Q: Was it surprising not seeing Hakeem out there?
A: Right now I’m just worrying about myself going out there executing, the guys who are here, trying to make everybody better, up to speed on what we’re trying to do and get the young guys involved and get them caught up to speed on everything going on and try to get better. That’s all we’re working on.
Q: You got to throw with Murphy, Jernigan and Randle. Did you like what you saw from them?
A: Yeah. I hit Louis on a deep one. I got Rueben in there. I got Jernigan some catches. We’re getting everybody in there getting them a lot of reps, getting on time with them. We’re always going to get better. Whoever is on the field, we’re going to expect them to go out there and play at a high level. So I think the more guys you have who are experienced and ready to play different positions, the better off we’re going to be.
Q: Is there a part of you that would like to take it slow with Hakeem?
A: You want to make sure your guys are healthy at the start of the year and that’s always the number one thing, but you’ve also got to get some work. We need to improve. We’ve got to rep things. We’ve got to make sure we’re doing everything we can to make sure we’re playing at our best. That involves being healthy and also involves practice and getting reps.
Q: Did you expect Hakeem to be here?
A: There was no reason to think he wasn’t going to be here.
Q: Are you disappointed he isn’t here?
A: No. I’m going to go about my business and working and so hopefully we’ll have as many of our guys who are going to be playing for us this season out there working and trying to get better.
Q: How much of the new season’s offense has already been installed and how much tweaking do you expect from the basic offense that you’ve run?
A: It doesn’t sound like there’s going to be a whole lot of tweaking. We kind of have our offense and we’ve had success. We’ve done a lot of good things. There will always be new plays. There will always be plays that you put in each week for specific teams or some base plays that you kind of run more, but it’s really more about ‘let’s get better at the things that we do.’ Last year: What plays are working? What plays were not working? Sometimes you’ll have a play that you kind of look on paper and you say we didn’t have very good success with this play, but you watch it on film and you say we had an opportunity. We had guys open and maybe there was a protection or maybe there was a drop or maybe I threw a bad ball. So you have to kind of see the reasons why you didn’t have success in certain things. The concept is still good, we’ve just got to execute a little bit better.
Q: Is that what you guys get out of OTAs?
A: OTAs are really about just getting back into my rhythm and working on my mechanics, making sure everything is sharp. Making sure all of the guys have a great feel of the concepts of what we’re doing, really kind of slow things down, talk to them, watch the film with them and make sure everything is where it needs to be. The routes are at the right depths, the right angles. Kind of working on the little things and make sure all of those things are sharp and being done perfectly because at the beginning we’re running our basic plays that are always in every year that we’re not trying to overload things. It’s just trying to get everybody up to date with all the rookies and guys who have been here one year. Kind of make sure they re-learn everything, kind of hear it from the beginning and make sure they have a great understanding of what we’re trying to do.
Q: Is it almost a good thing not having Nicks or Cruz here because other people get more work?
A: You’ve still got to work on your timing. You’ve still got to work on the basics and everybody needs it. I need the basics. How many times have I thrown a hitch in my life? Or a curl route? I’ve still got to do it. I’ve still got to get those things and work them, but it is good to have other guys in there running routes and getting your timing down with other guys. That’s how you look at it, but you’d still like to have all your guys out there. We all need to work. We all need to practice. We all need to improve on things.
Q: When you look at the new tight ends, what challenges does that pose for you to bring so many guys up to speed?
A: Each year, you’re going to have challenges. Each year you’re going to have new guys in there you’re trying to get up to speed or you’re trying to get them to perform and throw as much at them and see how quickly they can adapt and grasp things and that’s what makes it exciting. That’s what makes it challenging. That’s what keeps me going every year. There’s not a new guy who doesn’t have something to work on and something to challenge someone else and challenge myself. It wouldn’t make it as fun. I enjoy the challenges. I enjoy teaching our offense to new guys and getting them to when it finally starts to kick in and get them understanding and you start making plays. They kind of learn one part of it and then you kind of go into the next part and you get more advanced. Those are things I enjoy doing.
Q: What did you see when Hynoski went down?
A: I didn’t see it. I handed the ball off and just saw him on the ground after. I don’t know exactly what happened. I haven’t seen the film yet. I don’t know how severe the injury is, so hopefully it’s not too bad and he can be back either for the spring or at least for training camp. I don’t know the results yet.
Q: It’s crazy how these things can happen.
A: You hope they don’t happen, but that’s just football. It wasn’t a hit. No one was going down, but you’re running around and making cuts and unfortunately sometimes you have some injuries. Hopefully it’s a minor one.
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