Opening Comments: "I'll tell you what, great training camp, quite different, with the new guys and the young guys who I'm talking specifically about the rookies. They really put hard work in on the field, extensive work in off the field because of the lack of reps and mini camps and the learning process had to be expedited. Proud of those guys. Right about now, the new and the younger guys, it's clicking for them. Right about now you start to see it. They're feeling very comfortable with their assignments, they're getting in and out of the huddle knowing exactly what their responsibility is, and now they're able to play fast. When you know what you're doing your natural talent can show up. So that's where we're at, but we've got Pittsburgh Thursday night and we're looking forward to that. A road game, crowd noise, there's a lot of things that go into playing on the road and winning on the road, so we're emphasizing that just a little bit."
On why RB LeSean McCoy did not practice today: "I'm not going to get into details, but we just backed him of just a little bit, just a little bit, so he can get his legs back and so forth. We just backed him of just a little bit. He went through much of the individual drills and those sort of things, but we just backed him off a little bit."
On his impressions so far of RB Dion Lewis: "Outstanding. The man can run the football, and then last week he proved that he can pick up a blitzer and a physical man who was a linebacker, and in fact he did it twice. That's what I was looking for there out of him. Some of the small stature guys can't do that, and they're not in this league very long. Many of them can, for instance, Brian Westbrook. Now, some of these fellas are a little shorter than you think, but they're bigger than you think, and Dion is stacked pretty good. Fundamentals and technique-wise, he's got to get better there. So those two things come right to the forefront of my mind."
On comparing Lewis' running style to Westbrook's: "I think they're just a little bit different, just a little bit different. It's hard for me, I think it would be unfair to Dion and Brian to compare those two at this stage, because Brian was such a great player. Brian could do everything. Brian was one of the top, let's say, five runners in the league. He was, I think, probably the best pass protector at his position in the league. He could go out at a receiver spot and run routes, and catch the ball, and score touchdowns, as good as many receivers in this league, so Brian was a special player. Style-wise they're just a little bit different, probably in the same mold though."
On the camp TE Cornelius Ingram has had so far and his thoughts on him: "Outstanding, young, talented man. He's been through really two major injuries. One coming out, if you remember, when we drafted him, previous to that, and then he got one with us. So the terminology, the verbiage, the responsibilities, he's got all of that. Now it's experience and then how you go about getting it done, your assignment, technique, and the fundamentals. So he's right in the middle of that, he just hasn't been on the field much with our offensive structure in the last couple of years. He's having an outstanding camp, he really flashes brilliance. So now he's got to play at that high level on a consistent basis."
On whether TE Donald Lee gives the offense an added dimension: "Yes. Donald Lee is an outstanding player, very good in the pass game, so I think he can help us. Yeah, just a little bit."
On what it takes for a player to make a transition from receiving to blocking more: "Well, great ones can do that, and that's one reason we have him here. He's got good experience in line blocking, and then he's been a very good receiving type tight end. So he's quite versatile and I think he can help us. I think he's got a great opportunity here to be able to do that. He's right in the middle of getting all that hard work and preparation in so he will be able to help us, and we'll see how that turns out."
On whether he is surprised that the chance to play with QB Michael Vick has attracted so many free agents and whether he has ever seen that before: "Heck I would too, I would want to play with Michael. Now, I'm biased towards Michael. What a great quarterback I think that he's evolving into. Plus I think there's great respect for Mike, because he was at the top at one point, and then he was he was at the bottom several years later, and then he got himself back up to the top. So I think there's great respect for a person when they do that. Now I'm just thinking right here off the top of my head, so I think there's two things there that are working, and I have seen it before. In Green Bay, and then when I was in San Francisco we got several people, great players, to come for less money. Steve (Young) was there. We had a lot of great, great players and Steve was sort of the leader there. Not sort of, he was the leader there."
On Vick's leadership: "Playing the quarterback position, you're thrust into a leadership role just by the position. He's sort of taken the bull by the horns. Much of leadership comes naturally, and your experiences in your past and all those type of things. Everybody is just a little bit different on how they lead. There are some things that just have to be done, leadership-wise, at the quarterback position. He's really done a fine job with that. I'm really impressed with the way that Mike Vick goes about his business. He's a real pro football player. He goes about it a certain way."
On how he would describe that leadership role: "There's too many details to get into it, we could talk for two days about that, really. And it's so important, as you're alluding to, and he's done just an outstanding job. Really. I'm reiterating myself just a little bit, everybody is different on how they go about it but there are some things that are very structured that way."
On what having members of the armed forces at practice does for him as a coaching staff and team: "I think, and I can't speak for anybody else, but I got some tingles. Great respect for the men and women in our armed forces. We could talk a long time about what they do for us and this country, and I think our players and coaches, and again I can't speak for everybody, but I think there's great respect for the men and women in our armed forces."
On Air Force alumnus WR Chad Hall's camp and where he fits in: "Well he acts like he's running armed forces. Really, he's quite confident in himself and everything that he does. You can tell that there was a possibility that he came from our services. The way that he goes about his business and handles things, a really, really confident young man. These are just some of the types of people that are in our services. He's had an excellent camp. The man can play ball. Done. He can play football, and he plays it at a high level. Certainly you have some strengths. He basically catches everything that's thrown to him, he's very quick, he's very consistent, and I think one of the best things you can say about a player is he can play, he can play at a high level."
On the battle that's going on between the wide receivers and the defensive backs during camp, particularly Jackson against the starting three cornerbacks: "DeSean, the first day, were you all here the first day for one on ones? DeSean is a little different from us regular people. DeSean can, he's just got such a uniquely high level of talent. He's fast, he's quick, he's athletic, he's smooth, he's natural, he's smart, he's got all of those things and so he's quite different. And he had fresh legs as well. I sure am happy to have him in camp, and I think he's happy to be back with us, part of the team. You know DeSean, he's a tough guy. DeSean Jackson is a tough, tough guy, and he's really all about the team. He doesn't care who gets the credit, who scores, all he is, is about winning the next ballgame. Now having said that, about the third play of this team drill he comes up and says 'I can go deep on him.' That was half a joke, but he did do that. '42 is squatting on me I can go over the top.'"
On the high level of competition between the cornerbacks: "We always have great competition and we've got some great, great cover men on this football team on the defensive side, so it only makes both sides better. And then we get DeSean in and we can test them just a little bit in other ways as well."
On the test of the road game for the new guys: "We did briefly cover that. Road games, there's a lot of things that go in to winning on the road, the travel, and how you go about it, and there's a lot of things to that, and then specifically the crowd noise. This will be an excellent challenge for us there. We're playing a great defensive football team, I believe they were number two in the league last year and I believe all 11 are returning, and maybe, let's see, I think 9 or 10 of the backups are returning as well. So they're set there. What a great defense. And then you put the crowd noise on top of that. We've got a great challenge there, a great opportunity as well."