New Detroit Lions offensive tackle Riley Reiff held a conference call with the media after he was picked 23rd overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. The transcript of the call, via the Lions, is below.
On his initial reaction to being drafted by the Lions: "I was real excited when I got a call from the Lions. I'm excited to get to work and make the team a better team."
On if it was nerve-racking waiting to be drafted: "I had nerves running through. I said to myself: whatever happens, happens and make the best out of it."
On if he considers himself a left tackle at the next level: "Absolutely. I think I could play any position on the offensive line excluding the center. Wherever I can help the team at, I'd be glad to help the team."
Thoughts on when his name wasn't coming up yet: "I wasn't actually watching the TV. That doesn't matter to me. I'm ready to play football and I'm super excited to be a Detroit Lion."
On where he sees himself playing: "It doesn't matter. Wherever I play, I play. Whatever I can help the team out and do, that's me."
On what he took away from meeting with the Lions (at combine): "I met with the Lions at the combine and it went well. They have a good group of coaches and a great organization. I'm just fired up to be a Lion."
On Iowa turning out great offensive linemen: "It goes back to the head coach, coach Ferentz and Reese Morgan. They do an excellent job preaching fundamentals and just working hard. I think that's what attributes to it and our weight coach he does an excellent job too."
On how he can help change the run game: "Going out and working as hard as you can every day and getting better, that's all you can really do."
On if he saw himself becoming an offensive lineman at Iowa: "Not really. Coach Ferentz asked me if I wanted to move over and I said, 'Yeah, whatever helps the team.' It was a great move for the future but I'm just happy Coach Ferentz gave me an opportunity to play at Iowa."
On Lions not bringing him in for an interview: "It is what it is. I'm just super happy to be a Lion."
On going into the line with experienced players: "Whatever happens, happens. I'm going to come and compete, hopefully learn from the guys and see how it works out."
On whether he prefers to start right away: "Whatever happens, happens. All I can control is going out there and working hard every day. It'll get settled. I'm just excited to meet the guys and be a part of this team."
On where he thought he'd go: "I told myself whatever happens, happens and I will make the best of it."
On what he was doing during the draft: "I was sitting outside in our barn just hanging out. I didn't care to watch the TV."
On when he got the call: "It was a great feeling when the Lions said they were gonna draft me. I told them I am going to work hard and be a great football player for them."
On what the Lions said to him: "Coaches and GM said they were happy to have me and glad I was on board."
On what it means to play for a team under Stafford that is on the up: "Words can't describe how happy I am right now. I'm super excited to be a Lion. I really can't put into words what I am actually feeling but I'm excited. The Lions are a great team; it will be great seasons ahead."
On his biggest strength: "Equal on both run-blocking and pass-protection. Nowadays, you have to be low in both."
On his wrestling background: "The last time I wrestled was my junior year in high school. Wrestling brings out a mental wellness; the training, the dedication you have to put in and as an offensive lineman it helps you with your feet, your hips, using your hands well. I attribute a lot of my success to my wrestling background."
On the off-field incident his freshman year at Iowa: "It was a learning experience; it was before I was a freshman in college. It was a really embarrassing incident and I've moved on. I've been a great citizen ever since and I've put it behind me."
On positions at Iowa: "I came into campus as a defensive end/defensive tackle. Two or three weeks in, coach asked if I wanted to make the switch. I said, 'Yeah, whatever helps the team.' The next year I moved into left tackle. We had a really good starter, Shane Dibona; he went down and I jumped in and I played pretty well. I finished out six games at left guard and one at right tackle and ever since then I've been a left tackle."
On being first player selected from the Big Ten: "I didn't know that. The Big Ten has really great football players; it's a great conference and I'm proud to represent the Big Ten."
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