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Coach Munchak's Friday Camp Report

Posted Aug 5, 2011

HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK

(opening remarks)

We are real happy the weather held out. We thought that after this afternoon, we weren’t going to get out here this afternoon because we had a lot of team work today. We didn’t do a lot of seven-on-seven, it was all this period, four-minute, two-minute team runs, so we had a great work day today. The weather was awesome, so I think we were able to do a lot more today, a lot more reps. So, it was great and I’m looking forward to finishing up tomorrow and finishing out the week.

(on what he sees in LB Akeem Ayers to have him play with the first team)

Well I think when we drafted him, he was a need. He was the type of linebacker that we just didn’t have. So when we drafted him, we knew we would probably put him in there pretty early for that reason. He has done a nice job. He is learning, and going against some good tight ends every day with Craig Stevens and now (Daniel) Graham and he is only going to get better and better every week. He has shown a lot of strength too. He is adapting well so it’s been fun watching him so far.

(on if he thinks the team is ready for a scrimmage type of atmosphere)

I think today was the same type of atmosphere. We were on the sidelines a little bit more, a little more game like substituting from the sidelines. We started doing that a little bit more the whole practice today pretty much to see how they would handle themselves, and they all did pretty well. Tomorrow is just going to give them a chance to go to LP and just see what that’s all about. A lot of these guys have never been over there, so like I said earlier, we are just going to go through it like it’s a game day. It’s a two o’clock game and we are going to do all of the things that we normally do to get ready so everyone is comfortable with how it is with the layout. Once we start practice, it will be more of controlled situations. It will be full pads but it won’t be an actual game, but we will play situations with special teams mixed in.

(on what type of atmosphere he expects at the scrimmage)

I don’t know. It’s open obviously to the public, so hopefully whoever is interested in coming out, hopefully it will be a day like this and we will probably get a big turnout. If the sun’s not out, it will be awesome. We are just excited to get over there and get off this field and get a change of venue and that will be nice.

(on if there will be full tackling)

We probably won’t tackle to the ground because of the numbers and because of the fact that a lot of the guys just got back yesterday, and the guys we added today. We are still going to be short in some areas because a lot of those guys aren’t going to be doing as much work as they normally would. We don’t really have three deep at a lot of positions. If we did, then we would probably usually have a rookie period where the younger guys would maybe do a 15-play tackling deal, but we will probably hold off on that one.

(on the teams conditioning one week into camp)

I think everyone worked, it’s just a matter of it’s a different type of work. It’s a different type of in-shape. You can’t really work out with your shoulder pads and your helmet and having guys 300 pounds hitting on you and stuff like that. We didn’t do any conditioning this week other than the test for that reason, knowing that they were going to be on their feet twice a day most days, and then next week that’s something that we can start working back in. We will finish up tomorrow with a great workout, then they get a day off, then starting Monday with a different mentality.

(on former Titans LB David Thornton and what made him a special player)

He is just real smart. He was a smart player, a great team leader, and came in here at a time when we really needed his leadership. Coming from Indianapolis… and all that, he was just a great addition and like I said a need at the time. He was a smart player, diagnosed things real quick, made his plays, and he was a great leader in the locker room.

(on Jordan Babineaux competing for a starting job)

He’s definitely going to compete. I mean a guy would hate to hear you brought him in to backup, but yeah at this time it’s so early. He’s got the advantage of knowing Jerry (Gray), working with Jerry last year in his system so they’re familiar with each other which is a huge plus for an athlete; so he’s coming here already knowing the system, which is like I said a big plus. We’re hoping that all these guys compete, and they have to compete like they’re going to start because one injury and they are starting. We want that mentality that they feel they can start and play in this game.

(on first day  impressions of Jordan Babineaux )

Just happy he can come in one day and actually go through drills and do some things, and like I said because he knows what he’s doing here with this system it was easier to insert him in today to do some work with the second group.

(on coach Mike Munchak’s talk with Cortland Finnegan after becoming head coach)

Just like a lot of the guys, I had a talk with him (Finnegan) too. We sat and talked just about his value to the team; I thanked him for the great work he did in the off-season with the players, stepping up and being a leader, encouraging guys to come back in town back in June to work out, I think that was a huge plus for the team and for him to show that that’s the kind of player he wants to be; not only a great player, but a leader, so we had that kind of talk. I think he kind of wanted to wait and see what this staff was all about. I don’t think he knew most of the coaches yet. I think he’s very happy with what he saw when he came in the door, working with Jerry (Gray) and Marcus (Robinson), and the rest of the guys. I think he’s going to have a great year. I think Jerry is going to put him in position to make some great plays, and hopefully he’s excited about that, obviously we’ll all be too if he does it.

(on Cortland Finnegan’s feistiness)

I think that’s part of his makeup. I mean, he’s going to have that feistiness and that aggression. That’s how he plays. That’s going to be his trademark forever. I don’t think it’ll go away; it’s just about being smart with decision-making, knowing when to stop and when enough’s enough, and I think he’ll make better decisions that way, but you wouldn’t want him to change his demeanor. I think he brings that attitude that is fun to watch, I think people like watching the way he plays like that. You just have to be smart that it doesn’t go over the line where it creates a penalty on us.

(on Damian Williams’ injury)

Damian (Williams) had a rib right at the end of the two-minute, so he’s a little sore. We’ll do some tests to see exactly where that is at. We don’t think it’s anything serious, but we’ll wait and see on that. Guys are getting bumps and bruises right now, but other than the two Achillies earlier the first couple of days, we’ve been very fortunate that guys are just getting the normal bumps and bruises, but they may need a rest here and there for a day or so, but overall, pretty good.

(on Michael Roos’ timetable to return to practice)

I think he’s feeling a lot better today and I think he’s a guy, even if he feels great tomorrow, it makes sense to probably let the other guys go. Now that we have (Mike) Otto in here, we have plenty of tackles and we can probably give him a couple of days more rest. We may do that with some other guys just so come Monday we have everyone back and we’re at full strength out here for Monday.

(on at what point Chris Johnson’s absence becomes an issue )

I think everyone’s stayed calm. They know he’s going to be here, they know it’s not going to take him a lot of work to get ready. Like I said, I’m sure he’s in great shape, so I don’t think there’s been much talk about it. We all know how important he is and at some point he’ll be here. We want him here sooner than later, but I don’t think there’s any timetable on that. I think we would just be happy to get him back. 

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