Q: Did the two draft choices show you anything?
A: They did a good job. They are learning the system, obviously. That is the whole thing, to introduce them to our system and how we play. We play so much press coverage we wanted to get them a head start on that. And I think they did a good job picking up what we wanted them to do and learning the techniques we want to use at this level. And they realize just how much running and how different the game is going to be for them at corner playing press coverage all of the time.
Q: Sheridan just said they look very similar on the field.
A: Yeah, they are both about the same size. They are both physical; close to 200 pounds, 5-10, almost 5-1l. So it is, it is going to be kind of a physical press corners that we line up and see how they continue to progress.
Q: That late in the draft, like Marc Ross and Jerry Reese said, you are just looking for some of these guys that had something….. To you, what stood out about them?
A: They are physical, they have size. They are physical, they run well. And that is what we are looking for – guys that can play physical and get their hands on people. If you come in later or you are a backup player, you have to be a contributor on teams, too. Because of their size, their speed and their physicalness, we think they will be able to help us on teams as well as backing up at the corner spot.
Q: You always had Sam Madison and R.W. McQuarters here as kind of the older mentor guys for your players, your group. Does the dynamic change at all without those guys being there?
A: Absolutely. The young guys would always fall back on them if they didn't want – it was a kind of go-between, between the coaches and the players. Guys that have been in the league have a ton of experience but yet he's not a coach yet. And try to talk those guys into doing it, they won't bite. No, it will change the dynamic quite a bit. Guys like Corey are going to have to step up because he has been here the longest and been around Sam and R.W. the longest. So he is going to have to step up and help the younger guys a little bit. And hopefully the guys can fall back on his. If not, it falls back on David (Merritt) and myself to be the guy now.
Re: more on communication with the players without the veteran presence of Madison or McQuarters
A: Very. Because a lot of times they are afraid to come to you if they are not sure about something because they figure if they show a weakness or they show you that they don't understand something very well that you will hold it against them or not think as highly of them. And I think having Sam there or having RW there to go to and have them explain it to them in player language, not in coaches' language, it made it easier for them. So we are going to be very aware of that – how they did that. Like I said, hopefully they can go to Corey. And I'm going to talk to Corey about being that guy. You don't want him to be something that he is not. "If people are willing to come to you, you just have to sit down and listen. If you are not sure, come to me and without using who the guy is and we will get it cleaned up."
Q: Do you think Corey is capable of being that?
A: He will be because he understands the system, he understands what we want. And what has worked for him and what Sam has told him. He has been around Sam. Sam's phone number will always be there. He can always call Sam and say, "Hey, so and so came to me, and asked me this question. What should I tell him?" So they will always have those guys there to fall back on and hopefully Corey can come to me or the kids can come to you and say, "Listen, I have this problem." You want that kind of relationship. In this business forever, from high school level on, they always want to go to another older player first before they come to you.
Q: Your two starters, Aaron and Corey, were both taken in the top 40 picks of the draft – first round or second round. What kind of ceiling do you think those guys have?
A: I think they are both starting to become the kind of players they are capable of becoming. We had our hands on a lot of balls this past season. We have to catch those and turn those into big plays for us. And that is what happens. You start to have success and you start to make plays on the ball – you take it to the next level. You catch those passes that you were knocking down the year before. You feel comfortable with the coverages – feel comfortable with the scheme and continue to make plays and not give up plays. That is how they continue to grow and get better and better in the system. ……these guys have great years this year.
Q: Are you comfortable with either of those guys covering a so-called "top receiver?"
A: Yes, very much so. A lot of times you try to match it up by size or ability. Corey and Aaron are close as far as size wise. You try to – if you can – match guys up by ability. Sometimes Kevin Dockery on a smaller quicker guy – the bigger corners on them. No, I feel very comfortable with Corey and Aaron, Terrell, Kevin and all of those guys are very capable at corner.
Q: Once Terrell Thomas got healthy last year, you had some nice depth at corner…
A: Very well. He had that one hamstring early in training camp that was kind of rare according to Ronnie and the medical people. Once he got that he was great to go. He is a very, very hard worker and very technique conscious. He wants to develop great technique and he studies the game well. So I think he is going to be a huge addition to us this year. If they can all stay healthy we are going to have good depth at that position and you need it because you get in so many three and four wide receiver looks all of the time.
Re: size of Thomas, Ross and Webster and Dockery
A: Yes, Terrell, Aaron and Corey all very good size; long arms that you like …….. Kevin is perfect because he has the quickness to match some of those smaller, quicker guys that those guys don't quite have. Kevin can jump, he can run, he is strong. He is a great worker in the weight room. Kevin is a perfect blend, a perfect mix for us.
Q: You have 10 corners now. You have quite a competition here.
A: Yeah, we will have great competition there is training camp this year. The thing that is nice about having four guys that will play here, they keep the pressure on each other to compete and play well. If somebody is struggling a little bit, you can always put another guy in and that is a great luxury to have. And you can use all four of them at the same time in a game, which we are going to need to do a number of times. Our opener against Washington, they use four wides so you have to be able to match up four corners against four wides at times and have your two safeties. So it is a nice problem to have; more competition, more players you have to pick from the better you are.