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Q&A with TE Kasa

The Raiders selected Colorado tight end Nick Kasa with the first of their four sixth-round picks Saturday. A short time later, he spoke with the Bay Area media via conference call. Here is the entire transcript:

Q: What went into your switch from DE to TE?
A: I just wasn’t producing a lot at defensive end. I guess I was kind of more of a second-string, third-string guy and so at the time I was disappointed in the production that I was getting there and I went to our head coach at the time, which was John Embree, and just asked him, I think I can be of more use to the team, whether that’s just getting on special teams, I really wasn’t on any special teams so I just asked him if that was the case, or if I should move positions. I told him he could move me wherever he wanted to move me and he kind of saw that we had some needs at tight end so he moved me over there and it turned out being a very good decision and worked out for me.

Q: Play TE or any other offensive positions in high school?
A: I played a little bit of tight end when I first got to high school…like two weeks and then I got moved over to defensive end and that was really the only other time I’ve ever played tight end for like two weeks, and then when I made the move in college.

Q: Amazing that you made that move in college and then now you’re an NFL draft pick, or kind of hoping for it when you made the switch?
A: It definitely was something I was hoping for when I made the switch but yeah, of course, it’s really surreal right now. Just the strides that I’ve made in the past year and a half have been amazing and I hope to keep it going. I think just for myself right now, I’m not where I want to be, I know that I can still make a ton more of progress and I’m going to try and do that every day. Every day, that’s kind of been my motto — I’ve got to get better at something every single day and I think I did that over the season. My progress, just week to week in games, I think you see it in game tape, I’ve got to keep it going. I love the coaches out there in Oakland and I loved working with them at the Senior Bowl so I’m ready to get out there and work for them again.

Q: Did your dad play with Tony Sparano in college?
A: No.

Q: He went to New Haven, right, your dad?
A: Yeah, he did.

Q: How would you describe that experience at Senior Bowl week with the Raiders coaches?
A: It was pretty awesome just to see a little bit of how the NFL might work out and just kind of the schemes and planning that they can do. I mean, it definitely helps out, I think, that I got the coaching there and now I get to go play for the same coaches, which is amazing to me. I love them all and can’t wait to put in a bunch of work with them and get better.

Q: Raiders don’t have an established starter at tight end, aware of that and feel you’re ready to come in and compete for substantial playing time?
A: I was and yes, of course, I’m ready to go compete. I talked to Coach Hutson and I’m just ready to get in there and do what I can and try to earn my spot and we’ll see how it all works out when I get there but I know that I’m going to work my butt off and do everything that I can. So, we’ll see who comes out of that spot in the fall.

Q: As draft wore on, were you hoping Raiders would draft you?
A: “Yeah, I knew they liked me a lot. I had talked with a bunch of the coaches down there at the Senior Bowl and I had a great time with them. They saw my work ethic down there. That’s kind of what maybe turned them on to drafting me here in this draft. I’m ready to get down there and start working again. Definitely what I showed at the Senior Bowl is what they wanted to see and that’s why we’re at where we are right now. I just got to keep it going.”

Q: Do you have much special teams experience?
A: “I do. I played on every single special teams this year at one point or another. I started on a good part of them for the entire year. I knew that I needed to do that, especially just playing one year at tight end. I’m ready to play any special teams that they want me to play. I’ll do anything I can to get on the field. I’m a football player, I’m not just a tight end. Obviously, coming from playing defensive line to tight end, they got to be good at other things besides just trying to block people and catch the ball. I’m ready to get on the field wherever they want me to get on.”

Q: What did you show the Raiders staff during Senior Bowl practices?
A: “I showed just the progress that I had made, even from the season to the Senior Bowl. There had been kind of question marks whether I was just strictly a blocker or that kind of thing. I kind of showed them athleticism, that I do have hands and I’m still making strides every single day to improve my hands, to improve my route running and the passing game in general. They can see that, and I’m going to keep working my butt off to keep furthering that progress in the future. I hope to be one of the best tight ends in the league some day. That’s a goal of mine, and I don’t take it lightly. So, I’m going to keep working and do whatever I can to accomplish that goal.”

Q: How difficult to stay focused playing on a team that lost so many games last season?
A: “It was pretty difficult. Nobody likes to lose. I hope that they get that program turned around in the future. I loved Colorado, I loved CU, the university, and I just hope that they can get it turned around. For me, really, working on tight end, it’s been difficult but it’s also been one of the funnest things that I’ve done. Practicing, catching the ball, running routes and those kinds of things are just a lot of fun. Even doing a defensive line practice where you just got to butt heads for an hour and a half straight. Really right now, it’s just exciting for me. I’ve loved every bit of it. I love playing tight end and I just love playing football in general. I’m ready to get out and finally start working on football again instead of just training for the combine, running a 40 and all these kinds of things. Even after that, just kind of training here in Boulder by myself. I’m ready to get with the team and just start grinding.”

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Steve Corkran

  • nwr8r

    1st

  • dr_robert

    Same excuses for Pryor, Ausberry, and Taiwan.

    Show me or blow me.

  • oklahomaRaider18

    Tony Jefferson is a huge Raiders fan!!!!! cmon Tony!!!!!!!

  • http://www.raiders.com Silverandblack666

    3

  • bcz24

    Wiz at C, he should be a guard. We didnt address C. Need a C and a Guard.
    *********************
    Nah Wiz played very well from the bye on. He’s our C

  • http://www.raiders.com Silverandblack666

    Watch Reggie finally take a DT

  • oklahomaRaider18

    Please Reggie draft Tony Jefferson!!!!!!!!

  • RaidingTexas

    Raiders on the clock!

  • oklahomaRaider18

    Cmon Tony Jefferson!!!

  • dr_robert

    Looks like the senior bowl paid off for the raiders.

  • bcz24

    Wouldn’t mind Kruger here. He’s raw but he is a beast

  • Al_is_theraiders

    weak azs draft again…reggie 0-2…

  • http://www.raiders.com Silverandblack666

    commercial

  • PlunkforHOF

    Is this our comp pick?

  • RaidingTexas

    Yeah, comp pick.

  • dr_robert

    Is da’rick meant to be like Derek or like “The Rick”?

  • RaidingTexas

    So it can’t be traded, so not sure why it’s taking so long to pick someone.

  • oklahomaRaider18

    please be tony jefferson!!1

  • RaidingTexas

    Pick in!

  • Thec

    Who the H knows? ask him or hiz parents….

  • PlunkforHOF

    They literally had a commercial three minutes ago, now another when our pick is in

  • Plunketthead

    Why do we have a UDFA advantage?
    Because of seeing them at the SB?

  • redshirt

    Anybody got the skinny on the RB from Florida, Louisiana Murphy?

  • http://www.raiders.com Silverandblack666

    DT finally!

  • oklahomaRaider18

    Heck yea Stacy McGee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.raiders.com Silverandblack666

    Stacy McGee

  • Al_is_theraiders

    stacy mcgee? a whole 2.5 sacks…

  • redshirt

    oh shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit finally a DT

  • oklahomaRaider18

    Tony Jefferson in the 7th for sure!!!

  • RaidingTexas

    Stacy McGee DT Oklahoma

  • bcz24

    Stacy McGee DT

  • PilagingJustForFun

    Commercial

  • http://goducks.com Sir RaiderDuck, OMS

    And we got a DT.

  • RaidingTexas

    OklahomaRaider, they pick again in a few minutes. Might still get Tony.

  • http://www.raiders.com Silverandblack666

    NFL COMPARISON Ryan McBean

    BOTTOM LINE McGee has all the physical attributes to be a contributor as a 4-3 defensive tackle or 3-4 defensive end. However, between a lack of production throughout his career, multiple off the field incidents, and suspensions, he is unlikely to be drafted.

  • Raidernationdave

    Reggie is treating the 6th round like a beyotch!

  • The Beeech Diggity Dawg

    Pretty sure I hooked up with Nickayla at a UCLA frat party a while back

    Or at least with chick who looked like her (and her friend, menage a trois style)

    Was totally hammered and she came up and just grabbed the Lawg and asked if there was anywhere private we could go to make out and talk about a possible relationship

    Guess y’all know how that story ends, heh heh heh

    You’re right, with major intercourse

    BOOYAH

  • bcz24

    stacy mcgee? a whole 2.5 sacks…
    ******************
    More than half the sacks of the 5th overall pick

  • Thec

    He was arrested for driving under the influence and with a suspended license before the team’s bowl game.

  • dr_robert

    There’s b@uces nt. lol. Not exactly the high priority he felt it was.

    And let’s remember he said “u don’t pick a rt at the top if the draft.”

    Like kc did.

  • SilverLining20

    Bcz24 Says:
    April 27th, 2013 at 2:30 pm
    stacy mcgee? a whole 2.5 sacks…
    ******************
    More than half the sacks of the 5th overall pick

    Lol

  • http://www.raiders.com Silverandblack666

    STRENGTHS Athletic build and good foot speed for a penetrating three-technique tackle or five-technique end. Gets upfield with a long and quick first step when attacking a gap. Chases ballcarriers towards the sideline and downfield to help out teammates if needed, as well as keep his feet while engaged to work down the line on run plays. Flashes the ability to keep his eyes in the backfield and shed to grab running backs coming through the hole.

    WEAKNESSES Lack of production throughout career. Multiple off the field incidents; suspensions. Doesn’t use his hands enough. Won’t finish plays after initial surge. Has been frequently rotated in order to maximize freshness. Needs to show more power.

  • PilagingJustForFun

    There u go Trenches Baby

  • Thec

    PilagingJustForFun Says:
    April 27th, 2013 at 2:31 pm
    There u go Trenches Baby

    ++++++++=

    Not exactly what I had in mind however, I defer to the Pro’s.

  • 8RaiderReign8

    The Beeech Diggity Dawg Says:
    April 27th, 2013 at 2:29 pm
    Pretty sure I hooked up with Nickayla at a UCLA frat party a while back

    Or at least with chick who looked like her (and her friend, menage a trois style)

    Was totally hammered and she came up and just grabbed the Lawg and asked if there was anywhere private we could go to make out and talk about a possible relationship

    Guess y’all know how that story ends, heh heh heh

    You’re right, with major intercourse

    BOOYAH
    ______________________

    If Rivera makes the team this aint stoppin

  • rediaR

    Bcz24 Says:
    April 27th, 2013 at 2:30 pm
    stacy mcgee? a whole 2.5 sacks…
    ******************
    More than half the sacks of the 5th overall pick
    ——————–
    College production is meaningless for pass rushers… blah blah blah… not worth getting into again.

  • http://www.raiders.com Silverandblack666

    one more pick

    One this I said in February was Reggie would have 20 new faces on this team come camp and I think he is about there.

  • oklahomaRaider18

    I really wanted that De from Princeton..damn queefs

  • RaidingTexas

    Raiders on the clock again!

  • Al_is_theraiders

    but he is a high character guy….lmao…yeah keep believing shrek