In an attempt to fill the vacancy left by Edgerrin James, the Colts draft running back Joseph Addai…
Joseph Addai Press Conference
Bill Polian on first-round draft pick RB Joseph Addai -- (Opening comments)
"Well, as you now know, we've chosen a running back in the first round so the suspense is over. We took joseph Addai from LSU, who we feel has all the attributes necessary to succeed at this level. He runs the fastest of all the backs in the draft at 4.43. (He's) 5-11, 214 pounds, so he's exactly the same size as (former Colts running back) Edgerrin (James). Has many of the same attributes. I'm not trying to make him Edgerrin. As I said on Thursday, that's far too heavy a burden for any back to carry. But he is a very good blocker, a very good receiver and a very hard running, speedy, shifty back. So I think the fans are going to like what they see. We're very happy to get him. We thought that the backs would go off pretty much the way it broke. We thought we might have some opportunities to move up, but it didn't materialize. Actually, we're glad we stayed where we are. We decided late (Friday) night that Joseph was the guy we wanted anyway, so we're very glad that he came to us."
(on the possibility of moving up in the first round)
"We were trying to get ahead of the running back run, which came exactly where we expected it would. But as it turned out, that didn't materialize. It was very difficult to make deals. There were very few opportunities to move up. Somebody asked me the other day how accuarate is our (draft) board. Too accurate. They came off exactly as we thought they would. So there were no names left up in the first round. But we're happy to get him."
(on drafting quickly once it became their turn to pick)
"There was no need to sit and wait for a trade down. We decided this morning that he was the guy we wanted and hoped that he would get to us. When he did, there's no need to wait. Make the pick and go."
(on history of knee injuries in college)
"He's had a scope, which took out a piece of cartilage. The injury occurred when he was a senior in high school. The scope took place following spring practice of his sophomore year. I spoke to Doctor (Tom) Klootwyk (Colts orthpedic surgeon) this morning just to be sure that everything was okay. Dr. Klootwyk's remark was the knee is absolutely fine. There is no evidence of arthritis or anything of that nature. So he's only had the one (knee surgery) and that was five years ago. He had an ACL in high school. It healed and there was just a little cartilage flap in college. (He) had just one injury at LSU. He had a high ankle sprain that he played through this year but essentally was under the weather for about four games."
(on what caught the Colts eye)
"He does everything well. He catches the ball exceptionally well. He's been a wide receiver. He knows how to run (pass) routes. He blocks very well. He's a very tough guy. He played fullback as a freshman at LSU. He's been moved around and understands concepts very well. He can block, he can catch, he can run routes and then I think all of America saw in the (2005) Peach Bowl game what he can do when he runs the football. In three quarters of a game, he had 124 yards and I think touchdowns if I'm not mistaken. He's a talented runner. He's played behind Domanick Davis, Alley Broussard, Jay Vincent. They've got a lot of backs down there. When he got his chance, he shone. That's what we liked about him. As far as his character is concerned, it's sterling. We talked with people who coached him at LSU and people who had been there and recruited him. The coach that recruited him, who's no longer at LSU, called us and said this is a guy who want to think about."
(on Addai not having a lot of carries in college)
"Edgerrin didn't have a lot as you may remember coming out. There is some merit to that. It's a tough position in the National Football League. A very tough position. They take a pounding and the thing that you look for in a back is the ability to spurt through the hole, so you don't take a lot of hits head-on if you can avoid them. And having the ability to avoid. Joseph has both. He's not been worn down. He has 2,500 (carrer rushing) yards in less than 500 carries. And that's the magic number that we look for in a college back. If he's averaged five yards, then we know that the odds are pretty darn good that he's going a good back at this level. And the fact that he doesn't a lot of wear and tear on him is helpful."
(what kind of runner is Addai)
"He's a guy that will move the pile all the time. He's gonna get three and four (yards) when there's a pile. But when there's daylight, he's getting 15 and 20 (yards). So if it's blocked, if you block 12, he's likely to get 20 or 25 (yards). That's where the yardage comes from. And he does well in the passing game too because he catches it so well and can turn up. He's what we haven't here in a while in terms of taking an eight-yard run that's blocked and turning it into a 22 yard run. He can do that."
Tony Dungy on Joseph Addai --
"When we looked at the job description of our running back, we just thought this was the most qualified guy. A guy who could do a lot of things, block very well, catch balls out of the backfield, run inside, run outside, speed to make long runs. He can do it. I think the thing we have to be careful is we dont just try to make this guy Edgerrin James. He's going to have a lot of pressure on him because of Edgerin leaving. And we've just got to let him be who he is and he'll be fine. But he's going to be a very good player. He's a solid citizen. He's a great worker. He's played on an (NCAA) national championship team. He's a winner. He played on a great team in high school. He just had everything that you look for and we're happy to have him."
Dungy on running back being a top priority in the draft --
"We had a team that won 14 games last year. We lost some pieces to that puzzle. We lost Edgerin, we lost Larry Tripplett, David Thornton. We always look to fill the defensive side of it. But we had a gap there at running back. Dominic Rhodes is going to start the year as the starter. We're happy to have a guy to compliment him now. Joseph will be good and we're happy to have him."
Dungy on Addai's lack of carries in college --
"We talked about that a little bit last night as we were talking though all the guys. Is this Priest Holmes? Is this a really good player who played with other good backs and didn't get to be the featured guy but has a lot of skills and may blossom at this level?"
Dungy on Addai's running style --
"He's got long speed."