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Coach Munchak's Sept. 6 Practice Report

Posted Sep 6, 2013

HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK

(on injuries heading into Sunday’s game)

Well, (Zaviar) Gooden’s going to be out. Quinn (Johnson) would be doubtful and then Akeem (Ayers) and Stew (David Stewart) should both be questionable.

(on David Stewart’s chances of playing Sunday)

I liked him. I think he’s going to be good. I think he felt better today like he was able to actually do all our other stuff, off the field stuff. He did all the walkthrough which is a decent tempo. He looked pretty good, so we’re hoping he’ll be fine.

(on what will happen in the event Quinn Johnson can’t play)

Well, we’re looking at all those options now with what the best thing to do is for that spot with the other person we have and what our options are. We’ll probably decide that sometime today.

(on whether Collin Mooney will be called up from the practice squad)

Well, he’s someone we have confidence in if that’s what we need to do. That’s the one good thing about having someone here that knows what we’re doing. So, that’ll be one of our options, but we’ll just wait and see how this thing works out.

(on other options at the fullback position)

We brought guys in, yes, to see what was out there and who’s free and what fullbacks there are and looking within our roster as far as tight ends playing this spot, too, and the game plan. All those things we’re looking at. We’re just going to have to decide something sometime today or tomorrow.

(on whether Quinn Johnson’s injury is long term)

Well, we hoped it was short term. You never know with the hamstring, or the quad I should say, if it’s going to bounce back quicker than we thought it would be. But, obviously he’s not. He’s not doing as good as we hoped. That’s one of those things where hopefully it’s next week, and we just kind of take it day-by-day. 

(on how to gauge whether David Stewart will be ready to play Sunday)

I think tomorrow will be good, too, for us. We have a practice tomorrow. Obviously, it’s a light walkthrough type practice, but it would be good if he could come out and do all those things. We’ll run about 15, 20 plays tomorrow. So, that would be a good test for him, too. If he does well then, I’d figure we’re over the hump with him. If he’s still struggling, if he’s not quite right, you wait until Sunday before the game.

(on whether David Stewart participated in today’s walkthrough)

Yeah. He did all that. The thing is he’s not getting sore. That’s something that you just have to see if he could play through. It’s one of those deals. Everyone’s different with it. I think he’s someone that has played with things like this before, so you get that confidence that he’ll be here on Sunday.

(on using last night’s NFL season opener as a teaching moment)

I think you’re always learning. I think the players, the coaches always take things on different phases of the game and learn from other teams’ mistakes. I think some plays you watch, but we’ll take things if we think it’s going to make a difference for teaching moments, whether it be special teams, offense, defense, head coach. You’re always looking for ways to do things better.

(on what the fullback’s role will look like if Quinn Johnson can’t play)

I think it depends what we decide to do at that spot depending on who plays it then it just depends on how we adjust. Really, those are the things, the decisions you make during the game. You have certain packages you like, and you just kind of see which one is working best against the team you’re playing. So, even if Quinn (Johnson) was up, it could be a situation where he wouldn’t play much depending on what we decide to do in the game. So, that’s the whole thing with that position. Sometimes you sit there and say ‘hey, how much did the fullback play?’ He played four snaps and special teams. That’s the thing with that. It’s one of those types of positions where next week he gets 20 snaps on offense. There’s a lot of factors you mentioned there that we’re going to have to consider when the game starts. Then, we’ll go with what we think is best against the Steelers.

(on how Akeem Ayers looked during practice)

Good. He got better each today. Today he did the most practicing. I think he pretty much did everything today. He participated from start to finish, so I think that was good for him. Now, again, it’s just rehabbing it today and tomorrow. You know, adrenaline kicks in, too. That’s a big part of this thing. You get a huge boost on a Sunday when it’s game day, especially opening day. You’re hoping guys that are that close are guys that will feel a lot better than you think they will come Sunday.

(on whether Akeem Ayers will be held back on Sunday)

No. The only thing he could be held back in is how much he plays. We may watch his reps because we don’t want to lose him by playing 40 snaps in the first half.

(on how practice looked overall this week)

I think we’re edgy which is good. I think we’ve been competing good within the practice periods. It’s been good. To me, we’re ready to play. We’re prepared to play. Now it’s just a matter of going out there and having some success playing and seeing where you’re at. Like last night, I’m sure those two teams weren’t quite sure what they were going to get and you just never know until you get started. We’re at that point now I think we feel confident in what we’re doing. We know our opponent. They know us. Now we just got to get to playing.

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