New England Patriots’ Tight End Scott Chandler Says Pats Are A ‘Top Flight’ Organization

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Nov 6, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard (97) against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Newly signed Patriots tight end Scott Chandler and defensive end Jabaal Sheard spoke with the media via conference call yesterday, and they had some interesting things to say.

Here is the official transcript:

Jabaal Sheard

Q: Why did you sign with the Patriots? Can you give us some insights on why your sack total has gone down each of your first four years in the league?

JS: Well I signed to the Patriots just coming in and hearing from the coaches about all of the great things that are going on, coming from a not-so-good program to a great base program that has been winning and doing well. I’m just really excited. I want to win in the league and I want to be a part of a great organization, so that was a big part of me signing. My career has been shaky; it’s been up and down. I just haven’t had the best year last year and the year before. I’ve just got to learn to finish and I’m hoping getting with the new coaches over here that I’ll be able to work on that and get that accomplished.

Q: How’s your bracket look?

JS: I didn’t get to do one, man. I heard it’s crazy out there though.

Q: When you go to a versatile team like New England, is it a hard sell for you to envision how exactly you are going to fit in?

JS: No. Since I came in, just meeting with the coaches, I envision that they have some great plan for me, just knowing the system that they run. I’ve been around three different systems in my last three years so I’m ready for whatever. I’m always ready to embrace something new and something different and I’m up for the challenge, whatever it is.

Q: Are you an edge player in your estimation?

JS: I think I can play anywhere up front. I think my main strength is knocking guys back and creating penetration in the line of scrimmage, ultimately stopping the run and being a big factor there and getting after the quarterback or dropping, whatever else may come with it. Ultimately my strength, personally I think, is knocking guys back and creating penetration.

Q: What other options did you have during free agency? Obviously winning in New England was an important factor for you, but what were the other deciding factors on why you chose New England?

JS: There were other guys reaching out, previous coaches I had in Tampa and Seattle, but I mean I visited there coming [into] my rookie year and I thought I was going to be drafted there honestly coming out as a rookie. I got a second shot at it, meeting with the coaches again, [the] same coaches. Coming from a program where I was seeing new coaches every year, it’s kind of some consistency there. I think that was huge and just the fact that guys that have been doing it a while, they know how to win. I want to be a part of that.

Q: In terms of your sack production, is there any truth to the fact that you maybe you dipped in your statistical production because of the transition to a 4-3 to a 3-4? Do you think the fact that Patriots play mostly four-man fronts will help bring your production back to where it was the first two years of your career?

JS: Honestly, I don’t believe that had anything to do with the fact that I went from a 3-4 or a 4-3. It was just me not executing, me not sticking to the game plan. But I’m more focused; I’m hungrier than I’ve ever been. Like I said, I look forward to getting with these coaches and learning new things. Pass rushing is about learning new things, getting comfortable and coaches helping you out along the way. I just can’t wait to get started.

Q: It seems like defenses around the league seem to like to rotate three or four pass rushers if they can. Do you feel like a starter is maybe mislabeled in today’s NFL because teams need to roll three or four guys out there at times? Do you feel like you, Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich could pose a threat there?

JS: I feel like a lot of teams are definitely now going to that. The last two years I’ve been part of a different kind of rotation rather than my first two years. I definitely look forward to working with Chandler and Rob. Those guys are definitely excited, just talking to them a little bit. I think we’ll make a nice three-[man] tandem. We’ll get after guys and create a lot of [havoc] in the backfield and on quarterbacks.

Q: How much, if any, did your foot injury last year affect your play?

JS: I don’t think it was much. It was a little minor little ding-up. It didn’t affect it much. It was just more so me finishing. I sat down and watched film with coach and it was just things I was doing – not working my hands and not finishing plays and that’s something where I can improve.

Q: Do you have any friends or relationships with any of the Patriots players?

JS: Well you’ve got two guys that I worked with over in Cleveland that signed with the Patriots, well actually three. I kind of know Chandler Jones a little bit. I can’t think of anybody else, but I’m pretty sure I work out with a lot of guys down here in Miami so we’ll get along pretty well.

Q: Can you talk about any sort of relationship you had with Mike Lombardi when he was in Cleveland? Did that ease this part of the process coming from Cleveland to New England?

JS: Definitely. I think that was huge. I think that’s what got New England interested in me right away. Obviously he believed in me coming out as a rookie into the league and seeing what I could do. I think that’s going to translate to this year.

Q: What was the process like when you visited New England as a prospect? It seems like it set the stage for this visit and this agreement this time around?

JS: It was real business-like, real focused; you could tell that it was going to be all business once you get there. I mean it was a bit nerve-wrecking, I can’t lie. I was a bit nervous. It’s something I look forward to. It’s going to challenge my every day to get better and ultimately everybody wants to be the best in the league at their position. I think that’s the thing that the Patriots are going to help each guy on the team, not just me, but everybody on the team, to achieve.

Q: Do you feel as if you were ever misused in Cleveland? Could they have used you differently?

JS: No, no. I feel like each scheme is different and I feel like I challenge myself to play whatever scheme and whatever position I’m put at. I take it all on myself to make that scheme work, whatever they put me at. I think ultimately the 3-4 outside linebacker was a great position for me. I just didn’t execute it well enough last year. Prior to that I was in a 4-3 and that’s what I’d been playing, which I had fun at. I ultimately could have been better there. It’s football, you always get better and whatever position you are put at, obviously coaches see something in you at that position – there’s a reason you are there.

Q: Have the Patriots given you any indication of how they might use you?

JS: I think it’s a little bit of defensive end, maybe a little bit of outside linebacker, not too much. That’s just what I’m assuming, but whatever they decide in the offseason and when we come in during OTAs I’m pretty sure we’ll get a feel for each other and actually see where I fit in the scheme just showing how athletic I am or what I’m better at. Once we get to OTAs I’m pretty sure we’ll have a better understanding of where I fit in there.

Next: Now Let's See What Scott Chandler Had To Say