HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
He didn’t do any defensive teamwork, just stuff on (scout team defense). He gave us a look, and that was good. That’s what we thought he’d do today and tomorrow. He won’t play on Saturday, but this way he’ll be able to play on Thursday night.
(on Colin’s health)
He feels good. I think he’s feeling good about where he’s at. Now it’s just doing what he’s doing now to see how sore he is after today and then getting through tomorrow and getting another good workout tomorrow. We’re assuming he’ll be ready to play next Thursday night.
(on the importance of Colin seeing action before the regular season)
I think it’s important for him. I think it’s been awhile since he’s played because of all the things he went through last year. This year I think he came in thinking he would get an opportunity to get all that behind him and that got put on hold. So, I think for him and for us it’s important for him to go out and play. So, I know he’s looking forward to it. I think he was hoping he could have played this week. If we pushed it harder, maybe he could. That’s not really worth it, and this will give him another 7-9 days to be ready to play. I think he’ll feel good coming out of that game next week.
(on Colin playing multiple positions if he doesn’t start)
He could play the two inside positions. That he could do, and he’d had to play more special teams. That’s the whole thing. If he’s not starting he has to help and contribute in other ways, and that’d be another way for him to do that. Again, there’s some packages where he could play nickel linebacker when we go to 4-2. Those are some of the things he can do. We just need to get him healthy, He needs to go on the field and prove to himself he can make it through a game and not have something else happen.
(on Colin playing special teams as a rookie)
He did some. He was on them and played them. As he started playing more, we kind of weaned him off them. He was out there his rookie year playing them, but as he started playing, we started easing him off them. Last year, he didn’t really do much of it. So, he’d have to get back in that mindset.
(on whether Colin has a chance to start in the season opener)
I think that would be hard right now to say he’s going to be out there with the first group on the first play. I think he’ll definitely contribute. I think he’ll be in packages, whether it be nickel or some other package we do. He’ll play, but I don’t know if playing a little bit at Minnesota will be enough for us to feel he’s ready to go out there and take over at the position.
(on whether it’s hard not to look at Colin as a perpetual risk)
Well, that’s why we brought in Moise (Fokou) and drafted (Zaviar) Gooden. Because we have had trouble staying healthy and we needed to upgrade the position. We’re not worrying about that. We just need him out there, and we need him to contribute. Again, last year at this time we thought he was the MVP of our defense. He was our leader. He was the guy making plays then he got hurt in the opener, and it’s kind of been rough since then. We know what he can do when he’s out there. Things happen when he’s out on the field, when he’s healthy. We know we need playmakers out there, and he needs to be one of those guys that finds a way to make that happen. So, we need to get him out there.
We’re hoping he’ll play on Thursday. He’s doing a good job. He’s doing more and more every day. He hasn’t done a lot of the offense other than the 7-on-7 and in some of our compete periods; he’s done those. When we’re doing our plays for the Atlanta games he’s stayed out of that, too, and done more of the show team so he can get his confidence up and his tempo and his pace. So, he won’t play on Saturday night, but I’m assuming he’ll play on Thursday night.
There’s a lot more of that. That’s exactly right. We’re trying different things for him and the receivers. I think we know what he’d like, so we’re trying to make him comfortable during games but we’re also trying some things maybe we wouldn’t necessarily do once we start with Pittsburgh and Houston. It’s more of stuff he likes. We obviously want him to look good. We want him to make plays. We’re trying to concentrate on what he does well.
There’s plays. That’s the whole thing, there’s so much going on. I think that’s what he’s finding that one time you’re out there and it’s a 4-3 front the other time it’s a nickel front. One time he’s chasing a linebacker and the next time it’s a DB. Last week he chased the wrong guy a couple times, but it happened to be plays where it actually helped us rather than hurt us by accident. That’s part of it with him identifying who he’s working to so he doesn’t chase people he doesn’t need to. But, he’s done a good job. He’s getting better every time out there, and we’ve been running a lot and that’s been more to his strength. Again, his pass protection is getting better. This will be another great week. I think (Jonathan) Babineaux has a good 3-technique. Those are tricks of the trade, and I think it’ll give him a good workout this weekend.
(on what makes him good at getting to linebackers)
I think he runs well. He gets off, and his technique is pretty sound. He’s a big man, so it’s hard for defensive linemen to knock him off his course. Usually when linemen are getting grabbed… it’s harder to grab someone his size as far as to keep him there. He does a good job when he’s pushing off to climb to the next level. He’ll be working with (David) Stewart and he’ll be trying just to push the guy and turn him so Stewart has a great chance to cut him. He’s so powerful that he does turn them, so the guy can’t really grab him. A lot of the guards, the smaller guys, like Andy (Levitre) would have a little harder time because he’d get snatched more and it’d be harder for him to get off the grab. So, he has to rely more on his athleticism. Again, that’s the advantage size gives you. Even though he can’t run like Andy, he gets off the line without being hampered and has more success.
That’ll be the week three starter in preseason for sure. We’re going to go that way to start and see how it all goes, and we’ll make a decision probably a couple days after that game.
Definitely. He’s a guy that’s trying to get his legs under him now. He’ll play probably pretty much most of the second half. As soon as we take the first group out, he’ll go in at center and hopefully finish the half and have him finish the fourth quarter, the second half at center. He’s just got to get in playing shape now. Now it’s the fact that I’m sure his legs are real heavy. He’s kind of like in his fourth or fifth training camp day mentality with his body after the last couple days. We need him out there, and he kind of needs to play through it. We need to see him get somebody else, and we haven’t had the chance to do that yet.
Both those guys. (Chris) Spencer played all center last week, so we’re going to put him at left guard. Fernando (Velasco) will play the right guard, and (Brian) Schwenke will play center for the remainder of the game.