(on the health situation with Domanick Davis) "We're going to find out with Domanick. We were very cautious with him back in OTA's and in the off-season. We all know that he has a knee that's giving him problems. We'll be smart with him, he'll be a one-a-day practice guy for us. So I think we're going to know a lot more about that knee and how he's doing probably here over the course of the next week. It has been good, he's been working well. Kevin feels good about it, Dominick feels good about it. But until we test it hard for about a week we're not going to know for sure. We're hoping for the best. We sure hope he's going to be fine and play throughout the season. Last year he missed what, five starts, so you always prepare for those moments and that's on every spot on your team."
(on the running back situation) "I think the running back situation will be very interesting. Antowain (Smith) had a good camp. He's been successful in this league. He takes care of his body. There's no reason why he doesn't have some good football ahead of him. I think from a young standpoint, I'm excited to watch these guys compete. I was very impressed with Wali Lundy, he did make a couple of plays in camp. I was very impressed with Chris Taylor. (Vernand) Morency missed a lot of time throughout that month, and he's going to battle with some good young football players. And of course the young man from Syracuse did some good stuff so I think it'll be interesting to see who'll be the other backs on this football team. There will be great competition and we'll see how that pans out. Also I was impressed with Taylor as a kick returner during camp. I think that's an added dimension that he has."
(on training camp putting a stamp on the team) "I think they know as a staff what we expect. They get our system a couple of times during the course of the off-season from a teaching stand point. They know how we want to practice. They know how we want to play, how we want to attack on offense and defense. We go back, we reassure that here for the next month. I think one of the biggest challenges we have as coaches is to find out how much they can digest. We threw the kitchen sink at them, but we really have to do what we do best when it comes time to play so that's something we have to find out. But we'll go back to where we started. Hopefully we're not too rusty when you're away from each other for a month. From a football standpoint, you worry about how you come back, you find out Friday. Hopefully, we'll pick up where we left off."
(on the offensive line) "Well, I think we'll be good upfront, I cannot stand here and tell you who those five guys will be right now, I don't think that's fair. I don't think I could do that. I think we have great competition. We went out and got veteran guys who have played and been successful in this league when you talk about (Mike) Flanagan, when you talk about (Ephraim) Salaam you talk about (Brad) Bedell, they've all been on great football teams and been very productive players. So those guys came here wanting a job and then you go out and draft two young tackles who still have a chance to play a long time in this league. How fast they come along, that'll be important. You've got the group that was here that we have a lot of confidence in, who we'd love to settle them down and play one spot and sit here and say this is the way we're going to do things now and this is what we expect. And those guys are being pushed everyday. Zach Wiegert is being pushed; (Steve) McKinney's being pushed. Seth Wand is being pushed. Seth Wand, we've come back with him with some new confidence and how we want him to play for us, some of the things we do. So I think what you've got, you've got a group of guys that have been doing it and we went out and got some guys to push those guys so the combination of those two, whoever ends up being the top five, I think we're going to be better as a football team. I think that group can play well for us and I think that they're coached extremely well by (Mike) Sherman and (John) Benton, I think the two of those guys have done a great job so far."
(on DeMeco Ryans stepping up) "I think it's very important. I think throughout the summer he showed us he wants to be one of the three out on the field. There's no doubt about that. We knew that about him because he's such a smart player. We know he's a good football player but he's also a very smart player. The question with him is how Sam Cowart comes back. We went out and got Sam this summer because of Kailee's (Wong) situation because we need a Mike linebacker in a 4-3. Sam has played there for many years in this league. He missed a great deal of time in the off-season, there's nothing he could do about that, he got nicked. We experimented in there while we were here, we put DeMeco in at the Mike at the last week, I don't know if all of you noticed that. But we think DeMeco can play inside and he can play outside. So how far Sam comes along, how Sam comes off of his summer of getting his ankle well will probably have a lot to do with where DeMeco is competing to play on this football team. He will start off at the middle linebacker. There will be times when Sam will probably be a one-a-day practice player. When he is not practicing there is a dang good chance DeMeco will work at the Mike so how that pans out we'll see."
(on the mind set of team) "I don't know if that's so much a mind set. What I noticed on my way to practice we started to struggle in practice I was waiting for this player to grab a player so to speak and not always wait on me to grab them or coach Calhoun, or coach Smith to grab them but when a football team is built with the right stuff its got the right leaders and things aren't going well and people are struggling they shouldn't have to wait on it. I don't want them to wait on it. I know it's been a couple days and I asked you guys to step forward but that has to happen how by you play how you prepare and how you do your job. You know it's easy in the league when you're taking care of your business. And there are a lot of guys out there trying to learn our system and worried about themselves at that time but the point I was trying to make, was hey lets go if its rough out here David Carr grab his troops and pull them up. Andre (Johnson) I know you've been here four years every body thinks you've been playing in this league twelve pull them up. You don't wait on me to do that. And the quicker we have players to do that I think the more progress will be made. I know it's a young franchise but we need leaders just like the teams that have been around for fifty. It seems like leaders, they are what they are. You don't really turn someone into a leader."
(on whether the team has natural leaders) "We'll I agree with what you're saying I think there are guys who definitely lead by example and those who say a lot, the guys who lead vocally. But I think you lead out of respect and we're going to have some guys step up on this team and do their jobs so well, and people respect the heck out of them so that they go to them for leadership. And now can that happen? Yes that can happen. There are guys here for that to happen. You know it's like with David (Carr), when you get David playing extremely well and find David success, it's going to be easier for David to move this offensive football team. Same way with Andre (Johnson), same thing. To me when a guy like (Mike) Flanagan comes in here he did have instant respect from a standpoint upfront. He played on a winner at Green Bay and he's been successful. Where else can it come from I can't tell you today, but we do we have the people that it should come from, yes we do and we got to go out and they've got to step to the plate."
(on who will play opposite Mario Williams) "(Antwan) Peek and (Jason) Babin will battle out that spot, I was impressed with N.D. Kalu when he was healthy during the OTA's. We felt like Peek and Babin both showed a comfort zone. They had played with their hand down before, I know here they were playing linebacker in the 3-4, but we felt that we saw both of them go back to some of the things I remember seeing coming out of college at the defensive end position. Babin has put some weight on, he struggled to keep his weight down as a backer, and I don't know if you all have noticed, but he's really gotten bigger, just looks very tough, that will be a very competitive situation. Up front you're going play people to be good in this league, you're going to have to play them all. So I know that it will be a personal battle between them. Between the two of them we expect for that position to be played very well."
(on what he told Mario Williams about the attention he will receive) "I just want him to do his job, I know there is a ton of attention coming his way, he'll be evaluated every practice, what's he doing compared to this, we know that's coming. The one thing I told him was you just do your job. You are going to make everybody on this team better if you do your job well. I really believe that Peek and Babin will play well, (Anthony) Weaver will play well, Robaire (Smith), Travis (Johnson) will need to make the biggest jump of anybody on this football team. It's his second year, its time to go. He has to step up and play well. But I think if Mario will just approach it, that I just have to play my spot well, and I think that he has to dominate the league or something like that, that's not the key, play his spot well, his sacks will come, other players get better, out defense gets better, then he's doing his job."
(on how DeMeco Ryans did during OTAs) "He did very well, he was a very impressive player, the fact that we moved him around, he never missed a beat. You guys don't get to sit in meetings, I sat in the back of all the meetings, and I was impressed, you know watching this kid be challenged in meetings from a special teams standpoint, from the defense, how quick he learns, he got the respect of the players very quickly. He's a kid we can count on for a long time around here. He's going to give us everything he's got. Great kid, it's just going to be a question of where he's going to be. I know he plans on being one of the three."
(on time spent on fine tuning versus learning) "We don't ever take that for granted, we'll start over. We will go right back to where we started, day one, during OTA's. I've always felt that way as a coach not to assume, so we'll go back and start over. Like I said as we start over and go through these next few weeks, it'll be a big contest for us as coaches to see how much we are going to go into our season with, how much are we going to take, 60% of our offense; we have to make a decision because we have to do what we do best. We'll challenge them everyday, we'll throw a lot at them. And we'll have to weed it out and find out what they do best."
(on how it feels to be head coach) "I'm very comfortable because I have great people around me and that's the key. I feel very good about our staff, I told you all that. For me to walk down the hall and knock on Mike Sherman's door and say 'Hey Mike, what would you do in this situation?' That's why I brought him here, but I told all the coaches today, we met as a staff today, I said 'listen, its my first rodeo and I believe in all you guys here with me and I don't care whether you're a young kid sitting in here or a coach that has been in this league for years, if you have something to tell me or you see something that we can do better, or some advice for me, I want it. And we'll sort through it from there. The only way we are going to get there is as a group and I'll know that everyday and I will pull from every resource I've got."
(on the first message to the players) "What I've told them from the start since the day I walked in here, our whole message to these kids is making this franchise a winner. We have been around for four years and there hasn't been a winning season yet. My goal for this team is to have meetings like winners meet, prepare like winners prepare and practice like winners practice. We will go out and turn this football team around and be able at some point and say we're a winner and become a team that has a chance to win 9, 10, 11, 12 games a year, that's where we're headed. And if you can put yourself in that position, then you can start talking about playoffs and you can start talking about championships. But until you can look yourself in the eye, and say this franchise is a winner, that's the most important step for everything we do."
(on the secondary) "Well I feel good about it, I feel good about our two corners. I know Phillip (Buchanon) is going into a big year with this organization, it's a contract year, a big year for him as a pro I think he had a good off-season. I think the key to our secondary is depth, where that's going to come from, we'll see. We're in a division that's probably going to be playing a lot of nickel against Indianapolis, twice a year, so we have to have some depth. But I feel good about our starters, I feel good about the way Philip works. Plus (Charlie) Anderson missed a little time with a hamstring. In all honesty, probably as an organization we will continue to look for a veteran corner to add depth to this team. I feel good starting Friday, we'll see where they go."
(on whether he feels good about Glenn Earl and C.C. Brown) "Yes I do, I think those two guys played extremely well for this football team. We'll have to add Michael (Stone), who's been successful in this league; he's a very sharp kid and can play a lot of spots. He brought an attitude and work ethic to our defense, that was very important. I feel good about our safeties, I really do. We had to let Jamaal Lord go the other day. We felt like he had a long way to go to make the transition. It was going to be hard from a (repetition) standpoint to give him a fair shot, but we'll see what happens. I feel good about our first three; kind of like the corner position. I feel good about three of them, we'll have see what they can do. I think every team is in that position."
(on Mario Williams' health) "Yeah, he's been fine; He's been working and he's fine, we got that out of the way."
(on anything he needs to be careful with) "No, he'll go to work full time, everything went fine. I actually think he could have worked the last couple of days (of the summer program), we were just a little cautious with him, so I took him out and didn't want to make a mistake."
(on Travis Johnson's health) "He's been fine, he actually probably could have done a few things the last
couple of days of OTA's. He's been here working steadily, he's done everything
we have asked him to do, to say that we're going to totally turn him loose full
speed on Friday, that's probably not correct, we will monitor him for a couple
of days as we work him back in."