Head Coach Bill O'Brien** ILB Brian Cushing
Head Coach Bill O'Brien
(on how the week of practice has gone on the short week) "A little shorter week, but I feel like we've had a good week. I really do. The guys have put extra time in. We've had some spirited, intense practices. Yesterday we had a good practice. Today was a good one. It looks like these guys have their assignments down. Now again, like I say every week, the proof is Sunday. We've got to go out there and do it, but I believe we've had a good week."
(on ILB Brian Cushing saying he's encouraged about his knee) "I believe he feels better, but as far as his ability to play, we have the rest of the day today, tomorrow and hopefully he'll feel even better tomorrow. When we get there, we'll have to work him out and see how it goes."
(on what he has seen from QB Zach Mettenberger) "Same thing, similar stuff to what I saw in the draft. I think he's a smart guy. He's got a strong arm, big guy—a guy that I think is going to get better and better in the system. I think there is no substitute for experience. He already has a little bit of experience in the preseason and the regular season, and I'm sure they'll have him ready to play on Sunday."
(on LS Jon Weeks) "I'm glad you asked about Jon Weeks. Usually the questions are about other players. Those are the guys—Jon Weeks is the type of guy that really makes your team, those role guys. He's our long snapper. He works extremely hard. This is a guy that comes in really early in the morning for extra conditioning. I see him in the weight room all the time early in the morning. He really works hard at improving his snapping every single week. He's accurate. It's fast. He's got a great rapport with Lech (Shane Lechler) and Randy Bullock. Those guys are together all day. I just think that Jon does a really good job. He's gotten better at covering the kicks too. He's gone down there and done a pretty good job for us in covering the punts so that's been good to see also."
(on the return game and KR Danieal Manning) "I think Danieal will be our returner on Sunday. He's worked hard. I know he had the one play, like all of us, we wish we had some plays back from the other night. That's the play that he wishes he had back, but I think we've got to block better for him. I have faith that he'll show up and do well on Sunday."
(on how OLB Jadeveon Clowney has progressed) "I thought he did what he had to do this week. I think he's got a good shot to play on Sunday."
(on if he has any concerns about OLB Jadeveon Clowney from a mental standpoint having not been out on the field) "That's one thing that him that I really don't get concerned about that. He's one of those guys that really understands football. They've had a lot of extra meetings. He's been in all of the meetings. He's been in every meeting since he's been out, so he hasn't missed any of that. He's been in the walkthroughs and things like that. I don't have a concern with that. Our thing is I don't see him playing 75 plays in the game. That would be the thing. He's probably got somewhat of a pitch count."
ILB Brian Cushing
(on an update how he is feeling) "I'm good. I mean, I'm feeling as best as I can right now. Kind of like we talked about, taking it day-to-day."
(on how he views his chances of playing on Sunday) "Like I said, taking it day-to-day. Obviously there is some soreness and some stuff going on, but I'll go up to Tennessee, see how I feel and warm up. Obviously there is nothing more that I want than to play. That's the objective right now. We'll see how it goes."
(on how difficult it has been for him to battle the soreness) "I'm not going to make any excuse or anything, but it's been frustrating, especially with how much work and stuff that goes into it in the offseason, during the season and all that. I still feel like for the most part was feeling good, was feeling good and a lot more football to play. This is going to be a decision just based upon how I feel and based up the rest of the season. There is a lot of football left to be played, so we'll see how I feel going up there."
(on how tough the call of playing is because he wants to be playing) "Like I said, we've got to be smart. We've got to make the best decision for myself, the team, the coaches, everyone and see where I'm at. I think we can all kind of agree and see the last couple of weeks really haven't been myself, and that's something that's been really hard on me. Any time I go out there I want to put the best of myself out there to help the team win. If it's a points where I'm really not with my play and where I am with my health, that's what we've got to do."
(on if there was something that happened to cause his knee to flare up or if it was gradual) "More gradual, I guess you can say. At the same time, now the focus is on getting better, getting back to where I need to be, playing at the level that I need to play at to really help this team and to be me."
(on what's specifically caused the pain) "I think anytime you have the soreness and the pain or what not, it's kind of a little bit of everything, and football requires all that to play and to be successful. It's been a little bit of everything. If it was just pain I could play through it, but if it's a point where I could be hurting something or doing something worse, then we have to take into account the decision of what's best for everyone."
(on if the problems are a function of having two surgeries on the same knee) "I'm sure. I think people kind of tend to forget how much the knee's gone through. I sure haven't. I sure haven't forgotten. I'm kind of reminded of it every day. Like I said, if it was a little bit of pain and soreness, I could obviously play through that and deal with it. But now it's just up to us to make the best decision for kind of the long run of the year. If I feel great, then so be it. That's awesome. I'll play."
(on what he feels needs to happen to play on Sunday) "I don't think anything needs to happen between now and then. I'm going to continue to stay on the same routine I've been. Myself, the trainers and everyone is going to work to have the best me out there. We go out there Sunday, it's kind of whether I can run, cut, full speed and do everything I can to be as close to 100 percent as I can be."
(on how he feels the knee is responding to the rehab) "Good. Obviously good. I think that in the couple days that I have focused on getting back and getting my leg strong again and feeling good, it's felt a lot better. That's encouraging. That's one of the things I'll continue to push with and see how it feels from here on out."
(on having progress this week) "Definitely. The rest has definitely been beneficial. On top of it I've just really been focusing on the little exercises and all that to get back to where I need to be."
(on if it's difficult for him to have to look down the road rather than try and fight through the pain for one game) "Yeah. Of course it is. There is no one that wants to be out there more than I do. That's just the bottom line. It's been frustrating and it's been frustrating for years. It's something that I've kind of learned to have to I guess live with, play with and deal with. It's been tough, but at the same time we've got to look out for like I said the longevity of this season."