Transcript: Jake Matthews Press Conference

On expecting to be drafted by the Falcons:

“Yeah, I had a private workout and an official visit with them. I’ve always had a really good feeling every time I left. I really like Coach Smith and Coach Tice, the offensive line coach, I just felt like he and I really clicked and got along well. I’m excited to get in and start working. I’m looking forward to being the tackle there for quite a few years.”

On whether or not he has a preference on playing left or right tackle:

“No. Not really. I can play either one. I’ll be happy to play whatever they want me to play.”

On playing his cousin Clay Matthews this season when Falcons play Green Bay:

“I’m fired up. I talked to my dad; some of his greatest memories was him going against his brothers. I finally get an opportunity to play against my cousin. He’s an All-Pro and a stud. It’s going to be a huge challenge, but I’m looking forward to it. I know that’s the reason why Atlanta picked me. They think I’m a guy that can go in and take care of the quarterback; take care of Matt Ryan and I’m going to go in and prove that I can.”

On how he would describe his style of play:

“Aggressive. I’m a guy that knows what it takes to finish, but at the same time not being overly aggressive and doing something stupid. So I think I’m a big technician. I take a lot of pride of knowing what it takes to play offensive line. It’s a lot more that goes into than having a hot head. Every day I go in working. That’s going to be my goal, to be the best player I can be and go out and prove to this team, this whole organization, that I’m worthy of being the sixth overall pick. So I’m just excited to get there and start working.”

On biggest thing he’s learned from his father about playing the position:

“He’s biggest point through this whole process is don’t change what got you here. My entire career I’ve tried to copy my dad, he’s been a role model of mine since I was a kid. I always wanted to be like him. He’s someone who went in everyday, didn’t say much, but worked hard and got things done. That’s kind of the same attitude I’ve had my entire career. I’m not going to change that. When I get to Atlanta I’m going to work hard every day, whether it’s in the weight room, the film room or on the field. I’m going to give it everything I got and go out and make this organization proud.”

On how he feels about his strength coming into the NFL:

“Yeah, obviously I feel like it’s an area I can work on you’re never going to reach a point. I was just talking to my dad the other day about this, even in his 19th year, he still felt like there was stuff he needed to work on. I’m never going to get to a point where I feel satisfied with my level of play, and I think that goes for the same in the weight room. I’m definitely a guy that loves doing the lower body stuff; I’m a big leg guy. That’s what it takes to play offensive line, is having strong hips and legs. I know I can do that. I know I can go out and perform and I’m looking forward to getting my shot.”

On the advantage he has because his family has an NFL pedigree:

“A lot. From day one I kind of had a second offensive line coach in my father. Not only a great football player, but a Hall of Famer. Always being able to come home and talk to him and get his opinion was something I always took advantage of because in my opinion he’s the greatest offensive lineman ever to play the game. I’ll be happy to do half the things he’s did because he was such a great player. He’s someone I really look up to and I’m real proud to call my dad.”

On playing for Coach Jim Turner:

“Coach Turner, I had a great relationship. He was a guy, I came in as a freshman at A&M, and he put me in as a starter from the very beginning. I’ve learned a lot from him. I’m real excited to see that he’s made it in the NFL. Hopefully he gets another shot somewhere soon.”

On whether his last name has made him a target growing up:

“Yeah, a little bit. Even going back to pee-wee football, when everyone heard what family I was from there was a little bit of expectation from my side. Everyone expected you to be a baller. My dad and my family have been so supportive throughout my entire career. Everything you do, just work at it with everything you got and leave it all out on the field, and that’s something I take a whole lot of pride in. I’m never going to be a good that’s going to give questionable effort, so I’m just excited to go out and prove myself.”

On bragging rights for being the highest drafted Matthews ever:

“I’m definitely going to take those rights.  I am the seventh Matthews now coming into the NFL.  We have a great reputation in the NFL, and I am just going to try and keep that same reputation going, a bunch of guys that work hard and do things the right way and perform.  Yes, I guess I can kind of rub it in my dad’s face because I got drafted higher than him, but he is a great player and I’ve got a long way to go to try and catch up to where he is.”

On how he feels on his run blocking:

“Good, I definitely wouldn’t consider myself strictly a pass blocker.  I take a lot of pride in being good at run blocking and pass blocking.  Obviously I’m going to need to improve in both of those coming up to this next level.  I’m going to playing against the best players in the world, so I am excited for the opportunity and excited for the challenge. “

On people saying bigger, faster, stronger, and how he is going to show Atlanta:

“From day one I’m going to go out and obviously it is going to be a little bit of a target on my back being the number one pick, but I’m excited.  Like I keep saying, I take a lot of pride in the way I play and what I put on film.  That is something I’m going to keep doing even at the next level.  No matter what it is I’m going to go out there and give it everything I’ve got and try to gain everyone’s respect from day one and never look back.”

On adjusting to pass blocking for Matt Ryan who doesn’t use his feet a lot:

“Hopefully it’s easier.  It was a little different blocking for Johnny.  I blocked for Ryan Tanehill my first two years and switching over to Johnny’s style of play was definitely an adjustment, but I’m sure I can do whatever they need me to do.  It goes back to playing either right or left tackle, whatever style it is, whatever technique they want me using, I feel confident I can do anything they ask me to.”

On anything surprising him throughout this process:

“Just how surreal it is.  Growing up, watching the draft every year I always thought it was so amazing.  Always dreamed of having my opportunity to be a part of it, and now that I do and I finally was drafted into the NFL, I’m not an amateur anymore, it is awesome.  It’s a great feeling.  I just feel so blessed right now.”

On how playing in the SEC prepared him for the NFL:

“I’m a strong believer of that the SEC is the best conference in college football and going against all those top players week in and week out is something that really developed my game, especially that junior and senior year.  I really felt like I developed the most and became the player that I am today.  I think it is going to give me a little more experience going into the next level, but I can’t keep saying how much the change is going to be.  I’m going to be blocking the best players in the world, like I keep saying.  I’m just excited for the opportunity.  I know I’m going to do well if I go in and keep that same mindset and do things the right way and work hard.”

On picking up the phone when the Falcons made the pick: 

“I talked to both of them.  The conversation was kind of joking about my boots.  I’m a big cowboy boots fan and I wore them to my visit in Atlanta and they thought they were pretty sharp.  Looking back I can honestly say, Atlanta was the place I wanted to be.  It is just a great organization, I just love everything they stand for, where they’re going, and they are a great team.  I am really excited to be a part of it and really help this team win.”

On tipping their hand and saying if you’re available you’re our guy:

“They didn’t really directly say, ‘yes, we’re going to pick you, but I could always tell when I left they were really interested.  Every time I dealt with them I just had a good feeling afterwards.  Going to the facilities, meeting the coaches, talking to Coach Smith, I really liked Coach Smith’s whole mindset.  He had three big points, we’re going to work hard, we’re going to respect each other and we’re going to have fun.  That is something I can get on board with and have fun doing.”