Hondo S. Carpenter

"With the ninth pick of the '06 draft we chose Ernie Sims from Florida State. What we got was what we told you we were looking for. We were looking for a guy who had a high motor, who had all the non-talent issues nailed down and he also has the talent issues. That's probably the most impressive thing about him. This kid here comes from a great program who understands how football is supposed to be played. Bobby Bowden has had this type for a long time; he's got a lot to live up to. We have high expectations for him and we know he'll be accountable to that, because we'll hold him to that. We're excited about him. He brings speed; he brings toughness; he brings a lot to the table."LIONS HEAD COACH ROD MARINELLI
"I'm just going to echo what I said yesterday. You know as we talked here, he's a guy we targeted. And it was about those issues. It was about the speed, the intensity he plays with. When you turn on his film, you don't even have to know his number and he jumps out on tape. That's the thing that has been impressive to me during the entire process. What he's done on film; his attitude toward the game; the type of guy we're looking for. We're excited about him.

Opening Comments: "First of all, thank you all for drafting me. It's a dream come true. I've always wanted to be in the league. I've never been to Detroit, but I'm going to love it now.

"The defense they run is the Tampa Bay defense. I really like it; I can go in at the 'will' position and help the team out wherever they put me, they put me at special teams, I'll love it. I like playing football, and I like playing hard."

On anticipating being selected by Detroit: "When I came up here and visited, I had a pretty good feeling that they liked me and everything. And I talked to my agent, Todd, and he had told me if Detroit wasn't going to pick me Arizona was going to pick me."

On what football means to him: "It means a lot to me. I've been playing this game for a long time. I've been playing it since I was little, since my Pops put me in it. I don't know how I created such energy to play football, it's just something I love doing. When I get on the field for practice or the game, there's just some switch that turns on, something inside of me that makes me have fun."

On his parents' all-America athletic background: "They were both great athletes. My Pops played at Florida State from '78-'82 and then my mom ran track there from '79-'83. So I've got great background genes. It's a credit to them, I thank god for them having me.

"I have a little brother who's a great athlete also; he's going to play running back at FSU, so we have a lot of great athletes in our family."

On his development as a football player at Florida State: "Just being competitive. I pretty much dominated in high school. It was pretty easy for me. As I kept getting older in my career, in college, you go against a lot of players who are better than you or as good as you. You've got to learn to compete. At Florida State, you compete everyday because you've got young guys and older guys who are real good. So that's the main thing I learned, is to compete everyday."

Onwhat he knows about Detroit and the Lions: "I know the Super Bowl was here. I know of several players; I watched Boss Bailey playing in college at Georgia, and Teddy Lehman, the linebacker out of Oklahoma. And Mike Williams, he's from Florida also, so I talked to him when I came up here last time."

On what he can bring to the Detroit Lions: "I feel I can bring a lot of intensity, a lot of energy, I feel like I can help the team out in any way possible."

On his concerns about getting seriously injured while playing college football: "The main thing is I didn't want to give up this opportunity of playing in the NFL. It's a great opportunity and not everyone gets a chance of playing in the league."

On being known as a physical football player: "My whole idea when I get on that field is to go out there and take someone out of the game. I'm going to go out there and try to have fun."

On the nature of his concussions while at Florida State: "To be honest, I'm really not sure. Four of them were minor concussions and then one of them was kind of serious. But overall, I took my neuron-psych tests, and [the doctors] said it was okay."

On the expectations he carries as a first-round draft pick: "I know [Lions defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson] expects a lot out of me. Ever since I've been playing ball, my coaches at Florida State, they took number 34 out of retirement for me, so they've had their spotlight on me a lot, so I'm kind of used to this. I'm ready to come and do whatever it takes to win.

On his character and his past troubles: "The main thing with that whole incident is: I made a mistake. I lot of people make mistakes in life. So now that I've moved forward, it's all over with, and I can move on with my career."

On why he chose #50 for his jersey number: "I didn't want a 90 number, so that was the only available number. The other number I wanted was 55 but they said it was already taken. So I got number 50, and I'm happy with it."

"We talked about Daniel yesterday and he is someone we are obviously very excited about. We got him in here and ready to roll. He brings the same energy, the same passion, like I've been talking about with Ernie (Sims) and I talked about with him yesterday. This was a chance to get a very good athlete with great range; will hit with authority, which is what we like and he has good speed. Obviously we're very excited to have him here."

"Just to talk a little bit about him, which is what Rod talked about a little bit is his speed and his ability to cover receivers. The one thing that I'm happy about is that we got a safety now that when you get the third wide-receiver on the field you don't have to make all those adjustments by bringing in nickels if you don't want to. So we have that cover skill ability. The other thing I like about him is his attitude about being a professional and he has a seriousness about him that sometimes you look at him and say, 'smile a little', but he's got that character about him. The other thing I like about him is he comes from a pretty good program in his background."

On his knowledge of the Lions organization:
"I always grew up a Detroit Lions fan back when Barry Sanders was playing and I was just happy when they gave me that phone call yesterday. It was a long day for me, but I'm glad to be here."

On the Lions' Thanksgiving Day tradition: "I know a thing about Thanksgiving by playing in Nebraska. We always played Colorado around that time and before the Colorado game, Detroit would always be playing along with the Cowboys. Of course watching Barry Sanders, who was my idol growing up-it was great."

On his playing style: "I'm an aggressive football player. I like to hit. I can run, I can cover. I have good leadership skills on and off the field. I'm accountable as well."

On the last play of the 2006 Alamo Bowl: "That last play was probably the longest play I've ever been in. They were blowing all kinds of whistles, so my team was running on the field and I was on the sidelines. When I heard all the whistles I thought the game was over and when I turned around a player was still running down the sidelines. So I was like, 'man what's going on?' So good thing he didn't score a touchdown."

On his brother being selected in the 2005 Draft: "My brother came out a year early, which you all know. I was a prop. 48, so I had no choice but to come out. So I was considering coming out, which I had no choice, but I had to write a 20-page paper to the NCAA explaining why they should give me a year back and I was three hours short of graduating. They finally gave me my fifth year to come back, so I decided to comeback and play. I graduated of course, but my brother came out."

On his brother Josh being selected No. 40 overall in 2005: "We weren't expecting that at all. For him to go with the 40th pick last year, it was an honor for him to do that and it was an honor for me to get picked by the Detroit Lions on the 40th pick. I never thought that would happen."

On what excites him coming to Detroit: "Their passion for the game and the love for football. Everything: being in the locker-room with teammates, working hard on the field, being accountable to one another, being trustworthy. All of those things play key into that."

On why being trustworthy is important: "If I'm playing with teammates on the field, I want to be able to trust them and count on them to be there. If it's a play I'm going to count on them to be right there. That makes the game much more exciting and more fun."

On Lions WR Roy Williams: "I only played against him one year and that was in '03 down in Texas. He's a great player. What you see is what you get. He's going to make his plays and you're going to have to try to slow him down."


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