I wanted just to highlight a couple of quotes from yesterday's Jake Long press conference. Of course, you can watch the entire press conference at miamidolphins.com.
First, here are Jake Long's first words to the media as a Miami Dolphin:
"I'm very excited and honored to be able to be part of the Miami Dolphins and this organization. I want to thank my agents and the Miami Dolphins for getting this deal done so now I can just concentrate on football and don't have to worry about any of that other stuff. I just have to worry about getting in here, playing, making myself better, learning and getting prepared for the NFL."
And here is some more of Jake Long, in his own words.
Jake talks about the honor of being the #1 pick:
"It means everything. It's such a great honor to be the No. 1 pick and it's an honor to be a part of this organization. I'm real glad that we got the contract done so I don't have to worry about any of that. I can get into camp and just start playing football and learning the system here. That's what I'm real excited about."
Jake talks about the responsibility of being the #1 pick:
"I'm just going to come in here and do the same things I've been doing - work hard, try to be a good leader, make myself better and help make the team better. I feel I can do that and I'm going to do everything I can to help this organization."
And about the stress, Jake said:
"No. I like having the pressure. I've dealt with that at Michigan and I don't mind it."
Jake talks about himself as a player:
"I just love going out and playing. I am very passionate and hard-working. I am mean on the field. I am going to carry that on. I am going to have to get used to the speed of the game and the speed rushers. That will come in time and that is why I am glad I'm here early and get to be in camp to get used to the speed."
Jake talks about his demeanor on and off the field:
"I am a very nice guy off the field, but when I buckle up that helmet I change. It's football mode and I go out there and try to bury the guy I am blocking and make sure they don't touch the quarterback or the running back."
After the jump, there are some good quotes from Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano.
Jeff Ireland's response to the amount of debate before settling on Jake:
"Jake was our guy from the beginning. I don't make it a habit of telling you what's on our board, but Jake Long was on the top of our board for a long time. In regard to debate, there wasn't a whole lot of debate. We all kind of felt comfortable with the player. We think he's the best tackle in the draft. We thought it was a good fit for the Miami Dolphins."
Tony Sparano on the characteristics Jake possesses:
"We feel like he has all the qualities that we're looking for in our linemen. He's very tough, he's smart and he's disciplined. Those are the people that we want to surround ourselves with here with the Dolphins. I think those are the qualities that you need to have to develop, what will be at some point, a very good offensive line down the road."
Tony Sparano on all the talk about how Jake might be better suited as a right tackle:
"I don't think that's something right now, from a speculation standpoint, that we're worried about one way or the other. We see Jake as a left tackle. Left tackle is our need and that's where he's going to be playing for us."
Tony Sparano talks about what sold him on Jake:
"I just think when you are watching the film and you are watching the tape, the tape doesn't lie. With offensive linemen, you are not watching a highlight film. You are watching game tape and when you watch his game tape, the tape doesn't lie. That's the thing I think I was most impressed with. The sidebar to the whole thing is the kind of guy he is. That is separate from all that, but watching the game film is what sold me."