LB ZAVIAR GOODEN
(on where he is watching the draft tonight)
I’m at home in Texas.
(on what his reaction was when he got the call from the Titans)
Oh man, I was ecstatic when I got the phone call. I am excited to be working for the Titans organization and I’m just ready to go to work. I thought I would get picked right around there somewhere in the third round. I’m pretty happy about it.
(on how much running a 4.47 at the Combine boosted his stock and how he uses his speed on the field)
You can’t teach speed and you can’t tackle no one if you can’t get to the play. I think it helped out a ton and I think it opened some eyes to some teams. I think it helped me out quite a bit
(on if the 4.47 is the fastest he has ever run the 40-yard dash)
I have been faster before. The fastest time I clocked at Mizzou was a 4.34.
(on if playing safety early in college helps him in pass coverage)
Oh yes, definitely. I have great footwork for a linebacker and I can run and cover like a DB. Tight ends and running backs are not a problem so I feel like I am an every down guy. When it’s third down, you are not going to be taking me off the field and subbing in a nickel guy. I can do it all.
(on if the Titans told him how they want to use him)
Well I haven’t heard anything on that yet. I just got the phone call and they said that they were going to pick me and they just told me congratulations and welcome to the organization and that’s pretty much it.
(on how playing in the SEC helps prepare players for the NFL)
I think it helps a lot because I think in the SEC you see a lot of NFL talent. That league is the best there is and they play pro-style football, as well. They are big and physical and fast. They play with backs and tight ends. In the Big 12 it was mostly space though. It’s more realistic to what you are going to see at the next level.
(on the transition from running back and safety to linebacker)
I played running back and safety coming out of high school and I went to Missouri as a safety. I have only been playing linebacker for three years. They moved me to the WILL position my redshirt sophomore year and I started that year and led the team in tackles that year in my first year starting at linebacker.
(on how his body changed moving to linebacker)
I just had to gain some weight. When I was playing safety I was around 215 playing safety and now I’m up to 235, so I threw on some weight. I actually played the season at 230, but I have put on five pounds since.
(on comparing him to
Yeah, I know about Zach Brown. He went to North Carolina and he ran a real fast 40 last year as well. I know he used to run track as well. We actually played against North Carolina in the Independence Bowl last year. He is a great player and I have great respect for him and I am excited to work with him. Obviously, we are both real fast for the position. He used to be a track guy and I used to run track back in high school as well. I can see where the similarities and why people are comparing us. At the end of the day, he is Zach Brown and I am Zaviar Gooden.
(on if he visited the Titans in the pre-draft process)
No sir. Honestly, I didn’t hear from the Titans too much, so it came as a shock to me.
(on what teams showed interest in him)
I would say the teams that showed the most interest in me were probably they Rams and the Jaguars.
(on his relationship with former Missouri player Sean Weatherspoon)
Sean was team captain on our team. He helped me with that transitional phase of becoming a linebacker. Sean is a great guy man. I look up to him. I think the world of him. He is a great person and a great athlete. He is a great role model and a great mentor for me at Mizzou.