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Coach on Sweed



Wide Receivers Coach Randy Fichtner


Were you surprised that he was still there?

Very surprised, and very ecstatic back in the back of the room. Really excited. I never thought that he would still be at that slot, and obviously we're very excited to have Limas on board.

Do you think his wrist injury held him back?

I don't think there's any question. It even held him out of some of the Senior Bowl, when he got down there and kind of broke up some of that scar tissue. Extremely talented – obviously we know he's got the size. He's got range. His 2006 film is outstanding. We evaluated this year, also. Obviously through the combine, through the Senior Bowl. He just got set back because of the wrist.

How does his wrist check out now?

It's supposedly great. We're talking to John, very thorough, even up until we picked him. They went right through, reviewed it, everything looked good. I had a chance to be at his pro day workout. He did all the drills, and didn't show any signs of potential lingering effects to the wrist.

Did you have him projected as a first-rounder?

Yes. In our evaluation, yes, I did.

Scouts have said that he lacks polish, and that he cuts off his heels.

I worked with him. We sit, and there were 7 or 8 wide receiver coaches there the day we worked him out, and I didn't see anything that he wouldn't be able to do in our system. We're very excited about that.

He's said to be "driven."

He's a neat guy. When we were at the combine, and sitting in the training station, you get a chance to see a lot of guys. Sometimes you don't get to see the projected first round players, because they'll do meetings with Mike and the rest of the high-up staff. And yet, he came through. It was kind of neat to start to build a little relationship with him. He's a fun personality. He's a little bit country, but he's definitely a city kid. 

He's not the classic ego-driven wide receiver.

No, but he doesn't lack confidence. And that's a good thing. I think he's been on a big stage in the Big 12, and he's been very successful until the wrist injury.

What do you like most about him?

I love his range. The circle of catches is extremely large. The area of miss is big. He's got the longer arms. When we were down there, he vertical jumped 36 or 37 as compared to 33 or 34 at the combine. You couple that with the idea that he's almost 6-4, you're talking about a larger frame and target. 

Who would you compare him to?

It would be hard to compare him to anyone on our team because we're not quite like that. I'm not exactly sure who that would be. Braylon (Edwards) is a big receiver over in Cleveland, and yet he still has room to mature in the weight room. You talk about an injured wrist, and some of your upper body development doesn't get a chance to increase. He's got an awful lot of talent, I know that. 

Do you project him as an integral part of your offense right off the bat?

I don't think there's any question. Obviously there's a learning curve, but that hits everybody. But I know that he's capable of learning. Having talked to their coaches extensively, having interviewed him, I don't think there's any reason he wouldn't be able to understand what he has to do.

Talk about Dallas Baker.

Dallas is another one of those youngsters who has height. He has really long arms, and he's now starting to use that more. He's actually standing to catch the football away from his body, trying to make big guy plays. One thing you noticed about a handful of guys in this draft – can they make a big guy play? Meaning you're a tall guy, you have range, you have size, but do you actually go up and pick a ball off a db's head. Do you make those types of plays? A lot of guys are tall and big, and they never seem to ever play above their framework. This kid does that. And Dallas is now starting to do some of that, and it's kind of exciting.

Was it a priority to get a tall receiver in this draft?

Not necessarily. We were going to take the best available player, and it just so happened that Limas was in that pool. 

When Tampa was on the clock ahead of you did you think they were looking at that guy?

Everyone was sitting there saying that we couldn't understand why Limas was still out there. Obviously they have a need at wide receiver at least they had mentioned that pre-draft. We thought there was a possibly that could happen. 

Everybody thought you were going to go with Quentin Groves.

Probably could have happened; again all that was on the board you never know. Didn't somebody trade up?

I understand Limas Sweed tracks the deep ball?

Yes, he's very smooth and at the combine workout there in Austin at the indoor facility that's one of the bubbles, it has the lights that shine up on the side of the bubble which lights it up so there's not roof lighting. The lighting is actually kind of poor. I can remember it reminded me of Washington State because they have the same facility. And it's awful hard to track the ball in there he and really went through and had a tremendous workout. He did the things that he did at the combine even in tracking the ball. He's able to adjust to a ball coming to him and away from him, put it on the outside shoulder and make a smooth transition catch. What he also does is finish. If you watch a lot of his big plays I don't put him in a category of a make you miss type receiver that you get when you have a guy that's a little shorter, a little niftier. He does finish, he can break tackles. He still has size and a lot more room to get bigger. He definitely finishes on tape. He catches a ball across the middle there's a chance he could take that and finish it and the year prior he did it a lot. 

Randy if indeed he plays right away and you have Hines, Santonio and him whats your take of this receiving corps?

It tickles you to death because you're looking at a three group that's really strong and a possibility of Nate Washington being four is really exciting. 

Would that move Hines to the slot?

Well Hines plays slot anyway. Hines is a Z flanker for us that actually in first and second downs and run situations he's been very valuable because of his toughness and the way he blocks. Limas is probably more suited towards the X or single receiver. Limas has also played in the slot so as you watch the tape you realize in there five wide receiver package he was their slot. So he has that background where some receivers don't get put in that situation. You see other guys that are the bigger receivers, they're always on the one side and that's where they work and operate. He's actually been on the two and the three receivers inside slot positions and has handled that well.

Randy day one of the draft you got a running back and a receiver nice boost to the offense?

Absolutely, because you got guys that can put the ball in the end zone. That's important last time I checked. Score touchdowns that what you got to do. 

Can he return kicks at all?

Limas isn't like that. He may have as a youngster at Texas, but I wouldn't be able to answer that. His basic build and frame would probably not be suited in the special teams as far as a return man.

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