Coach Fisher's Friday Minicamp Report

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HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER**

(on the rookies picking up the system)

It is a combination of things. It is their first time on the field. We are looking with interest to see if what we saw on tape and the workouts is actually the player. We were very pleased this morning. There is a lot going on. We don't have the numbers to do team work, or seven-on-seven. We are going to modify it and try to get some more of that done in the morning. This has been an orientation day for them. You have a lot west coast guys getting up at 6:00 in the morning. They will get a good night's sleep tonight, I'm sure.

(on Rusty Smith being the only quarterback and whether he is wearing his arm out)

We haven't done a lot of throwing. He is young. He is strong. He threw the ball real well. He's played in a pro-style offense. He has been under center. Part of the reason we were so interested in drafting him is because the footwork is there, the release is there, the intelligence is there. I thought he threw the ball very well.

(on drafting a quarterback and having him here for the camp)

It is good for the receivers. It is a good situation for us right now because we think he has some potential.

(on LeGarrette Blount and the research he did before signing him)

That is confidential. I spent a lot of time on the phone after the draft Saturday and Sunday. He is very excited to be here. I'm pleased. We are very impressed with what we saw.

(on using Peter Sirmon as a potential resource)

Again that is confidential.

(on how they get people to not focus on Blount's past)

That is up to the individual. We did that going into the draft. We did the research. He paid his dues. We felt like he was deserving of an opportunity. He understands the circumstances and the situation and the fact that he has an opportunity. He is a good football player. He is very pleasant to be around.

(on coaching Bruce Matthews' son Kevin Matthews)

It is kind of a unique storyline in that I attended USC with Pat Howell. We have both of their kids in here. It is kind of neat. Munch [Mike Munchak] was really excited about the opportunity to get them both in. It's the chance to come in and compete, get better and see what happens.

(on whether LeGarrette Blount is on a 'shorter leash')

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I think everybody understands the length of the leash in this league, if you will. I wouldn't say it's any shorter, but I don't anticipate any problems from him. I really don't. I think we treat him no different than anybody else. He sat out the entire year, he stayed in shape, he's got his weight down, and he's very willing. He really wants to make this football team, and he believes he can help us.

(on whether the back-up running back is currently on the roster)

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The only other option is to go outside, and right now we're not looking outside. This is a good group, not only of draft choices after one day, but also undrafted free agents. Stafon [Johnson], that story itself is an incredible story—the smile he had on his face when he walked off the practice field—the first time he practiced since the accident with the exception of the workouts and those kinds of things. But I mean a tremendous, tremendous story.

(on if he had ever heard of a story like Stafon Johnson's)

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No, he's very, very, very lucky. The medical staff there—based on all the information—what you saw, what you heard and our research and everything, they did a phenomenal job. He was cleared 100 percent, ready to play, and has skills. He has some skills.

(on the players' high intellect coming through on the field)

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I wore a coat and tie in the meeting this morning, you know? Dressed up for them. You know what? They're learning. They are. At this point the learning curve is quite high, and they're doing a good job with it. They're communicating. I'd say this group is a little further ahead after a day than some of the groups we've had before.

(on who stuck out today)

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No, we're all impressed with all of them. The undrafted free agents are here, they're enjoying what they're doing, it's a challenge for them, and they accept the challenge. So everybody looks good. There were a lot of plays made today on both sides of the ball.

(on the need for this rookie class to make an immediate impact over past draft classes)

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Well, I think there will be some that will be able to impact the team and get on the field in various ways. We feel like we solved our return issues, and then of course Derrick [Morgan] is going to play. We drafted him to play, and I think we helped ourselves on special teams. So, we'll see.

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