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DeMeco Drops: 'For me, in the preseason and training camp, everything matters'


Head Coach DeMeco Ryans

On if he saw who jumped over the top in today's skirmish

"There was a little scuffle today – not important. It's football. It's training camp. It gets a little testy. We're probably at our wits end going against each other, so it will be really good and refreshing to have Miami come in over the next three days. Those guys will be here, and we'll be able to practice against those guys. Really looking forward to those joint practices against Miami. I had a good conversation with Mike [McDaniel] and our plan as to how practices will go, so I'm excited for the opportunity to go against a different scheme, different people. It's coming at the right time for our group and our guys will be ready to go and [they're] excited about it."

On if it's easier as a coach to evaluate a player when they are facing an actual opponent

"It is a much better evaluation. We see our corners and they cover the same receivers all the time. Our receivers run the routes against the same [defensive backs], so that's where we get an opportunity to see different matchups, to see how those skillsets translate going against someone else. So, I'm really looking forward to the one-on-one matchups we'll have versus those guys."

On shuffling the offensive line

"With our offensive line, there will be a lot of shuffling. As of right now in training camp with every position, there's a lot of shuffling guys around. Guys will play different positions, and this is a time to see what guys can handle – who can absorb multiple positions? When you go into a season, and you're limited in the number of guys you can have on your roster, it's very comforting to have guys that have versatility and flexibility to do more than one thing."

On what he remembers about Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel

"With McDaniel, our offices were right next to each other, so I spent a lot of time with him. One thing that I know about McDaniel is – the thing that jumps out is he's the first guy in the building. Every morning, he's the first guy in. He's always grinding on tape, always looking for different ways to try different runs, attack in a different manner. [Mike] McDaniel doesn't just go with the flow of the norm of how things have been – he's going to press the button or try different things and it's worked out for him great there in Miami. He's done a really good job of leading that team."

On if he remembers anything from Mike McDaniel's tenure in Houston

"When I was here and knew [Mike] McDaniel as a young assistant, [he was] kind of tied at the hip with Coach Kyle Shanahan, and just doing anything that was asked of him. I think working hand-in-hand with Coach [Gary] Kubiak, and Kyle [Shanahan] and the offense, I think that's where he cut his teeth and that's where he learned this offense and he's done a great job throughout his career."

On if QB C.J. Stroud will be starting on Saturday against the Dolphins

"As of right now on [Saturday], we haven't discussed the reps as of yet. We're still just getting through practice. We'll discuss the rep count and how we'll go about that game after we go through the two practices with Miami. So, we'll have an answer after that."

On if the shuffling of the offensive line will determine how many reps QB C.J. Stroud will get

"It doesn't. I think when we go through how many reps we're going to play him, we'll look at it collectively. And I think at the end of the day, we just want to see guys go play and get more time than they did the first time out and see just how they handle more. So, it doesn't matter who's out there with the offensive line – that's not going to dictate which quarterback is in."

On how he and the coaching staff will go about controlling the joint practice environment

"How we control the joint practices is – we [Mike McDaniel and I] had a conversation and both of us view it the same way. We don't want to turn it into a shoving match – we just want both of our teams to get better at football. So, we want to practice. We don't want to lose time on guys wasting time on stuff that doesn't matter about football when it comes to shoving and fighting. We don't want those things, so in our agreement, if anybody throws a punch – just like what happens in a game – we're going to play within the rules. You throw a punch in a game, you're kicked out. It's the same thing in practice. Now, if anybody's throwing punches, we have to get them out of practice, but we just want these practices to be productive. That's what it's about and we'll handle it that way."

On DE Will Anderson Jr. not practicing today

"Just day to body management. We've got a lot of guys as you see in our practices, you'll see guys under a low management and some guys won't be out there, so it's one of those things."

On what he's seen from LB Henry To'oTo'o

"With Henry [To'oTo'o] I see a sponge. He's willing to soak it up and learn as much as we can teach him. To have a guy that's that willing, he has the opportunity to become a really good player because he's willing to put the work in, he's willing to learn, he's studying extra at night with Coach [Chris] Kiffin and Coach [Ben] Bolling. He's doing a really good job progressing pretty fast for a rookie with some of the things that he's picking up on and the communication he's able to handle. He's well ahead of where he should be."

On if he sees any value to the ones going against other ones in preseason games when preseason games don't count

"For me, in the preseason and training camp, everything matters. It may not count, but it matters. So, everything that we do, whether it's reps out here on the practice field or getting real life game reps, it all matters to us and they're all important."

On the progress that he's seen WR John Metchie III make these last few weeks

"Yes, having John [Metchie III] back has been – it's been thrilling to have him back. We're very proud of John and what he has done. Everyone knows what he's battled through. It's been tough on him and it's encouraging to others to see how he's persevered throughout the difficult moments, the difficult times when football wasn't at the forefront of his mind. It's really awesome to see him back out, working and getting back into football and see him progress the way he's progressing. He's been very encouraging and uplifting to me. Just to see him, see his mindset, see how he works out extra after everybody is done – he's still out here on the field putting in the extra work, extra time. I'm very proud of John and happy with where he is."

On his expectations of WR John Metchie III this season

"Just to be better each day, that's the thing for John [Metchie III]. I think he's overcome a lot. He's very successful right now in my mind with what he's overcome and whatever else that comes of that with football is a plus."

On what he's seen from C/G Juice Scruggs

"With Juice [Scruggs], he's been very consistent throughout OTAs, training camp. Juice has been consistent in the game – he did a really nice job in the game with some communication things that we hadn't covered, but to see him operate and be able to fix problems out there on the offensive line, it was really cool to see. Juice has done a really good job and I expect him to continue to grow. As a young player, he's in a really good spot, and I'm excited to see Juice continue to play."

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