Q: You brought guests to practice today?
A: The General (Raymond Odierno) was here, yes. We were excited about seeing him. I know he had some things that he was doing here in New York - did some shows and stuff. The Vice President was with him, as normally occurs. And it is good to see him home - four and one-half years. Four and one-half years in Iraq. Obviously mixed, mixed emotions about leaving and very devoted to his men. But it is great to see him.
Q: Did he speak to the team?
Q: What did he have to say?
A: Just team, about team. About mental, physical toughness, resiliency, about overcoming anything and everything and that if you believe in one another and have each other's back. He equated that to the group of soldiers that captured Saddam Hussein.
Q: What does that mean to you to have him here?
A: Very significant; very, very, very significant for me. When you stop and think about the devotion that people such as the General have, to our Country, and to the opportunity for the rest of us to sleep under the blanket of freedom, it is incredible what sacrifices are made by our brave and loyal soldiers.
Q: Did he order you to win on Sunday?
A: I think he will. I will see him in here in a minute. That would be a good thing.
Q: RE: Aaron Ross today.
A: He got a little better; moved a little better.
Q: What was he able to do?
A: He played some scrimmage, yeah, you saw him. He took some plays. I thought he warmed up well. I thought he moved around pretty well.
Q: Are you happy with where your football team is?
A: Well, we are excited about having the opportunity to play. I don't use that word ("happy") very often but I think the short week, we accomplished what we had to prior to the Patriot game. I thought we started the practice better. I still think we are practicing better. Some things, in the course of the 54-55 play practice that you would like to do better, obviously. But I think after we look at the tape we will feel better about that and we will have some answers for the things that we didn't do very well.
Q: Back to Aaron Ross - has he shown you enough?
A: I would wait on that one. I would wait on that. I'm not ready to say that.
Q: RE: Naming Chase Blackburn as a special team's captain.
A: Well it is an honor to be elected by your teammates to represent you as a captain. And I thought the players spoke on behalf of the kind of leader and player and example that Chase is - a smile on his face, willing to do anything that is asked in any capacity. It was nice to see him recognized. I also think that everyone ought to know that Lawrence Tynes was very well thought of by his teammates as well. Which I thought was really .......
Q: Kenny Phillips said he was taking snaps with the one's yesterday. Is he the starter now?
A: We'll see. We'll see about that. But he is working. And both guys are getting plenty of work.
Q: The way the run game stalled last year, how much of a point of emphasis has that been for you, especially these last two weeks?
A: It has been a point of emphasis forever. And it certainly was in the offseason and it certainly was in training camp, too.
Q: Last season Darius Reynaud muffed some punts, too, against you guys. Is that something that you saw on tape - is it a point of emphasis here?
A: It is an emphasis any time. Ball security is the number one thing if you are going to be back there. But he has demonstrated very good hands out here.
Q: RE: Darius and the return game
A: He has done well with it, he really has. He has done well with that. He is learning an offensive position and he is running down as a gunner and he's doing all of those things, too. He has fit right in. He has done a nice job.
Q: RE: Injuries on the offensive line. How do you think things are jelling?
A: Well I think the more they work together, the better off they are.
Q: Where would you say you are at?
A: We'll see. We'll see. We are getting ready to play our first game and we have our starting group together. We will do some things with the personnel movement here and there but it is good to have them all working together. And Shaun has been out here for at least half of the snaps every day. So that helps.