Vikings CB Jeff Gladney Quotes 4/24/20
COURTESY OF MINNESOTA VIKINGS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
I just want to say thanks to the Vikings for believing in me and drafting me. To all of you and your families, wishing safety and health to all of you in your hometowns and in the nation throughout this pandemic. I’d like to thank the Wilf family, Rick Spielman, Coach Zimmer and the Vikings coaches. I’m grateful for the opportunity and ready to get to work as soon as possible. Coming in, I’m ready to help the team in any form and fashion and I’ll listen to the coaches and play my role. Hoping I can come in and be a piece of the puzzle and do my job. I’m excited to work with you all and see the facilities for sure. Definitely for the fans you all have, I'm ready for them.
Q. Coach Zimmer was saying that when he called you, you said something to the effect of “Well, I was waiting for you guys to call.” Did you think you might go to 22 or even at 25 before they traded?
A: Yes, sir, I did. I had talked to them a few times through the Draft process. I was thinking either 22 or 25. I kind of got a little nervous when they traded at 25 but I never lost faith in them though. I still thought they were going to draft me, and they did.
Q. What was the anticipation like waiting to hear your name be called and be drafted?
A: Excited and anxious at the same time. Butterflies all in my stomach, but I knew that was going to happen, anyway. I was just antsy waiting on my name to get called.
Q. A lot of people describe your game as pretty feisty, physical. Is that how you would describe how you play?
A: Yeah, I would describe it as that. I play very physical. Really doesn't matter what size opponent I'm playing. I'm going to bring physicality to it. It’s just if you want it or you don't.
Q. Mike Zimmer, famously, is called the Cornerback Whisperer. Do you know about his reputation of taking cornerbacks and turning them into stars?
A: Yes, sir, I do and I feel I'm just the perfect pick for him and just hoping I can live up to that and make him proud he drafted me like he did the rest of them.
Q. You might have a chance to play early, as well, because there's so many of them gone. That must make you really lick your chops a little bit?
A: Yes, I know there are two veterans safeties that have been there for a minute. I’m definitely going to try to grab on to those guys and get as much knowledge as I can. Another corner Holton Hill. Kris Boyd, we're from the same area, so familiar with him. Just try to get some knowledge from him since he's been there. Got a year under his belt, too.
Q. You play in a conference like the Big 12, a conference that likes to throw the ball a lot. How much does that prepare you for the next level and how much do you gain by playing in a conference like that?
A: By playing in the Big 12, every game we are used to air raids, so when it comes to defensive back, we are ready for that. We think of pass every down. It's going to translate to the NFL. Just ready to go.
Q. You had one redshirt year and then four years at TCU playing. How did you grow over those five years, and do you think it bodes well for you being a little older prospect, that you have a little more experience under your belt?
A: Yes, definitely, with all the experience in games -- more knowledge than I ever thought I would gain. Just over the years, just processing, just got way faster. I knew the playbook like the back of my hand. (Inaudible).
Q. This draft wasn't how you pictured it, I'm sure, a couple months ago. You thought it would be Vegas, the whole thing?
A: Yes, thought I would be in Vegas.
Q. How was it for you?
A: It was fine. Came home. I live out in the country. Had a little barbeque, fish fry. Made the best of it. It was still great. Definitely great to be around all the fam.
Q. Is there an NFL cornerback that you look up to and sort of try to emulate?
A: I like Stephon Gilmore. He's a technician and you can see it every game he's playing. You can just watch the technique. I don't care if you know football or not, you just know that guy is good.
Q. You had the knee surgery on your meniscus. How did you perform at the Combine before doing that, obviously going through that, and how do you feel now?
A: I would say I have a very high pain tolerance. Played through it the whole season. It was just something that was a little nagging, but the Combine, it was just all heart. I wanted to show everybody what I had before I had the surgery, so made sure I pushed it behind that. I mean, I'm ready to go now. I'm just ready to show them what I'm working with.
Q. What's the moment like to actually realize a dream come true tonight and get that phone call, just what's that whole scenario like with your family?
A: It was great. A lot of tears. I ain't going to lie; my head started spinning for a little bit. I had to go breathe. But it was great, though.
Q. I'm sure you've heard that Zimmer can be tough on guys. Are you ready and willing for that?
A: Oh yeah, I'm ready. I've got four years under Coach Patterson under my belt, so I can take coaching. It doesn't matter how they deliver it. I just get the message.