HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
(on the team looking a little tired and taking the pads off halfway through practice)
Well I think we reached that point where we needed to give a couple guys, with 10 or 11 guys not practicing because of the CBA thing that we wanted to be careful. Some of the guys were getting a little sore, especially the older guys. We knew we were going to come out this afternoon for half the time and take them off for the second half. We thought this would be a good chance to rest.
(on if the Eagles player having a seizure this morning makes him a little more nervous)
I think you have to be careful and obviously cautious with what you are doing. Luckily, there was this breeze. If the breeze wasn’t this good we probably would have had to adjust practice a little bit. We kept an eye on it. We cut back some periods here and there and a lot of our stuff was in the red zone so there wasn’t a lot of running. The field was a lot shorter so we were working in the 20, 10, five yard area. So there was a lot less running then there has been the last few nights. Because of that, we felt we could do more today. We kept a close eye on them, that’s why we took the pads off right away. We knew we were going to come out and do some run work and some individual work, then get them off and get some work and get off the field.
(on getting QB
Well we are looking forward to it and we hope it doesn’t change, him along with 10 others. We are excited about the reinforcements coming in tomorrow. We get to get this this team together all on the field for the first time, so that’s going to be exciting.
(on if he talks to the waiting players about what they can do to help the team)
They are doing everything they can do. They have been in meetings; a lot of them have been meeting extra with their coaches because of what they are missing on the field. They are the ones that are probably getting pretty bored of standing and not being able to practice. I think we are all at that point where we are excited to get them back and get the roster where it needs to be and start doing some of the different rotations that we are looking forward to doing. We will have to be smart. They will be starting practice tomorrow evening I’m assuming, so in that case we will have to ease them in too. We will have to be careful on what we are actually doing in practice because we are easing in 11 or 12 new guys. So, we may have to make some adjustments to what we are doing tomorrow.
(on two players suffering the same injury so far in camp and if it’s coincidence, or maybe a trend due to no off-season camps)
I don’t think so. I’m sure that people will try to figure that out but I don’t know. Accidents happen, things happen, maybe that has part to do with it but it’s amazing in this game how easy it is to get hurt. Both of those injuries were non-contact when they happened. You could be out here and watch five or six other guys get their legs caught in piles and you think something bad is going to happen, and they walk out without an issue. This game has always been that way. I’m sure that there is something that they can relate to that, but I’m not sure that we can blame it all on that.
He’s been fun. That guy makes plays, he’s one of those guys that’s got a feel for the game and I think Chris has taken a good look to give him a little more reps in there so he can get some confidence and maybe he can help us in other ways than just return the game. So, that’s what he’s been doing, and you know as I said he’s crafty, he has a feel for the game, and he can help us any time he’s on the field; he’s that kind of guy. So, I think we’re just going to find stuff he’s good at, so we know that when we’re going into the game that there’s maybe certain things he can do for us.
Well he has the last few years with Chris (Johnson), when he wasn’t here. So, he knows how we feel about him and like I’ve said he’s a great zone runner, fits what we want to do real well, hits the hole really quick. So yeah that’s why I’m saying, we want Chris here no doubt, we know he’s our guy, but will give him time and more reps in preseason and hopefully we’ll have Chris in by then. So he’ll still get as many reps; if Chris is here or not he’s still going to get the same kind of work he’s getting. He’s just going to get the benefit of the first offensive line with him more than he normally would.
(on the veterans being able to go tomorrow)
This last week here or 10 days has been a whole thing about moving; everything has been kind of adjusting. So, we will be ready to adjust, if it’s not they’ll have a lot of guys in the league upset because I know that they are dying to get involved in football. So, I think we’re all planning that that’s going to be the case until we are told otherwise.
(on physicality of today’s practice after last night)
Well, we came out with the pads on, not on the legs but just the shoulder pads; and we knew we were going to go out and do some individual work, wanted to get some pass rush stuff with the running backs and linebackers because a lot of times you don’t get that work done…so we had a really good session there with the tight ends, running backs, and linebackers. We wanted another team run period; another 15 plays of team run with the pads on and then we take them off for the next three. So, we did kind of what we thought; all we did was really cut out four reps in the last couple of periods because we didn’t have as many guys.
(on plan for Saturday)
We’re going to go to the stadium like we are playing a game; we all need a trial run, myself included. We’re going to start here and have a couple of meetings, probably get started at 2:00 PM, so we’ll do that pre-game meal at 10 O’clock…the usual thing is you pre-game about four hours a game, and then we’re planning on having them get started by 2:00 PM. So, we’re going to go over there and warm-up like we are playing a game; be over there two and a half hours before the game starts, and get in the locker room, and get taped, do all the things… stretch and so all the young guys get a feel for exactly what it’s going to be like next Saturday; go out and warm-up like we’re warming-up for a game and then we’ll just stay out there and do situational stuff. It’s going to be controlled work; it’s going to be in pads. We’re going to cover a lot of situations, four-minute, two-minute, first-and-10s, special teams, going in at halftime so these guys can get a feel for what it’s like to take 12 minutes off; walk in there, how quickly that time goes. So, we’re going to kind of put them through all that; that’s our plan for Saturday. It’s obviously not going to be as long as a game, but I think it will get everyone of us. The coaches are getting headsets up in the press box, and just be real game like.
(on coordinators being on the field or in the press box)
No, they’ll be on the sidelines. Chris (Palmer) will start on the sidelines, so will Jerry (Gray). That’s the experiment part; it gives us an extra day to kind of get a feel for that. I don’t want to have it next Saturday night where we’re not used to each other, not used to the guy that comes running on with the pictures, so I think it’s a chance to get a good practice session for all areas of the game.
I think the same goes for me when I was coaching Kevin last year, as close as I am to him. I think once you start football, and meeting, and on the field time, you don’t really think about it all. You just coach him. You coach him like you coach the rest of them and you are on him the same way. When you step back, the first time last year was it came down to last cuts. That’s when it kind of hit me who he was and how it would effect not just him but his family. I think that’s helped Bruce (Matthews) a bit. I think it’s going to be a little nerve-racking when it’s that time of year for them. But other than that I think it’s great to have your son around I’m sure. He has been coaching for a long time. Like I said, I think he is the same way. He will be coaching the same way and he will be pushing him like the rest of them and hoping he makes the team.
(on OL Kevin Matthews’ progression last season)
He is the perfect example of a guy that doesn’t get drafted and then makes the practice squad, and then all of a sudden there are two injuries and all of the sudden he is suited up. Then he gets in the Kansas City game for about seven reps and then next thing you know he is starting the last game of the season. It just shows you that even though no one would have thought that a year ago at this time last year that he would actually start the Indianapolis game. The last game, when Indianapolis had to win. That was a big game for them. It just shows you that you better be prepared for your opportunity, and he was. He played well that day.