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2014 NFL Draft: transcript from third-round pick Christian Kirksey's teleconference

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 9, 2014

The Browns selected Iowa linebacker Christian Kirksey No. 71 overall in the third round Friday night. 

Below is a transcript of Kirksey's teleconference with reporters: 

 

On how much conversation he had with the Browns before the draft:

“I talked to them here and there. I had a really good talk with one of the scouts. They were talking [well] about me so I had a good feeling about it.”

 

On if he thinks the Browns will play him at inside or outside linebacker:

“Inside, I believe.”

 

On what he knows about the Browns:

“We’ve got the best fans in the country! The Dawg Pound! The Dawg Pound! The Dawg Pound! They're in the AFC North, and I'm ready to become a part of the Browns and give it my all. Especially to give honor to Jim Brown, who played there. He's a legend. To play behind legends makes me feel great. I'm ready to be a Brown, and I'm ready to get down there right now.”

 

On what sets him apart from other linebackers and his goals for this year:

“I'm a complete linebacker that gives 100 percent effort. I trust my skills and I trust that I'll get the job done. I think I'm very athletic and fast enough to play in a defense like the Browns. I think I bring a lot of versatility to the defense and some of my leadership skills. I'm ready to look up to the older guys and just learn as much as possible from them and just be ready to be an asset to the team.”

 

On where he thought he would be selected in the draft, and how much attention he's paid to storylines surrounding the Browns over the past 24 hours:

“I had no idea where I was going to go. I was sitting in my room praying to God that I land somewhere good and wherever I go, I'm going to give it 100 percent effort. Seeing Johnny Manziel go to the Browns with the things that he did at the college level and now going to the pros, just to be a part of that too, is very special. We'll be rookies together. I'm ready to work with him and the Browns team.”

 

On if he has played inside linebacker:

“I started at WILL linebacker my sophomore year. Then, I made the transition to outside (linebacker). I'm comfortable with both of them. Playing linebacker is playing linebacker. Run to the ball and play football.”

 

On describing himself as a linebacker:

“I'm a nice, physical linebacker., a guy who's not afraid to stick his nose in, a guy that has a high motor and runs to the ball and never stops until the play is done. That's the type of linebacker I am, a linebacker that gives 100 percent effort, is willing to make plays and sacrifice my body for my team.”

 

On if the Browns said he’d primarily play inside linebacker, and if so, why:

“No, (Head) Coach (Mike Pettine) just feels like I’m a nice, aggressive player. Wherever I fit in is where is where I’ll be willing to play. Wherever they need me to play is what I’ll do, 100 percent. He just told me I can be a good fit for the defense, and just go out there and play linebacker.”

 

On his initial reaction to becoming an NFL player:

“It was mind-blowing. I’ve just been playing this game since I was seven years-old, and just to see my name go across the screen and just know that I’m going to be an NFL player, I’m just fired up. I’m ready to get down to Cleveland right now and just be a part of that family and be a part of that atmosphere and just keep playing as a Cleveland Brown. I’m excitedd. I’m kind of speechless, a lot of things are going through my mind right now.”

 

On the source of his leadership ability:

“Just from looking up to my father and seeing what type of man he was and the type of things he did and the way he carried himself, I just always looked up to that and he just told me to be yourself, be proud of who you are. I just tried to speak loud and help other people and just show people how to live off of the field and on the field. I can say that my dad really instilled that in me and just let your personality spread out to others. That’s the reason I am who I am today and just why I have these leadership skills.”

 

On his reaction to the Browns drafting QB Johnny Manziel and reports about WR Josh Gordon:

“Just seeing (Cleveland) draft Johnny Manziel, he’s a tremendous athlete. It’s just wonderful to see him to go the team and you go to the team as well. Josh Gordon, I don’t know anything about that. I’m just happy to be a Brown so that’s all I can say about that.”

 

On his father’s profession:

“My dad was a pastor so he instilled a lot in me through church, but also he was a father to me at my home. Just watching him and what type of man he was and the way he led his church and led his people, he just wanted me to do the same, whether it’s in church or on the football field. I just wanted to be a leader just how he was, and he just instilled a lot in me.”

 

On if his father is deceased:

“He passed away my freshman year going into college. The summer of my freshman year he passed away so I dealt with that and just remember everything he told me and how he raised me.”

 

On what happened to his father:

“He was 58. He suffered from a stroke. He suffered from a stroke my senior year of high school and then he passed away going into the summer of my freshman year.”

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