HEAD COACH DAVID CULLEY
You had a shorter practice today. What are you doing in preparation for tomorrow night?
"Well, we had had three really good pad days. I mean, three really good pad days. Basically what today was is just a recovery day for them, just to where we can really get good work tomorrow. I'm talking about I couldn't have asked for any more in those three pad days we had, especially the last one we had yesterday, the effort was excellent, the finishing was exactly what we wanted. Again, the consistency is still not there, but today was a day of basically let them recover, let them get ready for our scrimmage tomorrow night, and we got that done today. Basically again today was what we call like assignment, alignment, communication. Guys just getting their techniques without having to be wide open."
Talk about how WR Anthony Miller is picking up the physical and mental aspects that you are looking for.
"Well, the thing right now with him is he's new. He's one of the newest guys we've got in here. He's basically just learning the system right now. He's doing a good job of learning the system. He's fitting right in with Keke (Coutee) and Alex (Erickson) in that position that we got for him, and basically the competition right there, all he did is just make the competition even more when he came in here."
What are you expecting from WR Anthony Miller?
"Well, I expect him, just like I do all those other three, is to compete. In that position, usually in third down, you want guys that you know is going to able to make plays and be where they need to be, and that's what we expect that whole position to do."
What have you seen from TE Pharoah Brown?
"Well, it's good to have him back. Obviously size does matter, and getting him back and getting him in the swing of things. He came off the COVID (list), he's starting to get more and more and more reps right now with us, and he's one of those guys that we're counting on at that position to be able to help us."
What is QB Deshaun Watson doing right now?
"Nothing has changed."
What is QB Deshaun Watson doing?
"Nothing has changed."
What have you seen from DL Shaq Lawson so far?
"Well, I was with Shaq in Buffalo, and shoot, Shaq was a pass rusher up there. When we got him from the Dolphins obviously when we brought him in here, he fits kind of what Lovie would like to do. Again, the competition in that group that he's come into right now is basically just making him even better and better and better because we've got big numbers right there at that position. And man, he's just in there doing what he needs to do. And of course we're getting to see what we thought he was."
What about DL Shaq Lawson as an athlete makes him fit with this team?
"Well, he's quick. He has great movement. He's got a great first step. Lovie (Smith) loves that in those guys at that position. He plays with good leverage, and he's got good hands, and basically what we teach all those guys to do, he has that."
Where do you like OL Tytus Howard right now?
"Well, we don't really have a position exactly for him right now as far as all of those guys. We're basically going to continue to move them guys around and just make sure that they know all those positions. The thing we can say about it, you've got to be flexible in the offensive line. You've got to be able to go left tackle, right guard. You've got to be able to go right tackle, left guard, right tackle. You've got to be able to do that, and that's the versatility we've got to have up there. Basically you only carry so few guys, so you've got to be able to be able to go multiple positions there."
When you have a quarterback with QB Tyrod Taylor's skill set, is it more important to be deep at running back or tight end?
"Well, the thing about having mobility back there is that the last thing that the defense wants to know is that when it's third down and you've got a guy back there that you've got everybody covered down the field, when you've got a guy that can use his feet to be able to get you positive yardage, that's a plus. When you've got guys back there that basically don't have that, then what ends up happening is they know he's going to throw the ball, they know the ball is going to come out and the last thing you want to do is they don't account for him. They don't account for him in that particular situation."
Do you want more emphasis on the run game?
"Well, that also helps because that gives you an extra guy back there that you know that basically when that happens that can do what running backs does with his feet."
You've never had a kickoff returner like WR Andre Roberts. How much can he affect your field position?
"Well, he's been so productive during his career, and we brought him here for that reason. Basically we expect him to be an offensive weapon for us, kickoff returns, whatever we have him doing from a punt return deal, and that same production that he's got has been a Pro Bowl player through his career, we're expecting the same thing from him here."
DL SHAQ LAWSON
Do you get to interact with QB Deshaun Watson at all or have you?
"Yeah, I talk to him. We just talk about our times at Clemson, bring about old memories, the time we could have won a National Championship."
Is QB Deshaun Watson in the building?
"Shoot, I can't even tell you. I don't know. I just be worried about where I be at. I seen him from time to time, but I can't really tell you where he be at."
How have you transitioned into this new team and this new scheme?
"Oh, man, scheme is similar to what I played at Buffalo. Same, as a matter of fact. Probably had one of my best years. But new team I've been a part -- when a new team came up there and just basically got to take one day at a time. They try to change the coaching and things, about the building, try to bring a great group of guys in. But usually just got to take one day at a time and try to get one percent better as a team and as an organization every day."
How would you evaluate your position right now on the defensive line?
"Yeah, this group is deep. We've got a lot of guys that played a lot of ball in this league, help teams win games. It's just been a fun group. It's a competition in that room, so it's been going great, well. The guys they keep, it's going to be wonderful because we've got a lot of guys, and each and every guy can play in there, and they've helped the team in the previous, in the past."
What do you think about Head Coach David Culley as a head coach?
"Oh, you know, you seen a little different side from being an offensive coordinator and now, but he's the right guy for this job. He's ready to lead this team. He brings the energy every day for us, and we feed off him. He's the right guy for this job, man. I'm excited to see what he do with it."
How would you define the approach of the defense?
"Man, our approach is, like you said, attack -- set a new line of scrimmage, affect the quarterback in any way. If that's getting sacks or putting pressure on him, we've got a great back seven. With this defense you can just attack. You don't got to think about no blocks or anything you've got to worry about. I mean, that's the great part about being in a 4-3 defense."
Is it reactionary?
"Yeah, you know, 4-3 you put it on your players, players to go make plays. It's a little different from a 3-4"
Miami was kind of similar to here. How do you go about establishing a culture as a team when there are so many new guys?
"Yeah, yeah, like you said, I was part of Miami when they had a bunch of new guys, too. Man, those tough times in camp define your team. We go out here grinding together for one another, each other, this defines your team, and this is a true test of how your team is going to be. This has been a great camp so far. We done got after it. The offensive line and D line going at it. Going against Laremy (Tunsil) and those guys, Laremy the best in the NFL, the best I'm probably going to go against all year there in practice every day. Going against the competition of those guys, man, that changes the culture, and I think it should be great around here."
Ho have you sensed it feels distinctly different from other teams you've been apart of?
"You've got to think about it, all the players come from different places, so we're just understanding each other. That's why we come out here. Any other sport, that's why football is a great sport. This is a team sport, so you get guys from different cultures to come out here and play with each other and make one big team and try to do something special at the end of the year, and that's win a Super Bowl. That's what makes it special about it."
Do you feel like you guys up front need to set the tone for the defense?
"Oh, yes, sir, yes, sir. It starts with the defensive line and offensive line in football. The defensive line is going to set the tempo, how far this team goes and this defense goes. We stretch those guys -- not even me, even Whit (Whitney Mercilus) the guys that's been here, B Dun (Brandon Dunn), those guys who scratch through the group it's like it's going to start with us up front. This team is going to lead how we play. If we play good, this team will play good."
How do you approach pass rushers?
"By winning your one-on-ones, man. At the end of the day they're going to put you in a match-up where you need to be, but at the end of the day it's about winning your one-on-ones. That's what's great about being back in a 4-3. You get a lot of one-on-one opportunities and things like that."
It seems like it's pretty wide open to get a spot on the line, but how do you approach that as a group to kind of keep guys fresh?
"Oh, man, it's next man up. It's the league, man. It's next man up. That's what's good about this 4-3. That's what's good about being a D-lineman. You plug in and out. You go hard for your five, six, seven, plays, bring another D-line, he go hard, and you just feed off each other, man."
Last year in Miami when you were going between a veteran and a young quarterback, did you guys chat about that at all on the defensive side of the ball?
"Oh, no, we couldn't control what was going on outside of the ball. Any guy we had in there we was going to do our job on the defensive end. If we stopped teams from not scoring, that be on us. We never talk about none of that. Both those guys was great, man, "Fitzmagic" (Ryan Fitzpatrick) and Tua (Tagovailoa), both of those guys was great, man. When both of their time came, they both made plays."
Anyone on the defensive line you connected with mostly?
"Man, I connected with all these guys. Like I said, I know a lot of these guys before I got here, so me and Jordan (Jenkins) was in the same division, but I connected with all of these guys. They bought they many well since I've been here, so I appreciate that.
Do you have a friendly rivalry with the offense considering that a lot of practices we've seen you've been on a more common side of the ball?
"No. At the end of the day we're trying to get them better, they're trying to get us better, man. At the end of the day that's our biggest thing around here, is team, team, team. That's all we're trying to do, make one big team. Whatever we've got to do to get those guys good and get us great, that's what we're going to do, man. We want to go far this year."
WR ANTHONY MILLER
Did you expect to get traded, and how do you feel about being traded here?
"I expected to early on, but when it didn't work out, I just set my mind on being with the Chicago Bears. But it literally happened at the last second, like a day before camp, honestly. So I've had to learn everything very fast, but everybody here has really helped me out a lot, so I thank them for that."
What was the biggest adjustment for you coming in? I know obviously the system, teammates, but what would you say has been the biggest challenge in the past week or so?
"Football is football, man, but the plays, that's been my biggest adjustment. It's a new system, totally new system, so that's been something I had to pick up on fast in order to get in there and play."
How much do you embrace this as a fresh start just to have a chance to kind of do your thing here? "That's exactly what it is, a fresh start. A new opportunity for me to show what I can do, and the coaches here, they believe in what I can do 100 percent. That's all I want is an opportunity, and that's what they're giving me."
In Chicago, what do you feel like led to the trade? What in your conversations with the Bears do you feel like contributed to the trade?
"On both ends we just felt like it was best for the team. I've had some tension with the coaches, tension with upstairs, but they want me to succeed at the end of the day. I hope they have a great season, as well. So we broke it off with no bad blood and it was very professional."
Do you regret the way your season ended in the playoffs last year?
"Oh, yeah, of course I regret that. I let that guy get under my skin to the point where I put hands on him, but it's a new Anthony Miller this year. I'm approaching everything very professional. It's an important year for me, as well. Contract year, but I love football, too, so anything that will take me off the field, I'm not going to do anymore."
How much has QB Tyrod Taylor helped you, working with him?
"Oh, he's helped me a lot. He's a seasoned veteran. He knows the ins and outs of this offense. He tells me where he wants me to be when he throws the ball and he's just an amazing quarterback. We're going to get a lot of work in."
Do you think the receivers are a position of strength on this team?
"For sure. We've got a lot of weapons and we're still putting the pieces together. We're still finding out what everybody can do and where they're going to play, what positions. It's really a competition. That's what the coaches are saying. But you know, we're sticking together. If one doesn't know the play we'll tell him, so it's no bad blood within the receiving room."
Has WR Keke Coutee helped you with the transition?
"For sure, for sure. That's actually my boy. We've been great teammates so far, and every time he makes a play I'm happy for him, every time I make a play he's happy for me. So like I said, we're just here to help each other."
How different as a player are you and WR Keke Coutee? How would you say you all might go about getting open or how might you all be different in stops?
"I mean, if you watch us, it's really similar. We're both sudden with our moves. We're both really quick. We both know how to work in tight spaces, both got good hand, so we're real similar, man."
How much does it change the environment when there are a lot of guys on this team who, like you, are either going to be in the last year of their contract or they're on a one-year deal, all kind of new to the team? How does it change the environment compared to Chicago? Does it feel any different? "Not really, because in this league, everybody knows they have to be on their best game, on their P's and Q's each and every day. Have to know what they're doing or you'll get cut. You'll be out of here and you'll be somewhere else. So that's my mentality even if wasn't my contract year."
As far as the transition to this offense, what have you had to adapt to the most?
"Like I said, the plays. This is a totally new system from any system I've been in. But like I've said, the coaches, the players, everybody within the offensive system has really helped me, done everything they can, whether it be a one-on-one walkthrough with my coach or anything like that, extra time, anything. They've helped me out a lot."
Before camp started, QB Tyrod Taylor talked to us about how important it is for you to get the ball out quick and how you all have a lot of quick concepts. How important is your position going to be in that approach to the offense?
"Well, everyone's position is important, but as far as myself, I'm in the slot, so I've got a lot of intermediate routes, short routes. So getting the ball out quick, that will pertain to me in my position. I'm going to do everything I can to make sure we sync up well so we can be as successful as we want to be."
What are the strengths of your game?
"The strengths of my game? I can do everything. I can't tell you one thing that I can't do."
We've talked to a couple of teammates about you and a couple of them have called you shifty. Do you think that's a good word to use for your skills?
"Yeah, that's a good word. I don't like to just toot my own horn and say everything I can do, but I can do everything, man."
You say motivation is not hard to find, right here?
"Right there, man--Hey, young man. That must be my guy, say hey…this is my guy, he just turned one. His name is Anthony, too. Oh, you grabbing the mic? Say something, man. You want to say something? He talks all the time, but he's nervous today--So yeah, this is more than my motivation right here."
Is this your only child?
"Only child, yep."
WR ANDRE ROBERTS
Can you tell us about your game?
"I think you just said it. That's what I'm trying to bring. Help out the field position battle. Get our offense in a good position so they don't have to drive the length of the field. A lot of that too is going to depend on our core special teams players. You've got a lot of guys in here that (GM Nick) Caserio brought in, and we should be pretty decent."
What made you think that this is the right spot for you?
"It's just a new opportunity, and that's how I take it. Even when I'm with the same team, I take it as a new opportunity every single year to get better. Coming here, for me, is just a new opportunity, and like I said, they brought a lot of good special teams guys in here, so I know they're going to focus on that and we're going to try to be great this year."
Do you have a personal approach for returning?
"Absolutely, but I can't give that away. Unfortunately, I can't tell you everything, but I do for sure."
What do you think about WR Nico Collins and what has been your impact a young guy like that?
"Nico is a really good athlete. He's going to be special when he gets it together. He's coming to a new team, new area, new offense. He still has a lot to learn, but he's a really good athlete, and if he keeps his head down, he's going to be special."
How much pride do you take in getting inducted into the Pro Bowl every year?
"A lot of pride. As a player you want to make the all-pro team, and the Pro Bowl is a bonus, but I take a lot of pride in being the best in the league, and I try to be the top of the league every single year that I'm playing."
Are there things, the new rules changes in the return game, have you discovered things in the offseason maybe that people wouldn't have discovered? Like over time do you find little edges?
"I wouldn't necessarily say in the offseason but during the season, how it's changed from where they're kicking it off at, guys not moving, before the kickoff, obviously moving to the 25-yard line, and different punters and what they're trying to do to me now. It's definitely changed, but like I said before, I'm not going to give you all of what I know and what's changed, so just keep that to myself."
What do you do to stay healthy?
"It's funny, I'm going to answer that the same way I've answered these questions. You can't give all your secrets away. A lot of treatment, a little bit of luck. This NFL league is injury -- you're going to have an injury here and there, but a little bit of luck, try to stay away from concussions, try to stay away from those big hits, and I try to do my best with that every year."
How do you view success in the job that you do?
"Well, there's obviously numbers that I view that at, but overall on special teams just helping the team get positive field position. Starting from the 25 is nice, I guess, on kickoff, but starting from the 30, 35, 40, 50-yard line is a lot better."
Do you play Madden?
"You know, I don't even play Madden anymore. It's gotten too complicated for me. I used to play, get some wins, but now I get beat up too much, so I just put it down."
You being one of the older veterans on this team, when you have younger guys like WR Nico Collins and WR Anthony Miller coming to you for advice on how to be successful in this league?
"It's unique. Absolutely. I talk to Nico a lot. He's a drafted player. And Anthony is just coming here. Talk to those guys a lot about just being a pro, but they'll get it. They'll come along."