Q: How’s Osi?
A: Osi’s been good to me. He’s been fine. He’s been in meetings and participating in meetings. He’s been very good.
Q: Was he at the walkthrough this morning?
A: Yes. He was there.
Q: As his position coach, do you talk to him about what’s going on?
A: Very little as far as that goes. I just talk to him about being ready whenever this thing gets started.
Q: Do you operate as if you’re going to have four defensive ends?
A: Sure. Yeah, that’s the way it stands right now. So that’s what we’re doing, preparing for that. That’s basically all we talk about. I don’t get involved with that. I’m just ready to get him in here and go to work.
Q: You know the situation obviously. I can’t imagine the possibility that you could come in here one day and find out your All-Pro defensive end is off your roster. Is that worrisome at all?
A: This guy, he’s played at a high level for a long time. We had a very good year; had a very healthy situation last year. We’d like to build on that. Obviously we want him here. We’ll see where that ends up.
Q: Is it weird in the sense that you lost
A: Any time you lose good players and productive players it’s a concern. But it’s an opportunity for someone else. We just want to continue what we built on last year and continue to improve.
Q: What have you seen from
A: So far, outstanding. Linval’s in very good shape. Not having the OTA’s is a big concern for a guy like him. He seems to have worked on the things that we talked about before he left. He made some improvements – much more suddenness, good quickness coming off the ball. With his size and strength, he’s got a real chance. We’ll see when the pads come on and once he gets started in a preseason game. Marvin is showing the explosiveness that you saw as a junior, a very explosive player. Technique-wise he’s a long way away. That’s obvious that it was going to be that way because he missed all the OTA’s and all the offseason training. Right now we’re sitting in a pretty good situation with the young guys.
Q: What’s reasonable to expect out of a kid who hasn’t played football in a year?
A: It varies with each situation. We’ll have to just see how it all unfolds here when we get more into padded practices. When we get into when the live bullets start firing we’ll know more. He’s coming here in a good frame of mind, in good shape. He’s not where he needs to be, but he’s in good enough shape to get in good shape. Everybody in the room has worked hard. We stress that to the guys that left here. When the draft took place, we stressed it to Marvin about the conditioning. More so than ever it’s crucial this year. They’ve all come in in good shape. Marvin’s certainly in a good position.
Q: At defensive tackle, how much can talent make up for lack of technique?
A: Talent makes up for a lot of things – even bad coaching.
Q: At defensive tackle, more so than say the offensive line, can you rely on sheer quickness and talent?
A: Yeah, that makes a big difference. A guy that who has explosiveness and quickness and bursts. He’s been very impressive so far.
A: There were times he did play slow. I think he was just unsure and not confident. He’s another one that with the offseason and the OTA programs, I think he would’ve benefitted a lot from that. He’s another one that’s come in here in very good condition. He’s off to a very good start. Then again, it’s hard to really know where you are at the defensive line until you get pads on and can start going against live competition and get into the preseason. We’ll see where we are once that comes.
Q: Do you see enough from last year with JPP to kind of feel like the athletic ability can translate into …
A: There’s no question. This kid is talented. He’s a very unique player. I’ve been around the league 12 years and I have not coached one that he compares to. He’s kind of his own guy – how strong he is and how talented and how much range he has. We’ve got a long way to go to get the technique that he needs to have to reach that potential. I can’t say anything else about him. He’s always wanting to do what you ask him to. If he continues to do that, things are going to work out for him.
Q: If he’s slow because he’s thinking do you try to encourage the old aggressive thing – if you’re going to make a mistake, make an aggressive mistake?
A: Yeah, we talk to him about that. We continue to rep in individual periods and half speed drills. You see his confidence growing. The guy, he’s got some special ability. We just have to continue to work on it. It really set him back, the offseason program and not having that and the OTAs and those type things.
Q: Without that, are you doing anything different?
A: Not really. Probably spending a little bit more time on things that you would have already covered in OTAs. It affects you a little bit as far as their individual periods. You’d like to have more individual time. But, you’re still stressing the same things. It’s the fundamentals of football. It’s the same thing that these guys have had stressed upon them for their entire football careers. You just wish you had a little more time to do that, just like the things that we do in the offseason.
Q: Mathias said he’s not nervous at all. Are you as a coach a little bit nervous? Are you a little weary?
A: I guess. That’s a hard question to answer. You know it’s there. But he’s been cleared medically. Mathias is in great condition. He takes great care of his body and is prepared at all times. We’ll see where it goes. I can’t say that I don’t think about it at all. On the same hand, it’s not restricting anything we’re doing.
Q: Can you even say right now what you foresee his role to be?
A: Mathias, I can see doing a lot of different things. He’s a guy that can come out there and stand up and the next day you can put him back down and he’s not going to be lost. He’s very talented. The best thing about Kiwi is he’s ready for whatever. Let’s go. We’ll see how his role unfolds here as we go and we learn our team. It’s just very unique, as everyone knows. No one’s been here in this league. We’re learning our team as we go and we’ll see where he fits in.