HEAD COACH BIILL O’BRIEN
How do you think WR Keke Coutee did in practice this week? Do you think he’ll play on Sunday?
“Yeah, it was OK. I think that will go right up until game time.”
How difficult is it to limit veterans’ practice reps during the week given their work ethic and desire to be out there?
“Yeah, they all want to practice. There’s no doubt about it, but this is decided before the season even starts. These are offseason discussions as you get into this time of the season with veteran players. Guys that have played five years, six years, seven years, you have to start understanding as a coaching staff that maybe they need a day off here or there. What’s great about those guys is it is hard because they all want to be out there practicing, but in the end, they understand that what we’re doing is best for them and what’s best for the team.”
Is the plan to rest veteran players during the week strictly regimented or is it modified week-to-week?
“Oh yeah, it’s modified. I think it’s just like anything else. Schedules are modified during the season. You can plan for it, but then obviously whatever happens during the season, you have to be ready to modify.”
What is the difference Senior Director of Sports Performance Luke Richesson has made this season with regards to injuries?
“I think it’s a combination of things that Luke is a part of. I’ll start with Mr. McNair giving us the ability to go out there and hire people and also change the facilities. It started with that. So, it goes all the way back to the end of right after last season when we were able to go out, hire Luke, hire Ladd Harris – he’s made a big difference – we have a chef, Chris (Bednorz), that’s made a huge difference. Obviously, our training staff – (Geoff) Kap(lan) – who’s been here. Those groups of people and then the new facility, the weight room, the new cafeteria, all of that’s been upgrades that have really helped us just relative to nutrition, lifting, stretching, mobility, pliability – all of those different things that really I don’t even know what those words mean – but I think it’s made a difference.”
Is it nice to have trust in your Sports Performance staff?
“That’s exactly right. I think that’s what you do. My style of leadership is we hire these people, we’re paying them good money, let’s make sure that they have the resources available to do their jobs and then let them go do their jobs. That’s exactly right.”