I had a chance to speak with Eagles' 6th round pick Brian Rolle yesterday. Seems like a smart, good kid. I thought the most interesting tidbit is when he talks about having met with Bobby April before the draft. I think it's pretty clear that the assistant coaches had a lot of influence on some of the picks made in this draft:
JK - Congrats on being an Eagle.
BR - Glad to be one.
JK - Have you even had a chance to speak with the Eagles since you've been drafted.
BR - Briefly after, I talked to the GM, the linebacker coach, as well as the defensive coordinator, but after that, not much, because of all the lockout stuff. They only allow you to allow to talk so much.
JK - You want to take a minute to vent about people that are fixated on your height?
BR - People that talk about my height as being a problem don't watch my film and don't know much about me. I'm a playmaker. They may have thought my height was an issue playing the MIKE backer position, and that's why people project me as a WILL backer, but I feel like I can play all 3 positions. I'm a linebacker and I'm a linebacker until someone proves otherwise. You turn on the film of me and any other linebacker in the country and if you show me something that I can't do (they they can), then I'll hush up. Until then, I'm gonna continue to play the position and make plays.
JK - I think I saw on your twitter account (@B_ROLLE, by the way), you wrote OLB and SS. Do you think you're going to be in some sets where you'll be playing on the back end?
BR - Possibly. I really haven't had a chance to talk to some of the coaches about stuff like that, but I may be a guy that they bring in on nickel downs. I was just putting that there... maybe... not sure yet.
JK - Do you think there will be a plan for you to bulk up a little bit, or do you think you'll be playing at 230?
BR - I'm pretty sure I'll be fine at 230. I've been getting on the scale every morning and 233 has been popping up, so that should be a pretty good weight to play at. If they feel like I need to bulk up, I will. They have a few linebackers that play at around 230, like Ernie Sims is another guy, so I don't think weight is an issue.
JK - Keenan Clayton is another one too, and he's a fast guy like you. What did you run at the combine, anyway?
BR - 4.56, 4.53, 4.58.
JK - Obviously like you said, you haven't had contact with the Eagles after you were drafted, but did they give you any indication as to how they could potentially use you when you had your private workout with them?
BR - When I met with (the Eagles), I felt like their coaches were really excited. I got to meet with the special teams coach (Bobby April) and he's a guy who loved me because I played special teams at Ohio State and was good at it. In the back of my mind I thought it could be a great fit. Watching film, and watching some of the defensive schemes that they run, it was similar to what we did at Ohio State. They weren't just a Tampa 2 team that ran some blitzes off of that, or a Cover 3 team. They run a number of different defenses, and that's what we did (at Ohio State). Looking at the WILL backer role, and Ernie Sims and his role, and Keenan Clayton, I fit the in same mold. They didn't give me any indication that I'd be there. I just thought in the back of my head that it would be a good fit, and luckily I fell to them in the draft and they drafted me.
JK - Have you had a chance to speak with Kurt Coleman?
BR - He was the first person that texted me after I had been drafted. I talked to him today, and we're going to get together this week to talk about what (the Eagles) expect, how to practice in the NFL, because most rookies come in to the league and it's a shock to them.
JK - You want to talk a little bit about your family, which is just ridiculous with athletic talent?
BR - First of all, my brother, William, played for Illinois State and he was a strong safety there. You have Antrel, Samari, and Myron who are all cousins of mine. Myron is a guy that's closer to my age, who I talk to a lot more. My family is built for this sport.
JK - Antrel is a pretty outspoken guy. Do you have a similar personality as him?
BR - Sort of... I'm not quiet by any means, but I mostly keep to myself.
JK - Are you aware of the Eagles' recent dominance over Antrel's team?
BR - I watch a lot of football, obviously, but I haven't paid that much attention during the NFL season of how many times (the Eagles) have beaten the Giants.
JK - Well the next time you talk to (Antrel), you can let him know, and he wasn't there for all of this, but the Eagles have beaten the Giants 6 times in a row.
BR - Wow. I'll make it known.
JK - Are you as smart as Myron?
BR - In a different realm I am. He can be the brain surgeon, and I'll be the guy that fixes our social problems. That's what I'm going to school for. I'm a Sociology major, and I like dealing with kids with behavioral problems, cause that's something that... I grew up a bad kid... not like troubled home... I was just a bad kid like a lot of kids are, and that's who I want to work with to show them that there's a better way to get your life going.