Head Coach Mike Zimmer
Okay we're excited. We've got the game a week from tomorrow, I guess. It's hard to remember what day is what when you're in camp. But we'll get a chance to get to the University of Minnesota, get in that stadium so that will be fun. We'll get a chance to look at these guys. We'll start prepping for the Raiders Tuesday a little bit and a little bit on Wednesday. At this time during camp, we're still really installing our offense and defense and special teams. And we're trying to continue to get better in what we're doing and really not too worried about the Raiders at this point. But the guys are working hard. We had a good practice yesterday. We got to move the ball. So things are going okay, I don't want to say good yet. Alright, questions?
Q: How much have you installed at this point, how is the game plan for the rest of camp in how you get these guys to do what you want them to do?
A: We're going to keep installing until about the week before we play. I try not to get anything else in about two weeks before the Rams game. So once we get that in then we're pretty good unless there's something else obviously that we need game plan wise. But, I want our guys to play fast in the game and not think.
Q: Mike, the secondary is your baby…
A: Depends on how good they do. (joking)
Q: You have officials here today going to break down the contact rules, how have you interpreted what the league has done and how to you convey that to the team?
A: It just shows you my age, but a long time ago, probably when I was in Dallas, they cleaned up all the pass interference rules and everything and actually termed everything that they could do. I think there's going to be a bigger emphasis on some of the illegal contacts this year coming in and some of the holding for the defensive backs. But it's good to get them in and the good thing about us, I think all coaches, we adjust to the rules and try to play within the rules and try to do things the right way and try to keep the integrity of the game right. It's like the helmet to helmet, we just coach different and we have to do what we have to do to avoid penalties and still be able to play a tough, physical brand of football.
Q: In what way do you feel you have to adjust the bump and run technique to stay within the rules?
A: Well, I don't really have to change anything because I teach within the rules all the way anyway. What we teach is always, I mean, we talk to them about where we can contact. This doesn't happen very often but one of our guys did it the other day, they talk about chucking a receiver inside a five. Well if you chuck him and take your hands off him and chuck him again, that's technically a penalty. Now you've got to be pretty talented to do that in a five-yard area. But it happened one time in practice the other day. I talked to him about that. But we don't really have to change our techniques too much because, I'm not saying we won't have penalties; I'm saying that we don't teach penalties the way we teach things.
Q: Are there rules that you would like to see tweaked further on the defensive side?
A: (laughs) No. No, no, no.
Q: When do you anticipate you'll see the linebacker rotation setup?
A: I don't know. When I feel good about it I guess. I don't know. I have no idea. We're just going to let it play out and keep going, keep going and keep getting these guys reps and try and figure out the best way we can and where we're going to go from there.
Q: Since you took over, how much have to gotten to know Everson Griffen personally and how would you describe him?
A: I like Everson a lot. He's very eager. That's one of the things I like that he would be. He's very eager. He wants to please. He wants to do good. He's excitable. But obviously I'm spending a lot of time in the defensive meetings, so I get a chance to talk to him quite a bit. But he wants to do things right and he's a good kid and I'm glad we have him.
Q: Any update on Robert Blanton, and what is your game plan moving forward without him?
A: Well, we don't know how long he's going to be out, first of all, so there's really no update. And secondly, it's to continue to look at these guys we have and try to narrow that situation down. Right now, we've got Mistral Raymond in there. We're moving guys around. Harrison has moved to the other side a little bit now because of that. It'll all play out just like the linebacker situation
Q: Both Cordarrelle Patterson and Captain Munnerlyn are back on the field in pads, how are they doing and how do you plan on handling them?
A: Cordarrelle started working in the team drills yesterday and Captain should start working in the team, we're going to go through, he went through individual yesterday so we'll start working him through that. And today if he continues as we hope, that he should be able to get into some of the team drills. And we'll be careful with both a little bit but they're pretty ready to go I think and it's nice to have them back out there again.
Q: What do you see from Anthony Barr in coverage?
A: Coverage is great. He moves well. He's got a good idea. Somebody was telling me that he takes copious notes in the meetings. He's got pages and pages of them as we talk so he's very, very into trying to learn what we're trying to do and teach. He's got a lot of raw, athletic ability that helps in the coverage aspect of things. There's times when he may pull off of somebody a little bit too soon that he's got to do better at. But for the most part, I've been very pleased with that.
Q: Will that just come with time?
A:Yeah, and really for all of our guys on both sides of the ball, we still have to keep fine tuning these techniques, because everything is new for really everybody on the football team other than the special teams. Each day you can see them getting a little bit better and understanding the technique a little bit more, and the problem you run into a little bit during training camp is like we are installing another coverage today. So now they have to learn that coverage, and then they have to remember what the other coverages were, and all of the different techniques out of that. The same thing offensively, a different shift or different motion, different plays. The more you put in, the more it runs together a little bit sometimes, we will start backing it down and they will get a little bit more fine tuning from there.
Q: Early on when you were looking at Chad Greenway and moving him around a little bit, what positions were you considering?
A:* *I know Chad is a good football player, a smart guy, has a lot of value in different things he can do. Really what we were trying to do was if he moves to inside, then maybe we can look at another guy outside, or if he is outside, we can look at another guy inside. It was just trying to get the best 11 players on the field.
Q: It was more about that, like he was almost a placeholder?
A: A placeholder? No, I wouldn't say that. No, it was trying to get the best 11 players on the field. I'm the placeholder, I just hold the place.
Q: You felt comfortable with the thought that you maybe could move him?
A:* *With us keeping Chad at the weak side linebacker spot right now, it has nothing to do with him really, other than we know he can play that spot. What I am trying to do is make it so he doesn't have to do a bunch of thinking. We are just going to let him settle in and go from there. I don't know if that makes sense.
Q: Are you considering platooning the linebackers and having a different set for nickel than you would for base?
A: It depends. We are trying to get the best guys on the field in each situation so we're looking at a lot of different guys. Greenway is playing the Mike backer some in the nickel, Barr is playing the dime, he's playing some defensive end some in the nickel, he's playing a rusher some in the nickel, Hodges is playing the dime some, we're moving Brandon Watts to the Mike linebacker some in the nickel. Really it's just about figuring out what guys can do. The more you can do the more value you have to this football team.
Q: Are you considering playing backup defensive ends at defensive tackle, like a NASCAR type package?
A: You haven't been paying attention. No, we have been doing that some.
Q: What are your impressions of Matt Asiata?
A: Yeah, I like Matt. Matt is a guy that is extremely dependable, he is a good blocker, he can do a number of things. He catches the ball well out of the backfield, he has great vision in the running game, and he will be a valuable addition to this team.
Q: Besides Matt, who else has flown under the radar this spring and into camp?
A: Jabari Price, has done a really nice job I thought. He has played some in the nickel, he has played some outside. Rodney Smith started out slow, and in the last two or three days he has shown a lot better. He is running off the ball better now, he is running better routes. Tiny Richardson has been doing a pretty good job at left tackle. Zach Line has done a good job at fullback. I am trying to think defensively who else, but those guys.
Q: What impresses you about Jabari? His timing? His technique?
A: He is covering guys, pretty well. He is tough, he is not scared. You know a lot of times young guys, they come in and play a little tentative. He is not playing tentative at all. He has a little stuff inside him. He is working on the techniques, Jerry Gray has done a great job with him as far as teaching him techniques of what we are trying to do. He is good sized, he is competitive, and he can run real well.
Q: Can you talk about your expectations for Saturday night?
A: Honestly we are going to have a few more situations in practice on Saturday, it won't be live, unless I decide to go a couple plays here and there. I will see how the health is, in terms of where we are going. It will be a lot more situations, red zone, move the ball, we got another blitz period. We are just trying to get better each and every day. We are trying to make this football tough, physical, smart. We want to make sure we don't make mistakes, we don't want to beat ourselves. We want to play real hard. Like I have said a million times, I am going to keep saying it, keep saying it to our football team, I want our fans, when they watch us play on Sundays, when they turn the TV off, or leave the stadium, they say wow I can't wait to watch these guys next week. They play real hard, they play with a passion, they do things right, they play the game the right way. We are just trying to get better each and every day.