Q: How’s Domenik reacting and coming back from his injury?
A: To me it looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. So he’s doing a great job.
Q: You guys have so many other guys who have torn their ACLs and re-tear their ACLs. Does that make you want to tell him to dial it back?
A: The great thing about Domenik is that he’s so competitive that he doesn’t want to dial it back at all. It’s up to us as coaches to dial him back and restrict his repetitions during practice, so we make sure he doesn’t injure his knee or get overly fatigued in that area. They say he worked his butt off in rehab and that he’s ready to go and that’s what I’ve seen. He hasn’t missed a beat.
Q: Does Randle look NFL ready?
A: I don’t even know what that term means. All I know is that he needs to develop. He’s shown some flashes of great things in training camp so far, but also is very inconsistent with his knowledge of our offense and how we’re trying to execute our offense. Does he show flashes? Do you see the talent? No question you do, but he needs to develop physically and mentally within our offense and our system.
Q: Does he have the talent that he can overcome those inconsistencies? Do you worry that he may not learn those lessons?
A: That is a worry, for sure. He has made some plays but when he ran a slant and caught the ball but it wasn’t a great release, when you’re facing a corner that’s Pro Bowl caliber that’s not going to work. So does he need to improve on those things? Yes. I don’t think he’s going to get complacent though. I think he understands that we’re counting on him and that his teammates are counting on him. That resonates with him so he needs to just continue to develop.
Q: Physically, does he need to maybe get in NFL shape?
A: No, he said he was nauseous earlier in the day so he’s fine. Then he came back the next day and didn’t skip a beat. His approach right now, if he continues to progress with this approach, is where we need him to be.
Q: Can you comment on what you’ve seen from Martellus Bennett so far?
A: Let Coach Pope handle that, but he’s flashed some great things.
Q: You guys need Jernigan to take a big step. Does he seem like he could be that third guy?
A: He has had a better training camp than he had OTAs and mini-camp, and better than last season and last season’s training camp. Is he progressing and trending in the right direction? Yes, that’s where we want him to be. Is he ready to do that yet when he’s consistent and knows the ins and outs of our offense and knows how to execute it? Not yet, but I’m OK with that as long as he continues to progress the way that he has in this training camp.
Q: You expect him to catch the ball coming back and he’s caught the ball over his shoulder a little bit, can he do that?
A: Oh, he can do that for sure.
Q: He’s fast obviously but not big so --?
A: Yes he can definitely do that. There’s an area there where he can improve as well, that’s positioning himself where the defender is to his inside and he’s catching the ball over his outside shoulder. At times receivers like to widen and catch the ball over their inside shoulder but if the defender is there they’re going to knock it down every time. So can he improve in that area? Yes. Does he understand that technique? Yes. Can he execute that technique? Yes. But does he have to do it more consistently? Also yes.
Q: Coach, Victor Cruz said he’s not going to hold out. What does that say about him and his personality?
A: I think that he loves football. He loves to play and he loves his teammates. That’s his commitment level and that’s where his head is at. With that type of approach you can be very successful in this league and that’s what we’re hoping for this year for him.
Q: Does that show us a glimpse of his personality that maybe you guys see but we don’t?
A: Well, I think you guys can see it when you talk to him. Let me put it this way he’s competitive. He wants to win. He wants to beat the man across from him and he wants to win the football games as far as points are concerned. So yes it does tell you that.
Q: How are you adjusting? This is a different role for you at training camp.
A: It’s not my first time coaching receivers but it is my first time coaching receivers at this level. I take it in stride. My approach is that you work as hard as you can and you prepare as hard as you can. Then you just adjust and adapt on the fly when needed. I love it. I love having the guys and I love being able to coach them. Hopefully I can help them develop to become the players that we want them to be and that we need them to be to help us win football games.
Q: How are you dealing with Hakeem Nicks? I’m sure he’s eager to play.
A: He’s chomping at the bit. The great thing about Hakeem is that in the meetings he’s very dialed in. He’s one of those guys that in order to be ready to play football games he wants to know everything there is to know about the scheme and the defense that he’s playing. That’s the approach that he’s taken, even in the meetings and even though he’s sitting on the sideline. He’s sitting there chomping on the bit ready to go. That’s where we want him. We want our players that way so he’s got a great approach.
Q: What’s it like working for your father?
A: Good question. Very good question. When it comes to football, it’s Coach to me. He’s my boss. He’s not my father as far as the approach that I take and I think that that’s really the approach that he takes as well. When we do have time and we’re out of the office it’s great because this is the most time I’ve ever spent with him. Coaches hours are a lot of hours so unless he was on vacation in the summers he was working a lot. So this is by far the most amount of time I’ve ever spent with my father, these last two years and now moving forward into the third.
Q: So when your receivers screw up he’s not like sitting there going ‘come on’?
A: Oh, he definitely is, more than that he’s barking at me. It’s not because I’m his son, it’s because I’m the receiver coach.
Q: You guys were always a level away. There was an intermediate level between you two. Now you guys are right there next to each other, do you get to spend more time together?
A: We do get to spend more time. Again, in the office it’s business. It’s work and that’s the approach that we’ve taken. When we walk out of the office at 11:30 at night or whenever it is then it’s father/son, which is great. Those are short periods of time but its precious time that I didn’t get to spend with my father beforehand.