Kevin Gilbride Press Conference, 05.11.12

Q: How was Randle?

A: He looks smooth and he’s obviously thinking, like they all are. So you don’t see maybe the explosiveness that we expect to see and know we’ll see down the road. But in terms of going deep and just going down the field, he looked pretty good and did the things that we needed him to do, which was go catch the ball when we threw it to him.

Q: What can Wilson bring to the running game?

A: He looks very fast, which we knew going in. But to actually see it on the field, it was - I’m trying to think of the right word - encouraging, exciting. Both of those things seem to come to mind. He looks like if he has a hole, he’ll hit it and has a chance to do some damage.

Q: Is he more of a finesse runner or a power runner?

A: He’s not a big guy so you would think he’s a finesse guy, but that’s not the way, at least the games I saw – I saw four games – he’s a very determined runner – a guy that looks for every yard. He’s fighting for every yard, breaks a lot of tackles. Probably breaks a little bit more tackles than you would think he’d be capable of just looking at him. And then he combines that with phenomenal speed. Now whether or not he can do that up at this next level remains to be seen, but no question now it looks like if there’s a hole he’s going to get through it and he’s going to give you a chance to make some big plays. What you have to see is the wiggle, the chance to make some guys miss and we’ll see that as we go.

Q: He also looks like he’s trying to cut stuff back across the field.

A: I kind of got on him that one time because the defense jumped up field and then he tried to get outside, realized he couldn’t and I said, ‘No, no. Just put your foot in the ground. Go north-south.’ That may be an example of a guy that wants to try too hard to make a favorable impression and trying to make something out of nothing and then winds up making a bad play into a worse one.

Q: Do you think you added something to the offenses with Wilson and Randle?

A: You hope so. It’s definitely needed. We lost a lot of guys. We lost five starters the year before on offense. You lose a couple other guys. You certainly need to start to replenish the troops. Again, it looks like you have an explosive guy in the running back and what you see on film, it looked like you had a receiver that is capable of making some deep catches, running by some people. As you guys have seen us unfold with those other two guys, they’re intermediate. Certainly Hakeem can go deep, but you need that third component so that when people start skewing and clamping down on Cruz and Nicks, you got a guy that, if it’s one-on-one, has the ability to get over the top and hurt people like Manningham did. Whether it’s JJ Jernigan, whether it’s Ramses Barden or whether it’s Reuben Randle, we need somebody to be able to do that. He looks, between his size and what looked like the speed he had on film, that he has the potential to do that. I have my fingers crossed. Hopefully somebody does.

Q: Are you expecting Robinson to take longer to develop?

A: Obviously the more a guy has done something, he’s been asked to be a focal point in the passing game, the further he’s progressed. I’m sure he’s starting a little further back, but he looks like a big guy that can run. He made a great catch on the last play. Of course he ran the wrong way. He was supposed to be going inside and stole the curl from the Z, but that’s kind of what I think we’re going to be battling for a while. The good thing is you just like to see a guy that has the physical potential to do some things. He looks like he has that. How quickly he can assimilate our offense, how quickly he can recognize what defenses are doing and make the appropriate and correct adjustments, that’s a long way off. I don’t expect that to happen. But I did want to see a guy that could run a little bit. He looks like he can do that.

Q: Did he look like the JPP of tight ends?

A: That’s quite an endorsement. I’m not sure I’m ready. I know [Jerry Reese] just said that and I’ll live by his critique, but he does look like he’s got a lot of physical ability. But he’s just real, real raw.

Q: By subtracting Jacobs and adding Wilson how much does the running game change?

A: It’s impossible to predict it right now. Again, you saw a 270 pound back to a 200 pound back. Just from the size, if we lined up coming out of the bus we’re probably not as impressive as we once were. You’ve seen, as tough as he is, Ahmad, he has a tough time lasting a whole season with all of the problems he’s had physically. You need some guys to play. So whether it’s Danny Ware substituting in or it’s Andre Brown or whoever or it’s David Wilson, somebody is going to have to play that position – there’s no question. Again, after one day I don’t want to go overboard on him, but he did look like if there was a hole he’s capable of turning a five-yard gain into a big play. That was good to see.

Q: What did you see in Limas Sweed?

A: Certainly a big, tall guy that you can see maybe physically why people thought enough of him a few years ago to draft him as highly as they did. He looks like he’s a little bit rusty. He’s got a ways to go in terms of sharpening some of the things he was doing in the expression of his routes, but he’s a big guy that looks like he can catch it.

Q: What are your thoughts on Martinek? Is he a running back or fullback?

A: That will sort itself out. We’re obviously playing him at fullback now and [we’ll] see what he can do, but that fullback position is so versatile depending on who it is that’s playing. If it’s Madison Hedgecock, we did certain things with him. Last year we did a few more things, but if he ever became the fullback I think he would probably expand some of the movement in terms of taking him out of the backfield, putting him in that detached position that sometimes the tight ends will go to and see if he can catch the ball and do some things. But you’re asking is he going to be the one back runner. I don’t necessarily project him as the tailback behind a fullback, but certainly if we’re going two-tights or three-wides and he’s the single back. We’ll explore that down the road, but this camp obviously it’s just going to be just in the fullback.

Q: Is his versatility why he’s in the mix?

A: Yeah. Absolutely.

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