HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
(on the injury situation)
Obviously, (Mike) Otto is out. Sen’Derrick (Marks) will be doubtful. The rest are questionable. It will be (Jurrell) Casey (questionable), (Zac) Diles, questionable, and (Scott) Solomon, questionable.
Yeah, we just gave (Steve Hutchison) the day off yesterday. That’ll be probably something we do throughout the year with him. Pick days, and give him some time off. He’s doing well.
(on how serious
No, I think he’s fine. It’s an elbow, so it’s not something that’s going to keep him from playing. He’s doing fine.
(on if he’s OK working with other defensive linemen in case Sen’Derrick Marks doesn’t play on Sunday)
Obviously, having (Karl) Klug, and especially in this game, when they’re going to be throwing the ball quite a bit, you have him. We’re happy with
(on if he’s impressed from how quickly
Yeah, it is. When you’re told that maybe they can be back in 10 days, you kind of always question that. (Scott Solomon) is one of those guys that must be a quick healer and a lot of positive thinking, I guess. It’s great for him that he has a shot at suiting up and playing this week.
(on if he has to rotate players more this week with guys trying to get back into game shape)
You would think so, plus it being hotter this time of the year. You have to be smart with rotations, and I know most teams will rotate the D-line anyway. I think definitely in the beginning part of the season you have to be good with your guys with freshness, even the receivers. You have to be smart with that depending on what kind of game plan you’re running. If you’re doing a lot of three wides, that’s another spot, running backs, same way. You’re probably more cautious with that earlier in the season than you are later.
(on who has been named captains for this season)
(on if he has any last-minute advice for
Just be yourself, man. Go out and play. This is what he’s been waiting for. Whenever you think about playing pro football, this is finally his opportunity. It’s here and now, so just enjoy it. It’s easier said than done, obviously. All of these guys, especially a quarterback, has a lot on his mind. I think he’ll be fine. His demeanor has always been that way since we’ve been around him. Just keep it simple, don’t overload him. I think it’s one of the things as the week has gone on, we’ve probably said less and less to him as far as his first experience. I think he’s kind of heard enough of that, and he’s ready to go play that first game and get it behind him.
(on what the acquisition of
Just again, leadership with Kamerion Wimbley. We picked five captains, but the good thing is we have a lot of guys that lead. He’s another one that is that kind of guy. For the D-line, he sets the tempo for those guys. He’s had success with sacks everywhere he’s played. He’s set the bar. Like the quarterback sets it for the offense, for the D-line, I think he’s the guy that really…Those guys are all playing at his level, his competition, so I think having a guy like him...He’s in great shape, so you talk about this kind of weather, and he’s a guy that can play a lot of snaps. That’s good to have guys like that, so we’ll see. We’re excited for him, and this is the first time he’s been playing (defensive) end exclusively. I think he’s excited about getting started too.
(on how many years he was a captain)
I don’t even know. The coaches I was under, it was more of a weekly thing. I don’t know if we ever actually, until later on when I started coaching, did we start picking them.
(on what that honor should mean to a player)
I think it’s a great honor. You just don’t go through a process and say, ‘OK, let’s pick them.’ I think I talked to the team about that. It shouldn’t matter how much money you make, or how many years you’ve been in the league, or what you’ve accomplished. It’s more about what you mean to that team. If we’re having struggles or we need someone to turn to, who is that guy that you trust most on the roster. Who would you want to be there for you if need be? We don’t need a bunch of guys standing up and giving team talks or having private meetings and all that. I think it’s more about lead by example, lead on game day, say just that one line that needs to be said in the huddle or on the sideline. I think they should be proud of the fact they were picked by these guys because I think there are a lot of choices on this team, which I knew would make it hard. They should be excited. It’s not a burden by any means, it’s something they should be excited about. The fact that these guys thought enough about them to choose them, I think it’s exciting especially with the type of year we think we’re going to have.
(on if he hoped that Steve Hutchinson would come in and provide that leadership in his first year)
He’s exactly what we hoped. You bring a 12-year guy in that has his credentials and what he’s accomplished in the league. It was better this time because we’ve had the whole offseason. He’s been here since March, so these guys have gotten to know each other pretty well. I think they see what he brings to the team. I think he’s the kind of guy that can reach out to the whole team because of what he’s accomplished. I think you’ve already seen how he takes charge in the huddle, at practice or in the locker room. I think it’s good to have a guy that has accomplished what he’s accomplished. The players see him as a guy they want to lead them.
(on what the team has planned for the Goodlettsville little league team tomorrow at practice)
I think they’re coming tomorrow. They have a very busy schedule, and rightfully so. From what I hear, they’ve been enjoying the moment, and they should. I think tomorrow we’re going to get the opportunity to meet them.
(on what he expects the atmosphere to be like at LP Field on Sunday)
Obviously we’re expecting and hoping for…We know it’s sold out, we know it’s the first game. There are a lot of reasons to be very excited. I think the opponent brings another level of excitement to the game besides opening day. We’re excited about the team’s future this year, and everyone wants to kind of see how we’re going to come out of the box. I think it’s going to be something our defense hopefully can take advantage of—the crowd noise. When you have a team that may go no-huddle, be at the line of scrimmage, the more we can add to that and make that uncomfortable for them at the line of scrimmage, and maybe give the advantage to the defense in some way, that’s a huge plus. That’s what you hope when you play at home. If we can play well, then you want that for four quarters. You want to put our team in a position where the fans can really be in this thing from start to finish, and they can feel like they really made a difference in the game. They’ve done that in the past, and hopefully we’ll get that on Sunday.