HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
We have gone four practices in the last two days. Changed it up a little bit with the evening practice I think which is helpful even though it was humid as heck out here. I think they pushed through it pretty good. Again, we are just installing all the basics, the fundamentals, and getting guys some signs. We are looking forward to getting the pads on tomorrow afternoon.
(on why he addressed the fans before practice)
They have been very patient with all of this in the offseason that we have all gone through with the lockout and just to know how important of an ingredient they are to us winning and how valuable they have been to this team since we have been here in town the last 12 years and selling out here at LP. We just want them to know we appreciate them coming out and weathering this hot weather. I just wanted to kind of give them an idea of what we are doing, what's on tap and start building that relationship between this team and the fan base.
(on QB Jack Locker's second practice and importance of staying level headed)
I think you are exactly right. There is such a long way to go and that he is doing some good things and there are obviously some things he needs to work on. A lot is being introduced to him along with all of these other young guys. As all of you know the rookies haven't had much opportunity to spend time, and usually they have a couple months to digest some of our basics. There is a lot coming at these guys fast. Chris (Palmer) is doing a great job and putting a lot of pressure on these guys right away, especially the quarterbacks with the clock and wristbands, and then calling plays and flipping them. He is just putting a lot on them and they are handling it well so far. We have only been at it four days, well, four practices I should say. So far so good.
(on if the defense if flying around so fast because of excitement, or if it's Jerry Gray's coaching)
I hope it's both. I hope we have brought some guys in to make the difference. The young linebackers and some of the people we have brought in to help and I think they are excited about what Jerry is selling. They are excited about the plan this year I think. They have had two or three days of listening to it and I think they are really excited and I think you saw that. Defense is always a little bit ahead of offense anyway. I think he kept it very similar to a lot of things we are doing. I don't think there are a lot of adjustments for them. So, it's great to see. It's great to see the energy they are having, how they are responding to what he is putting in.
(on when he expects RB Chris Johnson to return and if he is missing much)
Well, first I wish I knew if he was going to return but we don't so we will just kind of see what happens with that. You want everyone here. That's the best way to learn, especially with changes. So, hopefully he will be here soon.
(on the battle for the second cornerback position)
I'm sure it will be. I think we have some good competition here and like I said, right now we are just moving a lot of combinations on the back end, linebackers, D-line. Jerry (Gray) and his staff have to get comfortable with everyone and find out what everyone's best at. I think you are seeing that in practice. That's why I mentioned, I don't think on either side of the ball you can…there will be a lot of competition and we will see how quickly some of these young guys come along. The more we get some of the other guys we have signed, the free agents that can't compete until the end of next week, it will be a lot more fun when we have a full team together.
(on if he has told DBs Jason McCourty and Alterraun Verner that they are battling for the starting job)
I haven't personally talked to them about it, but I think Jerry has. I think Jerry, coming in basically told them that this is an open competition. We want to get a feel for who you guys are. They want to put the system in over the next week and I think you can start making more evaluations of where things are at. Once we start to get to some real football with preseason games and stuff like that and kind of compete. Like I said, a lot of it is how they play well together. What guys fit best together. Especially on the back end where you can play a lot of five DBs can come up in certain situations where I think Jerry likes doing that, playing some nickel on some second down and long. So, a lot of those guys get to play even if they are not starting.
(on if Will Witherspoon will move back to the outside with the addition of Barrett Ruud)
It is probably going to be a little bit of both. I think Ruud is comfortable inside. That is where he has been. I'm sure we will be working different combinations that way. We are just happy to have him. I think we are really doing a great job of bringing in some key veterans that are going to make a difference on this team not only in their experience but their leadership and the kind of guys they are. I think these young guys will have great guys to learn from.
(on if Barrett Ruud is an upgrade over Stephen Tulloch)
I think they are different. I think Ruud is a guy that Jerry (Gray) sees in his system being able to play all three downs, stay on the field and do a lot of things with him. We are going to have to see some of the things Jerry wants to do, we are just getting started. Both of them are good football players. You can't go wrong with either guy. The guys that we have lost in free agency as that happens, those guys are good football players. You just can't keep everybody. A lot of times you are just trying to find the right mix. I think that is what we are looking for as we put this team together.
(on if he looks at this training camp as having two phases once Thursday starts and the free agent signings can practice)
We don't. These guys out here don't care about that right now. They are getting the opportunity to get the reps and are taking advantage of that. I think for the coaching staff it will be great. I know that Matt Hasselbeck is getting kind of bored. He is learning a lot. He is taking full advantage of what he can do. Him and a lot of other guys, Leroy Harris and (Mike) Otto that are a lot of guys that just want to get in there and start doing something. It will be different, you are talking about seven or eight new guys coming in on Thursday. The coaches will be excited for it, but I think right now we are just plowing along like we are, keep installing and adding stuff every day and keep pushing the guys a little bit because these next couple of days are probably the hardest as you just get back into training camp.
(on if everything is going as planned the first two days)
Yeah, it starts with the weather. We haven't got rain in a month and all of a sudden we start training camp and it rains every day. It has worked out nice, we have been able to get outside three out of the four practices, so I'm real happy with that. I'm real happy with the energy level. We knew we would have high energy yesterday as guys are excited to get back. Today we came back with a nice strong practice, this morning was hot. I think we are real happy where we are at. The players are liking the way we are doing things and changing some things up and the different periods we are doing. We are working, we are resting, we are teaching. There is a lot of teaching going on out there as you can see. It is exciting for me to watch where we are at and what we are doing. It is only two days and we have a long way to go, but I think we are off to a good start.