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DeMeco Drops: "It was a good day. Main thing is we put on pads"


Head Coach DeMeco Ryans

"It was a good day. Main thing is we put on pads. No one's mindset changed. We still want to do a great job of protecting the team, and that was the main emphasis, right? Just making sure we're taking care of each other. Making sure we're in a good football position to tackle, so I thought the guys did a really good job today of just protecting each other, staying up. It was a very efficient practice today."

On the status of C/G Jarrett Patterson and the other players who weren't practicing today

"Yeah, [those] guys will be fine. In training camp, you see guys in and out. They'll be fine."

On the status of TE Dalton Schultz

"Yeah, Dalton [Schultz] took a shot to the side. He'll be alright. He's just managing that today. Day off, he'll be back out there soon."

On whether an interception thrown today was more of a good defensive play

"I'll have to look at them again. It's hard to judge just seeing it in practice exactly what happened there. Everything we want to do, we want to be able to protect the ball offensively, so at the end of the day, we cannot turn the ball over. And then that goes both ways. Defensively, we want to attack the ball and, again, guys are doing that. Finishing with the catch, finishing the plays. So, encouraging from the defensive side, but there's give and take there. We have to be better on offense and protecting the ball."

On what the conversation is like with a player after they make a mistake

"Yeah, most of those are film things. But, with our players, and most NFL players, they know before a coach can say anything. They know exactly what mistake they made, and they've already corrected that in their minds, so [there's] not a lot you have to say to a player when he does make a mistake. It's going to happen, but it's all about how resilient are you to put that mistake aside [and] play the next play. Just because there's one bad play, we don't want one bad play to become two, three [and] linger throughout a game."

On his evaluation of LB Blake Cashman so far

"Blake [Cashman] has been showing up the past few days. He's showing up in the run game, being physical in the run game, but also as you've seen in the past two days, I think he's had probably two interceptions, one PBU. He's showing up around the ball and it's encouraging to see. The linebackers, there's a lot of competition there, and Blake is doing a really good job."

On what he thinks DE Will Anderson Jr. does specifically well

"For us, Will [Anderson Jr.], what he's done well—it's that relentless mindset of how he attacks each day. He comes out with a relentless motor. He plays with a physical mindset every play, and everybody around, they can just look at Will and see how we need to practice. What does it look like if you want to be a great player? You have to work that way, so it all starts with the work ethic, and he's there. That's what we want. He exemplifies exactly what I want in that type of player, and playing the [defensive] end position now, the difference is now [he will] play primarily with our hand in the dirt, different from when he stood up in college. The main difference is he's going to be attacking. We don't want him coming off, reading, playing slow. The main thing we want him to do is play as fast as possible so he can go make plays for us. We're not going to slow him down."

On the capabilities of DE Will Anderson Jr. on the inside of the defensive line if they place him there

"We'll get to that when we get to that. If he plays inside, that's not a given that he'll be there, so that's more gameplan stuff that we'll work later in the season."

On what he's expecting of his pass rushers

"With our pass rush, it's not ever about one person. Will [Anderson Jr.] is doing a good job, but for us to be a good pass rush team, it will take a complement of guys. It's more. It's not just four guys. I like to have eight, nine guys who can go in where the interior and the end guys [are]. We need everyone being dynamic, explosive, and collapsing the pocket, disrupting the quarterback."

On the benefits of having NFL referees out at practice

"It's very beneficial for us to have the NFL officials out. It gives them a chance to help practice, but they also help us, right? If there are things we're doing pre-snap, [if] there are penalties, they are able to quickly address that so we can learn from it. They can teach us what exactly they're looking for, especially in the back end where you [have] so many calls of DPI [defensive pass interference] or illegal contact. We can really pick their brains while they're here, and the players understand exactly where the refs are positioned on the field, and exactly what are they looking at and what determines a foul. So, it's made a lot of education for our players so they can get to know the game and know what they can and can't do."

On if there are any different points of emphasis from the referees this year compared to last year

"Not many. Not many changes in the points of emphasis this year."

On how CB Derek Stingley Jr. has adjusted to his defense

"I love the way [Derek] Stingley [Jr.] has been practicing these five days of training camp. He's going after it every play, and his adjustment—I think you'll see him in more one-on-one opportunities. As you saw today, he made a big time play for us there. It's that every day. It's just that working and really challenging yourself, training yourself mentally and physically every snap, and that's what I'm seeing from Stingley. I'm seeing the strain, and I'm seeing him improve to get better based on how he's training in practice. Every rep is an important rep to him, and he's showing that to his teammates."

On what he's seen from rookie C/G Juice Scruggs so far during camp

"Juice [Scruggs] has been a guy who we've moved around inside, and that's one thing that we liked about him coming out of college was his versatility. Being able to play any spot in that interior, whether it's guard or center, he's done a lot for us. Very smart guy, picked up on the offense well, and he's a guy I highlighted in our team meeting yesterday just because of the deliberate technique he had on a run block, and being exactly where he needed to be with his hand placement, his footwork. It was fun to see. It was great that everybody could see how good of a job he's doing in the run game."

*On how similar the running game here is compared to his time with the 49ers *"Similar run game with our outside zone scheme. We'll start there. We'll have many varying runs, but we'll start there. That's our home base, but Devin [Singletary] and 'D.P.' [Dameon Pierce]—both guys have done a good job. They'll be excellent in our zone scheme and with our gap scheme, as well. They'll be fine, so they're both doing a really good job."

On the importance of having continuity in the run game as it relates to the confidence of the quarterback

"I think the biggest thing is [for] the offense to get going, you have to be able to run the football. You have to be able to establish the run game, have to get tempo going early, whether it's [the] run game or having successful completions. Whatever it takes just to get your offense moving, and the run game definitely helps that."

On his philosophy in creating pressure on the quarterback and how DE Will Anderson Jr. fits within that philosophy

"It's creating pressure. It's about four guys rushing as one and Will [Anderson Jr.] fits that. Wherever we put him on the line, it doesn't matter. It's about all four of those guys, not just Will, as I keep saying, it's about those four guys being in sync. So, if we're running stunts, games, whatever it is, they have to communicate. Their footwork has to be on point to really attack who we want to attack on the offensive line. So, pass rush is just generating—first off, it's rushing coverage [and] working together. If the coverage isn't good, the pass rush isn't going to be good and vice-versa. If the pass rush isn't good, the coverage is not, so we have to work together because rushing coverages is not just about one guy."

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