From Danny O'Neill, Seattle Times Blog
Q: How early in the process did you zero in on linebacker Aaron Curry?
Ruskell: Our people kind of noticed him last year in the offseason. And our people kept coming back with good reports as we went through the season. So we started paying more attention to him in terms of watching him play and that kind of thing and everything came up solid. So we kind of had our eye on him for a long time.
Q: Was the trade of Julian Peterson influenced at all by the presence of Curry, a prospect you liked that played the same position?
Ruskell: Not really. We knew he was going to be a very high pick. We didn't know at that time where ours was going to be. We thought he was going to be a very high pick. So not really though it certainly factored into the fact that this was a guy we really liked.
Q: What does he bring to the team that you didn't have yesterday?
Ruskell: A physical presence on the field. This is a guy that's over 250 pounds, runs 4.5 and you see the speed. Some guys run 4.5 in their workout and you don't see it on the tape. Versatility in terms of the coverage ability. He's a good tackler and he's a good blitzer. He's the whole package for the linebacker position. That's why the coaches were so excited about him because of all the different things you're going to be able to do with the guy.
Gus Bradley coming from Tampa had a guy like that in Derrick Brooks. And I'm not comparing him to Derrick Brooks. Derrick Brooks is going in the Hall of Fame, but what made us select Derrick Brooks all those years ago was the fact that he could do everything.
So it's kind of eerie that those are the same traits that this guy has.
Q: Does this selection impact Leroy Hill's situation with the team?
Ruskell: Continue to negotiate with Leroy. We still want a long-term deal done.
I thought it would be interesting to share Ruskell's idea of who he is. I think it is interesting he compares him to Derrick Brooks. Not the comparison I would come up with, as I always thought of Brooks as an undersized coverage LB. However, I've only seen 10-15 plays out of his entire career, which did include 3 INTs returned for TD.
The Rams GM Billy Devaney also had this to say. Not quite as revealing, but certainly nice to hear. The Rams picked one of the two players I could have considered over Curry, and I'm not sure Stafford over Curry would be correct, but I did like Smith a lot.
“Curry was the first guy we put (tape) on and we were like, ‘Wow! This guy is special,” St. Louis Rams general manager Billy Devaney said after the combine.
“He is really good on tape. And then we started talking about the intangibles and, to a man, everybody said he’s top of the line.”