St. Louis Rams – Blog

Florida S Matt Elam Speaks

Posted by nickwagoner on February 24, 2013 – 5:59 PM

INDIANAPOLIS -

- Florida S Matt Elam is the brother of Kansas City S Abram Elam. But Matt comes in to this combine more highly regarded, though of as one of the best safeties in this class and a possible first round pick.

- Although Elam is a bit smaller than some of his counterparts, he packs a punch as a hitter and can play free or strong safety. He spoke to the media today and shed some light on his brother’s influence, watching Ed Reed and more.

What has the experience been like?   “It’s a great experience, a great opportunity. Everything going well. Less sleep, but having a lot of fun going with the guys, just being around the guys.”

Most important thing to get across to teams in interviews?   “I’m a great guy on the field, but off the field also. That’s very important.”    Teams met with   “A lot. There’s a lot of them. I met with a lot of them last night, but I can’t remember them all, but there was a ton of them.”

Biggest strength   “My physicality. I play very hard. I love the strike people. I feel that what help me stand out the most and I’m very versatile. I can cover the slot receivers, I can go down and cover, I can go in the box and tackle. I feel like I’m very versatile, I can play in the post. I feel like that what make me stand out the most.”

Work on   “There’s always room to improve. Coming to the big leagues, everybody is good. The talent is up here (moves hand to forehead). Working on technique and continuing to get better every day.”

Rely on his brother Abram Elam (Kansas City):   “He taught me a lot because he has the experience, so I’m learning from him everyday. It’s an advantage.”

What advice did coach give him:   “He told us everyday that if we have the opportunity to take it. He pushed us everyday and we go the opportunity, so we took advantage.”

Model game after   “Ed Reed. I watched Ed Reed all the time, every week. I look forward to him all the time.”

What will brother say   “I don’t think he’ll mind. He understands.”

What about Ed Reed stands out   “He’s very versatile. He’ll hit you. He’ll pick the ball off, ball hawk. He can do it all, so I feel like I can do it too.”

What was it like growing up with brother   “It was always competitive. He pushed me, he challenged me all the time. That made me who I am today.”

Does athleticism override lack of size   “I feel like that’s an advantage, I’m very athletic. Growing up I was very athletic, and I feel like that separates me a lot. I’m not the biggest safety, I guess, but I feel like I play hard and that makes me stand out.”

On playing on both sides of the ball   “It made me realize that I’d rather deliver the blow than get hit. It helped me out a lot, athletic ability and everything else.”

Are you the best safety in draft   “Yeah, I’m very confident in myself. I’m very versatile and I feel that I can do a lot of things for teams: special teams, covering, tackling.”

40-yard dash:   “I’m going for a low 4.4, even faster. I prepared well.”

On Florida’s defense   “We had a great defense. Everybody was flying around and I trusted everybody on defense. We came together as a team and that helped our confidence build.”

On other Florida teammates at combine   “It says a lot about the defense, a lot of bragging rights. We can talk smack to the other guys and it shows how great we did and how well we was coached.”

Defense setting tone   “I feel like defense wins championships. Defense is always going to lead the tam.”

Position   “I played both. I played free, strong, I played the nickel, I played dime. I pretty much played everywhere in the secondary.”

Other safeties he watched   “I watch Eric Berry a lot, I watch Earl Thomas from Seattle. I watch NFL film more than I watch college film during the week.”

The alcohol possession when he was young   “(Teams) talked about it, but it wasn’t really a big issue. I just had to pay a fine and it was dropped. I don’t think they really made it a big issue.”

Talking to Florida guys in New England   “When they come back I always talk to them about that. They tell me it’s a different league, bigger and tougher guys, but that’s expected. That’s why I go out to work.”

Learn from Florida coaches, Muschamp   “When they came in I feel like I learned a lot about the knowledge of the ball, different schemes, man technique – they taught me a lot of man technique that I didn’t know before. He made me a very better ball player, and he made me a better person, too.”

How can he cover big tight ends   “Technique, rely on my technique that I’m going to work on everyday. I feel like if I fall back on that then the sky will be the limit.”

Brother taught him about football   “In the NFL you have to use a lot of footwork and a lot of separation. He taught me a lot about that that I didn’t know.”

Brother taught about life.   “He taught me that I need to grow up fast, that this is a big man’s league and basically taking authority. That was a problem for me in college. He taught me that too. I need to learn how to take more authority and grow up and handle situations differently.”

How has SEC helped   “I feel like that helped me out a lot. Most of the best players in the SEC be the best players in the NFL.”

- One of the Rams’ most glaring needs is at free safety as previous starter Craig Dahl is scheduled for unrestricted free agency. Some believe that Elam is as good a prospect as you’ll find in a pretty deep safety class. Elam could be in play for the Rams at some point in the draft, especially if he falls into round 2.

 


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