Feature article on David Veikune in the Cleveland Plain Dealer

CPD = Cleveland Plain Dealer

CPD Note: “Veikune’s mom, the former Sheila Kerr, was born and raised in Canton, Ohio, and graduated from Ohio State. Most of her siblings still live within a mile of each other in Canton and he has “about 30, 40, maybe 50 cousins” living there, too.”

About how his Mom’s family was excited when the Browns drafted him, David Veikune said:
“They were so excited, they called me that day and I’ve been keeping in contact with them. It’s a dream come true. It’s not only a blessing to play for the Browns but to reunite with my family.” (CPD)

About how he’d never been to Ohio but his relatives visited him in Hawaii, Veikune said:
“I haven’t seen a lot of them since sixth grade. But they’re huge Browns fans. They’re all going to come to a game.” (CPD)

About practicing as a LB today, Veikune said:
“This was my first day ever playing linebacker, so it was a new experience but a lot of fun. I have a lot to learn. It will be hard, because the plays are a lot harder and the tempo is a lot faster. But the coaches are great and I’ve learned a lot really quickly.” (CPD)

Impressed with how Veikune did in his first two practices, Eric Mangini said:
“He’s fluid for someone his size and for someone who’s had limited exposure to standing up. In the bag drills, he went through more like a linebacker than a defensive end.” (CPD)

Praising Veikune, Mangini said:
“I love the guy’s motor. This guy’s got toughness, aggressiveness and a smoothness to the way that he changes directions and run games. I think he could play both outside and inside for us moving forward.” (CPD)

About how Veikune will have no problem adjusting to being a LB, Mac said:
“The Browns were very smart in taking David where they did, They did more homework on him than some of the other teams and [pick] No. 52 is not a reach for him. I have no doubt he’ll be fine at that position. We played some 3-4 in passing situations and for the past two years he’s dropped back a lot. I know [coach Mangini] will do a great job teaching him the techniques.” (CPD)

Praising Veikune, Mac said:
“He’s tenacious, smart, physical and his motor runs every play. Our defensive ends were more like outside linebackers — speed-rushers — with their hands on the ground. That’s what he is. He’s got the inner desire to get to the quarterback and he goes full speed every play.” (CPD)

CPD Note: “Veikune attributes some of his work ethic to his dad, Oma, a former bodybuilder who won Mr. Alaska in the late 1980s. As early as fifth grade, Veikune was enduring his dad’s intense workout regimen — often before 7:30 a.m. when his dad left for work.”

Crediting some of his work ethic to his Dad Oma, a former Mr. Alaska bodybuilder, Veikune said:
“We would always get into arguments. But I would always end up [working out]. He’d tell me if I wanted to play football, I’d have to get up and work out, so I always did. That’s when you know you want to play this game.” (CPD)

http://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/2009/05/welltraveled_cleveland_browns.html

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