(on practicing in the rain)
I think we needed a night like this. We needed to play in the rain a little bit, with a wet ball. Obviously the weather was cool. It’s great to be out here this time of year. It’s unbelievable with all the weather we’ve had. So, it’s nice to have a little distraction here with the weather. You get to see balls on the ground. You get to see center exchange issues and all that stuff you avoid. It makes it more fun obviously I think when the weather is what it is. I think it was good. I think they competed well and we did a lot of different things today with hurry up, no huddle offense and working on backed up, coming off of backed up. So, a lot of good work.
I think he’s confident already. I think we gave him half of the first group reps. He started with the first group, so if they got eight snaps he got four each period. So, we thought if he got 20-25 snaps tonight it would be good for him. Besides the individual work, he got all the reps this morning, and more of the half-speed kind of practice. He felt comfortable. I knew he was going to have to work on obviously, but it’s a good, good start for him. He’s confident. Like I said, the time he spent here those 6-7 weeks made him feel more comfortable with what we’re doing. Now it’s just a matter of him getting used to the speed of the game because things will happen a lot faster than they were in June. So, I think he was just excited to get started. I mean he called us immediately after he signed yesterday and wanted myself and Coach Watterson to get his workout. He wanted to run his gassers and run through his bench test and getting everything done. He already sang to the team today. He got all of the things he wanted to get out of the way. He had a lot of time to learn the new song, and he did a good job.
(on what Warmack sang)
You’ve got to ask him. I don’t want to steal it. Maybe he’ll sing for you guys. He shouldn’t though, really, but he did a good job in front of the team today. I think they’re all happy to have him in, and they know he’s going to be a difference-maker. So, they’re excited to have him here.
(on Warmack trying out for American Idol)
No, maybe in the auditions that you see in January. I think he could make that, but that’s probably as far as he’d get.
(on the symbolism behind Warmack’s first play with the team being a run behind him)
Yeah, I think that’s what we need to be able to do. You’ve got him and (David) Stewart on that side, you should be able to. Power football at its finest. That’s why they’re here. That’s why we did the things we did. It’s the first day we’ve had all five together. We’ve been talking about it for a long time and today’s the first time we’ve had the group together. That was fun. There’s a long way to go, like we know, but it’s a good first step.
I think it’s just that he’s getting more comfortable with what we’re doing. Five days into this thing now, the speed of the game, the decision-making…he’s doing little things right. These last couple of days he’s running when things breakdown instead of trying to make something happen. He’s getting out of the pocket to buy time. I think it’s just he’s getting comfortable with what we’re doing and getting comfortable with the receivers so I think today’s one of the days where we made plays and tomorrow is probably defense’s turn. It was good to see the competition.
(on practice translating over to games)
Well it’s confidence. You just want him to have the confidence. It’d be a bad deal if he’s out here not doing well. It’s hard to carry that to a game. So you want to carry confidence. You want to carry the fact that you’re playing against a good defense group, that you’re making plays. These guys are getting confidence with each other. As the offensive line, the quarterback, the running backs…these guys have to all come together on that side of the ball and I think you’re seeing some of that. It’s only been a week. We have a lot of things to do. You want to go into the preseason feeling like you’re headed in the right direction.
(on what you look for out of a pistol from the offense)
Most people understand that it’s the running backs behind the quarterback. So, it doesn’t quite tipoff all exactly what runs you can do and the back’s offset. The offense has more options of what they could or can’t do. It’s something we’ve done in practice before and never really did much of it in games even with Vince we didn’t do much of that. I think it adds that to it. As far as that, the quarterback doesn’t have to run at all in that package. You could do all of your offense out of that package. That’s not necessarily going to be read option or anything but obviously you could do that. So, it just allows you to do more. It makes the defense have to prepare for more. It’s something that’s simple really to add and has its advantages. So, we’ll be doing a little of everything.
(on crisp execution during practice)
That’s the fun part about installation is a lot of these plays, the first couple, three, four days, you’re thinking with a script. You’re running some plays that maybe you’re not really excited about running versus the defense and same thing for the defensive side of the ball. Now that you’re getting into the fifth day, now you’re starting to open up the playbook, and now you’re starting to do compliments off your zone game, compliments off your power game. Misdirection things that start opening up because people play your tendencies in practice. You’ll see plays like that around. We have skill players that can make those plays. We have guys that can throw the football. So, we’d be foolish not to find ways to make plays with those guys, and I think that’s what you’ll see us do throughout the season. The way of success is ‘build off of what you do well.’ And the defenses have a hard time. Do you want to stop this or stop that? Tonight we had a couple of them, but those things are hit or miss. They can look real ugly real quick or they can look good, like tonight.
(on the decision to practice in the rain)
We knew there wasn’t going to be any thunder and lightning from the radar. It was more the field. I just didn’t want guys slipping and sliding and getting hurt. If that was the case we would’ve stayed inside. When we came out here the field drained very well we felt. We’d rather get the workout outside because if we go inside there’s six or seven guys that don’t practice because that field is hard to be on. We wanted to get a lot of this green zone work in and things we wanted to do. We felt it would be better for the team. I know these guys want to be out here when they can be. We knew the fans were coming. We didn’t know how many would show up, but we were really excited they hung with us and believed that we’d stay outside. I think the players really appreciated all that, that they stayed out and watched practice.
(on the offense getting the best of the defense because of the rain)
I think so. There’s no doubt that it’s harder. I mean, there’s times where you can’t see the defense had nice plays where the quarterback wasn’t able to make a certain throw because of pressure. Those guys have done a great job of pulling off the quarterback. There was quite a few of those plays too in there, where the defense could’ve stopped some of those plays that maybe happened. It’s a nice give and take. You want to see that on both sides. The offense does look confident, made some plays. So I think it’s good. Good for this team. Again, it’s good for both sides of the ball to have things go good, go bad, and see how they handle it.
(on if no huddle offense is best for Jake and receivers)I think Jake is good at it and will be good at it. I think it’s something that we always carry. Our defense needs to work on it because there are so many teams that are thinking that’s the way to go now. So, you don’t know how many teams are going to be adding that next because I can get x amount of plays in. This is the new fad, and we don’t know how many teams are going to have it. Our defense has to be comfortable dealing with that because it can be frustrating if you don’t feel like you have a plan for it. We need to work on those type of things like most teams do this time of year, to make sure that when it does come up in Pittsburgh or wherever, the defense feels confident handling that situation.