Transcript: Dezmen Southward Conference Call

On his first thoughts on becoming an Atlanta Falcon:
“I’m excited, I really can’t put it into words right now.  It still hasn’t quite hit me yet.  I’m excited I can’t wait to get down there and can’t wait to get some work done.”

On a starter being let go and there being a vacancy:

“Everyone pretty much knows that, but it is not my job to look at who is there and who is left.  It is my job to come in and give 100 percent effort, to continue to improve and get better in order to help the team in any way possible and that is what I’m going to do.”

On how much time he spent playing the slot and covering guys at Wisconsin:

“My junior year I didn’t do it at all.  My senior year was the first time I did it.  I was kind of thrown in the fire there, but I was asked to be the third corner basically.  We had two at the time that our guys trusted and wanted to be on the field.  I was asked to do that and I did it about 80-85 percent of the game.  It was something that I was glad I was able to add to my repertoire and understand I have to continue to get better at that, but it shows my versatility.”

On having a feeling that Atlanta was an option for him:

“I had no idea, no idea at all.  I think it is even a bigger shock to me because I was coached by the Falcons at the Senior Bowl and never once did they say they were interested when they saw me, anything like that.  I only asked the coaches what I could do to continue to get better and they gave me their honest opinion.  It was a shock to me, hearing them say they were going to take me at 68, but like I said I’m excited.”

On playing one year of high school football:

“It was something that I had never done.  I was busy with track.  I was playing a lot of basketball; I did a lot of different things.  It was a thing where everyone told me I would end up playing football.  When I gave football a try, I fell in love with it.  I haven’t picked up a basketball since.  It is truly my calling card.  My only regret is I wish I would have got into it earlier.”

On being able to handle the physicality of the game and having played every game of his career:

“It is a part of being a football player in general, being tough.  Everybody is going to play with some nicks and bruises, some things are going to hurt, but I pride myself on being out there every single day, every single snap for my team.  It is something that I truly plan on continuing at the next level and it is something that you have to do if you want to be a good player.  Good players don’t play half the game, they play every snap they can possibly play.”