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28 April 2018

Transcript: Safety Jordan Whitehead Conference Call

(On his strengths as a safety)
“I definitely think I’m a versatile safety. I can play free safety, I can play strong safety. I can really play nickel[back]. I think I’ve got a lot of speed. I’m strong. I think I’ve just got to fit in. My closing speed definitely helps.”
(On his expectations going into the draft)
“Throughout the process and throughout the combine, you hear a lot of different things, a lot of different mocks. I was at the bottom, really, in all of the mocks. I wasn’t at the top. In the top-10 I was actually the last one, the 10th guy. I was expecting for the worst because I didn’t want to get too high or get too low. So right now, I was expecting to have my name called today but wasn’t [expecting] to hear it called this early. It was a lot of waiting and I’m just blessed to be in this position right now.”
(On facing NFC South quarterbacks)
“It definitely makes me really competitive right now. Thank you to the Bucs for picking me. Thirty-one teams passed up so it’s just a chip on my shoulder coming in already. I’m really ready to play, ready to do anything, special teams, to contribute to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Coming in and playing those great quarterbacks, it’s going to be a lot of different things. A lot of film studying I’m going to have to do, a lot of working with the older guys, following their lead.”
(On if his cousin and former Buccaneer Darrelle Revis gave him any advice throughout the draft process)
“Definitely. Growing up, I was at his draft party so I got to experience that. His mom was here today and she was excited. He gave me a lot of advice going through this process, throughout this thing. Stay humble, anything could happen throughout this weekend. So, coming up, he had a lot of camps I used to go to with him. He definitely taught me a lot of different things. At cornerback, actually just watching him play, I learned a lot. I really learned from him, how to play, from my cousin. You can learn from the best right there, he’s right there in front of me. I take everything from him.”
(On beating Clemson in Death Valley)
“That game, we were underdogs and we pretty much – we had nothing to lose. I think everybody on the team – especially [former Pittsburgh running back] James Conner that year – had something to prove to the world. Coming into that game, DeShaun Watson, the top-rated quarterback at Clemson, they were No.1 or No. 2 at that time. We came in and defeated them. I actually had an injury in that game. I remember after the game celebrating that. I had a picked up fumble [returned] 99 yards that got called back. It was a great feeling. Throughout that week of practice, we were just more focused in, I felt, with the whole team.”
(On his three-game suspension in 2017)
“Definitely some mistakes, young mistakes. It happened, but I’m mature. I know I’m mature. I’m going to prove it to all of the coaches coming in. I learned from it and I won’t let it happen again. I promise that won’t happen.”
(On where he will play for the Buccaneers)
“Right now they didn’t really say anything. I got to talk to a couple of coaches, but right now they were telling me, ‘Enjoy the moment.’ As soon as this dies down, I’m definitely going to get on the phone with them ASAP and try and establish something because I want to learn quick and get on that field quick.”
(On playing prep football in a prominent high school region in Pennsylvania)
“A great place to play football in. Coming from Aliquippa, being from Aliquippa, all you know is football. If you don’t win, the town’s against you. Growing up, playing [from] when I was five, all I really knew [was] grind all day about football. I had a lot of uncles, my cousins [that played], I had to just follow the lead. Up to this point, I’m a gym rat, I pay attention to all of the details. Coming from Aliquippa in this football town definitely prepared me and it’s going to keep preparing me for the next stage in my life.”

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