- Jeff Dickerson, ESPN Staff Writer
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo and Director of Player Personnel Tim Ruskell conducted a pre-draft press conference on Thursday at Halas Hall. Here were some of the highlights:
Angelo on North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin: He's got documented concerns. We've delved into those. Lovie [Smith] and Rod [Marinelli] went down there and spent a goodly amount of time with him. Mark Sadowski our scout has spent a goodly amount of time with him. We feel real good about how we feel about him and knowing him."
Angelo on Mississippi State offensive tackle Derek Sherrod being compared to Chris Williams:"Similar in they are high quality people. You aren't going to get any dirt on Sherrod when you look for it. I always say we are in the dirt business, that's what we try to do first, to see what's underneath that hood. He's impeccable in terms of his citizenship, his work ethic, he's very intelligent. Physically, I'd say comparable in terms of intangibles, but Chris was a little better athlete in terms of his hip movement. Derek has longer arms in terms of his pass protection. Is there a big difference? We took Chris in the first half of the first round (No. 14), I don't think Derek is projected to go there.
Ruskell on draft differences between Bears and Seahawks organizations:"A lot of the things I incorporated in Seattle are things Jerry and I worked on in Tampa and maybe he got away from. I've taken them and went further with them, and some of them are things we re-instituted, things Jerry is familiar with in terms of the draft boards. There are no earth-shattering changes, but we've talked, and the best of both worlds is what it's felt like. It's felt good to the scouts, it's felt good to the coaches in terms of the way we went about our business. Everyone got their say and the work was thorough. No matter how you get to that point, that's the goal."
Angelo on working relationship with Ruskell:"We had a sign in the draft room [in Tampa] for all of us to look at it. It said, 'If everybody is thinking alike, there isn't much thinking going on.' So the goal isn't to get people to patronize your thinking. The goal is to stimulate your thinking. Get honest opinions, independent thinking, obviously based on research. We're not poll takers."
Angelo on how much the Bears weight character picking at No. 29: "We're not looking for best friends or neighbors. We're looking for guys who get it and come in here with good attitudes, good work ethics and are very passionate about football. If they have those things in common, I can personally get along with them. Particularly if they have talent."
Angelo on 2011 class of linebackers: "The 3-4 teams are helping us with our linebackers. Probably the guys we like are not even on half of the boards in the league. I think that will help us. I think there are more linebackers for us we can get later if we choose to go that direction. From my vantage point, [linebacker is] probably the most fertile position for us in the mid, to later to free agent rounds."
Angelo on Bears pursuit of a wide receiver: "We'd like to get the big receiver like everybody. So much has been made about the No. 1 receiver. It's hard to find a No. 1 receiver. We've looked at the position hard this year. I don't anticipate seeing anybody who's going to fit that definition. But we do like the receiver group given how they complement what we have. It's not a great group, but there are some players we feel could come in and help us."
Angelo on age concerns of Baylor OG Danny Watkins: "He'll be 27 in November. You look at the position, obviously players play into their 30s at that position. You can even say into their mid-30s and still play good football. I don't think it's a red flag."
Angelo on Bears wanting larger offensive linemen:"We've kind of shifted in that we want bigger people. We are looking for tackles that can play guard, rather than guard that can play center. I know coach [Mike] Tice and coach [Mike] Martz want bigger people. Staffs we had before weren't as committed to that thinking."
Angelo on quarterbacks: "It's not a luxury position. We want to develop our own."
Angelo on the Bears game versus the Buccaneers in London: "The good news is I can speak the language. So I'm looking for the positives right now, and that was the first one on my list."