Q: How have the centers been doing?
A: The first thing we do after we stretch every day is a center quarterback exchange, and we try to simulate as much as we can the defender being on the center. As coach I need to get that up a little bit because today we have some problems each and every day and today we had some problem with the shotgun snap and it’s mostly the defense now moving around and our center having to make a lot of calls and he’s thinking and he’s snapping and his technique is out of whack. It’s nothing that at this point I would panic about. We’re just going to go back to square one and we’re going to work harder.
Q: Are you sure these guys can do it? Most of the guys aren’t natural centers
A: No, they’re not natural centers but when you look at the NFL, some of the natural centers are drafted in the first and second round, when you look at a lot of guys, some centers were other positional players who are snapping the ball. The Pro Bowl center from the New York Giants in 2008 was another positional player before he came to the Giants. He was in his fifth year when he played center for the Giants for the first year. So the guys we have right now, Adam Koets is in his third year, Kevin Boothe really had never snapped a ball before. You have a little bit of patience, yet I’m not going to stand before you and say that I’m not nervous about it, but we’re going to accelerate and get the thing going because in the preseason and the season we don’t want the ball on the ground.
Q: Is the hope going in that [Adam] Koets would end up being the backup to [Shaun] O’Hara or does Rich [Seubert] still fit in there?
A: Well Rich has done it and he’ll take snaps every single day. Adam Koets, the idea about moving him inside from tackle was to make him a center guard type of guy. We have to give him a chance to mature into that position. He’s experienced. Every day he does something new, and each and every day we install something new the defense installs something new. So it’s a learning experience for him and it’s just like a rookie going into it, seeing something new each and every day. What I’m judging and evaluating him on is can he adjust when things aren’t going well? Can he make play one and play two is just as bad as play one or can he put it behind him and move forward. Obviously the other night he didn’t do that. He had successful plays where the ball was on the ground. I’m looking for that improvement that he’s not going to let that happen again. We’ll give him the preseason and then hopefully it’s not going to happen at all – the ball being on the ground. I feel that he is a talented player, a smart player, he knows the offense, he’s been around the offense a little bit, he has the ability to execute the snap. Whether or not he can do it play in and play out is what we’re doing in training camp right now.
Q: Do you get on the younger guys anymore because of a bad play?
A: When a player, whether it’s Chris Snee or Shaun O’Hara or William Beatty, if they have an assignment problem with a particular play day in and day out, that’s what upsets me. I get upset at some young players all the time – and I do have some patience with them – but that’s been something that’s happened in the last few practices on that exact same play. You either get it or you don’t get it. Correct your mistakes and move on. Don’t go backwards. You can’t keep making the same mistake over and over again.
Q: How are the backups doing? Anybody standing out?
A: They’re coming along. Andrew Carnahan is getting a lot of snaps and the nice thing about this group of 14 guys, they’re getting a lot of reps. Some camps they have been at they didn’t get a lot of reps. They’re not going to get better standing around. They’re hanging in there and I’m really excited about their effort. They want to get in there and they want to do it. A lot of the errors right now are technique and fundamental so we’ll just have to continue to work at that.