Injury Report: "(WR) Jamal Jones still has a rib fracture, he won't practice today. (DE) Victor Abiamiri will not practice today. (WR) Reggie Brown has a strained hamstring, he will not practice, but I believe he's getting better. (DE) Chris Clemons is close to getting out there, probably more than the rest of these guys, with a calf strain. (DT) Montae Reagor had surgery today. It seemed to go well, so we'll see how he does here over the next few days.
Opening Remarks: Again, normally I talk to you about New England, but we're still in a camp mode even though we are doing a regular Wednesday practice schedule. We're still installing and going over things that will help us during the season. We will be in pads today. There will be no live periods as we continue on with our practice schedule here up to New England and then to the Jets, so it'll be pretty similar to an in-season practice out there."
On where DE Victor Abiamiri is in his rehab process: "Actually, he saw a doctor this morning, so I'll get an update for you on that. He saw the doctor that did the surgery on him. I don't know what his standing is; however, I know he wants to play, but he still needs to let that thing heal."
On whether shortening training camp and lengthening the regular season would hurt the NFL product: "I think the place it hurts a little bit is just in evaluating the young players. Giving them game experience and opportunity and then to see them over the long haul of things, of training camp. Can it be done shorter? It could be done shorter. I think you give the players trying to make this football team a little bit greater of a chance to mature and show what their skill level is."
On whether he thinks one or two more regular season games would increase the possibility of injury among players: "I don't know the stat on that. I would have to go through and see. I know the league has. It's something that they look at – the competition committee looks at. I just can't tell you what those stats are at this time."
On whether the fact that first cuts are approaching has affected the atmosphere around here: "It affects the five guys once they know who the five guys are. Other than that, I don't see anything. I think the guys are taking each day as it comes and trying to do the best that they can. We haven't predetermined who the five guys are, so it keeps the competition up and gives these guys an opportunity to show here for a few more days."
On whether G Shawn Andrews will start at right guard on Friday: "We'll just see how he does. I talked to (offensive line coach) Juan (Castillo) about that and Shawn. We'll just take it one day at a time; see how he makes it through the day. He'll get a little contact today, and I'm sure he'll get a little sore and we'll see tomorrow and the following day how he does."
On whether he is looking for specific things from Andrews or is just trying to get a general feel: "I'm a communicator, obviously if it would be for the worst where he can't move and susceptible to injury then I'm not going to put him in. I want to just see how it all works out, where he's at. The only way to do that is just to communicate and he'll do that with me."
On whether he has learned something about his offensive line with Andrews' absence that would not have been learned otherwise: "As you go up from the teams, the third team gets the least amount of reps, the second gets a few more than the third, and then the one's get a majority of the reps. So with (G) Max (Jean- Gilles) being able to work in there with that group, that obviously helped him. If I had to pin-point one guy, that would probably be the guy. I think it also helped (G) Scott Young at the same time. Scott got more reps with the second group, and he was able to step in and have a pretty decent game here last week."
On whether he has thought about running DE Jerome McDougle with the one's or two's: "Jerome has had a good camp, and we have mixed him in there. Not with the one's but we have with the second group there, and we'll continue to do that. He's shown some things."
On what his overall view of the defensive end position is without DE Victor Abiamiri and DE Chris Clemons: "You know, you'd like to have those two guys out there. I still think that's a strong unit. We'll see how that works for them. I think that there's talent there."
On DE Bryan Smith and his progress at defensive end: "He's getting better. He's picking things up a bit better. He made a couple of good plays in the game. He came in with not being a very big guy, so we were concerned about his run defense. He actually did a very good job at that this last game, and he's been working very hard at that. Again, he'll continue to get better at the pass game and master his techniques there a little bit."
On whether he would like to see multiple guys shine at the defensive end position or whether he would like to see one guy surface up: "If I have four guys – four or five guys that I feel good about, I'll play them all. I don't mind doing that. It keeps everybody fresh and ready to go."
On how difficult it is to get to know all 53 guys on the roster and whether he has to get to know all their personalities: "Yeah, you do. You try to do it the best you can. What I've done over the years, is I've focused on a position and tried to hit those guys in a day whether it's on the field, whether it's off the field, after a meeting. And that's kind of how I've gone about it since I've been here, and it helps you to stay in tune a little bit with the guys, and again, you don't know everything and sometimes a person doesn't know exactly what their situation is. But you want to have a decent feel of the guys that you are around and you are around them a lot, so you don't want to ignore things either."
On whether he has numbers at each position that he has to stick to or if he lets the players battle it out: "There are certain numbers that you almost have to have at a spot, at certain positions. Then, other positions you have flexibility there and special teams becomes a factor. We're mixing people up on special teams and moving them all around so we can find that core group that we feel comfortable with, and we're going to continue to do that. There will be a handful of guys on this team that will make it because they end up being a solid core special teams player."
On whether he might keep six defensive ends and four defensive tackles because of the numbers he has: "You have some flexibility there, you could do that. You don't have to keep 10 either, so we've been fortunate enough to have guys here that are pretty good players. I want to make sure, in particular on the defensive line, those are the guys there that can run and be special teams contributors, so if they factor in there you might keep your numbers up."
On whether he's looking at RB Tony Hunt at the fullback position: "Well, we're going to do that actually tomorrow. He's going to get some reps in there this week. Again, he's a player that came out and played very good football this past week. Not only from the backfield carrying the football, but he has taken special teams very serious and you saw the two tackles he had on the kickoff team. Tony wants to be on the field, so we're going to give him every opportunity to be out there."
On how Hunt has improved: "The thing he has improved at most is, we knew he could run the football, but he's a special teams player. He deserves an opportunity. He's a big kid who wants to be on the field, and he doesn't really care where he plays, he just wants to play so we'll give him a shot."
On his performance in last Thursday's preseason game: "He had a good game. He had a couple of good runs in there, so it showed up. He had a couple of good runs last year in training camp and preseason games, so again, it's a matter of numbers and finding a spot for him."
On how his blocking has improved from last year: "He's worked on that, most of all his pass blocking, so that was something new for him, in particular the techniques that we asked him to do. I think he's done a lot better job in that area."
On what a good fullback has to be able to do and why he thinks that Hunt can do that: "He has to be able to block or at least sustain a block where he's not getting pushed back and then understand his leverage of that. Then, he has to be effective in the pass game and be able to catch the football, and the handful of times that we give him the ball during the season, he has to be productive with those. We ask our fullback to be a good special teams player or at least a contributor, so that ends up being the main part."