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DT Zach Clayton Conference Call

Posted Apr 30, 2011

DT ZACH CLAYTON

(on if he is surprised the Titans selected him)

Yes sir, I’m just glad to have been picked up somewhere.  I’m really excited about being able to work with my position coach in Coach Tracy Rocker again.

(on his thoughts about Tracy Rocker)

I love Coach Rocker.  I can’t even think of anyone better to play for.  To have the opportunity to play for him again, is just extremely exciting for me right now.

(on if Rocker gave him any indication that the Titans would select him)

No sir, he didn’t call and give me a heads up or anything like that.  I think it was probably just a game-time decision and I’m just really excited to be a member of the Titans.

(on if he thought Rocker liked him this much when he was playing for him last year)

I knew we got along real well.  We had a good relationship.  I’m just extremely excited to be able to work for him again.

(on if Rocker called him to tell him he was drafted by the Titans)

Yes sir.  They called and put him on the phone.  We got to talk for a little bit.  Actually I just got off the phone with him.

(on what he thinks of Rocker as a coach)

I love Coach Rocker as a coach.  I love his coaching style and I love the way he represents himself on and off the field. 

(on whether he thought Rocker was playing a joke on him when he called)

No, I kind of took it more in the literal approach.  I was just really excited and kind of in disbelief at the time.  It seems like a fairy tale to be able to play for Coach Rocker again at this moment.

(on his athleticism since he also participated in track and if he is more athletic than other defensive linemen)

I like to think so, but it is the NFL.  Everybody is a tremendous athlete, so hopefully my abilities in track will help me in some ways for my stint on the football field.

(on if his dad, a track coach, made him go out for the track team)

No, he didn’t make me.  Me and my brother kind of grew up around it.  He has been a coach all of our lives, so we have kind of grown up around it.  We just kind of starting experimenting with it and wanted to do it for serious.  Me and my brother both did pretty well in high school and I threw a little bit in college.

(on what he knows about the Titans and whether he followed the team in college)

Yes sir.  Actually they have Sen’Derrick Marks, another Auburn guy there.  All the guys on our team kind of keep up with different Auburn guys in the NFL, so we would always kind of end up catching games here and there.

(on what Marks says about playing for the Titans)

He said he loves it.  I’m just really excited to be able to play with Sen’Derrick and see him again.

(on if he thinks he was overshadowed by Nick Fairley at Auburn)

No.  We both played roles and we both did them really well.  I’m just excited that we both got the opportunity to play in the NFL.

(on the Titans playing the Panthers this year and his chance to put a hit on Cam Newton)

We weren’t allowed to hit him in practice or anything like that.  He is a great guy.  I think it will be fun to be able to play against him.  He is a tremendous competitor. 

(on if his hometown was hit by the tornadoes)

It was not.  It went a little bit North of us.  My fiancée’s parents are actually down here in Opelika right now because they have been without power for about three days now and it is said that they are supposed to be out of power for four to five days.  They are kind of staying down here with us right now.

(on where his fiancée’s family is from)

Huntsville, Alabama.

(on if he has been to Nashville)

Yes sir.  I have been there once or twice.  Actually I think I was there for a track meet in high school maybe.

(on what he knows about the Titans and how he fits in)

I think I will fit in real well.  It looks like I will be playing D-tackle and I think that will be a really good fit.  With the defense, I have heard a lot of good things.  I’m just looking forward to getting ready and getting down there and start working.

(on his success in the National Championship Game)

Yes sir.  I felt like that was one of my better games.  It was a huge adrenaline rush to be playing in that kind of game  on that kind of scene.

(on what his strengths are)

Probably my explosiveness.  That is something that has helped me out throughout the season.  Probably my most keen attribute is not giving up on plays and pursuing the ball until it is down.

(on what he needs to work on)

Probably hand fit.  That is something I tried to work on this season and it got a whole lot better this season.  I think that is an area I can definitely improve on moving forward.

(on playing against Jamie Harper who the Titans drafted earlier)

He is an extremely, extremely gifted athlete and very good at what he does.  It will be definitely very great to have him.

(on Fairley being drafted later and what he thinks of him as a pro)

I think Nick will do great.  As I have kind of seen throughout this process you never know when you are going to be picked up.  He may have slipped down a little bit, I guess, but I have full confidence in Nick that he will be a force at the next level.

(on his strength being an attribute)

On our team at Auburn I was probably one of the stronger guys.

(on his top lifting numbers)

With squats we didn’t do one or two rep maxes when I was at Auburn.  We did five-rep maxes and I think I got 500 for five.  Bench I really don’t remember.  We really didn’t max out a whole lot.  It was more in the power clings.  I think bench probably would be somewhere around 420 maybe.

(on where he thought he would be drafted)

I kind of went throughout the whole process with low expectations.  That way I didn’t get all antsy and worked up.  I went into with the mindset that if it is meant to be it will happen.  Lucky for me it worked out in my favor.

(on if he feels fortunate to be drafted considering rookie free agents can’t sign this year)

Yes sir.  That was one of the things that I guess if I had any worries that was one of the things that was worrying me a little bit.  I’m just extremely fortunate to be in the position that I don’t have to worry about that at this point, which kind of takes that monkey off my back and gives me a little breathing room for the time being.

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