HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
He is okay. He went out and finished practice and that’s how this is for all these guys. It seems like three or four times a practice, hold your breath, there is a fall or a collision or something like that. So the good thing is he got up and he finished up practice. That was early in the practice, so I was real happy nothing happened to him.
Actually, I didn’t see. I was watching the quarterback. He fell on his back, so I don’t think it was anything deliberate. It was just something that happened.
(on if two-minute work is a normal camp procedure)
No, not really. I just think that you realize how many games are decided in those last couple minutes of the half or at the end of the game. Last year, we were very good, at halftime, putting points on the board and getting good chances. And then obviously a few times at the end of games to win. We did it a couple times when we made plays. I think it’s just something you keeping working at so they realize the importance of it. It’s a great competitive period. These guys are used to all the things that have come up in the situations that happen in those periods. It’s a good way to start practice with the tempo. It gets guys really competing and working hard. So, it’s a mix up. Not any more than last year. We did quite a lot of it last year.
(on going lighter in practice in preparation for Georgia)
We just did at the end. We took the shoulder pads off for the last two periods. We had them on for about 60-70 percent of the practice. We missed some things yesterday that we wanted the young guys to get, which we did. We competed in the two-minute and we got a good run period with the shoulder pads off to teach some things. We’ve had pads on for the last four days and we are traveling tomorrow and we want to get a little fresher for our time in Dalton.
(on how he and Mike Smith planned their combined practice)
I think we are more like-minded than we’re not. We coach the same type of team, so it’s going to be two practices going on at the same time. He will run the field with his offense and I’ll do the same with ours. So, I’m sure there a lot of similarities. The periods and stuff, we’ll deal with, but the way we compete is very similar. So the only thing that should be different for these guys is a different venue and different players.
(on warning players not to retaliate)
Well, that’s something that’s not live. We are not going to be tackling or cutting. That was a different line coach. I think that irritated our defensive line coach at the time. They are very different people. They are gone now. I think this practice will seem like ours here. It’s going to be competitive obviously. You may have some pushing and shoving, but the goal is to get better on both sides and stay away from those types of things. I think we will do a good job of coaching football and making sure that the players realize that.
(on splitting the first team’s repetitions between the quarterbacks in Georgia)
We will do it like we are here. It will be no different for us. Probably the first or second group will do the majority of the work though, and the younger guys might not get as much from a practice like this because that’s the thing. One of the points of this thing is to have an opportunity to have your ones against the other team’s ones and twos versus twos. Unlike in preseason, when you really maybe limit that. This is a chance for us to do it for a whole practice, so I think we want to take advantage of the work and the fact that we’re not hitting the quarterbacks in the pocket and things like that. So, hopefully we can cover a lot of situations [like] the different schemes that we have seen lately the last two weeks. So it will be good for everyone to adjust to what they are seeing.
(on week one)
I think the good thing is it’s a week of everything [being] reinstalled. We’ve had a month off, so we’ve had a chance, in the past seven or eight days, to really cover every situation that can happen in a game, from the two-minute, the four-minute, the red zone, to all different things they see offensive-defensive scheme wise, to blitzes. So, we’ve had a lot in the last 10 days. A lot of this, they’ve had before so that’s the good thing. I think it’s been good. Obviously, the biggest concern at the time is injuries. They have competed real well. The energy has been real good. I am looking forward to kind of getting into the second week. I thought the trip to the stadium yesterday worked out for a lot of good reasons because it was really good for us. And then the Atlanta thing and feeling like we have a game on Monday kind of deal because it’s something new. Then, we start the preseason and we will go on to the next phase.
(on what kind of player is
He is a guy we just signed yesterday. He has played in the league with a couple of teams. He has experience and is confident in himself. He has been here four to five hours today and already had 10-15 snaps at practice. Again he can only compete in the non-padded part of the practice, so he can’t practice tomorrow. Today he practiced when we took the pads off. It gives us a swing guy, you can put him at center. He can play both positions. If
(on what does Fernando Velasco do well)
For me I always thought he was a very confident kid. He played in the SEC at Georgia, my daughters went to Georgia, so I have a soft spot for Georgia but I think he has come in and handled it very well. Even as an un-drafted player he has always had confidence in himself. He is a strong guy and very durable since he has been here. He makes good calls during the game. The fact that he has confidence in himself gives the other players confidence in him, and we have seen that through the other years. Like I said, he has been here a long time, he understands the system and the calls. I think this is the opportunity he has been waiting on and here it is.
(on the transition from guard to center for Fernando Velasco)
He has been making the calls, he has been out here for the last couple of years. He practices a lot and has been getting a lot of reps at guard. But you can’t replace the fact that he has only started two, three games. It is still different from practice and a real game. He is a guy we have confidence in, the game is not going to be too big for him and he has already proven that so it’s a matter of him getting reps in preseason and his vision will get better and he will be quicker at making decisions. I think that is the only thing that takes a while, is getting used to seeing things quicker, making decisions and living with them knowing you are going to make mistakes.
Yes, he has been doing everything we ask of him. As far as treatment and working every day and getting up to 90 percent speed. Now it is working on cutting and seeing how his knees respond to all that. So far, so good
(on if he is happy with quarterbacks this week)
Yes, I think we have put a lot on them. I think there is a lot going on. We are asking them to check plays and protection. It’s like we are out here playing a game. We are asking them to do a lot of things. There are not sure what they are going to face or what they are going to be in for. They are handling it well and working together. Once we start Atlanta we will cut back and not do as much tomorrow. So I think it will be easier for them once we get into games when the whole playbook is in. I think it will get easier, and the game plan is now to compete against other teams.
(on any idea on when you will hear something on Kenny Britt’s situation from the commissioner’s office)
No we do not, we assume at some point we will. He is pretty busy, I’m sure. I figure in the next few weeks we will probably hear something. Usually these things get visited before the season starts. We will have to wait and see.