Dolphins GM Dennis Hickey Combine press conference transcript

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins General Manager Dennis Hickey met with the media yesterday at the NFL Scouting Combine. Here is the transcript of what he said:

(Opening statement) - "If I counted correctly, this is my 19th (NFL) Combine. I'm very excited. This is my first time as a GM. I've very excited to be the GM of the Miami Dolphins. I've been there a short time my three weeks, but it's been a great experience getting to know the people, the organization, the players. It really is an exciting time. This is the next part of the process in teambuilding. Obviously the process and building a 53-man roster starting from the previous year at the end of May as the evaluation of these draft prospects begins and then leads on into the season, the bowl games, all-star games, and the combine is the next part of the process. It's an exciting time. You get 350 of the best college football players in the same setting where you get to evaluate them from an athletic standpoint, get verified measurables on them as well as getting to know the player themselves as well as getting detailed medical information. It's an exciting time for the Miami Dolphins, and I'll open it up for questions."

(On the biggest adjustment being a general manager) - "It really wasn't that much different. We went through our college draft meeting for about 10 days with our college staff. Preparing that way I already had a pretty good feel for most of the country that way. Those preparations weren't, it's the ancillary, this type of preparation. Obviously the different duties of the job that are outside of the strictly evaluation which I was accustomed to previously."

(On having to potentially rebuild the offensive line) - "Every day that I wake up I think about how can I get the Miami Dolphins to the best 53 man roster. That encompasses all positions. I believe that it all starts up front, on both sides of the ball but everyday we're constantly looking. Meeting with our scouts and talking with Coach Philbin, watching film together and trying to detail what's the best plan. We're putting together that strategic plan and we're going forward with that."

(On if they will know about any potential league discipline prior to the start of free agency and the draft) - "Any questions about that, we're working in concert with the Commissioner's office and that's where that stands."

(On what he anticipates happening with cornerback Brent Grimes) - "I'm not going to get into specifics with our strategic plan from a competitive standpoint. With our current plans, future plans with our players, I'm not going to get into specifics there."

(On the balance of mixing his philosophy with Coach Philbin) - "Through the interview process, that was one of the draws to the Dolphins. As I sat down and just laid out my plan and my philosophy and the things I believed in and laid it out there before Coach Philbin, there was a commonality and shared vision of who we wanted to be. We wanted to be a tough, smart, disciplined football team and that means bringing in tough, smart, physical football players in. From that standpoint we had similar philosophies going in and in addition to all the other commonalities that we had, so that part was easy."

(On if the team will continue to use zone blocking schemes on the offensive line) - "With that we are going to do a lot of different things under Bill Lazor. We are excited to have him on board. They are still working through all of that, and we'll go from there."

(On how much film he's watched of quarterback Ryan Tannehill) - "Obviously I have a college scouting background, so most of the guys always start off with that. We like Ryan (Tannehill) coming out. He was a guy who had 18 starts, but you saw the athletic ability, you saw the accuracy, you saw the arm strength and you saw a really smart kid. Obviously I like the progression that he's made in his first year developing into his second year, and I expect him to continue in that development into his third year."

(On the report of Matt Moore potentially pushing Ryan Tannehill during training camp) - "I can't respond to speculation. I'm not about that, but I believe in Ryan Tannehill."

(On how the process of working with Joe Philbin has gone so far) - "We've been very intentional in our communication and our time together just because we are starting fresh and we are right in the middle of things. We spent a lot of time (together). Every morning we get together whether it is draft preparation, free agency preparation or even just watching our own players, getting together and talking, watching film and just kind of continuing to build that relationship, and just communicating. That's just one of the things that we are about, and we want to continue to foster that not only in our relationship between he and I but also throughout the organization."

(On how much he is on the same page with Joe Philbin) - "Yeah, we are on the same page of who we want our organization to be founded on trust, integrity, respect, communication, all of those things are common. With individual player evaluations, as always there are different opinions as we go through there, and we just work through those things. It's been a great experience as we continue to get to know each other better and as we go through each process leading toward preparing for the season opener."

(On if he can afford to keep the defensive line intact) - "With specific plans, I don't want to get into that regarding specific players. I do know that it starts up-front on both sides of the ball, and we will act appropriately."

(On if he feels he has a starting running back on the team) - "We like the running backs on our team, but again we are trying to build the best 53-man roster. At every point that's part of this in preparing for the draft, trying to get the best players that we can get on there to develop competitive environments to push our team to greatness."

(On how important it is to have a running back take pressure off of Ryan Tannehill) - "I think everything works in concert. It's not just one position, the running game or the passing game. There are 11 guys working together to accomplish that goal. Rarely it's just on one person or one position on that."

(On his thoughts on Mike Gillislee and his development) - "Obviously he was just a rookie last year, but I'm not going to get into specific description of players, but obviously we want to see him. It's a great opportunity this offseason to work and to develop just like all of our players. We want to continue to see them progress. We have an excellent coaching staff. We have a committed owner who is allocating resources to be the best that we can be. We just continue to want each player to make that next step, to be where we want to be. That's about competing and winning championships. Every player, that's our expectation in the offseason."

(On impressions of the 2014 draft class) - "I think it is very strong, and it's strong at all kinds of different levels at each position. Every draft is kind of a different animal with different strengths, whether it is early, mid or late, with that. I'm excited about this draft class, and I'm anxious to get to know these guys better just as we go through the process that is the combine."

(On if it will be difficult to attract free agents to the Dolphins) - "No, I think a free agent will be attracted to who we are. We have an excellent coaching staff. We live in Miami, that is pretty strong. We have a committed owner to allocate the resources necessary. We have an environment, a collective, strong environment. Look, in my three weeks, my interactions have been nothing but positive with all the people. When you get into the building and you get to know all the people, you really get a sense for what the organization is about. Going into it I felt strongly about that, and at every step that has been confirmed through this."

(On tangible ways will he fix the environment) - "Joe (Philbin) and I are working together on this. Leading up to this, we met with each department and laid out, restated and reinforced our vision of who we want to be, a culture of respect, communication and laying out that foundation and being intentional about communication throughout the building. Those are some of the steps that we have taken and will continue to take. We take this serious in our culture and who we want to be, and we want to set the standard around the league."

(On is there an ideal way to rebuild the offensive line in balancing the draft and free agency) - "I don't look at it that way. I think you just look at all the different methods to acquire talent. There are so many different ways to do it in the league. Obviously with free agency coming up right now there are players who are not under contract with anyone, they are on the street, and there are also as the season gets started there are all kinds of different methods. That's the way we will approach this in always trying to get the best 53-man roster and never being content with the roster. We are always going to push the envelope whether it's using innovative ways or different ways to get to our ultimate goal, which is to win a championship."

(On his feeling of spending a lot of money in free agency) - "I think it is more about placing a value on a player. That's what we are doing. That's what we are doing in our meetings. That's what we will do in our draft meetings. That's what we will do in our free agent meetings. We place what we call a Dolphin value for the player, and that directs our steps on how we approach things."

(On if he feels rushed coming to Miami in late in the scouting calendar) - "With the people that we have on board, I don't feel rushed because I have complete confidence in our scouting staff and our coaches. I believe in Coach Philbin, we're all in this working together. I have confidence in them so I'm not rushed. There's different angles obviously in my new positions but I'm confident that we'll get it done."

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