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Coach Munchak's Sept. 5 Practice Report

Posted Sep 5, 2013

HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK

(on whether Jake Locker’s ability to run is an asset)

I think that’ll add to it. I think you’re going to see some yards probably every week from the quarterback position, not just plays we call for him but plays where he’ll just make plays on plays that break down. He has that ability to go ahead and hopefully extend drives. That’s the plus side. You hope he’s not having to run that often. That’s not our goal by any means. I mean, when you have someone who is a good athlete, that’s going to be part of the game.

(on his confidence in Chris Johnson’s ability to start the season strong)

That’s the plan obviously. We’re going against a team with the number one defense in the league usually year in and year out against the run, so we know what a challenge that’s going to be. We just can’t get frustrated early. Our expectations are high. It’s not just going to be judged on one game. There’s no doubt we want to start off well, though. He’ll get his touches, and we just got to know that if it doesn’t start off early with someone in that game, we have to take over the line of scrimmage and start busting some runs through there if we’re going to have success on Sundays. It all needs to come together. Hopefully, if we do what we got to do, we’ll win the football game and he has a good game.

(on whether Chris Johnson looks good entering the regular season)

We think he is. There’s nothing telling us he’s not. He’s had great workouts. He hasn’t missed a day of practice. He’s been healthy. He likes what we’re doing. He’s gotten a lot of carries in the preseason, more so than a lot of starting running backs did. So, we feel good about where he’s at. Now it’s just a matter of going out and him playing well and us blocking well.

(on what percentage of carries Chris Johnson and Shonn Greene will have)

I think it’s going to be something that’s just going to develop just like preseason we weren’t quite sure how that would go and how many carries they’d get. We had drives where they were both playing the first quarter. There’s no plan really other than we know who’s going to start the game. After that, anything’s possible.

(on whether Chris Johnson needs to have a good game against Pittsburgh)

It’s not a personal thing. It’s not one guy has to have a good game. Obviously, we all go to have one. He’s one of your star players, so you need your best players to play their best. No doubt about it. He’s one of our best players. Mike (Michael) Roos is one of our best players, he needs to do a great job at left tackle. I think it’s everyone. It’s not just on his shoulders. It’s on all our shoulders to step up and make plays on Sunday. That goes for everybody. The guys that have the bigger name, the quarterback, the left tackle, the running back, they’re going to be guys that expectations are higher for them. No doubt about it. But, again, a lot of guys need to play well if we’re going to win.

(on expectations for Jurrell Casey)

I’ve liked him since the day we drafted him and the way he’s come in. His attitude, his effort has always been there. Last year, he just never really got it going with the injuries early, but he’s a guy that I know is hard to block. I know from watching him playing guys at defensive tackle that he’s a guy that’s active. He’s a guy that gives a lot of guards trouble. So, we need him to play well. We need someone to rise up. If we’re going to be a good team this year, we need guys like the people I’m talking about to rise up and make plays that people don’t expect to have happen. There’s talent on this football team. We just got to show it on Sundays.

(on whether Justin Hunter or Michael Preston will be the team’s fifth receiver)

I think the debate’s more about what’s best for the team, possibly with the special teams angle. It’s not necessarily who’s the best player. It’ll be more about if we have to go five, why are we going five. Which receiver is nicked is the first thing and then what’s the status with the rest of the positions. We know that Mike P. (Michael Preston) can play a lot of special teams plays. That’s not necessarily something Justin’s going to do. You weigh those things. Now, if someone’s hurt, that’s a different story. If you’re replacing someone, then you look at it completely different.

(on whether Justin Hunter will be inactive Sundays)

Again, if we’re healthy, if there’s no injuries, I’d think we just suit four.

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