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Coach Whisenhunt's Thursday Training Camp Report

Posted Jul 31, 2014

HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT

(On using crowd noise)

Well, we do play 10 road games, although really eight in the season, so you’ve got to be prepared for it. You’ve got to start somewhere, so I figured, why not start in camp? It’s a little bit unrealistic from the standpoint of the continued noise, but we make it as tough as we can. I think it was loud enough. What you’re trying to do is make them communicate in that noise, especially when we’re in the gun, those kind of things. It was effective, I think, for the first day. It’s the first day. We didn’t have a lot of glaring things, so that was a good sign.

(On incorporating live contact in practice)

It was just a short-yardage period. Yeah, we do that. You’ve got to be careful about it, but you’ve got to get these guys an opportunity to get a tackle or go through live contact, but you just want to be smart with it.

(On players’ performance after a day off)

I thought it was a good practice today. One of the things you’ve got to worry about when you come off of a day off is not having a good one, but there was a lot of good things on both sides of the ball today. It was a long practice, it got a little hot at the end, which is what you want, and they responded. I thought the periods at the end were good.

(On players settling in to camp)

I think we’ll see a little bit of that tomorrow afternoon. You could see it a little bit today, even after a day off, I think, because of just the grind of it. It’s hard for me to even know what day it is today. We haven’t been in it that long, so I can imagine how the players are feeling. Even though they had a day off, it’s physical, we’re running a lot of plays out there. For that purpose, exactly, is to get them tired and condition them for this work.

(On kicking drills during practice)

Part of practice today, first one. It was part of it. They’ve been kicking already. I’m only worried about when we get to games and seeing where we are in those when it’s a kick at the end of a game or a critical situation before a half, then we’ll really get a chance to see it, hopefully.

(On cooler weather)

I don’t worry about it. The one thing I know, for sure, it’s going to be hot at some point, and it will be hot before we get out of camp, so I’m not worried about it.

(On Derrick Morgan switching positions)

He’s doing really well, doing exactly what we thought he would do, what we saw in the spring. We’re hopeful that he’ll have a big year. I think that there’s a lot of things that indicate that. He’s a good player. I really respect what I’ve seen off of him of tape last year. (I’m) just excited to see him in this position.

(On players’ willingness to switch positions well)

I think that could be said of a lot of different positions. We’re asking some guys to do things differently. As a whole, they’ve responded. We haven’t played a game yet, we’ve still got a lot of work to do, but it’s trending in the right direction.

(On Taylor Thompson and Craig Stevens)

I think they had a good spring. That set things up. You can’t ever dictate that. A lot of it’s going to be dictated by how opponents play, so I’m comfortable with their progress. Mike Mularkey’s doing a great job with those guys, and I’m excited about what they’re going to contribute to our offense.

(On Jackie Battle as a fullback)

Jackie (Battle) can do a lot of things for us. One of the things that’s important for that position is contributions on special teams, and he’s a very good special team-er. He’s shown from early in camp, he’s doing a  nice job with the blocking component of it. He can line up in the backfield as a running back, too, so those kind of guys are valuable on your roster.

(On rookies showing flash during practice)

At times, they’ve all flashed, but until we get into a game and really see them compete, that’s a big thing for them. I like the progress that they’re making, just as far as not making a lot of mistakes and competing, but it’s a whole different arena when you get into a game, so preseason games will be big for them.

(On Taylor Lewan getting reps)

We’re trying to get him ready. He’s going to get his reps according to the plan.

(On the younger defensive linemen adjusting)

They’re working. Once again, it’s early. We’ve only had a couple of padded practices, so playing in the games will be big. I like the way that all of these guys are working.

(On preparing for practice with the Falcons)

We’re just going to stay on our installation schedule. Nothing’s going to change from that. The practice was planned a long time ago. We won’t get rained out, we won’t miss a practice, so we’ll just stay with that.

(On 3rd-and-1 drill)

Just one (live snap.) Just wanted to do some of that today. The one thing that you really suffer is trying to tackle, and let’s face it, we’re not going to be able to get enough live snaps to get everybody a tackle. Just the mindset of going live, I think, is important, too. You want to be careful, as well. We mixed it in today. We’ll do it in a little bit more before a game.

(On Sylvester Croom)

He’s a great coach. I’ve known of him for many years, and I was very excited to have an opportunity to coach with him. His amount of knowledge that he brings to the table, from being in different systems, from being in this league for a number of years, from having been in college. I think one of the things you really like is his interaction with the players. He’s a good football coach. A big piece of this puzzle is having a good staff, and we’re lucky to have him.

(On newer players getting used to games)

A lot of the game is played in sub, which is exactly what they’ve been doing. I’ve said before, they’ve line up in this defense before and played it, so I can’t say one way or another that that would be the case.

(On the impact of scrimmages)

It’s great. It’s always great to work against another team. When you go out here every day against your own guys, you get into patterns, know how they’re going to play you. When you go against another team, you don’t, so you get a chance to evaluate your guys and see where they are. It’s a great opportunity. I’m glad that we’re doing it. I appreciate Tommy Smith allowing us to do that, and I’m excited about it.

(On Wesley Woodyard and Shaun Phillips contributing to the defense)

They’ve done what we’ve asked them to do, coming in here. They’re good football players. They bring leadership just from the standpoint of having been in the league and having success, and they’re important parts of our team.

(On Justin Hunter)

Justin (Hunter’s) a good football player. He needs to continue to grow. He’s a young player. There’s a lot of things he’s got to work on, but he’s a talented player. We’re going to continue to push him, and hopefully he’ll grow into an outstanding player.

(On observing Titans’ wide receivers with other wide receivers in the NFL)

I look at players based on how they produce and what they do. That’s not a big issue with me.

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