As usual, there’s probably more than enough mistakes for us to work on, but I like the way they practiced. They got a break with the weather. Let’s talk about, if we can do this one day when it’s hot and humid, then maybe we’re on to something.
(On players practicing in pads)
A lot of what they’re doing is what they’ve been doing, so a lot of the things that we’re asking them to do now, they’ve been doing for weeks, so I think that they’re comfortable with it. I think the pads are good for all of them. It’s what the game is still played in, in pads, so you’ve got to work.
(On players’ level of intensity)
I think, the first day in pads, everybody’s at that little bit higher intensity, so the first big hit or something like that happens, guys get going. They were ready to go today. I compliment them on that. One of the things with the first time with the team, you just don’t know, but it was the right mentality today.
(On the first day in pads)
I thought it was a good day. I was pleased with a lot of things. I haven’t watched the tape yet. I’m sure there’s a lot more we’ve got to work at. For the first day in pads, I was pleased with it.
I’ve seen Dexter do it on tape. I don’t have any questions about that, so we believe Dexter’s going to contribute a lot to our offense in a number of different roles. If he was a rookie coming out of college, then maybe that was something to worry about, but there’s evidence of him doing it in NFL games.
I don’t know that we’ve asked him to change. We’ve asked him to do what this offense dictates, and he’s done that very well. I’ve been very impressed with Kendall (Wright), how he goes about his business. He’s changed since when we first got in here, and I’m really excited to see what he’s going to do for us this year. He’s matured a little bit. I think we’ve put more responsibility on him, maybe. I can’t compare it, because I don’t know (how he was) before. I’ve asked him to do some things, and he’s responded well.
He’s a veteran guy. I think I said this the first week he was in there, I was impressed because he came in with no real practice and showed up on the field. It’s good to have him. I think that we can do a lot of things with him. He’s in competition for a spot, so he’s a veteran and he’s making a good push for it.
(On players fighting during practice)
I don’t fine guys for fights in practice. I’m going to take them out of practice if it’s a fight, but there’s going to be pushing and shoving. It’s a contact sport, but I think the thing that’s really important is we can’t have a penalty in a game, just because you can’t be selfish, and that’s something that can dramatically affect a game. We’ve had discussions about that already. In fact, we’ve had, in the spring, some pushing and shoving and some scuffles then, so we’ve addressed it a couple of times. That’s part of football, but as long as it’s not happening in games and it’s not happening out here where we get somebody hurt, we’re not going to have any issues.
(On players who stood out during practice)
I think it’s hard to see with the inside guys. I thought there was a lot of physical play.
(On Steve Hoffman identifying kickers)
He’s an expert in that field. In my time, with Steve, I interviewed him for a job one time and was very impressed with him. His input is greatly appreciated and needed on that spot. That’s one of the things that we feel like helps us. Nate (Kaczor) does a great job, but Steve is blessed in that particular area. We’re talking about actually kicking the ball. I think he has a good feel for that. He’s put a lot of time in it, and he understands the kicking game period, but he’s really worked hard at the mechanics and how you do it. We’re expecting to see positive results from our guys because of that, because of his contributions.
(On selecting kickers for kickoff)
We haven’t gotten to the kicking part of it yet. It’s a progression. We’ll get to that soon enough.
(On Jake Locker’s progression)
I was happy in the spring with where he had progressed to, but now it’s almost like we’re starting over and then we’re doing it in pads, and then we’re going to have preseason games, so I think it’s early to make that kind of evaluation, but I’m happy with the way Jake’s working. I’m happy with a lot of little things that we’re seeing him doing here, but there’s no substitute for seeing what happens in a game. When we get to some of these controlled, for a lack of a better word, scrimmages, then you get a better sense.
I think the more snaps he gets helps him everywhere, understanding the speed of the game, technique, how physical it can be, so he’s an athletic guy, a big, athletic guy. It’s good to see him get those reps.
(On players working together)
I’ll say this, as well. Working together, whether you’re a tackle or guard, and you’re playing a defense that moves like our defense is doing, you’re going to have to work together in zones and fitting those things up. You can do it in drills, but there’s no substitute for doing it against them in a live setting.
(On veterans meeting expectations)
It’s still early. I’m pleased with those guys on our football team. They’re good leaders, experienced guys. We’ve still got a ways to go. We’re only in day three.
(On players adjusting to practicing in pads)
I think, really a week from now, then you’ll see it, when it’s hot. Today was easy. I know it was the first day and we ran a lot of reps, but it was cool. You feel pretty good, you’re ready to go. Soon you’re sore and you’re banged up. Everything’s coming on you at once, there’s a lot of installs. That’s when we’ll see who’s tough and who can focus.
(On the possibility of Dexter McCluster being injured)
I’ve seen Dexter do it in NFL games. I’m not concerned about Dexter. He’s been a durable player, and he works hard.