HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
(on the offense bouncing back in today’s practice)
We needed to do that. We talked about it as a group throughout the day. That’s what they need to do when things don’t go so well. To us, it’s like a football game. The game didn’t go well, practice didn’t go well. We couldn’t get out of the funk. Defense ended up having a great four quarters. Today they came out and we did a lot of similar situations. We ran two-minute, four-minute, the red zone, and threw the ball better, made better decisions. Blocking was better. It was good to just see them come back after having a rough night and play better.
(on Bruce Matthews’ punt)
I’m just glad he didn’t get hurt. Bruce (Matthews) used to be the backup punter when he was playing all of those years. That’s probably a fact most people don’t know about him, because he was never used in a game. So we thought that was a great chance to use him. The first one was ugly, but the second one was a little better.
(on the hang time of Bruce Matthews’ punt)
It was a nice hang time. Actually, he out-kicked his coverage a little bit. I knew we’d ask him and I knew he’d want to do it. He jumped all over it, so it was good.
There’s not a whole lot to evaluate in training camp other than the day-to-day practices. That’s just how it goes. As far as coaches, we don’t get all caught up in that, just because there are so many factors that go into a good practice and a bad practice. Just like some throws today were touchdown throws, but again, there could have been sacks and things like that. The play does not develop. I thought we were a little sharper. There were some better decisions as an offense, Jake (Locker) and the group. It’s good to see that they come back from not having a great night, that they’re practicing better the next day.
(on Jake Locker’s playing time in the preseason opener and at Cincinnati this Saturday)
He will probably get a little bit more playing time. We want to keep him out there. The same thing, in the 20s. He played about 22 or 23 plays last time. So, probably in that same range. It just depends on how the game’s going. Hopefully, we’ll have some nice, long drives early where we can make a decision on if we want to take him out sooner. The mindset for these guys is that they play a half. If they come out and have more plays, then great. If not, then we finish it up.
(on being tested at Cincinnati this weekend)
It is. Washington was a playoff team last week, and we played against them. You don’t know who you’re going to play or how much people are going to play, so it’s a little harder to compare. I think that’s a winning organization and Cincinnati’s been to the playoffs the last few years. They’re big. They’re strong. They have very good football players on their team, especially defensively. Big offensive line. Young quarterback that’s been playing well for them, good skill receivers. So, they got it all. It’s our first chance to go on the road. I hope it is loud. It’s a Saturday night game, so we could use that part of our game, especially the first half if we have to deal with crowd noise. That could be good. It’s a great challenge physically to see where we are as a team on both sides of the ball because that’s a very good football team.
(on seeing Jake Locker tested trying to go downfield against Cincinnati)
I think those plays called, we double call plays a lot. So, if a team isn’t giving us what we want or if they seem content to let us deal with the run, so we took what they gave us last week. But, we’re going to want to make some plays. We always do. It just depends on how the game unravels. If we have to run the ball and CJ (
(on Chris Johnson’s attitude this training camp)
I think his attitude has been good. I just think that he probably sees the team around him, and he feels better about what he sees happening the way we’re calling the game, the plays, the runs. I think he likes what we’re doing that way. I mean, you see the improvements. I think players get excited when you improve with your running back, you improve the offensive line, you improve your receivers, you improve your tight ends. I think you do a bunch of stuff, get a good running back behind you, that could be part of the group there with
(on Shawn Jefferson’s exuberance)
He’s exactly what we thought he would be. I met Shawn when he was drafted. I was a teammate of his for a short period of time. I heard from Matt Millen when they hired him as coach in Detroit what a great coach he was, and if I ever had an opportunity to hire him he’s a guy you definitely want to take a good long look at because of how much he loves the game, the passion for it, how much he’s played it, and you see it out here every day. That’s who he is. He’s a straight shooter. The player’s know that, and I think when a player sees the honesty and the passion and desire to make these guys better football players, they buy into that. They like that, and so far that’s how it’s been playing out.
(on Jefferson showing up in cleats)
I think they don’t know what this means. They want to wait and see what’s going on. They see his excitement during practice. When a coach shows up every day and is consistent the way he is, then they really appreciate it. If it’s a once-a-week type of thing, then it’s different. They see that for nine weeks of OTAs and for four weeks already he is exactly who he is every day. Every day you’re getting the same enthusiasm, passion, so I think these guys realize how much he can help them be better players and better men.
(on if he is excited to see the defense against Cincinnati)
When I saw the preseason schedule I was excited for that reason, because you have to deal with that this weekend, and then next weekend you’re playing Atlanta that does a lot of hurry-up and moves the ball well and, obviously, is a great football team for the last couple years. We have some great challenges these three weeks. It’s going to be another challenge on the road against a good physical football team, which is exactly what we need.