Q: How has Justin Tuck looked to you this year?
A: It’s night and day compared to what he went through a year ago and it’s night and day.
Q: Does he look quicker?
A: Oh yeah. We talk about putting the four guys out there; it’s hard to find out who’s the quickest and who’s the fastest. Some days I look and I say, 'Boy JPP looks great today,' but he looked awesome down there and then Osi comes flying off the end and I’m saying, 'Wow, boy, that’s pretty fast.' And then Tuck, he makes a move and I’m saying, 'Wow, man...' I’m scratching my head and then Kiwi does something. To answer your question, yes, he does. He looks much quicker and much faster and better than he did last year because of the things that he had.
Q: You’re saying that, so what is an offensive coordinator saying when they go on the field?
A: 'Don’t put those guys on the field.' (laughing) I’m pretty sure that’s what they’ll say.
Q: You think you’ll be using a lot of three linebackers more this season than you have in the past two years?
A: Our talent dictates that. I like our linebacking corps. They were young a year ago. I think Keith Rivers has added a lot to our linebacking corps and then the young guys have gained experience and then just trying to understand what each individual linebacker brings to the table so we can use their talents to the best of our ability. So yes, I think I’ll be using three linebackers.
Q: Even on passing situations?
A: I’m not afraid to use them in any situation. I think that we’ve gained experience, we’ve gained knowledge, we’ve gained know-how with that corps. I still like the three-safety look and that’s still a possibility for us, but we’re going to experiment a little bit and find out how good can we be at linebacker.
Q: With Jayron’s injury slowing him down a little bit, who do you envision as the guy covering slot receivers?
A: It can be Rolle. It could be Will Hill. It could be Jayron. We’ve liked the way he’s practiced. We don’t really know, so we’ve got three guys ready.
Q: Do you expect more modified packages with Tuck inside or JPP inside?
A: No, not really. I've got a lot of confidence in Markus Kuhn. I mean, shoot. That’s why we drafted him. He’s a New York Giant. He’s going to get his feet wet really early and shoot, we’re going to play his butt. So no, I don’t envision that. He’s going to get in there and mix it up. He’s not afraid to mix it up. He’s a German guy, so he doesn't know the difference. He just says 'I’m going to get in there and play ball.' We’re going to play ball.
Q: Chris Canty said that our your defense looks like it’s the varsity playing against J.V. Are you that confident about your defense heading into the season?
A: I’m not that way yet. I think we still have a long way to go. This group has learned each other a little bit quicker than the group did last year, but I think having the opportunity to play in January and February really helped this group gel and so right now, we are making strides and progressing to get better every practice and we’re still learning. We put some nuances in our defenses that we’re still learning those nuances, so we do some things fundamentally better than we did a year ago and that’s why he would probably say something like that.
Q: Is there a hesitancy to break up that Phillips/Rolle combination in the back?
A: No. I’m not hesitant to do it. We’ll do what we need to do in order to be successful. I mean, would I like to keep that combination? Yes, I would love to keep that combination, but we’re going to do what we think is necessary to be successful.
Q: Up to what point in this preseason did you expect Terrell to be back on the field in some capacity for you?
A: Up until cut day. I was pulling for Terrell because he put so much work into trying to get back and for this to happen a second time in two years is not a blow to him, but it’s a blow to us because we had plans for him.
Q: Did you get to talk to him since the decision?
A: No, I did not.
Q: How far behind is Marvin Austin not being out there?
A: It’s definitely not a step forward for him. He needs a lot of play time because he missed last year and he needs to gel and mesh with the guys that are in there. He needs to see a lot of different blocks. Marvin is a talented football player. Now he just needs practice and playing experience. You can’t make that up.
Q: Did Adewale Ojomo come out of nowhere?
A: Yeah, he did. I've got to give Robert Nunn all the credit. This is a kid that Coach Nunn called up on draft day and he joined our squad and he kept working and the kid, he surprised me. He surprised everybody and I love his attitude, the way he went out and worked and he has a lot of confidence in himself. 'Hey, I did it last week. I could do it this week' and I’m kind of looking, saying to myself, 'Yeah, right' and he goes out and he does it and I’m going like holy smokes. That’s a great thing for us because there’s another guy in the mix that wants to get better and I think if he will do this… He’s in a room with some good football players. If he’ll listen, he’ll learn and if he’ll work hard every day, he’s got a chance to get better and be considered one of those guys one day.