With the competitiveness, it seems like there’s plays being made on both sides of the ball. Does that kind of fuel the competition out there?
“Yeah, I thought today was probably as back and forth as any day has been. You know, sometimes you get more one sided on who wins the day. I thought the defense started out real early getting the best of the offense, and the offense got a bunch of big plays towards the end. So, it kind of balanced out there and it was good to see that competition going back and forth.”
Any update on S Jaquiski Tartt?
“No. We know it’s ribs-type stuff and they’re going to look at it right now.”
When you see veterans who are new to this team like QB Brian Hoyer connecting with WR Pierre Garçon, and even the younger players on the offensive side of the ball, early on what’s your initial assessment with how this team is going to gel offensively come Week 1?
“It takes a lot of work. Those guys have been doing a lot of work. Not just around us, but on their own. It’s hard to get the right play versus the right coverage. The receiver still has to beat the DB, and then just trying to complete that on air isn’t always 100-percent. There’s a lot of factors that go into it. It’s something you can’t practice enough. I thought our percentages down the field today were pretty good, but it’s not like that every day. I thought Brian threw the ball well today, the receivers got open, and even when they weren’t they still found a way a couple times to come down with the play. So, it’s something you’ve just got to keep working at all year.”
Two days into padded practice, what are your impressions of the defensive line’s play?
“You know, I think we’ve got some talented guys. We’ve got a pretty deep group there. They come off the ball hard. They all have some length too. When we do block them, it’s very hard to throw over them. Tip balls are always an issue in the league, but we have some taller guys than I’m used to seeing inside in the pocket.”
You were down a few safeties by the end of practice. You have some players who have played both in the past. Any thought of CB Will Davis or your seventh-round pick DB Adrian Colbert?
“You know, everyone could be a possibility and that’s something we’ll discuss. Especially now, when we find out what Tartt’s issue is. When you lose three guys like that, we know [S] Eric Reid is day-to-day, I’ll find out about Jaq, but it gave a couple other guys some opportunities like [DB] Lorenzo [Jerome], and [S] Vinnie [Sunseri], [S] Chanceller James. But, yeah as those numbers start going, we need some more people in there just to get through camp and whether you adjust a corner or whether you end up signing another guy, it really depends how long those guys are going to be out.”
James and Jerome, two undrafted guys getting a lot of work early on. Have you been impressed with their learning curve and how much they’ve been able to take on?
“I have. You know, we were impressed with them on tape coming out of college. That’s why we wanted them here. Then to get them, you don’t really know what you got until you’re around them. When you’re around guys who are pros and really study it and really pay attention in the meetings, and even though they don’t get all the reps, if you’re not a special type of guy who’s not drafted and you’re not studying in the film room all the time, when you get those few reps it’s tough to be on it. Those are guys who really work at it off the field. So, when they get in they take the most out of their opportunities and it gives them a chance with our team.”
With LB Reuben Foster making plays pretty much every day, do you get eager to bump him up? Is that something you consider or do you have a timeline of when you’d like to?
“Not really. We let that play out. I mean, he’s had a few picks here. You know, the one he got today I was probably the most excited about because it was the same one he had yesterday where it was a play action and he killed the fullback and went to tackle the back and the wide receiver was wide open behind him and he was still looking for run. He had the same play today and he didn’t fill up in the run, and he dropped back and got a pick. So, it’s just, one play he got beat on bad yesterday and today we ran the same play at him and he got an interception off of it. So, that’s what you want to see. If he’s getting interceptions all the time then you know he’s not defending the run also. So, there’s a fine line to that and it’s can he do both. That takes time.”
Are there traits you like from QB C.J. Beathard so far and is there enough time now and the preseason to formulate what he could be in a year?
“Just watching C.J. you can tell without even talking to him, watching him on tape the way he processes things. He’ll play in that pocket with a lot of people around him and he can get through progression. He’s a very quick thinker. He’ll react and let it rip. He prepares very hard. He is very intelligent. There’s a knack that certain people have in the pocket where they don’t sit there and just freeze paralysis by analysis. That’s one thing we saw in C.J. in college and the more he gets comfortable with the offense and stuff, he’s shown it already, but the more reps and stuff he gets, that’s one of his huge strengths.”
What do you see out of WR DeAndre Carter who bounced around a bit before coming here?
“DeAndre is doing a good job. He works as hard as anyone in our building. When we were here in the offseason he’d go through everything with us, then I’d see him randomly out on the field doing stuff on his own when we’d leave at night. He’s a guy who during the offseason I think he was still substitute teaching sometimes. You know, this guy he grinds, he works. We liked him looking at his tape that he had in New England, and I believe it was Baltimore in the preseason. We got him in here on a workout right when we got here and he was the best guy in the workout and we added him to our group. He’s done some real good things. He can play all the positions and we look for him to make some plays in the preseason.
Are WR Kendrick Bourne and WR Victor Bolden making that competition a little bit stiffer at wide receiver?
“Yeah, I’d saw our whole group. We have some good competition in our group, through all of our guys. I want to say we have 11 guys right now, I’m not exactly sure. But, there’s not one guy who doesn’t deserve to be out there. They all have a chance. They all can compete and I think they’re all making each other better.”
Brian Hoyer as you mentioned had a great day at the long ball. But, as a starter he seems to do well in the beginning and then sort of falter as games go on. What have you seen with him as he progresses as a starter?
“I’ve played one year with Brian and he had a lot of good games and he had some bad games. I think that’s like every quarterback in this league. You always try to look at yourself as a quarterback and try to see why did you play bad in those games, and he does everything he can to get better. You also can make it easier for him by trying to get people around him better, and not always trying to put the pressure on him to have to make every single throw to win a game in the fourth. Can you give him a good run game? Can you balance some play-action so the O-Line can actually block these people so we can get some explosives? He doesn’t just have to drop back and read coverages every single play. So, there’s lots of things you can do to help quarterbacks and not always put all the pressure on them. But, depending on the game, depending on the week, you get in some games when you’re down some points and now the quarterback’s dropping back every play and people wonder why they’re doing bad. It’s hard. It’s not easy to do. I’m not saying that’s what’s happening to Brian every time, he’s had good games and bad games, but you can’t just look at every single game and just because they struggled here at the end it’s the quarterback. Sometimes they’re in a desperation deal where they’re just trying to get back in the game and become a one-dimensional team.”
Yesterday OL Trent Brown had a pretty rough day. When you went back and reviewed that yesterday, what could he have done better? What do you expect from him?
“Just to be more detailed and the same every play. If Trent is on with his concentration and his technique, if he comes off the ball at the right time, if he’s not late off it, he is a big man and tough to get around. I think you can ask any defensive lineman out there, he is very hard to beat in pass protection because of his size and the length of his arms, and then he can move his feet. But, if you ever just hesitate on a play, if you ever miss a snap count just a hair, we’ve got some D-Linemen that will come off the ball and expose him if he’s not on his game. When Trent is on his game though, it’s a long day for those D-Linemen and they’ve had some of those days in our four practices or three practices. Yesterday, you’re right, I noticed the same thing, but it’s a long camp. That’s what’s the hard thing about camp, everyone wants to come out and evaluate practice and I always kind of look at practices, that’s where you get better. If some of these guys come out and they try not to throw interceptions, they try not to do this and they play conservative, you’re just trying to survive and now you’re not getting any better. I like guys to come out, try techniques, try to improve and not really worry about perception, judging them day to day. It’s a long process. You’re right, he didn’t have a great day yesterday, but I think he did a lot better today. I’ll see more when I watch the tape, but it’s something as coaches, it’s a long camp. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I hope he’s at his best Week 1.”
Are you content with where his conditioning is and where his weight is?
“Yes, I am. He’s done a great job, as much as anyone on our team in terms of losing the right type of weight and adding the right type of weight. Losing fat, adding muscle. Trent is right where we want him and he came into the start of camp exactly where we asked him to be. I know he’s worked very hard to do that and we’re very proud of him for doing that. The thing is, it doesn’t end right there though. It’s every day. And it’s going to be every day forever for him. He’s a guy that can put on weight fast. But, when he’s on it and he’s at his right weight, he’s tough to deal with.”
Same question for LB Aaron Lynch, how do you evaluate where he is physically after the offseason?
“Yeah, both of them. They came back exactly where we asked them to be. It took a lot of work for both of them, but they put it in. I was very proud of them, what they did. It gives them the chance to have a good season. But, like I said, we were happy with how they came in but once you start to feel good about yourself you’re going to be humbled fast. It’s something that’s going to be a challenge for them every day and they’ve got to keep up with it.”
I haven’t seen any goal line or two-minute or live field goal. Is that something you’re kind of making it as general as possible to start this camp?
“Yeah, you’ll see more situations. We have a day off tomorrow. We wanted to go two days of our base offense without pads, two days of our base offense and defense with pads, not really doing specific situations. We’ve been walking through two-minute stuff in our walk-throughs in the afternoon. We’ll get in a lot more situational stuff in our fifth practice when we come back.”
Impressions of DL Solomon Thomas through two padded practices?
“I don’t try to make a big decision. I know you guys want me to say something about him, and I understand. I thought what I saw from him today he had a real good pass rush in the first one-on-one, doubled a guy up, got right to the quarterback. You can see the quickness that we saw on tape with his feet and everything. He’s still trying to get used to the scheme and play against some different type of personnel, but he’s definitely making some plays out there that you can see. And he’s definitely having some plays where it’s like, ‘Alright it was his second day. Just be patient.’”
I noticed he was with LB Elvis Dumervil a lot before that. Is that you telling a veteran to get with the rookie and get in his ear or did they kind of sought each other out?
“No, that’s not us. I think Elvis is a guy who has a lot of knowledge, and he tried to perfect the craft of getting to the quarterback his entire career. That’s one of the reasons we wanted Elvis. It starts with what you see on tape. Can they help us? Obviously we think Elvis can. But, then you look at the type of guy he his, the way he’s a pro, the way he goes about his business. We wanted him even more because we knew he could help other guys. Solomon is a smart, confident guy. We don’t tell him to go talk to Elvis, but I think Solomon is going to try to get as good as he can and if he wants to do that that’s a great guy to talk to.”
Maybe it’s just with us, but even at this stage in his career Elvis seems to have a bit of some feistiness and a chip on his shoulder. Does that make him who he is?
“Yeah, I think Elvis has had an edge his whole life. You’ll have to ask him more than me because I haven’t been around him very long, but everyone’s told Elvis, you’re not tall enough, you’re not this, you’re not that, and all he’s done is ball in college, he’s balled in the NFL, he’s done good in Denver, he’s done good in Baltimore. He’s battled through some injuries here over the last few years, but Elvis is a pro and believes in himself and he should. I think he’s got a chip on his shoulder, which I think for anyone to be successful in all those different areas and to do it this long there’s got to be something besides just your ability.”
With the injuries to LB Jimmie Gilbert, WR BJ Johnson and OL JP Flynn, any of those require surgery or season-enders?
“Yeah, Gilbert did tear his ACL. So, that’s definitely going to need a surgery. Johnson, we’re still trying to decide on that because there was some partial stuff in his hamstring so there’s a couple ways to go about it which we haven’t decided yet. Obviously with the ACL tear, we’re going to have to make a decision on how we handle that, but he’s definitely getting surgery for that. BJ, we’re still trying to decide.”