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Q&A with Jeff Ireland at the 2015 NFL Combine

Ireland spoke with John DeShazier at the 2015 NFL Combine

Now we're here with Jeff Ireland, a new addition to the Saints staff. We know that you're helping out with the college scouting. What has been your input in the process because you joined a little bit late, however we know that you were already into this process before.

"Really just more or less, running the college meetings. Mickey (Loomis) and Sean (Payton) have been great, just kind of letting me do my thing. It has been quite a bit of a process because I wasn't in football until January. I watched a lot of football during my time off but I wasn't writing reports, like the scouts were. This process has been a grind because I'm familiarizing myself with the players, but also getting them right on the board. We're trying to separate the men from the boys right now and trim the board from the guys that fit the traits that we're looking for. The scouts have been outstanding and that's what we're doing."

Mickey says one of the things that he likes is that there has been kind of a yin and a yang to it – that you're not an agreeable voice all the time. Do you find that that process works well for you? You've been a general manager before.

"Well, debate is always healthy. In any kind of draft room debate is going to be healthy. I know what I'm looking for in players and Sean and Mickey know what they're looking for. We're trying to marry that together and obviously those voices count a lot more than mine. I'm willing to debate the process because I've seen certain things in my career that may have worked. Again, it's just trying to find what we're really looking for and we're not worrying about what everybody else is looking for; it's what the Saints need."

Was that debate kind of encouraged when you were interviewing because obviously they wanted to bring someone in with a strong voice. Was that debate kind of encouraged saying, 'look, let us know what you see,'?

"No, I don't think we ever talked about it. Sean and I have a history together and he has seen me in the draft room. It's always very respectful but we're just trying to create a vision for the player and that's my objective and Sean knows that and Mickey knows that. Sometimes we agree and sometimes we don't agree. At the end of the day we're just trying to get the vision correct of how we're going to visualize a player. Is he the right kind of guy that we're looking for? That's really basically it."

Now obviously you also worked for Seattle, but does it say something about an organization or maybe a general manager to hire a former general manager in that he's secure in his position and we want the strongest voices we can find.

"Well I think experience is very important – especially in the draft process – having someone that has been through it before. I have learned from some great people through my career. I've been in that seat before and I know the challenges that you can face with running a draft on draft day and the process that it takes to get it right. So, I think experience is healthy. I'm blessed. I get to be with great people, doing what I love.

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