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Coach Munchak's Aug. 20 Practice Report

Posted Aug 20, 2013

HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK

(on starting practice with rotational drills)

We just worked on some ball drills to start, some things we don’t get a chance to work on a lot like blocking punts. We made four or five groups of five stations and worked on that drill and catching balls off the jugs. A lot of times the defensive guys don’t get as many opportunities to do that. We did some pursuit drills which a lot of times offensive guys don’t get a chance on interceptions. So just drills like that to change up the warm-up. We worked on some things we don’t do enough of like trying to strip the ball, so all different guys were trying to strip the ball and the ball carrier. With the offensive line, we had a chance to do that on interceptions or the pursuit on an interception. We did 20 minutes of that which was good, then we got into practice.

(on coaches spending time with guys they don’t typically coach)

Yeah. We teach them the technique, some ball technique, and to focus on the ball. We all know how important the ball is on every play so it’s just kind of emphasizing that.

(On Delanie Walker’s contributions at practice)

He did well. We kept him out of the warm-up in the beginning with the other guys just to avoid injury, but once we got to practice he did all the team stuff. He’s able to do normal rotations, and we did two team periods and two defensive periods. We did more of a need period, so it was more carding. It wasn’t competing against the defense at that high speed like yesterday was with more competition. Today we carded things the offense wanted to see, and we did the same thing for the defense. Tomorrow we’ll start on Atlanta. He got through things pretty well, so that was encouraging. Tomorrow, again, we’ll continue to pick it up.

(on using scout teams at practice)

Yeah. We carded it. They were going off cards because there are certain things our defense needs to see that our offense doesn’t do and needs to work on as we go into the first couple games in the season. Same thing with the offense. There are certain blitzes we want to see that we may get used to picking up that our defense doesn’t run. So, we kind of picked this as a practice where we carded it so the tempo is what it is when you have cards. But, it was still a good teaching work for us and a good way to ease into the game week tomorrow.

(on Nate Washington getting through practice)

As far as I know he was (ok). He got through practice and was doing fine. Some guys are probably cramping. It’s humid out; this weather’s been crazy this camp for us. It was pretty humid and we need days like this. I think he’s fine.

(on Brian Schwenke practicing)

He participated. He ran all of the scout teams, did individual. He’s going to be a guy we think should be able to play this weekend. He’ll get a lot of the offensive reps tomorrow when we start working on Atlanta. Today he really just did scout reps to get his confidence back. We’d hope that he’d get through these next couple of days and play on Saturday.

(on Colin McCarthy’s recovery)

It has been a lot. We all hoped it would have been this week that he’d be available. He’s not. He’s not going to be able to play by Saturday. The goal now is now we push through next week, hoping that maybe by the end of this week he’s on the field doing some things and he plays in Minnesota.

(on what factors into the signing of Shonn Greene)

We wanted a veteran. I thought it was important to have someone. We didn’t want to count on the draft. You can find rookies in the draft, but (in terms of) running backs we want someone we felt was established, that we knew we could count on, that had carried the load that we needed him to. We’ve been very lucky that CJ (Chris Johnson) has not gotten hurt. He’s been very durable, which has been really good. We wanted to make sure we had a back that could do both things, could get us 10 or 12 carries a game, could run five times a game, could run 25 times. We thought he fit that mold. He knows how to handle that mental toughness of moving the chains and we need that. We’re seeing that in the first couple of games. I think we’ll continue to see that. He’s the kind of guy we’re looking for and that’s why he’s the guy we targeted to sign on opening day and we did.

(on concern over Shonn Greene’s carries)

I wasn’t. A year earlier he wasn’t running as much as he did a couple years. I think last year he didn’t get as many carries as he did the year before because of the way they split the backs up there, just split the workload. No, we took a good look at him physically, did as good of homework as you can do on a running back, and that is a concern at all times. But, he’s not going to come in here and start, so we’re thinking ‘hey, can he handle 12 carries a game, definitely.’ If he had to do more then we think he can handle that.  

(on productive rookie runningbacks)

We were actually going to take a third back that way. Our thinking was, maybe get a back in one of those rounds there were two or three we really liked and if the draft fell right we probably would have taken one as our third/future back kind of thing. That didn’t work in the draft, so that’s why we went looking for (Jalen) Parmele and (Jackie) Battle to fight for the third spot.  We thought we would do both, one in free agency and one in the draft, and when we got Shonn (Greene) it just changed kind of our thinking of what kind of back we needed. I thought Shonn could help us immediately, pay dividends now, and not have to worry about what he can or can’t do, and be able to do the things we needed him to do.    

(on mid-round running backs)

If we go back to the draft, we didn’t expect (Brian) Schwenke to be sitting in the fourth, so that was a great pick for us. So, that was the area we would’ve chosen one of the running backs that ended up going off the board around that third and fourth round. 

(on mistakes on defense)

I think we have some guys that got out of position, got out of positions that they can’t be in, can’t make plays in, and I think we saw that in that game in a couple of instances. Coaches figure out the limitations of their players and players know their limitations on how much you can cheat things. We caught some guys wide open in the backfield because we thought we could run with them, we thought we could let something run out there and still cover a guy and we didn’t. You take those kind of risks a little bit more in a preseason game than you would in an opener. You saw some of that last week where, we had some guys that could run well but they got caught up bluffing blitzes too much and weren’t where they needed to be, which is most important. We saw some of those plays come out in the breakdown, we talked about who had that guy, well someone was doing a little bit more than they needed to do to disguise something and got caught.  That’s the stuff you learn from, coaches say, ‘learn from that and that won’t happen again.’ You’re hoping sometimes a player needs to see that and then all of a sudden he goes ‘yeah, you’re right, I can’t do that.’ Those are some of those hard lessons you learn by giving up big plays, and it’s the preseason, and you still want to win, don’t get me wrong, it’s not excusable by any means. We don’t want those plays in preseason or whenever but sometimes that’s the cost of doing some things you want to do.

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