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Coach Munchak's Thursday Practice Report


Thursday, June 7, 2012

(on Friday's schedule for the players)

Friday is kind of a flex day for them, guys that maybe need to do extra lifting, running, conditioning. That's more their choice because we've already pretty much had four days. We had three OTAs this week, which is the maximum you're allowed in the second week. Next week we get four of them, which we're allowed to do. Tomorrow is more of an extra day for coaches to work with young guys, spend a little time with them, lifting. A lot of the players are probably taking off, getting some free time away from here until next week. It's a very flexible day.

(on the offseason being as productive as he imagined it would be)

Yeah, we are.  I think the players are seeing that. I think the conditioning part is nice, the lifting, being together. We're able to install, and we've being doing different concepts. Every day we're adding to the practice load so you don't have to hurry things in. Everything's not compressed. We're able to spread things out and kind of have special categories every day. Today was the third-down period with three-man looks, which both sides of the ball get to see something they haven't seen yet. A lot of red-zone stuff today, down in the low red zone. So next week we can move on to something else in the next OTA, and we'll have good retention from what we just went through this past week. I think it's great. We still have two weeks left, one more week of OTAs and then the minicamp the last week. I'm excited about a lot of the work we're going to be able to do over the next couple of weeks.

(on being pleased that Kenny Britt was doing some running on Thursday)

We are, and it's going to be up to him eventually, that last part of building the confidence and the health. He's kind of back to where he was almost before he got scoped. Probably by next week or so I'm sure he'll feel he's back to where he was as far as what he's doing on the field and then it'll just be a matter of how quickly his knee responds to cutting, running routes and doing those things over the next month. There's nothing to say it wouldn't go well, and so we're assuming the positive end of that. We'll get to camp and he'll be limited, obviously, but we'll be able to start inserting him into drills, maybe seven-on-seven, when there's not much contact, and things like that so he can get his confidence back. Then we'll have a better feel for where he's at.

(on how Zach Brown is progressing)

He's looking good. He's a good kid, loves to work. The rookies have been around the building more than anybody because they're allowed, they're able to. These guys have nowhere else to go but be part of football. So he's been around a lot. They're using him a lot of ways. I think he's getting real comfortable with the third-down stuff, playing some linebacker. Jerry (Gray)'s using him in all different spots. Special teams is getting a taste of that, where he's going to be able to help us with that speed he has. I think that's what stands out. We talked about that speed at the draft. I think you're seeing a lot of that out here on the field. He's a guy that looks fast. He's catching things on the backside that in the past we couldn't catch, and he's covering well. He's learning. He's got a long way to go; we know that. We can't hit and do the physical part of the game, so you can't see everything you want to see for him or the other players. But we've got to be happy with what we see.

(on the emphasis on a linebacker like Zach Brown that might be able to cover elite tight ends)

That's the whole thinking behind it in the draft. You want to get guys you don't have. We didn't have a guy like him that can run like that and do certain things. Then he becomes part of the puzzle—well, what else can he do? Then all of a sudden if he's playing third down, then Akeem (Ayers) could do other things, maybe rush the passer more, where I think he's going to be really good at doing that once he gets to spend more time. Last year, we didn't have the time with him to do all that.  We couldn't overwhelm him with all those things. That allows us to do different things. If Zach Brown can come in and start at certain packages, then all of a sudden you free up other weapons that gives the (offense) trouble. You can be more flexible with what you do, more versatile with players, which gives the (offense) a little more to think about. Where are different guys going to play? He adds to that, too, so hopefully his development will help us in other areas.

(on Javon Ringer's role)

You kind of want him to stay healthy, if possible. Really for us the past two years it has been tough because he had the back, he had the knee. We know what we have there. He is a guy that we know what he can do. I think we all feel really good about him. When he has to play, he has played well. As far as how he runs the football, he knows the offense. He is a guy like you mentioned; we don't feel like there is anything that he can't do as far as a running back with catching the ball, blocking and those kinds of things. For a guy that is not a huge guy, he is a very willing blocker and we have no problem putting him in there on third down. As you saw last year in flashes when he played early he ran well. He started the season with an injury and he got hurt as the season went on. That is what you are thinking there is maybe give (Jamie) Harper more work and you go with the younger guys and give them more reps. Are we not happy with Ringer? No, we are very happy, but we know what we have there and it is almost like you want to make sure you don't give him too much and maybe let Harper and some of the younger guys get more reps after CJ (Chris Johnson).

(on if Damian Williams could be used more in the return game)

I think this time of year you work all those guys. Damian did it in preseason and ran one back against the Saints. We know when we drafted him, he had that kind of potential and (Lavelle) Hawkins can do some things there also along with (Marc) Mariani, as we know what Marc can do. Our draft pick, (Kendall) Wright can obviously do that. It gives us a lot of options. We are going to make sure they are all comfortable doing it just for whatever happens with injuries or some other decisions down the road. For the most part there is no plan to say he is the guy by no means. He is going to continue to work on it.

(on possibly using Kendall Wright in the return game)

It all depends. That is why you get everybody ready. That is the whole versatility thing like you don't want to assume he is going to and then all of a sudden he doesn't. I think out here when you have these days and that is something you can work on with catching the punts with catching the kickoffs we are going to let all those guys do a lot of work, so that we have a lot of options when it comes to that. For sure if he is a guy that is playing X amount of reps then you are definitely going to consider should he be doing the returns or not. So far what we see in him, he has been what we thought he was and he has a chance to make plays for us. If we feel it is going to be punts and kicks then we are going to do that. We are going to put the best guy back there that is going to change the field or change the game. We are not going to have a great weapon on the sidelines if we believe he is the best guy, if he is that much better than everybody else, but that is yet to be seen.

(on moving Kendall Wright around the field and if he is picking things up quickly)

Yes, he is. I think Chris (Palmer) has already been moving him after the first week. I think the initial thinking was leave him at one spot, leave him at the "X" spot at receiver. I think he was handling himself well and was showing people what he can do. I think that is how you do all positions. It is almost like a lineman. If you put him at guard and he does a good job then you think OK maybe I can move him around because his confidence is already there. Others are seeing that the guy can make plays, so then you move him to another spot. I think that is what Chris has done. He's moved him to the slot. He has been on both sides. You realize this is what these types of practices are good and you kind of see how fast guys pick up on the language. When you have 40 seconds in the huddle here and have a play run out and get in the right formations with all the motions and formations we have and he has done a good job. There are a lot of similarities in some of the things he did and what he was asked to do at Baylor. I think that has helped him so far. We will have to wait and see, obviously once we start playing games. We will probably limit it more back to when we starting playing in the preseason.

(on the progress of Kenny Britt today)

I didn't watch him run. The trainers were out with him then, so I will talk with them when we go in. I think he was happy with the fact that he is running again and we will just see how he responds and how his knee is tomorrow from it. Any injury you have, a knee or leg injury, when you are actually running again it is obviously mentally a great boost. I know he is happy to be there. Now we just have to see how he responds from here to cutting to over the next couple weeks.

(on the offensive linemen hammering the big tires and how creative trainers were back when he played)

They have picked up over the years. There have been more fun drills. They have made it a little more interesting between them and Coach (Steve) Watterson. They find out things other teams are doing that make a difference and you adding it and get creative and think out-of-the-box a little bit. I think it helps the players a little bit mentally too.

(on the developments of the pass rush without pads and contact) You see some good stuff. You see the burst, you see the energy, you see the quickness off the ball and they are being smart pulling back and pulling off. We are trying to get that 3-4 good steps and then pull back and I think the guys are learning how to practice well together to avoid contact. That has been good. I think you are seeing some of the stunts and some of the stuff come clean. There are a lot of things we can still see, even though you can't go full speed.

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