Wisniewski and Van Dyke Talk to Media

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C Stefen Wisniewski (left) and DB DeMarcus Van Dyke (right) sit at the podium with Head Coach Hue Jackson to answer the media's questions. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
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Coach Jackson: I am very excited to have the opportunity to introduce two young men to you that this organization is very, very happy about having here as Raiders, new Raiders.  This is their first time in our facility, their first time meeting our coaches, meeting our staff, meeting some tremendous people, that's going to help them get off to a great start here in 2011 with the Oakland Raiders.  To my right is Stefen Wisniewski; again, you guys will get to ask them questions here in a second. To my left is DeMarcus Van Dyke.  Obviously, our first pick here and our second pick. Obviously, Richard Seymour is at home at this time, so we won't talk about him. But again, I'm glad that they are here safe and sound and that you get an opportunity to meet them, get a chance to ask them questions, but again, we want to welcome them here and you guys now will get an opportunity to see the media, the people that you will spend a lot of your time with as we move forward. And that's what we're here to do, talk about whatever you guys want to talk about with these young men.

Q: DeMarcus, you're going to be asked to gain weight while still maintaining your speed; how are you going to go about that?

Van Dyke: Well, last fall I was like 186 and the week before that I ran a 4.29 so it won't be a problem. We have a great strength coach here so I'll be okay with that.

Q: DeMarcus, coming off your senior year you only had three starts; can you just kind of talk about what happened your senior year and how what we read statistically and games played maybe doesn't translate to what we could see?

Van Dyke: Well at Miami we had three great cornerbacks - me, Brandon Harris, and Ryan Hill, all three were great cornerbacks. So it doesn't matter who started, who didn't start, because all of us played 90% of the plays. That's how it was at Miami, everybody played as much as everybody else did.

Q: Have you played against the slot much and do you see yourself doing that here or do you see yourself more as an outside corner?

Van Dyke: At Miami I played inside sometimes with the dime package, I played outside a lot, so I'm comfortable playing inside and outside.

Q: Stefen, obviously you've worn Raiders stuff before in your life, it's a natural fit for you and even though you're a Pennsylvania guy from that area of the country, this is your dream team I assume?

Wisniewski: Yeah I mean shoot, I grew up like you said, wearing silver and black; if you would have asked me what my favorite color was when I was younger I would have said silver and black were my favorite colors and I've got pictures of me as a baby wearing Oakland stuff, I'm sure we can dig those up for you guys. But yeah, growing up my favorite players were my uncle and I remember rooting for Tim Brown, Napoleon Kaufman, Rich Gannon, all those guys, and it just feels right that now I'm wearing silver and black as a player.

Q: Stefen, we saw you walking around here with your uncle. Did he kind of take you around the block, around the field, you get a sense for what it's going to be like around here and all that?

Wisniewski: Sure, yeah. He kind of actually let me go a little bit with coach Wylie, the head offensive line coach. I think he realizes that he's going to need to let me be my own person a little bit but he's certainly going to give me all the guidance and coaching that I'm going to need and I can't think of a guy I'd rather have give it to me. He's my uncle, which is cool, but he's an eight-time Pro Bowler and not too many guys are more qualified than him to coach a young offensive lineman.

Q: Stefen, with the lockout and coaches not being able to have contact, are you going to be able to talk to your uncle during this?

Wisniewski: I don't think I can, no. I don't think the NFL recognizes family loopholes, you know. He's a coach and he also happens to be my uncle, but I'm not going to be able to talk to him.

Q: You have played guard, you have played center, tell us about the dynamics of that,  how has one position changed how you look at the other; just how do you feel about being an offensive lineman, which one you prefer and the differences?

Wisniewski: Sure, I think some of the major differences between guard and center is that center has a lot more mental responsibilities. Center is in charge of directing the offensive line and making calls. That is one main thing, the guard is more or less just listening to the center and he is thinking a little bit less and just hitting people so that is a little bit easier mentally, but I think guards have to be a little bit more athletic. They are pulling more often who runs more base offense so it's kind of different things that are important for both. As far as which ones I like, I really feel comfortable at both. I mean I played for at least a whole season and the Raiders want me to play center and I am excited about that. I know I can do it and I know I can be the guy out there making calls and physically do it as well.

Q: Stefen, this is a big change from Penn State as your head coach is a guy that ran an offense that scored more than 400 points on offense, are you excited about being in an offense like that?

Wisniewski: Oh sure I am very excited about being a part of the Raiders offense, they have a lot of weapons here: running backs, receivers, quarterbacks and everybody. We have been talking today and it's the O-line that is going to be the difference here and as a center you kind of have to be the leader. As a rookie you can't talk too much but certainly as the center you have to kind of lead things so I am excited to just take over that role and we realize that our offense is only going to go as far as the O-line will take us.

Q: DeMarcus, the Raiders obviously have a history of getting guys with speed; when you ran your time at the combine, were you thinking that I ran that okay, I am going to be a Raider?

Van Dyke: No I wasn't thinking that. I just ran my 40 thinking 'well I will get my opportunity to get on a NFL roster.' But Coach Woodson came down, looked at my feet, looked at my hips and I have pretty good hips and feet so that is why he drafted me.

Q: DeMarcus, this team is known for playing a lot of man coverage. How much did you do that at Miami and you have kind of a lean build, are you physical enough, strong enough for that?

Van Dyke: Well at Miami we played man like every single play. It was zone but it turned into man, blitz-man, all four years there. For your second question, my first year at Miami I was 170 and I started eight games as a true freshmen so physically I think I am ready for it.

Q: DeMarcus, what can you tell us about Richard Gordon, tight end? Did you go up against him in practice, or what's he like and what can we look forward to seeing from him?

Van Dyke: Richard Gordon, he's a freak, man; he reminds me of Antonio Gates. We do one-on-ones, the safeties can't guard him so the corners go against him. So he's a great guy, good athlete, hard worker, so I'm glad he's a part of our team.

Q: I'm just kind of curious on what kind of communication you guys have had with some of the leaders on both of your sides of the ball?

Wisniewski: I haven't had any yet.

Van Dyke: I trained with Tyvon Branch, so that's probably about it.

Q: DeMarcus, when you started at Miami you got off to a really good start, you said you were a true freshman and started eight games and then by your senior year you started only three games, can you run us through what happened there?

Van Dyke: At Miami, my last year it was a coaches decision by Coach Shannon. It wasn't really I got benched or anything like that, it was all three of us were good cornerbacks so it wasn't really these two guys are starting. If you look at the film, 90% of us guys all three because in the ACC you play against spread defenses so that's what really happened my last year.

Q: Coach Jackson, you seem like you're beaming with pride. These are your first two picks. I know Mr. Davis was involved, but these are your first two picks, can you just tell us how you feel right now?

Coach Jackson: As I told you guys yesterday, it's like Christmas. We have these two players sitting before you today that were on our draft board, they are two players that we wanted on our football team and they are sitting here today with me, with this organization, and they're going to play football for the Raiders in 2011. I don't think it gets any better than that.

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