Q: What did you think when you heard that Plaxico signed with the Jets?
A: As we said when we first started talking about this again, I was very happy to have an opportunity to sit and talk to Plax. We were interested in him. He chose to go elsewhere. Our concern in the very beginning, when he was released, was that he would have a chance to get back with his family, establish some type of normalcy in his life, be with his kids – that type of thing. He’s taken, obviously, steps in the right direction. He came to see me, which couldn’t have been easy for him. Our conversation was very good. It was very sincere. It was very open. His decision was to go elsewhere. It sounded like a bigger guarantee. I don’t know all of the facts about that. That’s what happens in this business. His decision was made and again, we wish he and his family well.
Q: Did you offer him a chance to stay and he just got a bigger guarantee?
A: There was discussion.
Q: Did he know the financial parameters here?
A: I think he did.
Q: The front office was open about saying that Barry Cofield had to go, that there just wasn’t the money for him. Is there disappointment in a similar way that you didn’t get Plaxico back?
A: I think anytime you start to engage with anyone, discussions were forthcoming and the player chose to go elsewhere, you always have that initial feeling. We have outstanding players here and we’ll certainly keep right on going and try to get better.
Q: Your receiving corps, for a few years, has heard about how different life without Plaxico is. But they seem to keep proving that they are pretty good.
A: We’re going to take it that way. Last year there were two teams that led the league in big plays and we were one of them.
Q: The team wasn’t going to sign Plaxico to sit him. Do you feel the team needs to add another receiver?
A: You continue to look at whatever’s out there. Our interest in Plaxico did not mean we were in the search of a receiver because we didn’t think that we had receivers here that could play. We do. Obviously, we do.
Q: Do you engage in conversations with Steve Smith, Kevin Boss, or Ahmad Bradshaw?
A: I talked with Steve prior to, but not really recently. I haven’t talked to Bradshaw or Boss since the negotiating started.
Q: Do you ever think that? Do you think that would help?
A: Occasionally. If there is a question about where the individual fits in the scheme of things, that’s where we come in. I do get involved and I would be more than happy to get involved again if the questions were along those lines, but I don’t think they are.
Q: Do you expect Osi to practice today?
A: Osi had a physical. He is due to see Dr. Warren this afternoon. I doubt that he will be cleared to practice this afternoon, although I’m purely speculating. Until we get all of that in order, we’ll just continue to practice in the manner that we have.
Q: Do you doubt he’ll be cleared because of time restrictions or because he has something?
A: We’ll see. As I’ve been saying all along, we’ll see.
Q: Does everybody see Dr. Warren or has he complained about something?
A: No, but there’s been issues over the years. The hip that Osi’s had, for example, includes, probably, Dr. Warren coming in and talking with him.
Q: Did you get a chance to talk to Osi at all?
A: I talked to Osi briefly yesterday. I think one of the good things that occurred yesterday was that Osi and Jerry had a chance to talk. I think something good came out of that.
Q: What’s the relationship between Osi and Jerry?
A: You’d have to speak with them.
Q: At what point do you say that Bradshaw’s not going to come in, we just have to cut our losses and go find somebody else? Or are you happy with what you have?
A: As I say, you’re always looking for players who can help you. If it’s not going to be Ahmad, then it has to be perhaps someone else.
Q: How long can you wait on him?
A: I’m not going to put a parameter on that. We’re practicing and everyone is aware of August 4th and so on. How does that fit into a player’s idea about when he comes, that’s another issue.
Q: Do you think Osi’s in the right frame of mind for training camp?
A: I really haven’t had any chance to speak with him to any extent so I wouldn’t be prepared to say that. I’ve said many times, twice I think so far since we started, that certainly I would hope so. We hope to have him here, along with our other outstanding players because together with the group that we have, I think we can present some issues.
Q: Last night was the first time you got to see your rookies ever on the field. Are they way too far behind to expect anything of them?
A: Actually, none of you asked me afterwards and nothing was said, but we didn’t put the ball on the ground last night, we didn’t have any false starts. We didn’t have any issues along those lines, which you would normally associate with how long we’ve been out of practice, with being with each other. I’m hoping, since I just stuck my foot in my mouth, we’re not saving it up for this afternoon.
Q: How did
A: Pretty good.
Q: How did
A: Well, he’s maintained it well. He’s working on it. He just had the surgery eight months ago or so, let’s hope he can keep going. Normally, those guys are limited to one a day. Occasionally there’s an issue that they have to have a little more than that, but I think Clint’s in a good frame of mind. Yesterday was one practice.
Q: Do you need more guys at linebacker?
A: How can you can say that, without a sheet of paper, nobody here knows who they are, including me.
Q: Is that a position that’s a concern?
A: No more than any other position right now. An awful lot of things need to happen as you move forward.
Q: Jerry seemed irritated the other day with questions about needing linebackers and said someone needs to come out of the shadows. Does someone need to come out of the shadows? Are they in the shadows?
A: With the opportunity to play a year ago, the extensive play time that a lot of these guys have had, this is going to be better. I think
Q: Are you looking forward to seeing how this new look offensive line comes together?
A: I’m looking forward to having an opportunity to work with these guys, yeah. Snee goes over to center and he looked like he played there all his life. That was a good thing, real good. No matter what the obstacle is or what the apparent problem is, something happens that I think is a positive. Hopefully, that is going to happen every day.
Q: How good is it to have competition at punter? One is a young kid, one is a veteran.
A: Best word is that, competition. Any time you can create that, you are going to be better off for it. Sometimes the numbers don’t allow it, sometimes they do allow it. I would hope that one thing that would be in the new CBA was 90 (players) every summer. You’d be surprised what the difference between 90 and 80 is when you’re putting a roster together for summer camp.
Q: Did Weatherford’s history at the stadium factor in when you guys brought him in?
A: I think, just the quality, the way in which we looked at him – his career versus some of the other people that were out there.
Q: He said he had the leeway for a fake punt, pass at the Jets.
A: Leeway, that’s the word right there. He won’t have that here.
Q: Leeway is not to throw it.
Q: That was not part of the negotiation?
A: That word was not included. I think it’s safe to say that.
Q: That wasn’t part of the language?
A: There was language, but that wasn’t [it].
Q: At what point do you want the free agents here and practicing?
A: This afternoon.
A: By August 4th, you would hope. I would hope. We’re trying to do the best we can with the players available to fill positions. We do have, and you’ll see them today, a bunch of grey shirts watching practice. If the rules were different, they’d all be dressed. We’ll get there, we’ll get there.
Q: How anxious are you to get the roster settled?
A: We talked about this extensively and this might be one of those unusual years where you may have changes in your roster anytime throughout training camp. You go into it knowing full well, normally that’s the case. This year, because of the last six months, who knows? There could be changes throughout camp. Yeah, you’d like it settled. Yeah, you want to get to work. Yeah, you want to have cumulative practice time. Hopefully that will be the case. To always try to improve and do better and create the competition you’re talking about, I’d like to be able to do that, too.