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Coach Munchak's Monday Camp Report

Posted Aug 8, 2011

HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK

(opening remarks)

Let me just say, as we all know Cortland (Finnegan) missed practice on Saturday. He came in today and took responsibility for his actions and we had some great talks with myself and Jerry (Gray) and Mike Reinfeldt. We got a good understanding what his thinking was, he will be fined for missing practice, and we are just going to move on from there. He reported in time for curfew last night, he was here obviously in the morning for workouts and the practice this afternoon. We feel that we got things under control and are ready to move forward. Like I said, he missed Saturday so he will be accountable for his actions that day.

(on if there will be any long-term ramifications to the Cortland Finnegan situation)

I don’t think so. Unfortunately there is a business side of it, and this is business side of this profession. He knows he should have been there on Saturday. He feels bad about that now. At the time he thought he was doing what was right, but now realizes it probably wasn’t. He has been here awhile and he is a big part of this team with family here and he will come in and work hard. We know he is a very good football player and we are counting on him helping us this year.

(on if there will be any discipline other than a fine for Cortland Finnegan)

I don’t think so. I think that serves the point. If there were some other issues going on, if there was something else going on than this, then maybe we would do something differently. He missed the one day. He explained why to you just now, and to me earlier along with the rest of us and we feel we have an understanding going forward. He knows that that’s not the way to handle the situation in the future. If something happens in the future, then maybe it will be different, but for now we did what we need to do and it’s time to move forward.

(on about how Cortland Finnegan went on twitter and made statements that contradicted the staff’s and if it troubled him)

I think that was part of the confusion. That’s the problem with all of those different ways to reach people. I didn’t really pay attention to that. I didn’t really hear much about that.  All I know is on Saturday he wasn’t here and we couldn’t reach him. Then we finally did in the afternoon, and he came in on time like he said he would. He said he would be here for curfew last night, which he was. We told him we would talk first thing in the morning and we did. He has done everything he said he would do from Saturday afternoon when he talked to Jerry (Gray). He is back to doing just like he was eight days before this happened. He is doing everything that’s asked of him, he is working great, looked good, and that’s why we were kind of surprised on Saturday when he wasn’t there.

(on if he can trust Cortland Finnegan)

Trust is something you have to continue to earn, we all know that. You just don’t forget stuff.  You forgive some of those things that happened and you move forward because that’s part of the business. Guys are going to make mistakes, and he knows the consequences of doing that, especially going forward. I think now we will be fine. I know how important the game is to him. I know how important his team is to him, and I don’t think he realized what taking a step back for a day, what it would mean to his teammates other than just himself.

(on if there is damage to the locker room with Cortland Finnegan’s actions)

I don’t think so; I think it’s something long term maybe. This got a little ugly for some reason maybe, but I think the fact that it’s a one day situation. He came right in and we got it worked out.  He has already stressed to you about how he feels about what he did, and is just going to move forward.

(on if he reminds the other 22 players with one year left on their contract to let the agents handle the contracts and you just focus on football)

Well I think that’s what coaches and front office people definitely say. I think it’s business and everyone looks at it differently and when it happened to them, people respond in different ways. Some guys will hold out, some guys will never hold out. They are all different personalities and there are all different agents that encourage these guys, so I think every situation is a little different as a general rule of thumb. There are a lot of people in his situation on this team and Mike Reinfeldt has done a great job to this point with all of the moves we have made since we have been here besides sign all the rookies, the free agents, bringing in the NFL free agents, there is a lot happening. He has been talking to Cortland’s agent; he has been talking to other agents, so a lot is happening. It’s just a matter of that everyone wants theirs to be first. Unfortunately you can’t get it all done at one time and I think he is realizing that now.

(on whether or not Cortland Finnegan got bad advice)

Yeah, I don’t know. I think ultimately the player is responsible for his actions and what he decides to do and who he listens to. You hire an agent for a reason. You’re hoping he’s giving you good advice. I think he’ll have to decide who advised him in this situation. If someone else did, then maybe it’s someone he shouldn’t ask for advice again if he is going to give him advice that doesn’t really pan out the way he hopes. I think it’s hard for us to know the answer to that question.

(on whether or not Mike Munchak ever thought about holding out during his playing days )

Not when I was under contract. I think I held out my last year for a week. They actually told me not to come in because my knee was so sore; they didn’t want me to be in training camp. I think I had an official holdout when I was under contract in my 11th year maybe.

(on Mike Munchak  understanding a players’ reasoning for holding out)

For me, I definitely see it when your contract is up. If my contract is up, I understand a guy going for what’s best. This is a profession that is short lived. Your last snap could be any practice, any play, so I realize that. All of these guys don’t get paid like people think they might. I think you deserve what you’re entitled to and one of the ways is holding out. I think it is a little different when you’re under contract unless something was truly done wrong to you; if something was done wrong to you to make you feel like you should hold out. I think that’s unnecessary. If you sign a contract, in my opinion, you live up to your contract. In people’s cases, a lot of times I’ve seen guys come in and say ‘you know what you are being underpaid. We’ll tear the contract up and redo it.’ I mean, there are a lot of different circumstances, but the general rule of thumb I think is that if you have a contract, you should honor it.

(on whether or not he has called Chris Johnson)

No, I have not talked to him since the day before he held out. I let Mike Reinfeldt handle that through talking with his agent. I’m not sure who he is talking with, but at this point it’s all business right now with him. I’m just kind of staying out of that one.

(on Cortland Finnegan’s fine for leaving camp )

Yeah, well it’s considered a day missed. It’s a new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement), so yeah I think they have upped the fines a little bit. I’m not sure of the exact amounts.

(on Jason McCourty being listed as a starter on yesterday’s (8/7/11) depth chart)

Right now, not much goes into those decisions as far as determining who is going to be starting on opening day. I think you have injuries when you come to practice. You have guys that are nicked and can’t go as much. You’re trying to get combinations to put there. On Saturday Cortland (Finnegan) wasn’t here, so you had another hole in the roster. I think at any position we’re doing that every day. That’s why you’re afraid to even put a depth chart out because people take it the wrong way. Sometimes players do; like who you’re putting first, who you’re putting in second. Something we have going on this year is that we have some great competition at a lot of spots where I don’t think anyone really knows who may start and who may not. Mike’s (Reinfeldt) been doing a good job. Him and Ruston (Webster) have been doing a good job of bringing in different players, especially in the secondary the last couple of days to help improve that competition level. I think we have a lot of unknowns right now at certain positions. We have a lot of good competition and I hope we keep it that way.

(on how the team will prepare for its first game versus the Minnesota Vikings)

The next two days are training camp, this week I’m saying, and Thursday we will set our sights on the Minnesota (Vikings). We’ll change the tempo at practices a lot with what we’ll do, but we’ve got two more good days of work. We still have things we want to cover and kind of blend that in with what we’re going to do against Minnesota.

(on how he will determine his approach to the season opener)

I think it’s similar to the past. We’ve had our work. We are 10 days in this thing now almost. We’ve had a lot of reps, we’ve had a lot of practices, and it has worked out pretty well. We haven’t been bothered by weather, so I think it will probably be similar to most as far as how much we play. We’ll talk about that more as we get through the week to see how our health is at certain positions. That’s something usually Wednesday night we’ll start really thinking about who do we not want to play, who is going to play, how much do we want them to play, the quarterbacks, that kind of thing. That is something as we get to Wednesday and we see the health of the roster, we’ll determine how much we want to play.

(on if he is encouraged to see Kenny (Britt) doing a little work at practice)

Yes, he’s on track like we thought. We’re hoping to get him in each day more and more with the pads on and getting used to practicing. Today was a lot of individuals and things, but I think he’s progressing like we hoped. Hopefully he can finish strong this week.

(on Sen’Derrick Marks’ rehabilitation going slower than expected)

I think we knew that with the shoulder. I don’t know if there is a timetable yet; he had surgery (March). That shoulder is going to be a little longer than what we thought it was going to be. I’d probably say another week or two; we’ve got to be careful with him, that’s all. It’s just a matter of now seeing once he puts pads on and things like that how his shoulder responds.

(on the reason for bringing in Pat McQuistan to camp)

Well, the same thing: Competition, depth, he’s played some tackle. (Michael) Roos missed a couple of days as you guys know with his back. You start thinking about getting through practices, getting through games. He’s played a lot of right tackle, played some guard, so he brings some versatility. He’s been in the NFL and he has some starts. I think that’s important when you’re trying to play, especially when you’re playing a young quarterback and a veteran quarterback; you want to have a good line out there to protect them. He was a guy we thought would fill a need to help us with the rotation with that second group.

(on whether or not Michael Roos will play in the game this week)

I think he feels real good; he’s going to play. I don’t think there is any doubt about it. Usually those guys aren’t going to play a ton. Like last year when I had him, he was probably the first guy we’d take out if we were going to take linemen out. It’s the same thing, we want those five (offensive linemen) working together getting so many reps. I think offensive line is different than any other position as far as needing work together. I think you usually see guys play more than most positions.

(on if Damian Williams’ injury will keep him out for a while)

I don’t think so. I think we’re happy. I mean he’s sore as heck in that chest. That’s a tough one when you get the ribs and all that, but I know tomorrow he’ll try to do a lot more. We’re hoping the pain is tolerable before he feels comfortable playing.

(on whether or not Cortland Finnegan got bad advice)

Yeah, I don’t know. I think ultimately the player is responsible for his actions and what he decides to do and who he listens to. You hire an agent for a reason. You’re hoping he’s giving you good advice. I think he’ll have to decide who advised him in this situation. If someone else did, then maybe it’s someone he shouldn’t ask for advice again if he is going to give him advice that doesn’t really pan out the way he hopes. I think it’s hard for us to know the answer to that question.

(on whether or not Mike Munchak ever thought about holding out during his playing days )

Not when I was under contract. I think I held out my last year for a week. They actually told me not to come in because my knee was so sore; they didn’t want me to be in training camp. I think I had an official holdout when I was under contract in my 11th year maybe.

(on Mike Munchak  understanding a players’ reasoning for holding out)

For me, I definitely see it when your contract is up. If my contract is up, I understand a guy going for what’s best. This is a profession that is short lived. Your last snap could be any practice, any play, so I realize that. All of these guys don’t get paid like people think they might. I think you deserve what you’re entitled to and one of the ways is holding out. I think it is a little different when you’re under contract unless something was truly done wrong to you; if something was done wrong to you to make you feel like you should hold out. I think that’s unnecessary. If you sign a contract, in my opinion, you live up to your contract. In people’s cases, a lot of times I’ve seen guys come in and say ‘you know what you are being underpaid. We’ll tear the contract up and redo it.’ I mean, there are a lot of different circumstances, but the general rule of thumb I think is that if you have a contract, you should honor it.

(on whether or not he has called Chris Johnson)

No, I have not talked to him since the day before he held out. I let Mike Reinfeldt handle that through talking with his agent. I’m not sure who he is talking with, but at this point it’s all business right now with him. I’m just kind of staying out of that one.

(on Cortland Finnegan’s fine for leaving camp )

Yeah, well it’s considered a day missed. It’s a new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement), so yeah I think they have upped the fines a little bit. I’m not sure of the exact amounts.

(on Jason McCourty being listed as a starter on yesterday’s (8/7/11) depth chart)

Right now, not much goes into those decisions as far as determining who is going to be starting on opening day. I think you have injuries when you come to practice. You have guys that are nicked and can’t go as much. You’re trying to get combinations to put there. On Saturday Cortland (Finnegan) wasn’t here, so you had another hole in the roster. I think at any position we’re doing that every day. That’s why you’re afraid to even put a depth chart out because people take it the wrong way. Sometimes players do; like who you’re putting first, who you’re putting in second. Something we have going on this year is that we have some great competition at a lot of spots where I don’t think anyone really knows who may start and who may not. Mike’s (Reinfeldt) been doing a good job. Him and Ruston (Webster) have been doing a good job of bringing in different players, especially in the secondary the last couple of days to help improve that competition level. I think we have a lot of unknowns right now at certain positions. We have a lot of good competition and I hope we keep it that way.

(on how the team will prepare for its first game versus the Minnesota Vikings)

The next two days are training camp, this week I’m saying, and Thursday we will set our sights on the Minnesota (Vikings). We’ll change the tempo at practices a lot with what we’ll do, but we’ve got two more good days of work. We still have things we want to cover and kind of blend that in with what we’re going to do against Minnesota.

(on how he will determine his approach to the season opener)

I think it’s similar to the past. We’ve had our work. We are 10 days in this thing now almost. We’ve had a lot of reps, we’ve had a lot of practices, and it has worked out pretty well. We haven’t been bothered by weather, so I think it will probably be similar to most as far as how much we play. We’ll talk about that more as we get through the week to see how our health is at certain positions. That’s something usually Wednesday night we’ll start really thinking about who do we not want to play, who is going to play, how much do we want them to play, the quarterbacks, that kind of thing. That is something as we get to Wednesday and we see the health of the roster, we’ll determine how much we want to play.

(on if he is encouraged to see Kenny (Britt) doing a little work at practice)

Yes, he’s on track like we thought. We’re hoping to get him in each day more and more with the pads on and getting used to practicing. Today was a lot of individuals and things, but I think he’s progressing like we hoped. Hopefully he can finish strong this week.

(on Sen’Derrick Marks’ rehabilitation going slower than expected)

I think we knew that with the shoulder. I don’t know if there is a timetable yet; he had surgery (March). That shoulder is going to be a little longer than what we thought it was going to be. I’d probably say another week or two; we’ve got to be careful with him, that’s all. It’s just a matter of now seeing once he puts pads on and things like that how his shoulder responds.

(on the reason for bringing in Pat McQuistan to camp)

Well, the same thing: Competition, depth, he’s played some tackle. (Michael) Roos missed a couple of days as you guys know with his back. You start thinking about getting through practices, getting through games. He’s played a lot of right tackle, played some guard, so he brings some versatility. He’s been in the NFL and he has some starts. I think that’s important when you’re trying to play, especially when you’re playing a young quarterback and a veteran quarterback; you want to have a good line out there to protect them. He was a guy we thought would fill a need to help us with the rotation with that second group.

(on whether or not Michael Roos will play in the game this week)

I think he feels real good; he’s going to play. I don’t think there is any doubt about it. Usually those guys aren’t going to play a ton. Like last year when I had him, he was probably the first guy we’d take out if we were going to take linemen out. It’s the same thing, we want those five (offensive linemen) working together getting so many reps. I think offensive line is different than any other position as far as needing work together. I think you usually see guys play more than most positions.

(on if Damian Williams’ injury will keep him out for a while)

I don’t think so. I think we’re happy. I mean he’s sore as heck in that chest. That’s a tough one when you get the ribs and all that, but I know tomorrow he’ll try to do a lot more. We’re hoping the pain is tolerable before he feels comfortable playing.

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