GM Charley Casserly
(opening statement on Jerome Mathis) "Basically we selected Jerome Mathis from Hampton University in Virginia. He is a wide receiver, return specialists. He's had tremendous production in his career, as far as big plays. This past year, he scored fourteen touchdowns; five on kickoff returns and nine from the line of scrimmage. He was also in the Gridiron Classic and scored a touchdown in that game. He has world-class speed. He was in the Olympic trials for the 200 meter and he qualified for the Olympics, but he was injured. He was the fastest player in Indianapolis, but he's not a track guy trying to play football. He is a football guy that runs track. He was a three-year starter at Hampton University. He brings a dimension of speed, athletic ability, and elusiveness that was productive in college. We had offers to trade him in the fourth round, but we decided to take the player with the pick. You should also know that there were a couple of incidents at Hampton. He involves in a couple of fights. I'm not going to get into specifics, but we are comfortable with the player. We wouldn't have made the selection if we weren't comfortable with the player. We brought the player in for interviews and spent a day with him, spent time at the school and talked to his coaches. We feel that we have a good working knowledge of the player."
Head Coach Dom Capers
(opening statement on Jerome Mathis) "As I look at Jerome, I see a player with rare talent. He's not only a speed guy, a track guy. What you see on tape is a football player. I think he can help us in multiple situations, as a receiver, return specialist and he has the type of toughness that he can go out their on special teams and run down the field as a gunner. Anytime you have a player with this rare speed, when they get the ball in their hands, they have a chance to score every time. We will be excited about seeing him on the field and we feel that he would be a good addition to our team."
Capers: (on his playmaking abilities) "He is raw in term of running routes, but their's no question when he gets the ball he has a natural instinct of quickness. In the Gridiron Classic, the plays he made in that game were unbelievable. This guy is a threat anytime he touches the football. We like his toughness. Many times when you get track guys they have a track mentality. We feel that he has toughness to go along with that."
Capers: (on competition at the receiver position) "Our goal is to create as much competition on our football team as we possibly can. I think we've done that at a number of positions. This will increase the competition at the receiver position and it's gives us another alternative in terms of a returner. Anytime you increase the competition hopefully your getting better."