HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
(on his thoughts of the team's first practice in full pads)
It was good. I think we had a full load on the schedule with two minute (offense) and run periods, half lines, pass rush and third-down blitzes, so it was good work that way. I thought they competed well. Both won at times, which is fun to watch, so I thought it was a good start.
(on signing first-round draft pick Kendall Wright)
Obviously we're excited that we don't have to talk about it any longer and hopefully can talk about the great things he's doing on the field. I think he's excited to finally be coming in and getting back to work and he loves the game, so I think he's happy the business side is over. That's the big plus. As far as his schedule, he'll get in sometime either late tonight or tomorrow. Tomorrow will be his day one. All he can do tomorrow is condition and meet with the coaches. We're off anyway, so that works out fine, as far as being off for the players. The next day will be his day two, which means he can be on the field, but he can't have shoulder pads on for Thursday or Friday. He can still participate on the field if we're out here with helmets on and doing individual work and things like that, but once we go to the padded part of practice, he will not be able to participate until Saturday. On Saturday, when we go to the stadium, he can be 100 percent from then on. So, we just have to ease him in in that way like we did the rest of the players when they first started camp.
(on if Wright could fully participate if the team wasn't in full pads)
Yeah. He could do everything if we didn't have pads on.
(on if the team will change its padded practice schedule)
No. So, he'll be able to participate, assuming we don't change our schedule for any reason, he wouldn't be able to participate in that part if we have pads on. If we don't have pads on, obviously, he can participate. But we have practices, on Friday morning we'll be without the helmets, so he'll be able to practice full in that. On Friday he'll be able to do individual work like that and once we start team drills, he'll have to come out.
(on if Kendall Wright can adjust quickly to camp)
We do. I think he'll spend a lot of time with (receivers coach) Dave Ragone tomorrow. He's already been through it for seven or eight weeks with us (during organized team activity practices), so he's got a good understanding of what we're doing already, which is a big plus. He'll just have to come out and get back in shape, get back in football shape and have the pads on and get hit and contact and all those things, but I can't imagine that's going to be a problem for him. This way, he's here for Saturday when we're at the stadium. He's here for Monday (against) Atlanta and the preseason, so he's going to have plenty of time to get a good feel for our offense.
(on if he's seeing what he wants to see from the offensive line)
Well, it's hard to watch until you watch tape of the practices. I know I coached them, but there were times when I thought they didn't practice very well and I'd watch tape and they played pretty good. So I think they're competing. This is the dog days for an offensive lineman, just from drill to drill. It's half line, it's pass rush, it's two-minute drive, so we mix a lot of combinations in there. The defenses are doing a lot of blitzing, a lot of things going on today. So, we'll just continue to evaluate those guys, and some of it looked really good and some of it, obviously, the defense looked good. It's something (where) we'll keep on getting better every day. When you go against good players every day, and you get the d-line and you you've got some good pressure packages, it's just going to make the offense much better. That's what's fun to watch. The competition is what's going to help us get better.
(on if there are improvements in the running game from the benefit of a full offseason)
Well, yeah, because the communication is a lot better. The reactions are better already on both sides of the ball. The defense is being a lot more aggressive than we were last year at this time. We're attacking the line of scrimmage, which is what you want to see. We have the people to do that with the speed and strength in a lot of those spots. That puts a lot more on the offense, and it's going to make them better. For me, I see it right away. I see the competition, the adjustments, the game within the game, which we didn't see much last year in the first week or 10 days. We were just happy that the guys were learning the plays and getting to know what we were doing. This year, it's more fun because you're doing things like you would do in a game.
(on his evaluation of Jake Locker's practice Tuesday)
I think the one period with the two-minute drive he had, we had a lot of blitzes there. We had some trouble with the protections, and it's a combination of things. That's why we always say that we have to evaluate by what's around him, not just by where he was wrong or was the protection the problem, or receivers? There's a lot of issues there, so that's the things that we have to be aware of. Yeah, we were sloppy in that period. The whole group was in that period. You have to give credit to the defense and (defensive coordinator) Jerry (Gray) being aggressive and making plays.
(on if you manage a young quarterback's psyche through good and bad days at training camp)
I think that's the good thing is you get to see how guys recover from maybe not having a good period and going on to the next period. When you have a bad period, do you put it behind you to move forward? There's a lot going on, and you just tell them, 'Don't press. Make plays one play at a time. That whole philosophy, you know, don't get caught up in what's going to go on in the next couple of days. Take care of what's going on in the moment,' and (Jake Locker and Matt Hasselbeck) are usually both pretty good at that. There's going to be highs and lows, just like there is in the season, and that's part of the evaluation to see how they both handle that. Like you said, Matt's had more experience with that, and this is Jake's second camp. Like I said, these guys are being tested out here. This is not a vanilla defense they're seeing, which is exactly what we would want. That's why this stuff is more valuable than the preseason games to some extent because it's more complicated.
(on if players are allowed to come in on their scheduled off day Wednesday)
Oh yeah, they can come in and hold practice if they like to. Guys with treatment will obviously be here. Guys are definitely allowed to come in and do rehab, come get in the hot tub, cold tub. If they want to go home, guys that have family here, may go for a swim. It's just to kind of get a chance to get away from it for a day and digest what we've gone through. We've gotten off to a good start. We know we've got a lot of work ahead of us, but the players need to do what they need to do to get ready to come back on Thursday and get ready for the next grind: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. That's kind of what you hope they do.
*(on trying to prevent fatigue from hitting a couple of weeks into training camp) *
Well, that's what you're hoping. This is where we thought it would be a good spot to do this. Having these practices, we've been on this field quite a bit, and so you're hoping that they do the smart stuff — if you have to get in the cold tub, whatever it may be, whatever you might need. Younger players don't need quite as much as maybe the older guys do. That's been my experience that it changes with where you're at in your career. Then we have it built-in the same way, where we have a five-day period where we get a lot of great work in — like I mentioned, the stadium Saturday and then Monday with Atlanta, and then we'll get another break in before we start with Seattle. So, I think the schedule works out well for it that way that we'll be as fresh as we can be. You're going to be worn out from camp. There's no way around it. You're going to have to fight through the soreness, fight through the tiredness, fight through fatigue, not give into things that are easy to give into, and I think that's part of staying in the hotel, staying away from home, being uncomfortable and dealing with the grind because that's what the season's like.
*(on an interception by Robert Johnson and his progress) *
Definitely. I think the DBs have been very aggressive. They're going for the ball, they're making plays. That's exactly what we're talking about that we really didn't have last year. He's a guy that we definitely want to see step up and contribute and keep him healthy and have a good preseason along with the other guys. So, I think we're seeing a lot of competition out there, and that's what I'm saying. We're competing for the ball, we're competing at the line of scrimmage. It's fun to watch, so I think that will help us become a better football team. We have to know that sometimes it's not going to look pretty. That's football, that's what competing looks like sometimes, and I think you want to see that on both sides of the ball.