(where is Dewayne going to play) I think the great thing Dewayne brings
is position flexibility. In his time in Tampa, as he alluded to, played
on the left side, played on the right side. Shoot, even in '04, his
second year, we had a bunch of D-line injuries in the tackle spot, and he
actually had to play the under tackle for us, the three technique.
That's the great thing about him. He's obviously an end, but he can pay all
over the front.
(will you bring everybody in and then determine who plays where) Yeah,
you know, that's one thing that Coach Marinelli and I believe in.
Nothing's going to be given to anybody. Everything's going to be earned.
Obviously what Dewayne brings to this team is great work ethic, great
attitude. He's a great kid. Obviously we're expecting things from him, but
it's March whatever. We're not going to set that in stone right now.
(describe him) Well, when we drafted him down in Tampa, he came out
early. He was a pass rusher, bottom line. I can't remember what the number
was, but in three years at Louisville, he had the all-time sack record
at Louisville. He had a great first step. He could really run. I think
the thing I'm probably most proud of of Dewayne, you guys kind of asked
him, he was a kid. He was a little boy when he came into Tampa as a
shoot, I don't know how old he was, but he was a true junior that came
out. In the four years down there - and obviously Rod is a huge part of it
- he grew into a man. He's a complete defensive end now. He's an
every-down defensive end. He can play first down. He can play the run. He's a
great pass rusher on third down. So that's him as a player. As a
person, this kid works his tail off. He's a great worker, got great work
ethic, but he's also a great person. ... He's a great husband. He's a great
dad. This kid is the whole package. He's not only a great football
player. He's a great person on and off the field. So we got something very
(any trepidation that he has never been a full-time starter) I think
that's a little misleading in that sense that the way you guys look at it
he was never been a starter, but we didn't look at that in Tampa. We
felt that we had three starting ends down there. It was just circumstance
that he was a young guy behind two veteran - one guy a potential Hall
of Famer - but we didn't look at Dewayne as a backup or a third end.
(did you rotate a lot) Oh, yeah. ... Even though Dewayne wasn't
technically a starter those years, he played a lot of football.
(leader) I don't think Dewayne is, or we don't expect him to come in
and be the voice of the Detroit Lions. Dewayne is one of those guys that,
I think he's going to lead classically by example. He's going to come
in and work his tail off. He's going to do everything right. And I think
guys are going to look at him and say, 'Oh, wow. That's how you're
supposed to act as a pro.' That's the thing that I really think Dewayne's
going to bring to this team and this locker room is just great work
(do you need that guy) I just think that naturally happens. I think a
lot of times when coaches try to create that, I think you get in
trouble. I'm a firm believer that you kind of just become that. When you're
saying, 'Hey, you've got to go in the locker room and say this and
motivate these guys,' that's phony.
If you have guys that work hard and are great character guys and do the
right things, I think naturally guys are going to gravitate to them.
When something needs to be said, those are the type of guys that say
something. Talk is cheap. I want a guy that comes in here with great
character and great work ethic and then leads by example.
(how much more reshaping with defense) I like the makeup of these team
right now, obviously, and whatever holes that we deem are holes, we've
obviously got ... shoot, it's only 48 hours into free agency. We've got
the draft coming up. We're just going to keep plugging away. But where
we're at right now, I'm very excited.
(was this a priority for you, getting Dewayne) Yeah, it's something
that we felt the perimeter of our defense, we needed a speed guy. We
needed to upgrade the speed on the edge of our defense. Quite frankly, we
put a premium on pass rush. To run this system, to run this scheme,
you've got to be able to rush the passer, bottom line. We put a premium on
that, and Dewayne brings an element of speed and pass rush to us.
(so what would be next if you could just pluck it from the tree) Well,
come on, I can't give you all our secrets. Bottom line, if there's a
good player out there, we're going to be calling him and talking to his
agent. It's not like we have a checklist of items. Now we've got the
defensive end, we've got to go out and get Player B. We're not doing that.
Now obviously we've targeted some guys. We had Dewayne targeted I think
a little bit obviously because of the relationship that Coach Marinelli
and I have with him. But also, he's a hell of a football player. He
brings a lot of things to this team, not only football, but just he's a
quality human being - great character.
(upside) Oh, I think the sky's the limit for Dewayne White. Just to
look at where he's come from as a little, young, 21-year-old rookie to
where he is now, just the strides that he's made in the four years that
I've witnessed, that's what I'm excited about because he's really changed
everything about him as a football player. Shoot, if he can do that
again, the sky's the limit for Dewayne White.