Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia addressed fans at the official Detroit Lions Draft Party on Thursday evening, moments after the team selected Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson with the eighth overall pick. He answered several questions from Lions play-by-play radio announcer Dan Miller. Here’s a transcription of some of his answers.
(Hat tip to Sweta Patel for posting clips of the event on Twitter)
On Hockenson’s toughness: “He’s smart, works hard, gives everything every single play. I don’t know if you guys saw some of the cutups up there in the clips, but this is guy that finishes every single play. He can do the dirty work in the run game, get open in the passing game, really put a lot of pressure on the defense.”
On Hockenson as a blocker: “I think that’s a great way to lead, by showing everyone what you’re going to do with the commitment you have to finish each and every single play. There’s a lot of plays on tape where he’s blocking somebody and all of a sudden you can’t see him anymore on tape, because he’s got his guy over on the sidelines, he’s dumping him on the bench. Just a tenacious guy, a tough guy, a blue-collar hard worker, and that’s really what we’re all about.
On Hockenson as a receiver: “He’s a really tough guy to tackle, he does a good job turning small plays into big plays, gets the ball vertical on the defense and just another threat out there with the ball.”
On what Hockenson brings to the Lions’ new offense under Darrell Bevell: “We’re trying to do everything we can on offense to be multiple, be able to get into different packages, put as much stress on the defense as possible. Right now the game is always moving towards the tight end position. That’s the mismatch that everyone is trying to figure out.
“We see how they’re going to defend it. If they go too small, you can run the ball. If they go too big, you can throw it. There’s a lot of things you can do with these guys at the tight end position to get them out in different formations in difficult looks for the defense.”