* General manager Charley Casserly*
(opening statement) "For the second round pick, we drafted DeMeco Ryans, linebacker from the University of Alabama. The basic overall thinking here is, when we made the decision to switch from the 3-4 defense to the 4-3 defense, the two positions that were going to be hurt were defensive end and linebacker. We were, in the end, going to have a surplus of defensive tackles. We knew, going into the off-season and going into the draft, that to make this change, we were going to have to address those two positions. We addressed Anthony Weaver in the free-agent period along with Sam Cowart, and now we've addressed it with Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans, the linebacker from Alabama. Now, Coach will talk about DeMeco Ryans and how he fits in."
**Head coach Gary Kubiak
(opening statement)** "First off, I'm going to echo what was said about Mario: this man is a tremendous young man; one of my favorite players, to be honest with you, going into this draft, just dealing with him in Indianapolis and evaluating him through this process. A four-year starter at Alabama, one of the top defenses in the country. He can play Sam, he can play Will for our defense. Nickle -- he's gonna be on the field in the NFL, and we all know how big of a down that is this league on third down. I think he's going to bring a lot of leadership to our football team. I'm really surprised that he was there one of the top players we had rated just feel so good about getting him. Once again, we added a great player with tremendous character, and that's what we're after. We were able to fill two big needs at the same time. So, [we are] very excited about the young man."
(on if he's a strong side or weak side player) "I think he can play on the strong side, or the weak side, I really do. But, the thing that's impressive with this guy is, when you talk about linebackers coming out of college; when you look at the third-down game in the NFL and you look at Nickel; do you say that this guy stays on the field? Being a third-down player is so important, and that's what this young man is. He will stay out there and will be a great third-down player. [He will] be able to cover back side and the back field when you want to bring him. He does an excellent job in rushing the passer off the edge. Like I said, he's been a leader at Alabama, and I think he's going to bring a lot of character to our football team."
(on considering a defensive linemen) "No, we didn't. He was the highest-rated player on our board by far, and that's the need of our football team. When you start talking about the other side of the ball, you talk about the offensive side of the ball, but we're sticking to our game plan here. We're going to take the highest-rated player on that board, and it just so happened to fill another need for us on the defensive side of the ball."
(on if he can come in and play right away) "Absolutely, no doubt. I'm expecting him to come in and have an opportunity to start for our football team. It's going to be very competitive at that position for us, too. Making the move, once again, from the 3-4 to the 4-3, [we are] looking for a little bit of a different type of linebacker from that standpoint. This young man should be competing for a starting job and have an opportunity to do that very quickly."
(on how tempting it was to take an offensive linemen) "It was like Gary said: this player was rated way above any offensive lineman we had rated at this point. This is a player we thought could easily go in the first round. I think the only reason he went in the second is the number of teams that were looking for a linebacker to fit a 3-4 scheme. That's why I think that this player went in the second round and was the first pick in the second round. We'll see what happens in the rest of the draft, but one of the things we talked about in our meeting this week was that we were going to stay true to our board. We weren't going to force things and wanted to come out of here with a number of good football players.
(on if Ryans is a guy they can trust) "I think he's a pretty good athlete too. All you have to do is cut that film on and watch him run from sideline to sideline. The effort that he plays with -- that's what we're looking for. I think he is a fine athlete.
(on if Ryans was ranked higher than the three running backs taken in the first round) "I'm not going to get into our draft rankings."
(on being able to trust him on gameday)"He's a pretty good athlete, too. All you need to do is put that film on and watch him run from sideline to sideline to see the effort that he plays with. You can't overlook [it]. I think he is a fine, fine athlete."
(on what stands out about Ryans' character) "Being captain there, and take a look at some of the tape. He's a tremendous student athlete. Talk to the coaches at Alabama, and they'll tell you he had been a leader in the program for the four years. He had grown a lot in defense there in the past. He is a standout player [and a] standout person. Obviously, that is very important to Bob, and very important to me as we continue to put the team together."
(on it being nice to have him still available) "Yes, it's exciting when you have a player that is ranked that high and he is still there when that time comes. I mean, it's a nice problem to have."
(on if they anticipate taking an offensive linemen in the third round) "Well I don't predict any picks and I don't want to tell you what's on our board right now. That's a good question; the question we are looking at ourselves."
(on why he was still available) "I don't know. There are some interesting things from our perspective that happened in the first round. Various players that we may have ranked in the second or third round got moved up to the first round because of the team's needs. You never know how this kind of thing will pan out. All you can do is set your board, and set it to your football team. We are still very fortunate that, at that point, he was still there."
* (on if he was the best available or need)* "No doubt, because of the need. The facts that we need defensive ends and linebackers were our top two needs on defense. To have that pan out that way made it very easy."
(on if the Texans contacted LenDale White) "We might be in the "other" category there."
(on if they were still negotiating with Reggie Bush and Mario Williams) "This morning, you may have missed it, I said we came to a final decision on
Thursday. We started off the week negotiating with both players, and because we
wanted to, but we hadn't made our final decision yet, we went through a series
of meetings and evaluations this week. Those culminated with Gary and I meeting
Thursday morning and advising Bob of our decision. It was at that point that we
turned to a single negotiation. This negotiation is very complicated when you're
talking about a first round -- especially a first pick -- in the draft. You're
going to need time to do it. That's why we started with both in the beginning:
because we hadn't made a decision on which one."