Jake Bequette’s Q&A with the New England media on Friday night
|04.28.12 at 12:03 am ET|
Here’s the transcript of Jake Bequette‘s Q&A with the New England media on Friday night:
Where were you when you got the call? ‘I’m here in my parents’ home in Little Rock, Arkansas.’
Were you surprised at all? ‘I was very excited. I wouldn’t say surprised. I was really anticipating being selected around this time and man, I can’t tell you how excited I was when I got the phone call.’
Did you have any contact with them as part of the pre-draft process? ‘Yeah, yeah I did. They showed some early interest in me at the Senior Bowl and at the Combine and then I had a workout in Fayetteville with them and I got a great feeling from them and I guess I really impressed them.’
Can you tell us something embarrassing about Ryan Mallett? ‘Something embarrassing about Ryan Mallett? Well, how long do you have?’
All night. ‘No, no. Ryan is an awesome guy. I was lucky enough to play with him for three years here in Fayetteville and I can’t wait to join him up there.’
Did you visit Gillette Stadium at all? ‘I’ve never been to Gillette Stadium. No, sir.’
It seems you have some positional versatility. Are you more comfortable at one spot over the other? ‘I feel very comfortable at both. I guess that’s kind of a soft answer, but it’s true. I played the 4-3 end mostly in college, but I also stood up a little bit doing the outside linebacker position in the Senior Bowl and Combine. The more I did it, the more it grew on me, so I feel very comfortable in both. I can’t wait to see what the coaches have in store for me.’
When you had your workout, what did they try to stress to you in terms of what they might be asking of you? Was it that you’ll be standing up a lot, you’ll be going forward? ‘It was actually quite a bit of both. They wanted to see, first of all, my pass rushing ability, my ‘get off’ out of my three-point stance, but also quite a bit of two-point work, working out in coverage, covering the spot drops and doing everything with the linebacker aspect as well.’
It’s interesting how that position has evolved and become two positions that a lot of teams don’t do in college. As you realized you might be an NFL prospect, was there anybody that you studied, knowing that you might have to do this at some point? ‘Absolutely. Every Sunday I would turn on NFL games and it seems like half the teams in the league now at least are running a 3-4 kind of hybrid defense or a 4-3. I know New England is very flexible, and you watch certain players, certain outside linebackers who play standing up and in the three-point stance on passing downs. I’m very excited and if that’s what the coaches want me to do, then I can’t wait to do it.’
What do you think of the run on SEC talent, especially on defense? Is that something you’re aware of when you’re watching the draft? ‘I think in the SEC as a conference, our play on defense kind of speaks for itself. We’ve got very talented guys down here and our performance shows that and I think it’s no secret that we like to play D down here and I think NFL teams are noticing that.’
You’re the fourth defensive player they’ve drafted this year. Can you sense a rebuilding process up here and do you want to be a part of that? ‘Yeah, absolutely. I’m not really sure about the overall plan, but I just want to do my part, whatever that is. Whatever the coaches want me to do, I’m going to do it.’
Do you know Chandler Jones or Dont’a Hightower personally at all? ‘I’ve played against Dont’a several times. We were captains against each other, but nothing more than the pregame handshake stuff. Chandler was in my group at Indianapolis, so we got to meet a little bit. From what I understand and from talking to other guys, they’re great guys and they’re obviously great athletes and great players and I can’t wait to be teammates with them.’
Did you ever get a chance to ride on Bobby Petrino‘s motorcycle? ‘No. No, I was never extended that invitation.’
A little more seriously on that topic: you’re a legacy at Arkansas, so is it tough for you to see the program go through a stretch like this? ‘Well, it’s been tough on everyone, but I think it’s been awesome in a way to see how the players and what remains of the coaching staff have really bonded tighter. We really rallied behind Jeff Long, our athletic director. He made a really tough decision, first of all, to let Coach Petrino go and then to get Coach John L. Smith back in the fold to lead us this year. I couldn’t be more proud of the guys. There’s some great leadership there and it wouldn’t surprise me at all for them to have a great season next year.’
Was your contact more with the assistant coaches than with Bobby Petrino? ‘Day to day, obviously, I was with my position coach, Steve Caldwell, the defensive ends coach. Actually we did some outside linebacker stuff, so I worked with Coach Smith during some portions of practice. But you know, Coach Petrino, he ran a very tight ship and he was very on top of everything in the program. But more day to day I was with my position coaches.’
How close are you with Ryan Mallett? When was the last time you spoke to him? ‘First of all, we’re pretty close. We went through some battles together as team captains and him being the quarterback of the offense and I’m kind of the quarterback of the defense. He did an awesome job leading us to some great offensive performances. I saw him last week at the Spring Game on Saturday. He was down for that. He’s still the big man on campus down here even though he hasn’t played here in a year. Everyone was so excited to see him. He had nothing but great things to say about New England and the Patriots and I told him, I was like, ‘Man, I would love to join you up there.’’
How did he help you going against him in practice every day? “It really kind of made the games seem a little bit easier because in practice, we’re going against this guy who is just throwing bullets everywhere just kind of tearing it up and then in the games we were going against guys that aren’t as accurate or as powerful as Ryan is. He really prepared us well. He was actually the scout team quarterback for one season when he was a transfer sitting out from Michigan. I’ll tell you what; he was the toughest scout team quarterback you’re ever going to see.”
Latest from Bleacher Report
- Mike Gillislee's Patriots Contract Offer Sheet Declined by Bills
- Malcolm Butler Reportedly 'Highly Unlikely' to Be Traded Despite Saints...
- Patriots Schedule 2017-18: Game-by-Game Predictions for the Entire Season
- 2017 New England Patriots Schedule: Full Listing of Dates, Times and TV...
- Chiefs vs. Patriots to Open 2017 NFL Regular Season Schedule in...
- Patriots Favored in Updated Super Bowl 52 Odds Ahead of 2017 NFL Draft
- After Aaron Hernandez Suicide, Victim's Family Speaks: 'I Just Started...