New Orleans Saints Defensive Lineman Tyeler Davison
Conference Call with Local Media
Saturday, May 2, 2015
What are your thoughts about joining New Orleans and receiving that call?
"It's a great feeling. I'm sitting here watching the draft with my family, and it feels good to get your name called, especially by a great name like the Saints. I couldn't be happier."
Did you visit New Orleans or did you have any idea that they would possibly be taking you?
"I actually did visit down to New Orleans not too long ago. I had a little bit of an idea that they were interested, but you never know what can happen in the draft. I did take a visit down there, so I knew a little bit."
Did you have a watching party yesterday, or did you think that it would be today?
"I just had my family and a couple of friends over. I knew there was a possibility yesterday, but I knew it was probably going to be today and I told everybody that. Everyone came back for today too, so it wasn't a huge deal. It wasn't anything like Jameis Winston or anything like that, I just had a couple of friends over."
Is that wait difficult, even though you have a feeling that it's going to be day three?
"Yes, it is a little bit difficult. It was a little bit tough to wait through it all, but it's worth it in the end."
Did you play against Andrus Peat in high school since your high schools were both in the Phoenix area?
"I never played against him because our schools were in different conferences."
How many tickets are you going to have to come up with since the Saints open against the Cardinals in Arizona?
"I'm probably going to have to get a bunch of them. That will be cool as my first place to play a game."
Did the coaches tell you that when you got the phone call?
"No, they didn't. This is the first time I heard about that."
You made 40 career starts and started every game in your final three seasons of your college career. How do you stay healthy in that position?
"You just have to work at it. Some people might say that you have to be lucky to stay healthy your whole career, but I feel like if you really work at it, then you can stay healthy. I feel like that's just something that you have to do. You learn how to do that in college, and hopefully you can continue that and even take it to the next level once you go to the next level."
Do you have any idea as to what the coaches' vision, or your vision, is for what you will play in terms of the 3-4 end or nose tackle positions?
"I'm not too sure right now about specifics like that, but I'm just happy to go in there and contribute any way that I can. Whether its 3-4, end, or nose, I'm going to do everything I can to contribute."
What position did you play in college?
"I played a little bit of end at the beginning of the year. We run a 3-4 defense at Fresno State. I mostly played nose tackle however."
You've been pretty successful getting to the quarterback from the nose tackle position. How have you been so successful balancing holding your ground to stop the run and getting after the quarterback?
"You don't want to be a one trick pony. You want to be good at everything you do. A lot of people attach the stigma to nose guards that they can't get after the quarterback. I think that you can't buy into that mindset or belief. I think that's what helped me the most in college, just not listening to all of that talk. As long as you don't believe it, then you won't do it. I believe that no matter what position I play, I can get after the quarterback and stop the run. As long as I keep believing that and working at that to make that happen, then it will happen."
Do you think making the right reads has been a key strength of yours, since making the right reads is a huge part of being successful at that position?
"Absolutely. Reads play a huge part in all of it. I definitely agree with you that that is going to be a big thing that I am going to have to master in order to be successful."
You were a state champion wrestler in high school. Can you tell us how your wrestling influenced your football playing?
"I won state my senior year, and I got third place my junior year. Wrestling definitely helped me out a lot. It's a tough sport; I feel like what wrestling helps you the most with is to make you mentally tough, and I definitely think that has translated to football very well."
One of the things said to be one of your strengths is your hands. Can you talk about how you like to use them and how you worked to develop that skill?
"I feel as a defensive lineman your hands are one of the most important things that you have to use to be successful. Coming into college, that was one of the first things that I had to learn was how to use my hands. You just have to learn how to shoot your hands and get them inside quick, to try to initiate contact with your hands and keep that offensive lineman separated from you so you can get off of him and make plays."
Is your nickname Rhino?
"Yes. Some of the older defensive lineman used to call me Rhino when I first got to Fresno State."
You were a fifth-year senior. A lot of guys look forward to only being a three-year guy when they get to college. Do you feel like having to wait five years is going to make you that much hungrier once you get into camp?
"I definitely think that does make you hungrier because you had to put in a ton of work to get to that point. Five years is a long time to work, and I think it helps you know how to embrace the grind as well as make you hungry, knowing that you have to put in all that time to get to where you're at."
Can you put on more weight? Do you have the frame to put on more if you're going to be a nose tackle in the NFL?
"I could put on more weight. I also think that I can take on double teams at the weight I'm at now, but if I have to, I definitely could put on more weight."
Would you want to do that though? Your draft profile on NFL.com says that you are built like a champion bodybuilder. Putting on some weight might hurt your reputation a little bit.
"I don't know about all of that, but if the coaches say that's what I need to do, I will do it."
The Saints ranked 31st in yards allowed per game on defense, and they've drafted five defensive players with their first seven picks. How does that make you feel about being one of those five players in the context of last season and this draft?
"We have pretty much nowhere to go but up, so I'm excited to come in there and contribute. Hopefully we will do well next year and I will be a part of that. I'm excited to be able to come in and help out the defense."