Tampa Bay drafted the versatile running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn out of Vanderbilt in the third round of the draft. Shortly after his selection, Vaughn joined members of the media for a virtual press conference where he talked about what he can bring to an already talented offense, what it’s going to be like to play with Tom Brady – who Vaughn referred to as “the GOAT” – and where he ranks himself among this year’s deep class of talented running backs.
Read the complete transcript from Vaughn’s press conference below.
On what he feels like he does best as a running back “As a back, I believe I have home run ability as a running back and I also have that same ability as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. Kind of knowing Tom Brady, with him knowing the offense and he’s been in the league for a long time, he’s going to be able to put me in the best situation and also my teammates.”
On what he remembers most about talking with the Bucs before the draft “I had recently talked to the Bucs earlier this week, late last week. It was kind of just understanding plays, talking football, reiterating the same plays that they had just taught me over the phone call back to them. Just kind of getting to know who I am off of the field too.”
On what he brings an offense with so much talent and how excited he is to join a team ready to make a Super Bowl run “I’m happy as hell to be a part of that. This offense, this team, this organization. And I believe that I’m an explosive back too so that’s kind of so that’s something that will help us all. We develop a run game and then you can throw the ball based off of that. I feel as though the run game and the pass game can work hand-in-hand.”
RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn – courtesy of the Buccaneers
On how he ranks himself among this class of running backs “Honestly I would rank myself the best, just based off of my two years in the SEC. I know a lot of it depends on what school you go to and all of that kind of plays in with it too, but I consider myself one of the best based on numbers.”
On his pass blocking ability “I’m very comfortable with that and now knowing that I have Tom Brady as my quarterback I have to be even more serious about getting that done and taking it more seriously as far as knowing who I’ve got on certain plays and making sure that I have my technique is good at all times because that man that’s throwing the ball, we need him at all times.”
On his ability as a pass-catcher “As far as developing as a pass-catcher, that’s something I have to get natural with. I could always catch but I wasn’t naturally a receiver, just based off of high school, I ran the ball all of the time. Converting to college you have to get more involved in the pass game so I’ve been getting comfortable with my hands. I catch all the time, as far as JUGS and everything. Any extra work to get better as a pass-catcher.”
On fitting in the offense with how much Tom Brady relies on running backs in the passing game “I feel like that’s the best opportunity that I could ask for being drafted in this class, being in the situation where you’ve got Tom Brady as your quarterback who loves checkdown routes. Those can be big yardage plays that we could capitalize on, for real. Tom Brady is the GOAT, so when you’re playing with one of the best quarterbacks of all time you can’t do anything but be happy and get ready to go win some games for him.”
On what his ability to produce against top competition in college means to him translating to NFL competition “With me it’s just kind of a mindset thing as far as how you attack the game and how you really prepare and look at your opponents. I feel like it would be kind of easy for me to transfer everything from college football as far as learning the playbook and everything, but mental toughness and any of that, it just matters within yourself and how you view your opponents and how you approach the game.”
On if he feels like two years of production in two different power five conferences gives him an edge “I’d say that’s true just because experience is one thing, I’m a fifth-year senior and some of these guys are third- and fourth-year guys. I’ve got more experience on the field and being kind of more aware football-wise, not knowing who’s aware or knowledgeable of the playbook or any kind of football talk, but I feel like that’s something that can separate me. Experience. Then, I come from a team that ran an NFL kind of playbook, so that’s one thing that will help me also.”
On his ability to line up out wide as a receiver “This past year, that’s when I started doing more empty [sets] or slot routes, option routes, stop routes from the “X” position. That’s kind of what it was, option routes and kind of stops.”