Opening Comments: "Injuries – these are the guys that will not play. (DT Antonio) Dixon, (DE Brandon) Graham, (T) Ryan Harris, (S) Marlin Jackson, (T) Winston Justice, (WR) Jeremy Maclin, (DE) J(uqua) P(arker), and (WR) Steve Smith. Everybody else has a chance to play, and we'll see how things go. (DT) Mike Patterson, I was asked about the last couple days, Mike Patterson will play. I can't tell you how much he's going to play, but we'll just see how things go. He's had a good week of practice and he's ready to go.
"Just finished up our normal week of practice as if we're getting ready for an in-season game. Again, you're teaching through the practices here, so literally had to go through a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday practice, which today was. I appreciated the effort and concentration that the guys put into it. We look forward to playing Cleveland. It'll be a good test for us, and again, we look forward to playing in front of our crowd here."
On how much consideration he has given to moving G/T Todd Herremans to right tackle: "The thing we've got is Winston Justice is coming back, and then (T) King (Dunlap) did a nice job this past week, brought (T/G) Reggie (Wells) in and he been working in a little bit, so we have some options there that I want to look at. Obviously, I have a lot of confidence in Winston, it's just a matter of him being healthy. And what I saw from King last week, I thought he did a nice job."
On whether there is a timetable for Justice's return: "He had a good workout yesterday. He was stronger than he was the one prior to that, so he's close. There's a chance he's back next week, at least in practice, and working. We'll have to see how he does here over the next couple days."
On Harris' back status: "He came out and went through the 10/10/10 and then it tightened up on him again. So we're trying to calm it back down and see what the next move here is."
On whether there is anything ailing Harris beyond back spasms: "Well, he's had surgery on that back before so he's seeing the specialist and they're talking through it. Just trying to calm it down right now, that's what we're trying to do."
On why they're not sure on how much Patterson will play: "He was out 18 days or so, and he's been back for the four here. He kept himself in good shape, but again we'll treat him like it's the first preseason game that he's played. A little bit like I did with (WR) DeSean (Jackson) last week. Just limit his reps and see how he's doing. Communicate with him during the game, see how he's feeling."
On where the defense is right now in terms of the learning process: "Well, we're getting there. We're where you'd expect at this time. There are some good things that we did the other night, there's some things we need to work on and we'll keep doing that. I think they're picking it up fairly quick, and that's a good thing."
On what he would like to see from QB Michael Vick in terms of improvement from the last game: "Just continue to execute and lead the way that he has in the past, and he'll do that. There's going to be a blip every once and a while, that's how it is when you play quarterback and you have the ball in your hand every snap, but you have to have a short-term memory and learn from it and move on."
On whether there is the possibility of rotating or splitting reps at the center position or if there needs to be one guy: "Well, you know, you can split them, we've got competition there. We'll just see how that goes, but to answer your question you can split them, as long as both of them are doing good. That's the bottom line to it."
On whether moving C Jamaal Jackson to guard is a possibility: "Well you see him in the goal line situation and short yardage as well, so we have confidence that he can jump in there and do that."
On whether Jackson could possibly be a starter at guard: "Yeah, we're looking at everybody."
On who is the next option at MLB after Casey Matthews: "He's the one in there. That's what he is right now. You could ask me about every position. We have a first team and a second team, and he's running with the first team right now. I didn't know anyone listened to my radio show but that's good, I'm finding out they do. Appreciate it, Merrill."
On his plan for the game: "With the ones, we're going to go three quarters. The twos will take it the last quarter."
On how he will treat the last two weeks this year as opposed to other years: "I'll evaluate it after this game. Just see where we're at and what we need to do, and then go from there. Right now, we're on the same schedule we've been on. We'll see how things work out and how they feel after the game."
On which QB will play with the second team: "Right now we have Vince (Young) in there. That doesn't mean that Mike (Kafka) doesn't come in there. I'll see how the numbers go and how things work out.
On whether Kafka is playing well enough to win the backup QB job: "Let me tell you that he's done a nice job. He's been one of the bright spots of our last game. He's done a nice job."
On the rotation at safety: "(Jarrad) Page will start. Depending on the personnel group we're going with there, he will start."
On whether S Nate Allen's knee is coming along slower than he hoped: "What we try to do is spot time with him. You'll see him this week rotating in with the one's, and he's on schedule. We just want to make sure everything is alright. We did the same thing in training camp up at Lehigh to make sure we gave him a day off here and there. As training camp goes on, guys get tired and I want to make sure he's able to keep it strong and be ready to roll."
On how much of a factor the lockout was with players coming back from surgery: "Every situation is different. I know it's important that they have a chance to meet and to rehab with their trainer. I think that's important, and obviously as a coach you want it that way. On the other hand, there are some other players that were injured, and then we came back and they were in pretty good shape. It's dependent on where they will go. The one consistent thing that you know is when they're hurt and you have them here, you'll have them all here. With the lockout situation, you have a bunch of different people doing their rehab."