COACH BRADLEY: Just a couple things to report injury-wise; Will Rackley, the X-rays were negative on his leg, we’ll get an MRI tomorrow on his ankle as well; Chris Prosinski is being evaluated for a concussion. I thought we saw some really positive things tonight for going out there and facing a team that was high tempo. You saw in the game plan how we tried to match that on defense and get us in position to where we could execute and do our assignments. I thought we did a nice job of handling that for the first time. The positives, we forced three fumbles, which is a real good positive. Dwayne Gratz had the interception and a lot of guys were out there competing for jobs and it showed by their aggressiveness. Jordan Todman had the big run, he went over 100 yards in rushing and I thought Chad Henne had some nice throws throughout the time that he was in and he finished well in the second half. Defensively, we had two sacks and came up with some big stops. Some of those returns on special teams almost put the defense in position like a sudden change and the defense had to go out and perform in those situations, so it was good reps for our guys to check their mentality. I was really proud of the guys in the locker room. It’s always a tough day today; you finish the game and some tough decisions have to be made and I talked to our guys about that. In this business you want to keep it genuine. We have guys that were with us for a long time that we are going to have to make decisions on whether they’re going to be here or not. I talked to them about having a genuine appreciation; they’re always going to be a part of us. We’re going to pull for them and I told them there’s going to be some great things in the future, we may not know right now, but I told them to keep that trust going.
We have a short week this week with Atlanta. We will come in tomorrow as a staff and evaluate it and make our decisions along with Dave (Caldwell), a lot of input will be put together and we will make decisions. We have a preliminary idea, but we really want to take this film and evaluate it to make our final decisions.
On cutting down to 75 players before Monday’s practice
COACH BRADLEY: Yes.
On whether tonight’s game helped some guys’ stock
COACH BRADLEY: Well, we’ll take a look at tape, but that’s what I hope to see. I saw some flashes of some guys out there that we’re challenging and guys that may be on that bubble. To me it’s always a tough decision, you say well it’s really not that tough on some guys, but it is. For what they did for us, those are always tough decisions; we’ll support them and wish them the best.
On playing multiple guys on special teams
COACH BRADLEY: In practice they get multiple reps and we’re hunting now, we’re competing, we’re trying to find guys. I said it earlier in the week we need six or seven core guys if possible on special teams. Right now we feel like there are three or four, those spots are open and that’s what I challenged our guys. Hopefully some of the guys that are second or thirds on our depth chart took that to heart and went out there and competed and are fighting for those spots. You’re right, you’re leaving it for open competition and you’re hunting to try to find guys who will fill that, but sooner or later we have to move on and really lock in to the guys that are going to be back there.
On the potential loss of Will Rackley for an extended period of time
COACH BRADLEY: The challenge is for the next guy to step up, just like Chad did tonight. Blaine (Gabbert) was out, Chad had to step up and we can’t miss a beat. We’ll see how Will’s doing and the prognosis on it, but we’ll have guys that will be ready and the next guy will step up.
On the competition and what guys you play next Thursday
COACH BRADLEY: We may play, we MAY play our starters next week, so we have to take a look at it. We will evaluate it on tape; it’s a decision we have to make. If we do play them it will be for a short period of time, but there’s always competition. Our mindset is not, ok we made a decision we have 53 now let’s go. If our players think that then they’re sadly mistaken because the competition will never end. They should have the mindset to compete within themselves because I know our scouting staff and Dave leading that will be aggressive, and if there are guys out there that can help us, we will take a look at them. We don’t want to disrupt our chemistry of our team, but we’re always looking to get better.
COACH BRADLEY: We’re trying to help him get better. To their credit they compete though. They are competing the whole time out there and it’s a tough job for them because they get limited reps in practice and then we ask them to go out there and perform like a starter. That’s a tough duty. They’re competing but we’re not where we need to be yet.
On Maurice Jones-Drew’s extensive time
COACH BRADLEY: Yes, I talked to him on the sideline after he was out and he felt good. I think his mindset is he was better tonight than he was last week and I think he has a better idea of where he needs to be even more improved.
Does he look like a guy who’s ready to play 50 snaps in two weeks?
COACH BRADLEY: I don’t know I think you have to ask him. Let me watch film and see it. I know he’s not satisfied with where he is right now. I know that. He has told me that and MoJo and I have conversations daily on where he needs to be, and that’s a trust factor with us. Dave (Caldwell) has talked to him as well.
On overall performance of running backs tonight
COACH BRADLEY: Pretty good. I thought Jordan Todman showed up, Maurice, I thought Denard Robinson, knock on wood has done a good job with the ball now. And our running backs I don’t know the exact stat, I know we lost one tonight but we got it back but I know as far as fumbles from our running backs I don’t know how many we’ve had all preseason but I don’t think there’s many from the running backs, if any. It’s all about the importance of the ball.
On Denard Robinson’s transition to running back and how important is this running game
COACH BRADLEY: It’s very important. We aren’t going to be balanced with the running game. It’s not going to be where we’re trying to be thirty runs, thirty passes and that’s it, but when it’s all said and done we hope to get close to balance. It may be fifty-five, forty-five pass to run but we know the importance of it. It’s interesting there’s nine minutes left to go in the game and we’re up by one. If the first team is in there it would be a great challenge for them – can we run the ball and go into a four minute mode with eight minutes left? Can we do that? That would be a great challenge for our offensive line and I think they would rise to that.
How do you view the production that you got out of Allen Reisner and Jordan Todman’s performances?
COACH BRADLEY: It’s been great. We’re challenging. What we can do is take the talent we have and maximize them. That’s what we have to do. We feel that if we can maximize everybody on our team then let’s see what happens. I think Allen Reisner is a classic example of that where he is working his tail off every day to maximize himself and when he does that he’s starting to show up. That’s cool. I think that’s really exciting to see guys like that step up and stay true to the whole thing and start to develop and have some success. I think the same thing with Jordan Todman. I think it’s a great opportunity for him this preseason. He’s getting a chance to demonstrate his skills and to go in there you can imagine now what these guys have got in their mind; cuts are made tomorrow and they’re going into this game knowing that tough decisions have to be made and they’ve got to eliminate the distraction and go out there and perform. Jordan Todman has done a great job.On Mike Kafka and Matt Scott. Have you seen enough of them?
COACH BRADLEY: We’ll take a look at that tomorrow on tape. I know Dave and I and Jedd (Fisch) and Frank (Scelfo) will have discussions about that and we’ll evaluate that tomorrow and make decisions accordingly. It was good. I thought Matt (Scott) played better tonight than he did in the past.