God has given me, and the Colts have given me. I'm just ready to go to work right now."
OG-JACQUES McCLENDON (on the frustration of not going to the combine)
"I wouldn't say frustrated, but at the same time it served as extra motivation. I knew that I had to work harder than everybody else. That frustration turned into an extra fire being lit up under me, and putting a chip on my shoulder."
OG-JACQUES McCLENDON (on the type of player the Colts are getting)
"The Colts are getting a guy that's going to come to work every day. Whatever they ask him to do, he's going to do. He's going to keep out of trouble. He's going to be in the film room late. He's going to be on the practice field late. He's going to do whatever it takes. He's going to learn from the veterans they have on that team. I'm going to do everything it takes to become the best football player I can become."
OG-JACQUES McCLENDON (on Peyton Manning being an alumnus of Tennessee)
"Peyton Manning comes around the facility all the time. I'm from Cleveland (Tenn.), so I have the autographed Peyton jersey and helmet. They're at my mother's house. I'm a huge Peyton Manning fan. The type of player he is and being able to go to an organization with a quarterback like that is an unbelievable blessing. I just can't wait to get to work with and learn from him."
OG-JACQUES McCLENDON (on pre-draft meetings with the Colts)
"I flew up for a visit. Right after my pro day, they flew me up for a visit. I definitely did meet with them."
OG-JACQUES McCLENDON (on the possibility of being drafted by the Colts)
"I just stayed positive the whole time. I have a great agent. I had great people that worked out with me in Duluth (Georgia) that worked with me every day. I really felt good the whole time. I really knew I could play. Just to have that opportunity come in front of me, I just knew I could handle myself. It's just unbelievable that it's all come together. "
OG-JACQUES McCLENDON (on his bench pressing records at Tennessee)
"I took the bench press record at 645 (lbs.). I'm probably in the lower 600's right now."