Opening remarks:"The players are working hard, they're studying hard. They've had a lot thrown at them in two days. For the veterans, it's more of a review—picking out one or two things they want to get better at each day. For the new players, it's quite an experience for them. They're getting into their books at lunch and at night. They're doing a terrific job up to date. They have a lot of hard work ahead of them in this minicamp and in the May and June camps."
On what he has seen from the rookie skill-position players: "[WR Jeremy] Maclin sure is a smooth, fast, skilled player. He's a very natural player. [RB LeSean] McCoy is much of the same. He's very quick, he can cut on a dime, and he has excellent hands. All of them have studied hard and are pretty sharp. [TE Cornelius] Ingram has done well. He's very athletic for a big guy. He's a big guy and is really athletic. He catches the ball very well, he's smooth in everything he does, he's very quick for a big guy.
"[WR Brandon] Gibson has had an excellent start. We have several players who have so much hard work in front of them to be able to help us. That goes for, really, every new player. [FB Leonard] Weaver is doing a heck of a job. He is a veteran and has had some very similar terminology, so it's a much easier transition for him than it is for a totally new player."
On how similar the offense is for Weaver after coming from Seattle: "It's not identical, but the terminology, at least, is very similar. That makes it much easier."
On whether there is a point where he knows Maclin and McCoy will be able to contribute: "That would be at some point in training camp, you start to formulate some of those thoughts. You get ideas in these camps and at some point in training camp, [they] may very well prove they're ready to play."
On whether WR DeSean Jackson's strong rookie season changes what he thinks rookies can do in the system: "Everybody is different. We had Antonio [Freeman] there [in Green Bay]. He didn't have a huge year, but he played a lot for us. That might have been the only other rookie receiver I've really had [who played a lot]. However, everybody is different. Every player is different. There are great players who took two or three years to become an excellent player or be able to play at a high level pretty consistently. Then, there are other players who can do it almost immediately. Everybody is different."
On why some players are able to pick the offense quickly:"There are several things that are common. They are very smart, at least football-wise. They have high intelligence that way. They're normally very natural players. The game comes easy to them. Their movements, the thought process, it comes very natural to them. Then they are normally at a high skill level."
On whether he thinks Ingram was a steal in the draft: "Hopefully they all are. We'll know more as we go in training camp. For all these new players, there is so much. A certain player might look great right now, but quite possibly they'll struggle in some other segment that he needs to play at a high level. Some guys go through the whole process pretty seamlessly. Those are the players who can help you really early. We'll know a little bit more in the middle of training camp."
On whether Weaver has a skill set that will allow them to utilize him:"Leonard is a true fullback who has other skills. He has good running skills, as well as pass-receiving skills. So, we'll try to put him in positions where he can get some success in those areas."
On whether FB Kyle Eckel has the chance to contribute this season:"Yes, he did last year for us on special teams and occasionally on offense. He's a fine player. He's very tough, physical and quick. This guy is a good player. I would think he'd be able to help us, at least situationally and on special teams. He's a good player."
On how far G/T Shawn Andrews has to go become a starting right tackle: "Shawn has been taking right tackle and left tackle sets since he got here. He has taken all different types of sets. That's a little bit different. He has quite a bit of experience, really at all of the positions except center, since he's been with us. I would think that would be a quick transition there. He has done a fine job in minicamp."
On WR Reggie Brown:"Another player who has done an outstanding job is Reggie Brown. Outstanding. He is healthy. It's good to see him healthy and running fast and catching the ball. He's smooth. He was impressive yesterday, as well as this morning."
On running backs who have a tough time picking up the blocking scheme:"It's usually not one thing. You can get that done pretty quickly. It's usually two or three or more things. The college game is a little different, protection-wise. It's all football—you see a lot of things in the NFL that you see in college, and vice versa. But, the amount is not quite as much. You see a lot more in any particular game. The protections, there's a little bit more to it, typically for us. They normally have not done that. If you combine all of those things, and most college halfbacks haven't protected much at all in some of these schemes that these colleges are running, offensively. They haven't done it much, physically, as well. Add all that together and there is an awful lot of studying, preparation, reps, and the physical part. All that together, it sometimes takes a little while for a player to become an excellent pass protector in this league at the halfback spot."
On what area he'd most like to improve from last season:"There are several things. We broke the franchise record for scoring, however we weren't very good in the red zone. We weren't as good as we expect to be or have been in the past. We were one of the best at getting into the red zone, which correlates to winning more than your red zone percentage, but we need to do a little bit better job there. We were the very best in the league at third-and-two, but we were terrible at third-and-one. We have to get that straightened out. In general, it's a high level of play, and we have to be consistent with it in those areas."
On whether the struggles on third-and-one could have just been an aberration:"There is some of that. [But you can't think that way], because otherwise it will just happen again. But you have to change some things, you have to do some things, to get better in those areas. Much of the game is situational."
On whether a true fullback, a tight end, and the two new tackles could help improve the third-and-short struggles:"That's another thing. The offensive line has to play well as a unit. We have three players still rehabbing. [G/T] Stacy [Andrews], [G] Todd [Herremans] and [G] Max [Jean-Gilles] are still rehabbing. We need to get these players healthy. They're very close. [Head athletic trainer] Rick [Burkholder] does a heck of a job—the best job in the league—of getting those guys healthy very quickly. We're in that process.
"In general, you're probably talking about the run game in short yardage and those types of things. In general, the run game starts with the offensive line playing well as a unit. Then, a big, physical tight end and a big, physical fullback who can hit you. That can make a good running game a great running game, or an average running game go to a good running game. Then, the receivers are important. They can make a six-yard gain into a 15-yard gain or a 20-yard gain into a 60-yard touchdown run. The quarterback's ball-handling and some of the things he does at the line of scrimmage and the faking. The most important part is the ball-carrier breaking tackles, getting an extra two yards and making people miss. All of those have to be at a high level to really have a good running attack."
On how much the lower yards per carry average last year had to do with RB Brian Westbrook being banged up and having older tackles: "We were just a little more inconsistent in that area than we have been in the past. We expect to run the ball. You know me; I want to run the ball in a physical manner. You have to do that, at least situationally. We weren't able to do that at times. We were just a little inconsistent. In many games we did an excellent job. In other games, we just weren't good enough. Then, you have to win by throwing the ball and relying on your defense and things like that."
On QB Kevin Kolb's development:"He is still progressing. He's done a good in this camp so far. He's very comfortable with all of his progression and, his reads, his drops, his footwork, all the things he needs to see. His game management is typically very good. The preseason games will be very important for him as well."
On whether there will be an emphasis on getting five receivers out in routes:"We do that a lot. Some of it is gameplan. I'll give you an example. If a team is a big blitz team, a couple things you can do is scat them all out and put the immediate pressure on them. The other thing is max protect and put some one-on-ones on the outside. All those come into play. Scatting five out, we do that an awful lot anyway. That would be in the thought process for every gameplan."
On TE Brent Celek's development as a receiver and a blocker: "That's one of his strengths is that he is a proven blocker at this level and he is really a good receiver at this level. He does two things really well. The other things that make him really a good player is that he's very consistent and he's extremely dependable. He's a tough man. You add all that up and you really have a good player who usually plays pretty well on a consistent basis, each week. He has earned it. He has put in the work. He's certainly still learning; he hasn't seen it all. I would expect him to play pretty well each and every week."
On WR DeSean Jackson: "We've talked about this before. DeSean, coming into training camp, I fully expected him to help us on special teams and quite possibly in different roles on offense. Both of our starting receivers were injured in training camp. He had a good opportunity and he took advantage of it. He grabbed it and ran with it and did a heck of a job. He had one of the best rookie years at any position I've been around. He did a heck of a job. Now, he's getting better every day and continuing the process. He has that mentality. He came up to me today and said, 'I'm getting better every day.' If you have that mentality, then you don't put a cap on yourself. If you have the mentality that you've arrived and know how to play the game at this level, then you get slapped in the face. You see that time and time again. He has that perfect mentality to continue to improve. He is a heck of a player."