HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
(on offense struggling/defense shining in tonight’s practice)
If Jake (Locker) throws well in practice or he doesn’t, there are a lot of things that go into a ball being picked off, like guys not being blocked at the line of scrimmage or when he’s trying to throw a ball that he’d be sacked (before throwing it) in a game. A lot of that happens there. That’s not something I’m really concerned about in practice. It’s more when you watch the tape and see why, who’s bad decisions, if he threw the ball to the wrong spot. Two of those plays, at least, he’d been sacked before he threw it. So it wouldn’t have mattered. The throw never would have gotten out. You have to look at all of those things. In general, the offense didn’t make enough plays, the defense did a great job in a lot of situations, and we needed that too.
(on how Jake Locker responds to struggling in practice)
He’s responded fine. The offense has to respond, not just Jake (Locker). We have to block better, the defense gave him a lot of looks. There was some confusion at times with the backs and with the linemen. Usually it’s one of those practices where it’s up and down, this one, they got a little lopsided after a while there and I thought the defense did a nice job.
(on adding players to the roster because of injuries)
Well, linebacker because of the injuries. Safety we wanted another safety there because we’ve got some guys with some pulls who haven’t practiced this week. (Daimion) Stafford hasn’t practiced. A couple of the linebackers, three linebackers now aren’t practicing. It’s numbers. Again, we’re still in training camp. This isn’t the regular season. This is a long practice tonight, practice this morning, we have another one tomorrow. It’s getting warmer, which is good, too. We need to make sure we have enough bodies so we don’t have injuries because of being short at different positions.
(on Robert Johnson’s injury and release)
I think it’s just been frustrating for him, too, and us that injuries have been unfortunately around for him since he’s been here. He hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Great kid. We’d love to have him here. I know he loved it here, too. He had a great opportunity last year and worked hard to get it. He had the injury, then he tried to come back, and still was not healthy. It just seemed like we needed to have someone that could help us. He couldn’t stay healthy. Hopefully he’ll get an opportunity to play somewhere else, and hopefully his luck will be different.
We ran a lot of boots. Today we were working a lot of boots because in the game we struggled a little bit covering the boots. So, as a group we needed a lot of work so we emphasized a lot of that. He does a great job recognizing it out of the backside. That’s where you’ll see him get a lot of pressure with him. He did a nice job. Again, that’s where the quarterback is trying to make some tough throws with someone in his face that a lot of times you’d run it in a game. We put him in some tough spots, put the offense in some tough spots, but Ropati did a nice job.
(on having extra night practices)
I think (it was for) the fans. Because we started earlier this year, we started on a Thursday, and having the nine-day break before we play again, we have an extra Sunday this year. I think last year we played a Saturday game so we were off on Sunday. So, this is nice, like you were saying, for the obvious reasons. It’s good for the fans, they have an opportunity to come out and watch practice. A lot of people can’t get out here during the week, so we thought this would be good for them. I think the atmosphere is a little nicer, this one is a little warmer than the guys thought, which we needed. It was good to have this one, I hope people enjoyed it. I think we had three or four night practices, and we really appreciate the fans coming out, it really makes a difference for the players, and I think they want to enjoy the evening rather than the hot afternoons.
(on depth with addition of two new players)
We’re just getting to know them now. (Corey) Lynch is a guy that’s played in the league before, been in the league four or five years. He could play free safety or safety, tough kid, we like his size, played against him before. So, we know he’s a good solid football player. We’ll see how he fits here. Linebacker wise, (Gary) Guyton, we had him tryout last week, and again, same thing, he’s played, he has experience, and we need some guys that can come in and help especially in this week’s preseason game, so we felt they both fit that role.