Q: According to our watch, that was an 18-minute speech you had.
A: It was a pretty good one, yeah. You can’t go more than 20. You know that rule. I had to bring that to their attention one time.
Q: Can you boil that speech down to 30 seconds?
A: No, it was just between the players and myself. You can go with the idea of the summer and what they have to be careful of. It is a longer stretch than normal for us. I gave them some notes about the number of practices up there and how it is reduced. Let’s face it, we don’t get the same number because we play the Monday night game. So we have to make things count when we get them. I wished them and their families, "God bless them for the summer." But they need to think long and hard about the disappointment of January in terms of what we have created for ourselves and how badly we want to prioritize our 2009 season.
Q: To this point what is your level of satisfaction?
A: I don’t have one. I don’t have satisfaction. I just think we work – we create objectives, we create goals and we work towards accomplishing those things. Just like in anything else, perfection. But you know you are human, but let’s keep that as our goal regardless of that fact. So we have had an outstanding offseason program. We have had – I’m not going to tell you it was 100% in the beginning but it was 100% from roughly a weeks in right through. The attitude has been really good for all of the OTA’s, for the work here in the mini camp. The attitude has been great. I am disappointed in the number of injured guys. It’s not their fault. I’m not pointing the finger at anybody. I’m just saying for our team to have that many guys standing around watching practice in training would be a real setback. We couldn’t function the way we want to if that was the case.
Q: Last year the message to the team was, "forget about last year, we are focusing on this year." It sounds like it is the opposite now. Do you want that to be in the back of their mind?
A: It wasn’t "forget about last year," it was "bridge…." The thing that we have tried to say was that you can never be satisfied and you can’t be complacent and you can’t say that because it was accomplished once that it necessarily happens again. What you had to do is bridge from one year to the next knowing that the values and the principles and the hard work and the effort and the team concept of "all for one" would come from a very successful accomplishment in a very short amount of time to the realization that it is a new team. It is a new year, it is a new team and we do have to basically start from scratch again. This year what I am saying is that, "stop and think about the bitter bitterness of the January situation" and then realize that as in, for example, the Laker team, you can focus on that as a primary motivational position to take. And let that be something that you train for over the summer – the idea of getting to and surpassing the circumstance that we were in a year ago.
RE: Two guys that were not here today.
Q: You have spent a good deal of time just now telling you team about the bitterness and about everything. Is it still part of your psyche?
A: Sure it is, absolutely, absolutely. That is not the only thing I said, but it is one of the things.