New Orleans Saints Linebacker Stephone Anthony
Conference Call with Local Media
Thursday, April 30, 2015
Describe your thoughts right now. Some projections had you going in the second round. Did you see yourself going in the first round, and if so, was it to the Saints?
"There were some rumors going around that I may be selected in the first round, but I truly didn't know. I met with a lot of different teams, and it was truly up in the air for me. I couldn't get a feel for who really liked me and where I would go."
Did you get an invitation to attend the draft?
"Yes I did. I decided not to attend, and I chose to stay home."
Can you tell us about your contact with the Saints throughout the pre-draft process?
"I got the chance to meet with those guys at the combine. We had an actual meeting with coach Sean Payton, coach Rob Ryan, and coach Joe Vitt, the linebackers coach. He's going to be an exciting guy to play for. I've been meeting with those guys throughout the whole process. It came down to the pro day, and I got a chance to meet with them again, and there was something about those guys that we clicked on."
Can you tell us more about that pre-draft meeting? What kind of questions did they ask you? Did they ask you to work through some plays?
"I think we had a general meeting. We sat down, and they asked me a couple questions about my background, where I was from, and where I come from. We sat down and watched a couple of plays, and I was able to have some recall and work in their plays as well."
What did they tell you about what they envisioned for you here?
"Nothing is given. No matter where you are, what round, or whatever pick you are, you still have to come in and work. You have to earn everything you get, and it's been that way my whole life."
You said Joe Vitt would be an exciting guy to play for. What makes you say that?
"His energy. He's a coach that's going to get after you. He's intense, and he has to be a fun guy to play for. I've been coached that way for the past four years."
Can you tell us about your strengths?
"My athleticism and my ability to play in space and coverage. My ability to cover tight ends and backs, as well as being able to play downhill and between the tackles are definitely some of my strengths."
I'm sure you visited with a lot of teams. Did you ever look into any of those teams and their linebacker situation and see where you might fit in with them, or was that something you tried to keep yourself away from?
"I honestly tried to keep myself away from that. I didn't want to get my head caught up in all of that, because I knew that wherever I was picked I was going to have to come in and work and earn everything."
Take us through that first moment when you got that phone call. How did you feel? What was said to you? How did that go?
"I barely could get any words out; I immediately became emotional. It's a dream come true for me. This is something that I always dreamed of as a kid, and just to get that phone call and see my name come across that screen was surreal."
Do you see yourself as a middle linebacker, or could you move to the outside? Do you have a preference?
"I have no preference. I can play all three positions, and I'm willing to play whatever they need me to play."
Do you have the ability to get after the quarterback if that is something they ask you to do?
"I definitely do. It's always going to require work, and you just continue to learn some things and go get it."
Have you been to New Orleans before, and if so, what are your impressions of it?
"No, I've never been to New Orleans."
Are you excited about coming down here?
"I'm very excited. It's going to be a great experience and something new for me; I'm just ready to get to work."
Associated Press photos of new Saints ILB Stephone Anthony.