Detroit Lions: Quotes From Haloti Ngata’s Press Conference


The Detroit Lions‘ loss of Ndamukong Suh via free agency left a very big hole in the middle of their defensive line – one they quickly filled with a very big man. Tuesday’s trade between the Lions and Baltimore Ravens to acquire Haloti Ngata became official today when Ngata passed his physical. Shortly after, Ngata was introduced to the media at the team’s Allen Park training facility.

Here are the quotes from today’s introductory press conference, as provided by the Detroit Lions.

Feb 21, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Detroit Lions general manager

Martin Mayhew

speaks to the media in a press conference during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Opening statement: “Very excited to announce that we’ve completed a trade with the Baltimore Ravens to acquire Haloti Ngata. (He is an) outstanding player, outstanding person. I’ve heard so many good things from people associated with that program in Baltimore about the guy that Haloti Ngata is and we’re thrilled to have him as part of our team. When you lose a guy as talented as Ndamukong Suh, to have the ability to replace him with a guy like Haloti Ngata really alleviates a lot of the concern about the defensive tackle position, so we’re very, very thrilled to have him. (He is a) five-time Pro Browler, five-time All-Pro and he is going to be a great addition to our franchise.”

Opening statement: “As Martin said, I had the privilege of working with Haloti for three years in Baltimore and the one thing that I love about him, other than the fact that he’s a great football player, he’s a good man. He’s a good family man, he’s a good person, he’s great to work with. I know the benefits that he’ll bring to our team as a player and in our locker room. So, I’m really excited to have Haloti. He is, just again, a wonderful human being and I think we’re going to be proud when we put our defense on the field. We know what we expect from our defense and what we aspire to be and the goals that we want to accomplish. Haloti’s going to help us get there. I’m just pleased, super pleased that we were able to bring him in the fold, to get him on our team because I think it makes us better. It keeps us competitive in again, like I said, what we want to do in the upcoming seasons.”

Nov 23, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell applauds his team during the second quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Opening statement: “Obviously, much has been said in terms of Haloti as a player and I think you all have probably done your research to get a good sense of who he is. We always talk about one of the most important things for us, just in terms of our defense and structure, is to be able to stop the run. Obviously, I’ve had an opportunity to coach against him, and had an opportunity to be on the same field with him. I was much happier when he was on our side than when I had to actually had to plan against him because he’s a big, physical guy that can play the game. But even more so, one of the things that Teryl alluded to is the fact that how well-thought-of he is. He’s been at Baltimore his entire career for the most part. He’s endeared himself not only to the team, but we’ve gotten so many different texts from the guys that are there talking about how much they’re going to miss him, how much they love him. But then also I think you’ll find the same sentiments in the community. He’s always been a very, very strong presence within the community, he and his family. He has a great family, his wife Christina and he has three boys. We’re thinking about signing the boys. They’re five, two and one – Solomon, Maximus and then also Colt. I understand that their favorite color is blue, so we’re well on our way.”

Opening statement: “I’m excited to be here. Just like coach said, I’ve been with Baltimore for nine years and been there my whole career, so this is an exciting change. My family’s going through something different. I had all my boys in Baltimore and I’m just excited about the new journey. I knew Coach Caldwell in Baltimore for a year and a half about. Then I was with TA (Teryl Austin), so it’s comfortable. I’m just happy to know that I’m able to come and know some of the staff. I know some of the players and I’m just real excited. Just can’t wait to get out there and show Detroit what I can do. Just ready for this new journey.”

Live Feed

2023 NFL Offseason: Ranking the three worst offseason moves
2023 NFL Offseason: Ranking the three worst offseason moves /

With the First Pick

  • The best rookie matchup each week of the NFL seasonWith the First Pick
  • Record for every NFL team based on their current odds as favorites or underdogsBetsided
  • 10 best individual player rivalries in NFL historyFanSided
  • 5 must-win games for the Dallas Cowboys in 2023FanSided
  • Predicting each division winner for the 2023 NFL seasonWith the First Pick
  • On joining a Lions defense that ranked No. 2 overall last season: “Yeah, I’m just excited to have TA coach me as a coordinator. I just know him well and know that stopping the run is huge and that I love doing that. Hopefully I can help out in pass-rush, just real excited for what’s about to come.”

    On what he was doing when he found out he had been traded to Detroit: “I was actually just picking up my son from school and I got a call from Coach (John) Harbaugh. He said he just wanted to call me out of respect that they’re going to trade me, and this was about 20-30 minutes before it happened. So, I was really thankful that he was willing to do that, then my agent called me and told me that I was getting traded to Detroit.”

    On if his role in the Lions defense will be similar to his role in Baltimore: “From what I’ve seen on film, TA has done different things. Wherever he wants to put me and where I can help, that’s where I think I’ll be. I think TA knows my strengths and I figure he’ll put where I’ll be best-fit.”

    On why he did not consider taking a pay cut to stay in Baltimore: “We just weren’t close enough to what we thought I could get. We just figured we’d just hold still until they do something and they ended up trading me.”

    On his comfort level with coming to Detroit and knowing some of the coaching staff: “That’s awesome. I didn’t want to have to worry about going out and trying to shop myself and look good for everybody. I kind of know Coach Caldwell and TA and they know me. I’m just happy that we’ve done something and that we didn’t wait until after the Draft or in camp, so I’m excited to be here. Just can’t wait.”

    On filling the role of former Lions DT Ndamukong Suh: “Yeah, Ndamukong’s a great player. Well-deserved contract that he got and I don’t see myself as Ndamukong Suh. I’m a different player. He’s made Pro Bowls, I’ve made Pro Bowls and I play my game. Hopefully it helps the team win.”

    On if he has thought about a possible contract extension with the Lions: “Yeah, definitely. We’re open to anything. You know, just being here so far I’m getting really comfortable already. Once I meet the guys I know I’ll just want to stay here. So, if an extension comes to mind that would be awesome. If not, it is what it is.”

    On when a contract extension conversation will take place: “Whenever my agent starts talking. I don’t know, I just want to play.”

    On playing on such a high-profile defense in Baltimore: “It’s awesome. It’s amazing. You do so much together not only on the field, but off the field. Learning from guys like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs, how to be a pro, how to take care of your body and how to study film, there’s unlimited things you learn from those guys. I think that they kind of helped me mold the player I am today. Hopefully I can continue to do that to some of the guys in our locker room here.”

    On if he is a different player now than he was five years ago: “Yeah, smarter. Definitely smarter. You know, I’m not as young and reckless, I guess, but definitely smarter. I know the game now and know opponents well. I play to my strengths and their weaknesses, so it’s definitely a lot different.”

    On the strengths of his game: “I felt like I’ve always been a great run stopper. I picture myself as a sacrifice player where I’m trying to hold up guys for other players to make plays. I guess a support player, but if I can make a play then I’ll try to make it. Definitely, I think my strengths are having the power and strength to stop the run.”

    Next: Ngata trade nice, but next step most important

    More from SideLion Report