Dolphins
Rick Spielman/Marty Booker Press Conference
By The Source
Aug 23, 2004

From miamidolphins.com

General Manager Rick Spielman

(Opening statement) Ė "I'm very excited to announce, from myself, the ownership, and the organization, that the trade is finally finalized. We were able to get Marty Booker here. We are very excited about the type of player that we were able to get, not only what he brings on the field and the production he has, but also the type of person he is off the field, to add what we already have accumulated through the offseason. Marty, we feel, is a very explosive offensive player and should do nothing but add to what we already have on offense."

(On whether there was a point in the last week when he decided to use Adewale Ogunleye as a chip to improve the offense) Ė "I donít know if there ever was a specific point. Our whole intention was to sign Wale. We had some unfortunate things happen to us with the departure of Ricky (Williams), and then when David Boston was injured. This was an opportunity where we felt that we had the chance to go get a Pro Bowl type player, that actually was in a Pro Bowl, a young receiver, someone that can go opposite Chris Chambers, and help us win ball games."

(On why he didnít just pay Adewale Ogunleye) Ė "Again, I donít want to get into what contract issues and things like that are. The biggest issue was I think that we kind of heated up discussion here as of late. It was an opportunity that came that we were able to get some offensive help. This receiver Ė which Iím very familiar with and was in Chicago when we drafted him Ė we were able to get a quality Pro Bowl receiver for a quality Pro Bowl defensive end and also add a third-round pick."

(On whether he has been shopping Adewale Ogunleye around for a while) Ė "Again, Iím not going to get into what was and what wasnít before this happened. I just know that sometimes in this business you have to make tough business decisions, and not every player is going to be happy on how they turn out. You have to do what you think is best for the football team not only for this year, but for the future as well. When this opportunity came, and we were able to trade Pro Bowler for Pro Bowler plus get an additional third-round pick, that was the direction we decided to go."

(On how much confidence he has in David Bowens and Jay Williams) Ė "They both have played very well, and have both had very good preseasons and training camps. This is probably Jay Williamsís most productive training camp since heís been here. He came back in great shape. David Bowens has been very healthy. Before Wale got his opportunity, David was the starter and it was going to be a heated battle. We have a lot of confidence in what David Bowens can bring to this football team as well."

(On whether how much money has been invested on defense was a contributing factor) Ė "You want to try as much as you can to balance out your cap from the offensive standpoint and the defensive standpoint. The financial issue, as far as our resources, will never be an issue because our ownership is very generous in letting us have the resources we need to get the players we need to get in here. You just have to make some tough decisions on how you're going to use those resources to get players both equally on the offensive side and defensive side of the ball."

(On whether wanting to balance the cap on both sides of the ball was a contributing factor) Ė "I think that you have to look at your roster, and you have to look at where youíre at not only this year but in future years. You want to make sure. We have a very good defense, we have a lot of stars on defense, and we have a lot of money invested on defense. We have a lot of young guys coming up on the offensive side, and we just want to make sure that we can put out the best possible football team on that field this year, and in future years. Thatís when it comes down to having to make some tough business decisions and where youíre going to allocate certain finances."

(On Adewale Ogunleye as a football player) Ė "Wale is a very good football player. He has had very productive years here. We saw that when he came out. After they had signed him as a free agent, I was hired a month later, and I know we thought that highly of Wale that he was on reserve NFI that first year. We did not have to pay him, but we elected to pay him, to rehab him, because we felt he was not only going to be a quality football player for us, but also because heís a quality person. Thatís where, I think, it shows how myself, Coach Wannstedt, and this organization felt about Wale."

(On whether he had reached a conclusion that Ogunleye was going to sit out the start of this season based on where the negotiations were) Ė "Again, you hear a lot of things, but you keep your focus on getting something done, or if there is an opportunity that you feel you can help your ball club in another area. There were some areas on offense we definitely needed some help. Believe me, you don't know how difficult it is to pull off a trade of this magnitude during this time of year. It's a little different when everybody has cap room and youíre at the start of free agency back in March. Two weeks before the opening ball game and to be able to do something like this, I donít know how many trades of this magnitude have happened recently this close to the season."

(On why he didnít move Adewale Ogunleye in March) Ė "Wale was a restricted free agent. He had the opportunity to go out and shop. You hear all this stuff about why trade him now and not back in March, but he had every opportunity up until the deadline for his right to come back to us. He was a restricted free agent. There are a lot of teams which had a shot at him back at that time."

(On the disappointment on losing the team MVP) Ė "Again, Wale was a very good football player for us. It comes down to, yeah, you lost a player that was your team MVP, but youíre also gaining a player Ė and that speaks highly of Marty Booker that he was elected a team captain up in Chicago. Weíve got another Pro Bowl player with, we feel, equal ability to come in and help us on the offensive side where we need help right now."

(On his thought process going into this trade on wide receiver vs. running back)- "We will continue to look at that. We will look at the running back situation and see what happens. I think it has to do more with what type of player you're trading out for a player. Regardless of what position, it you're getting equal quality, that's the direction you want to go. It just happened to be that we were able to get Marty Booker, who we feel very highly about and a Pro Bowl-type receiver that's very young. If you look at the trade, Wale's tender was a first and third, and we feel that Marty Booker is equal to a first round pick and we feel that we also got the third-round, so we got exactly what we put on Wale as far as compensation."

(On whether he's comfortable with the current offensive line and whether thereís a need to continue to upgrade) Ė "We feel very comfortable with the players that we have, but we still have a lot of work to do. Youíre taking a unit that is going to grow together. None of them have really played with each other. There is a lot of young talent on that offensive line and they seem to be progressing as we go through here, but again, there are a lot things that when you go into a preseason game, they havenít seen as a unit yet. Youíre going through some growing pains on that and it doesnít have to do always with the physical ability, it's with them working as a cohesive unit and seeing things together."

(On the increasing likelihood of him wanting to trade as opposed to waiting)- "I donít know, that will be something to be determined. You donít know when an opportunity is going to present itself. I know one thing that we do and pride ourselves on doing, is we have covered every aspect of every possible trade on a running back and have evaluated all that film. We have covered every aspect on every possible trade on a receiver and have done work on that for weeks and weeks. This isnít just a thing that you just shoot off of your hip. There is a lot of research done, and there is a lot of film study done. Just like when we do anything, we make sure all of our iís are dotted and our tís are crossed, and then go ahead and pull the trigger is that opportunity arises."

(On the offenses being similar and how realistic it is to expect Marty Booker to be up to speed) Ė "The difference is, when we signed (Antonio) Freeman and he came in here, the West Coast offense is something where itís done by memorization. Our offensive system for the receivers is done by digits and numerical. Marty is very familiar with that right now. There will be a few nuances and tweaks here and there, but itís the Kansas City system. Kansas City Ė Norv (Turner) was involved with the Kansas City system Ė it all ties in it seems like. There is West Coast, and then there is this numerical system, and Marty since last March has been working in a very similar system that weíve been using."

(On what his scouting report says on Marty Booker) Ė "He is not a possession receiver as everybody classifies him. As you can see, he has production down the field. He has, to me, very similar athletic ability that Chris Chambers has. He can make circus-type catches, he has extremely large hands, and he has very soft hands. Out of all the other receivers we evaluated, he had the fewest of any drops out of everybody we evaluated. Heís a very good route runner, and he is explosive to run with the ball in his hands after the catch. His weight is down. I think heís down to 207 (pounds) now. Heís been as heavy as 218-220. His most productive weight is where heís at right now, and John Gamble will work with him, and thatís where he feels most comfortable at."

(On how much of a sense of urgency he had to trade Adewale Ogunleye) Ė "I donít know if we had a sense of urgency, again, you do your do diligence, you make a lot of calls, you look at the opportunities, and if an opportunity presents itself that you think is a good opportunity, then you go ahead and take advantage of that opportunity. I donít know if you say that we have to get it done by tomorrow, I donít think that ever comes across."

(On arriving to this conclusion)- "The only way that we arrived at this conclusion is that we felt, again, that we were filling something that we needed desperately on offense, another playmaker, and it was that caliber of player for a caliber of player that we had to give up with Adewale Ogunleye plus weíre getting a third round pick."

(On whether he anticipates adding a defensive lineman before this week is over)- "You can anticipate us adding at any point regardless of position. We will always continue to do that like we always have."

WR Marty Booker

(On what he wants to do for his new team) - "I just want to do what I do best and that is contribute to this ball team. The good thing about it is Iím given the chance to come to a team that has the capability of making it to the playoffs and making it to the Super Bowl. The opportunity is self explanatory right there. Iím very excited."

(On the news of being traded) - "It was a shock at the start. But now that Iím here, Iím getting adjusted and meeting everybody. Chicago is in the past and Miami is my new team and Iím looking forward to getting started."

(On being named team captain in Chicago the day before the trade) Ė "Unfortunately yes, but thatís how the business goes. Sometimes it happens like that and you just have to move on."

(On his leadership role) -"Iím not the vocal leader. Iím a real quiet guy and I try to lead by action. With me going out and the opportunity they are giving me and capitalizing on that, I need to do what Iíve been doing in the past and it will speak for itself."

(On learning the new offensive system in Miami) - "The good thing is that we were going through the same system here thatís in Chicago. I was able to get a jump start and learn it starting in March in Chicago. Thereís a little difference here and there, but I will get that ironed out and Iíll be ready soon."

(On losing weight entering this season) Ė "I wanted to get back to the point I was at 2001 and 2002 season. I felt real comfortable with my weight down. After taking a lot of hits and getting beat up across the middle I wanted to put on a little more weight last year to try and absorb the blows and I think it kind of cost me a couple injuries. I just wanted to get my weight down and get back to being an explosive receiver like I was two years ago."

(On whether he feels he is an upper echelon receiver after having 100 and 97 catch years) Ė "Iím still developing. Thereís always room for improvement. I need to build off what Iíve been doing in the past. Itís obvious what I can do. Itís just of matter of coming down here, putting it all together and getting back to Pro Bowl status as a receiver that I was a couple years ago."

(On what he feels are his strengths as a receiver) Ė "I feel my strengths are everything. I feel like Iím a complete receiver. I can go down the field, go across the middle and block. I can do it all. I just want to add on to the other players. You have Travis Minor at running back, Chris Chambers at receiver and (Randy) McMichael at tight end. I just want to come in and add a little piece here and a little piece there and help this offense out."

(On his reception from the Dolphins players) Ė "It was a meet-and-greet today. There were no hugs (laughs). I just wanted to go out and introduce myself. I feel that everybody knows what Iím capable of and I will be given an opportunity to do what I can."

(On the struggles of the Dolphins offense in the preseason) Ė "Itís just the preseason. Nobody brings out its whole offense in the preseason. This offense will pick up once it gets accustomed to game plans and everyone on the offense gets a feel for each other."

(On being traded for the Dolphins 2003 MVP, Adewale Ogunleye) Ė "You always feel honored when someone else wants you. Unfortunately it didnít work out in Chicago. I feel they are giving me a new lease on life coming down here and I want to help this team go to the playoffs and down the road to the Super Bowl."

(On the disappointment of being traded away from Chicago) Ė "Anytime youíre in a situation when youíve been somewhere for six years, thatís the business part of it. They wanted to go in a different direction and Miami wanted to go in a different direction."

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