Two Eagles Meet the Media
By Lance Epstein
In the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles had four selections. Two of the selections were offensive players in Northwestern quarterback Mike Kafka and tight end Clayton Harbor.
Harbor (6-3, 252) was a relatively unknown player coming into the draft by most draft pundits, but he possesses a lot of the tools that are similar to current Eagles' starting tight end Brent Celek. Also, Harbor is a insurance policy as the No. 2 tight end incase Cornelius Ingram does not return to form after recovering his second torn ACL.
As for Kafka, he is a bit of a project at quarterback, but his strengths fit the west coast offense the Eagles run. He needs some time to develop and work under center, but he will eventually be the Eagles backup to Kevin Kolb when Michael Vick leaves after the 2010 season. Many scouts had Kafka as the ultimate sleeper in this draft.
Here are quotes from Tight End Clay Harbor and quarterback Mike Kafka:
On talking to the Eagles:
"I talked to their scouts several times, but I did not go there for a pre draft visit. I talked to the tight end coach at the combine and he said he liked me. So I think I am a great fit for the organization. I am a tight end that can block, play different positions and run routes well. So I am just excited for the opportunity."
On his stock rising from his pro day:
"At the combine I ran a 4.68. At my pro day I ran a 4.57. At the combine I benched 30 reps, jumped 40 inches on the vertical at the combine and 10-feet on the broad jump. I know that the scouts that came through and watched my film, knew what kind of player I was and do different things. So I have been told I was a third, fourth, fifth round guy so according to what some people said. They knew how athletic I was and what I was going to do at the combine. I knew if I got the chance to go to the combine that I was an athlete and I have my high school long jump record still, I was in the Illinois dunk contest three times in high school, I played basketball in high school, so I knew I would do well at all the events at the combine. And it would only help me."
Long jumped 22-feet 2 inches.
On Division I offers:
"I didn't. I was a receiver in high school and went to a really small high school. I played wide receiver, had 20 touchdowns and 1,q00 yards and six interceptions at safety on defense. I was from a small school so the reason why people thought I was god was the players I was playing against. In college my first couple of years, I was a receiver and I switched to tight end and gained 50 pounds in college (200 pounds before college). And I became a very good blocker and I love hitting people and being physical. And I have been playing receiver since fourth grade so I can catch the ball. I ran a 4.5 so I can stretch the field. Everything just took off once I got to college."
On getting stronger and bigger:
"I hit the weights hard when I got to college and I kept gaining weight. What happened was that two of our tight ends got hurt so they asked how I felt about playing tight end. I said heck yeah I will give it a shot and gained some weight and moved over to tight end. And the rest is history. I always knew I could gain some weight. I am a weight-room guy. I like lifting it is one of my things. I am really strong and I like lifting weights so I just did that and gained it all."
On scouts being blown away by his interview process:
"Every team I talked to at the combine, I had seven pre-draft visits and every team that flew me out were blown away about how much football I knew. Like wow we didn't know how much of a player you were. You talk well and you understand offense. And if there was a grade for football knowledge I would get an A. I feel like I can comprehend stuff and I can read defenses and coverages. That is one of my strengths. Scouts and coaches told me they were impressed with how outspoken I was and were blown away with the interview. So that definitely was a plus.
On his role with the team:
"No concerns, Brent Celek is a great player. I look forward to learning from one of the best in the business. Obviously if they draft you, they have a plan for you so I am going to go out there and I am going to play hard and work hard, so I can do a lot of different things. I can play fullback, slot, h-back and I plan on doing that. Whatever the coaches want me to do. I am going to make a name for myself on special teams as well. I like to hit people. I definitely going to run down the field and make some plays on special teams plays as well.I am a confident player. I know I come from a small school, I played in the East-West Shrine Game, Texas vs. the Nation, I was always better than the guy crossing up on the other side from me. So I am a confident player and just looking forward to the next opportunity."
On all-star games:
"I was definitely looking forward to that. I knew once I got there I would show them what kind of player I was and what kind of athlete I was. I got there and started playing well. It was everything I expected. Some of the scouts were shocked at how good I played and nothing unexpected to me at all."
On role with team:
They haven't talked to me about that yet (other positions). I am sure at this next weekend at the minicamps I will get whatever they want me to do."
On getting down the field as well as other tight ends:
"I feel I can get down the field as well as any tight ends. I was an old receiver, I ran the 4.5s. I am very agile. I can make reads to get over the guy or under the guy. So that is one of my strengths."
Mike Kafka Quotes:
Thoughts coming into the weekend:
"I definitely had a open mind. I knew it was going to be a range. Going into the draft I didn't know for sure, but thats what my agent had told me it would be a range from the third to the fifth. I was hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. I am just so excited to be a Eagle now."
On being behind Kolb:
"Absolutely. I am going to go in there and compete. Whatever I can do to go out there and make the team better. That's really all I can do right now is go in and make sure I am prepared and do the best I can to help the team."
On contact with the Eagles:
"A little bit. The came to my pro day and met with them at the combine and met a lot of personal there. Just a great organization and group to be with. I am so happy to be there. Going around you meet a lot of the coaches. Coach Mornhinweg, offensive coordinator, coach Irvin the quarterbacks coach and I met coach Reid when we were at the combine. Just to meet all that personal and get a feel for their franchise. Like I said before I am just really excited to be a Eagle."
On West coast offense:
"That is what the basis of our offense was around asa far as progressions, moving keys and reading coverages, executing and changing plays at the line of scrimmage. Doing those types of things are really help me at the next level."
On coming to working with Reid:
"I knew coach Irvin, coach Mornhinweg and coach Reid have all have a great reputation of developing good quarterbacks. I am happy to be a part of that group and learn as much as I can."
On being the backup in college for so long:
"It was definitely tough. Especially as a competitor you never want to hear the words be patient and those were kind of the words that the coach instilled in me throughout my career, which was to be patient. The thing I kind of related into my play was take what they give you and be patient, chip away and eventually let them make the mistake. We're going to execute as a offense let them make a mistake."
On McNabb being from Chicago and as a Eagle:
"Well I have a lot of respect and admiration for Donovan McNabb. He is a great player. He is actually from the Chicago Catholic league from Mount Carmel. I am from Saint Rita. So we have a little bit of a connection there. I love watching him play and watching their offense. He has executed their offense great and he is a Pro Bowler and all the accolades are great. I am happy to see him on a good team."
On coming to a pass happy offense like Reid:
"Yeah that's great. That is exactly what I look for. I know th offensive line we have at Philadelphia is great and I am excited to work with those guys and get to know those guys and the whole team. And do whatever I can to make this team better."
On being a mobile QB:
"I understand I have athletic ability and make plays. At Northwestern we did whatever we needed to win the game. At that time they needed me to run the ball. That was probably my junior year. My senior year they needed me to throw the ball. I will do whatever the team needs me to do."