April 26, 2013
Tyler Eifert (conference call with Cincinnati media)
Congratulations, first off. Coaches said they don’t necessarily get surprised when players fall to them at this point. Were you surprised to go at 21?
TE: “No, I wasn’t surprised. I’ve been told all along there’s no way to know where you’re going to go or who you’re going to go to. I was just staying positive through the entire thing and trying to enjoy it. I’m happy to be a part of the organization and for the opportunity.”
Were you surprised that it was the Bengals, knowing they have Jermaine Gresham?
TE: “Yeah, a little bit. We all do our own mock drafts in our head, and who needs the position that we are and what not. So yeah, I was a little bit surprised. Coach Hayes worked me out at the combine and Pro Day and we have a good relationship.”
Both you and Gresham were selected with the 21st pick in your respective drafts and you have a lot in common. How similar and how different is your style of play to Gresham?
TE: “I think we’re very similar players. Our ability to create mismatches and get down the field and also put our hand in the dirt and block. I’m excited for the opportunity to play next to him.”
What do you do best? What’s your best attribute?
TE: “I think it’s catching contested balls and having good hands.”
You probably had more contested catches than anyone in the country last year. Is that something you can work on or is it God-given?
TE: “I think it’s a little bit of both. As far as the timing thing, I think that’s God-given, the ability to time the jump and things like that. I work hard at catching the football after practice.”
What has Brian Kelly told you about Cincinnati if anything?
TE: “We haven’t talked about it a lot, but I’m sure we will shortly.”
Where are you right now?
TE: “I’m at my house in Ft. Wayne.”
Any reason why you didn’t go to New York?
TE: “I wanted to spend it here with my family and friends. I’m not big on all the cameras. I’d rather be here with close family and friends.”
Do you know anything about Cincinnati?
TE: “Not a whole lot, no. I don’t live far from there, so I should probably know more, but no, not particularly.”
How close are you to Kyle Rudolph?
TE: “Very close.”
Have you heard from him yet?
TE: “My phone has been vibrating off the hook, so I haven’t had time to look through them all, but maybe I can rent his room until I find a place.”
You lined up all over the football field, at least six or seven different spots in formations. (Offensive Coordinator) Jay Gruden likes to utilize tight ends in different spots. That fits right into your skill-set doesn’t it?
TE: “Yeah, it does. I have the ability to understand every position on the field in college, along with my ability to catch the football and move around and also block.”
Is your game comparable to what Kyle (Rudolph)’s is like?
TE: “I would say we’re very comparable. I learned a lot from him. He’s been a mentor for me. I’d say we have very comparable games.”
How many different spots did you line up in on offense, and where did they have you deployed?
TE: “I lined up at every single position except quarterback. I was never in the backfield, but I would where our running back would go out. It was just the way we would do our personnel. I was the running back, the X, the Y, the Z, the W. I knew every position on the field.”
Do you feel comfortable as an H-Back, a motion guy, a move guy?
TE: “Yes, not as much last year, but this year that’s pretty much what I did.”