After being chosen by the New Orleans Saints with the 88th pick overall in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft, CB Johnny Patrick talked to NewOrleansSaints.com for a Q&A. Patrick, started 40 games at the University of Louisville and was an All-Big East selection as a senior. In the Q&A he discusses his draft experience, his college career as well as what he expects at the professional level.
Congratulations on getting picked by the Saints. Can you talk about what your draft day experience was like and how you feel about getting picked by the Saints and coming to New Orleans?
I had a family get-together in Daytona Beach, Florida, near my hometown of DeLand. We had a get-together with the family at a restaurant with a lot of televisions and had a great time, talking, waiting for me to get picked.
Can you express your feelings about getting chosen by the Saints and coming to New Orleans?
I feel great about being picked by the Saints. They're a playoff contending team. Yes, you would like to be drafted higher, but my dream is the opportunity to play in the NFL, so you don't care in the end where you get drafted. I just want the opportunity to play football and I'm just glad the Saints gave that to me.
Did you visit the Saints facility prior the draft? Can you discuss your communication with club officials prior to the draft?
No, but I had a great visit with them prior at the combine. I met with the coaching staff. I felt good about the meeting and I have to think they feel the same way about me.
What did you do physically and mentally to prepare for the draft?
I trained in Naples, Florida to get ready for the combine and to be mentally and physically prepared. I went down there right after our bowl game and the senior bowl.
What are some strengths you have in playing corner as well as some things you will look to work on?
I think my best assets are my quickness and awareness. I work hard to understand route concepts and to what receivers are doing based on my experience at the position. There are plenty of things to work on like deep ball drills and learning to cover bigger receivers.
Does your experience as a receiver help you out?
Tremendously, also my coaches at Louisville Charlie Strong and Vance Bedford also really help, just reading route concepts.
From arriving on campus at Louisville, you guys struggled on the field as a group initially, but your class played a big role in going to a bowl game this past year. How did you adapt to the coaching changes, your most recent one being Charlie Strong, who had had a lot of success?
It was good to be a part of that class. We finished strong. I had three different head coaches, four different position coaches and three different defensive coordinators. Having the ability to adapt and change, I think I can bring to the table as a result. It was great getting to the bowl game my final year. I can't take the credit for that, nor can my class. It was a team effort.
What did Coach Strong tell you to expect at the next level?
He said to work hard and compete. His favorite word is compete and he stresses to work hard at everything you do.
For young secondary players and linebackers, special teams is a route to being active on game day, increasing playing time and making an immediate impact. Can you discuss your experience in this area and how you think you can contribute?
I played special teams all four years. I did kickoff and punt as a gunner and a little kick return. I think I can play all four phases of special teams with the Saints, because I have a lot of experience doing it.