The injury report is not something that I'm real happy about today. I feel very badly for these young guys who have prepared and played so darn well and then had their seasons come to an end. Of course I'm talking about Terrell Thomas, who was in great shape, very confident, lost weight, looked faster than he has, was very spirited in practice, and in games and really was a rallying point and motivating factor for the defense. He has an ACL and he'll have surgery. Brian Witherspoon, who gained a lot of attention particularly a week ago and a lot of notice in terms of coverage. Not going to tell you that this week in practice was as good, but nevertheless, had made himself noticed and had also been involved in punt returns. Brian had an ACL. He will require surgery as well. I just received notice from Ronnie Barnes that Marvin Austin, who was injured last night in the left pec. They had to go through analysis today and the word is that he has torn his pectoralis on the left side and he will require surgery. Obviously, we are not in a great frame of mind today. I feel badly for these guys and for our team.
Q: Is a torn pec a season ender?A: Yes, I think this one is. Sometimes they can be nurtured back to some kind of significance but in his situation, playing where he plays, the degree of the injury and he did have his arm out to the side and he got caught with his arm out to the side, which is the way it happens so many times. Evidently the doctors decided that this requires surgery.
Q: With the lack of depth at CB, what's the plan with working players out and getting a veteran in here in a short week?A: We'll do the best we can do to gather as many players, quality players, as we can at this point in time. Try to get them in here for a workout and see where we are. We do have, I think it's five healthy corners and we certainly want to make sure that we do have more so that we can play these final couple of preseason games.
Q: What have you seen from Michael Coe in these past few weeks?A: Michael Coe has practiced well the last couple of weeks, been involved in all kinds of special teams play, was in a significant amount of time last night, played a lot of snaps, both on special teams and in the secondary. He and a couple of the other young guys are going to have to look at this as a great opportunity for them. Our team needs them. Our team needs someone to step up and take some added responsibility and so the opportunity is there.
Q: Revised timetable on Amukamara?A: No I don't have any revised timetable at all. From the information I'm getting, he's still a 10 week kind of rehab and recovery. As you've seen, he's still in a boot.
Q: How do you keep the spirits of the rest of the team high in the face of the injuries to key people?A: I think the guys will rally. We're aware of that. We spoke about it last night in the locker room and actually prayed for the guys who were injured that I just mentioned. I think our guys will come rallying back. Certainly it will be a bigger plus if we do find that there are contributors, that some of the people we have here, some of the people we may discover, if they can help us and contribute I think it'll be a big plus. I think our guys will continue to believe in themselves and are certainly going to be disappointed in this news, as we all are. But we're going to have to push our way through this and maybe it will be an opportunity for someone else.
Q: Is there any possibility you would attempt to make a trade?A: Anything that is out there that is worth our while, that makes us better, I'm sure will be considered.
Q: How do you feel about Aaron Ross and his ability to step in for Terrell?A: I think Aaron Ross played well last night and he has had a good camp and now he is a guy that our team will turn to and he realizes that. Hopefully he is just going to get some consistency in his play and I think he will step up and realize that our team is looking to him. We need him for the reason that he was brought here and will go on to help us this year.
Q: Does he look like a starting corner in the NFL?A: Yes, he does. What does a starting corner look like? What does he not have?
Q: Do you have plans on moving Antrel Rolle to corner, the position he played when he first came to the NFL?A: We are aware of the fact that Antrel was a corner and we also know that we have designs for Antrel as a safety. He is a guy who can come down and match up. He is a guy who can come in a blitz situation so we do have a couple guys at the safety position that have played there. I am reluctant unless I was to think that we were keeping them there, to put more on their plate in terms of learning etc. At this time, I would say that we are well aware of that but we would like to keep Antrel at safety.
Q: How realistic is it to sign a player now and have them contribute with the start of the season not far off?A: Whether it is realistic or not, it is going to have to be. That is the position we are in so whomever we bring in here, doesn't have very many practice days but does have a lot of days when they can be with a coach in a meeting room going over the tape that has been established since the beginning of camp and the first two games, discovering who we are. If there are veteran players who are involved in this, then it's just simple changes in language is all that is necessary. They will have experience in the National Football League and the multiplicity of coverages. So if it is a veteran player, I don't think it will be to the extent that it would be for a young guy. Regardless of who it is, there is only so many days and it is limited. We have two short weeks and literally we are lining up to play so it is going to have to happen fast no matter who it is.
Q: In spite of the injuries, do you still feel strongly about your team?A: You have to categorize it and separate it. I am disappointed in the injuries but this is football. I am sorry to tell you but over all the years, the most frustrating thing is this part right here but you have to go ahead and recognize that this has happened. I feel bad for the young men who have invested so much and looked forward to playing and then you have to get back to work in terms of doing the best you can with your current roster. Hopefully you gain some other pieces to the puzzle and move on. The thing that is ironic is that we have been relatively injury free through camp and through the first preseason game and that is including Prince's injury in that number. Last night, for whatever reason, you can go back and look at whatever tape you want to try to decide how these things happen, you've got to deal with them. That is all there is to it. We had a pretty good night last night, we still have an awful lot to be learned. There are a lot of positives from last night and a lot of young guys played with great energy and did some great things, whether it be special teams or either side of the ball and you have to be encouraged by that. You have to be able to turn to your team and congratulate them, mention the people that did well and also mention the things that have to be improved without much time left to do that. You move on and you have to be disciplined enough to try to do that.
Q: What do you like about Jimmy Kennedy?A: He is a veteran player that two years ago played very well. Last year, according to what he told us, he was really injured and didn't play that well and he feels good and healthy now. He is a veteran player who we think can help us.
Q: Are you still seeing improvement from Linval Joseph?A: I think he did. He did a good job. He was aggressive. He was physical. He displayed outstanding ability to run to the ball. He put himself in good position and defended himself well. He pressured the quarterback so he is on the right path. He just has to continue to get better.
Q: How is Alex Hall?A: It is a mild groin and hopefully not going to be long.
Q: How did Mark Herzlich do?A: He did some very good things on special teams and of course made a really nice interception down on the goal line. He is a really smart kid that enjoys playing. He is a good teammate and guys rally around him and have great pride in his individual success last night and he is showing improvement. He is a guy who has learned and learned fast. He gets himself in good position.
Q: Do you think he could have been a first round pick before his illness?A: That's my understanding, yes.
Q: Does he look like he was the player before?A: This year he has improved himself back to where he was. He is much better then he was a year ago and if he stays on the track, we are excited about that.
Q: Considering the injuries, do you still plan on playing the guys the same amount of plays you normally would in the third preseason game?A: We have basically taken some licks at one spot and it is unfortunate but that is not unusual for football either. At this point in time, I would say no, but it is early in the week so we will see.