We got it in. I was worried this morning. But the weather did help, did cooperate with us this afternoon. We had to come up here because the fields were wet down below. Actually, the turf field would have been okay if we had to go in there but I’m glad to get on the grass.
Q: Having the guys back up here, as opposed to training down in your place, you have been up here enough. Is there a benefit to it, having them come up here to be together?
A: You’re trying to formulate a situation where we’re all in the same boat. We’re all truly the same, we all get the same food, and we all sleep the same way. At home, we have a hotel. Up here we have them in the dormitories. The idea to have them bond is certainly a big part of this.
Q: Terrell aggravated his back?
A: Yeah, back. His back is tight. His legs are fine.
Q: He’s obviously just getting back into the swing of things. Is that just kind of normal stuff?
A: His back tightened up on him.
Q: With the limited amount of practices that you guys have, how important is it to get right off the ground rolling this first couple of practices? Maybe more than in years past?
A: Well the important thing is to get what you’re allotted. We have 15 up here, and we need all 15. That’s what I mean by the rain situation, and you’re trying to figure out whether you’re going to be able to get it in. Fortunately, we did. So, that’s a huge plus.
Q: Did you see anything that really impressed you with how they were practicing?
A: Not really.
A: It’s our first practice, we got in and out of the drills well. Guys had good anticipation of what was coming next. We played everybody equal snaps and you saw at the end of practice, that third group kind of fall off a bit offensively. It’s disappointing but not that shocking. So those offensive linemen have to come around, and that’s basically what has to happen for that group to continue to get reps in practice. They’ll have to do a better job than they did today.
Q: A lot of players mentioned that they want to head into this camp with something to prove; did you get the sense that they had that out there?
A: I had the sense when we first arrived, and in our meetings, that they were focused. They are very interested in what’s going on. They still feel good about themselves, and they understand about taking this next stride. There’s no going backwards. They do have, we do have a lot to prove, and we do have a lot to improve upon, and that’s the attitude that I think they’ve taken.
Q: Getting to the Super Bowl without much of a running game, how much of an emphasis is being put on that this year?
A: We’re going to get a better running game coming out of this camp, I really believe that. It takes a lot of time to develop that, and to be honest with you, without the two-a-days, it’s a little bit more difficult to just zoom in on any one thing and stay with it. It’s going to be balanced in terms of the way the practices go, but we definitely have got to rush the ball better. We rushed it down the stretch, in the last six games at the end of the year, better than we did throughout the whole year, but we didn’t have the number of big plays from the run. It was way down. The balance factor has always been something we’ve been able to count on. We’ve got to get back to that.
Q: When you said, "It takes time," and "get better out of this camp," do you mean last year with the way things were, and adding new pieces?
A: No, I mean it takes practice time to get the running game going. And you don’t have a morning practice, where you can say, ‘we’re going to devote this practice to the nine on seven, to running drills, and in the afternoon we’ll pick up on the other things.’ Your practices are balanced. Your attack has to be balanced. If you just pick a normal week of being up here where we practice five or six times, you may be able to have two, maybe three, nine on seven’s, and even then there are only twelve plays. Obviously, that drill is stacked the other way, but that’s how you make some progress, where you’re coming off the ball and everybody knows what you’re doing. There’s nothing different about it. Nobody’s going to surprise anybody.
Q: When you did your research during the offseason, is that one of the things you pinpointed as one of the problems in the running game last year?
A: That’s not the excuse. There’s no excuse for it. Teams have rushed the ball and rushed it ok. We didn’t rush the ball well. We’ve got to get that straightened out. I wouldn’t say that’s the reason but we have our work cut out for us. No doubt.
Q: How much of the running game, especially early, falls on Ahmad Bradshaw’s shoulders?
A: There’ll be equal distribution. We’re glad to have him practice. We’re certainly not going to overdo that aspect of it. We’ve got other guys. We’ve got two or three kids that are 235 pounds. Good speed. We’ve got David Wilson, who’s got great speed on the edge. So we’ve got some people that can give us a combination of speed and power. Catch the ball out of the backfield.
Q: Do you envision a committee or is Ahmad the guy?
A: I think you’ve got to have more than one. It’s very difficult to have just one runner for 16 games. We’ve always done better when we could share the load and hopefully that can develop.
Q: What do you think of Antrel’s haircut?
A: He’s says it’s two out of three Super Bowls. If that’s the case, I’m rooting for him.
Q: Would you consider that for yourself?
A: I just like to have somebody comment, "Is there hair up there?"