By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Saturday, April 25th, 2009 at 3:53 pm in Oakland Raiders.
The media conference call with Raiders top-pick Darrius Heyward-Bey:
Q: When When did you know the Raiders would take you at No. 7?
DHB: I knew a little bit before, right before they called, the commissioner announced it, I spoke to coach Cable. But I had an idea. I felt I was one of the top guys up there and I had a chance to become a Raider.
Q: Were you surprised to go ahead of Crabtree and Maclin?
DHB: Going ahead of those guys, it’s an honor just to be the first guy taken. But being able to play in the pro-style offense at Maryland and taking that to the NFL, I’ll take that. And I don’t know why I moved ahead of those guys, but definitely the Raiders saw something in me.
Q: Do you feel you’re the best receiver in this class?
DHB: I feel like I had the qualities to be the best receiver in the class. I mean, I know people look at the stats and everything, but just playing in the pro-style offense and having the skills and being able to be taught and listen and work hard, I felt like I was definitely at the top.
Q: About the stats, people are going to look at them and wonder . . .
DHB: Right. People will look at that, but looking back to the games that we had at Maryland and my years playing, you look back at the Cal game, I had a chance to show people what I’m capable of doing. At Maryland what we do is, we run the ball to set up the pass. I’m the type of receiver, I catch, block, hustle and just work hard. So college you didn’t see those numbers, but definitely at the next level you’re gonna see a little bit more.
Q: Were you ever frustrated?
DHB:No. You only get frustrated when your team loses – when your team loses and feel like you didn’t have a chance to help the team win. That’s the only time it’s frustrating. But I understood my role on the team, and winning was the No. 1 thing. It wasn’t about what I wanted.
Q: What do you need to work on before you get to the NFL?
DHB:Just the overall game. Just the knowledge of the game, route running. Come to work each and every day to get better. I wouldn’t say I have to work on one thing. I’d just say work on it all. Just come in there full throttle, ready to go is what my approach will be when I get out there in Oakland.
Q: Have you talked to Al Davis yet?
DHB: No I haven’t. I haven’t talked to Al Davis. I haven’t had the chance to talk to him but I’m looking forward to it.
Q: What about the chance to play with D-Mac/JaMarcus?
DHB: The chance to play with those guys would be great. I’m just an addition to that puzzle we’re trying to make here in Oakland. Those guys are really talented. I’m looking forward to playing with them. Also, going up against a guy like Nnamdi, who is probably the best corner in
the game. So I can improve myself, going up against the best corner in the game. I can only get better going against him every day in practice.
Q: A few people had you going to Oakland and many people laughed, but
did you have that feeling?
DHB: I heard that. I’m not the kind of guy who watches TV a lot or listens
to the mock drafts and everything. I knew it was a possibility. I’m the type of guy that I would never shy down from anything. God’s on my side and I’m just going to take it all in.
Q: Do you model yourself after anyone?
DHB: My favorite player is Jerry Rice and he played for the Oakland Raiders late in his career. That’s my favorite player. His work ethic is beyond anybody else. That’s who I try to model myself after when it comes to work ethic. Past that, I think I have my own unique type of game.
Q: How do you feel about comparisons to Moss?
DHB: I take that with honor. Randy Moss is the most talented wide receiver
to ever play the game talent wise. To be compared to him is great. But I have to go in there and just have to prove myself and make a name for myself and that’s Darrius Heyward-Bey.
Q: Can you come in and start as a rookie?
DHB: All I can control as a rookie coming in is working hard and I know
I’ll be able to do that. Whereever that takes me, I’m willing to take it. If that’s starting, or if that’s getting a lot of playing time or that’s being on special teams running down kickoffs. I’m the type of guy
I’m a hard worker and just try to get the job done. One thing I will tell you is that I’m a hard worker.
Q: Who is your agent?
DHB: Ben Dogra and Tom Condon.
Q: Who was your favorite team growing up?
DHB: My favorite team growing up, being in the DC-Baltimore area I always looked at the Ravens when they got here in the past decade. But always in the back of my mind, I was saying this to someone earlier, the Oakland Raiders was always the team, especially in this area, you always kept it to yourself but that was the team you loved. You loved that Silver and Black. You go out there and get that jersey. Everybody has that Oakland Raiders jersey. Definitely being in the DC area, the local teams but the Raiders were beyond none when compared to everything else.