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Keith Butler on Stevenson Sylvester

Keith Butler

RE: STEVENSON SYLVESTER

Linebacker – University of Utah

5th Round – 166th Overall

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What kind of guy is this?

He's a fast, fast-playing, aggressive, play-hard kid. [He has] a real good feel for blitzing. He enjoys playing the game. He played on a defense at Utah – Utah does a great job with their kids, and they hustle to the ball, run to the ball. [With] this kid, it's what he does. He does a good job of timing blitzes from the outside and does a good job of running to the football and finding the ball carrier. He, like a lot of inside linebackers like this, struggles with big guys. But what we do in our system for our guys I think will help him. He's a good fit for us.

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You keep guys off of him?

Yes.

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Can he play inside?

Yes. He played outside for them, and inside. They were kind of a multi-front defense.

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Are you going to put him inside?

Yes. [We will] put him inside.

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It sounds like he's got quite a personality.

He sounds like a good kid. I've yet to meet him. I've looked at him on film. I didn't talk to him at the combine. But watching him on film, this kid likes to play football.

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How is he in coverage?

He's got all the movement skills that would make you think he would be good in coverage. And he was in college. So we think this kid can help us.

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Does he need to get a little bigger?

Well, he's 231 [pounds]. He probably played at about 222 last year. He's 231 now. Our inside linebackers are not 250-pound guys, with the exception of Lawrence Timmons. And Lawrence looks like he weighs 210, but he's 250. [Larry] Foote is about 235 [or] 240. [Keyaron] Fox is about 240. James Farrior is 230, 235. So, I'm not concerned about his weight. He's a young man. Most of the time, as all of us know, the older we get, the easier it is to gain weight. I think this guy will fill out pretty good. I don't think it's going to be a problem.

Counting the [Bryant] McFadden deal, do you like what's happened on defense the past couple of days?

Yes. All of us, just like you, know we need some help in the secondary. But, this thing has been going on for a couple of days. It's not that all of sudden, we're going to do it today. This stuff has been going on. And the guys that all of you wanted us to get at corner, the guys that we had rated higher on the board weren't corners. So we went in this direction because these were guys that we felt were the best guys that we had on the board. We took what we felt like were the best players available. Three of them happened to be linebackers. Glory halleluiah.

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With the numbers [of players] that you have at inside linebacker, is there room for this guy?

If he's good enough to make our football team, then we'll find room for him somewhere. That's a good problem to have. For me, [when I was] sitting in here the second time I was in here [I said] that you can't have enough football players. And I still believe that. You can't have enough. To me, there is nothing better in this country than competition. It's what made the United States of America who we are - the whole country, not just the NFL. [When] you look at the best football in the world, it's because of competition. So, that [meeting] room should thrive on it, and I like to think that it does. It thrives on competition. They like being the best in that room, and anything less is a disappointment to them. So this is going to create some competition. And it's not something that my guys shy away from. If they do, they don't need to be here. I'm thankful that we're going to have good competition in that room and it will help our overall football team because of it.

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