Let me get this one out of the way quick – I don’t know about (Jon) Beason. It’s a foot, he was running across the field and felt something in the bottom of his foot. We’ll see.
Q: How did the guys look that stepped in for him in the ensuing possession?
A: Just reps, everybody is taking as many as they can and rotating all through. We’re trying to get as many people acclimated as we can.
Q: Has Stevie Brown’s progress been encouraging to you?
A: Very much so, yep. Very much so.
Q: You said the bottom of his foot?
A: Foot. I don’t know, bottom, top or middle. Foot. I probably said that but I don’t… who knows.
Q: The rookie Devon Kennard, what have you seen from him so far?
A: He’s picked things up very well. He’s very smart, very good on the board. He’s done a nice job on the field, a good job on special teams. We’re excited about him. A nice big kid, strong kid.
Q: Did Stevie Brown do more than anticipated?
A: No, he’s been pretty much right on target but he hasn’t missed anything, which is great.
Q: Has Kennard been running mostly in the middle or can you kind of move him around?
A: All of the middle and all of the special teams.
Q: Is it encouraging when a practice ends on a touchdown like that?
A: It was quick, let’s put it that way. Of course the referee, the guy who said touchdown, that was contested but the ruling from upstairs came down. Everyone was good.
Q: How have you seen the offense progress from where you started at the beginning of the spring?
A: It’s slow, to be honest with you. Progress is slow but steady. Some days, of course, are better than others. But, you know, we’re getting there. We’re getting there. There’s a lot of things that have to be converted in the guys who have been here, in their minds and the new people who have not been in a system such as this, you’ve got a lot to learn. It’s a work in progress.
Q: What’s the plan for the installation in terms of timing? Do you want to get everything in before you break next week?
A: You probably will not, but every situation will be covered in a small way. There will be additional ways once we have more time to get on the board and work it out, spend more time with the players. This is, getting into this with a new situation of any kind, the hourly containment is a little difficult. You’re on the field for a couple hours, that takes better than half your day and you stick a meeting in there and you don’t have a lot more time. Our meetings will be extended when we come back and I think that will help a lot.
Q: You mentioned the new guys for the team and the system and also the rookies on the team, what are you looking for from them this time of year?
A: I’m looking for them to get me excited about what’s coming up in a few weeks.
Q: Anybody done that so far?
A: There have been a few, yeah.
Q: Is the training staff being cautious with Odell Beckham and his hamstring?
A: Yep, they’re cautious. Obviously it’s going to be…
Q: Still the hamstring? Nothing else?
A: Just the hamstring.
Q: How’s Will Beatty doing? We talked about…
A: He seems like he’s making progress.
Q: Is the expectation that he should be ready for training camp?
A: That’s what we’re hoping for, yeah.
Q: What does he need to do to get to that point?
A: Get to the point where he can go. I think he does a lot of things, he’s building himself up and so that’s basically where he is. He’s doing all the rehab, but on paper he wasn’t scheduled to go until training camp. We started out, he was doing some of the jog-through stuff and actually did pretty well but a lot of that was on air.
Q: When you talk about Beason, how important is he to this defense?
A: Very. Very important because of the nature of the player, the man, his attitude, what he brings to the table, his leadership skills. Very important.
Q: What do you like so far about the tight ends? I know so far it’s a wide-open situation. Is there anything that you’ve seen that encourages you?
A: What I do like is the fact that the young guys have jumped in there and done, I think, a good job of understanding what’s been asked of them and really doing well in limiting their assignment errors.
Q: Has anybody jumped out in front of that pack with the tight ends?
A: Pretty much it’s another day-by-day. Somebody will do something well one day and then someone else on another day.
Q: We’ve only been here a couple days but it seems like at that position every day it’s a different guy that gets their chance to go with different teams.
A: They’re all rotating through. We’re trying to get them all as many snaps as we can.
Q: When you had Martellus Bennett here a few years ago he came in as a guy who had receiving skills but had never really gotten the opportunity before he came here. Do either of the two veterans (Daniel Fells and Kellen Davis) you have fit into that? They don’t have a lot of numbers as receivers but they do have some?
A: Well, I think the system allows for some of the opportunities that come and beyond that, it’s the skill of the athlete. Both of these guys are sharp, both of these veterans. They know their way around on the field. Obviously they’ve been in systems before. We just like to take what they’ve done and the reason that we were attracted to them, expand that.
Q: What have you seen from Daniel Fells?
A: He’s done a nice job, yeah.
Q: What does he bring for you guys?
A: He’s solid, very smart, dependable in terms of being able to figure whatever the design of the play is, he can do it and he’ll do it for you.
Q: Has Peyton Hillis kind of… what kind of shape did he come in?
A: He was in great shape. He was in fabulous shape. It has nothing to do with shape. He actually practiced for about four days before disclosing that he even had an injury and now, he’s not been out here yet or since. We hope to get him next week but we’ll see.
Q: What’s the nature of the issue?
A: Just a muscle.
My coach actually tried to get me on the national (soccer) team when I was like 13, 14 but to do the soccer thing you really have to go overseas and stuff like that and it was a decision at a young age that I really didn’t want to leave my family. It was kind of one of those things that I had to let it go even though I still think about it to this day. Soccer is my first love.
Q: How excited are you now that it’s World Cup time and all of the buzz is around it?
A: I’m definitely excited to watch it. Catch games whenever I can, I’m more focused on the NBA Finals right now. Hopefully the Heat pull it off tonight.
Q: Do you have a favorite soccer team, whether it’s in the Cup or any other leagues?
A: I really like Real Madrid, Christiano Ronaldo, just respect greatness. Him and Messi from Barcelona.
Q: Is it a little controversial to like Ronaldo when you were a soccer player whose jersey said Beckham at one point?
A: No, definitely not. I definitely thought that Beckham was good back in his day. I watched him as well when he was with England.
Q: How are you feeling?
A: A lot better. I was running around today, running routes and dancing in the locker room, so I feel pretty good.
Q: You have a sense from the coaches, are they going to give you the green light for next week? Tomorrow?
A: I don’t know, it’s still in the training room. I’m pretty sure next week I’ll be back up and running. Just looking forward to it, keep day-by-day progressing.
Q: What’s it been like to learn this offense?
A: It’s been tough to go from such an easier offense at LSU with the digit system and stuff like that and then going back to the concepts, which I was in my freshman year. It’s a bit of a learning curve but it’s nothing too much that you can’t manage.
Q: Has Rueben Randle told you how much harder it was here when you guys had to read every route?
A: No, Rueben didn’t tell me. It’s actually not that bad once you get into it and you break it down by formation and things like that. It’s really not that bad. It’s just a lot of memorization.
Q: As a receiver in this league, most guys want to be spread out now. Is that the preference do you think? Not on the outside just playing alongside more receivers, playing in the spread offense.
A: Definitely. It just allows you to use your playmakers instead of just going with your traditional two-wide set. You have four receivers on the field and you’re running routes and you’re all working with each other to get each other open. It definitely makes it a lot more fun for us, I guess, in a way.
Q: How concerned are you about maybe getting a little bit behind having not been able to get on the field for all of the OTAs?
A: I’m not really concerned. Just as long as you’re learning the playbook when you get back to where you’re used to being it will be more of a comfortable situation.
Q: Is this just being cautious? I know you said you felt like you could go.
A: Just being cautious, just being OTAs right now, we’re all learning the playbook. As long as you’re still learning the playbook, then I guess it’s not really a big deal.
Q: Is there any pain?
Q: If not for football being as big as it is in the US, do you think soccer would be bigger?
A: I don’t know if it would be bigger than baseball in America, but it’s taking over worldwide, starting to come to the US a little bit more.
Q: As a soccer player, do you remember what your specialty was if you had one?
A: I was just faster than everybody else. I had the moves and everything. I was one of those kids that was very aggressive.
Q: How do you like the offense from where you started a few weeks ago?
A: I’m liking it, it’s going to be pretty exciting. Coach McAdoo has done a great job putting us in positions to make plays and using our abilities. We still have a lot of work to put in out there of the field but as far as now, we’re in a good spot.
Q: You become very popular with your teammates when you end practice on that play that ended it.
A: Yeah, we always try to do that. That’s the main focus, as soon as we get in the huddle, we know we have two minutes. We try to make that first play our impression. Today happened to me and it’s pretty exciting.
Q: Can you describe that and is that something that, the same route that you would have run last year or is it any different?
A: Yeah, it’s similar to something that we would run last year, just the depth of it was a little shorter and the timing was a little different. It was actually the same type of route in the jog through and it happened to be the first play of the two-minute so to see that come out the way it did is pretty exciting.
Q: Is that kind of an example of what you guys want to do? A little shorter route, get the ball out of Eli’s hands.
A: Yes. That’s exactly what it is.
Q: How much are you finding it to be easier for you, for your position? Obviously you’re learning stuff, how much do you think it’s going to be easier, how much easier are you finding it with what you’re being asked to do as wide receivers?
A: Well, like I said, everything is pretty much black and white, it’s simple. What you have is what you run. Just take a lot of things off our minds and go out there and play football and just use your ability to get open. That’s what we’re doing.
Q: That means there aren’t as many reads.
A: No, not as many reads.
Q: As a receiver, does that take a lot off your plate?
A: Most definitely. When you can go out there and maintain that focus on one specific thing it allows you to go out there and play a lot faster. That’s what we’re doing here. I think that’s going to be key for us pushing forward to make more plays.
Q: Do you think because of that Odell’s going to have a better shot at making an impact as a rookie? You went through it as a rookie, you know how hard it is to get on the field.
A: Most definitely. I think he’s picking up on it pretty well. Even though he’s not practicing, he’s on the sideline listening to the plays and getting mental reps so he’s picking it up, he just has to be back out there.
Q: What happened to you in practice today? You had a little scare.
A: No, I just got hit in the wrong area. That’s all that was. I didn’t get hurt, somebody just happened to mis-swat the ball and I got the bad end of it.
Q: How has it been with Eli in the new offense? Is it simpler, is it easier to connect with him?
A: Yes, most definitely. The communication is there, we just want to make sure we’re all on the same page. Like I said, that played a tremendous… we talked about before practice, it’s something that we drive through and communicated through… we wanted to make sure we’re on the same page.
Q: Coach keeps saying that you guys have much more to work on with the offense. Is that how you guys feel?
A: Yeah. Even though we’re picking up on it pretty well, there’s still a lot we could work on and get better at. We’ll use tomorrow, the last day of OTAs, to wrap it up a bit and we’ll see how it goes.
Q: How do you stand out at this time to show that you’re ready to take on a bigger role on the offense? Especially with Hakeem gone.
A: I just have to make plays. It’s that simple. I don’t want to put any more pressure on myself or make it difficult or anything like that, just go out there and prove myself and that’s what I’m trying to do.
Q: From your perspective, if you had to put a percentage on it, what percent would you say is new with this offense versus what has carried over? Is it like a 50/50 split?
A: It’s kind of the same, it’s just the little things are different as far as…
Q: Minor tweaks?
A: Yeah, minor tweaks as to how he wants things ran but the concepts are mostly the same. It’s just really the terminology that was the difference, hearing something that in the last offense was something different and in this offense is something different so you have to train your mind to get back on track. Everything else is pretty much the same though.
Q: Do you think it’s an offense that fits your talents?
A: Yeah, definitely. It frees me up a lot. Just go out there and do what I do, just create separation and make plays. I had to really focus on reading than looking all over the field, just running routes. I think we’re all happy to be a part of that type of offense.
WR Jerrel Jernigan
Q: Is this a lot different than what you’ve done in the past?
A: Yeah, it’s a lot different but it goes back to some of the same concepts I had in college in the spread with Troy, so it’s going good, just learning different signals and stuff.
Q: At Troy you guys were always running four-wide, right?
A: Yeah, we used to go five-wide the whole time so it’s back to what I’m really used to.
Q: Is it more inside or outside for you at this point? I know today you were working a little bit on the outside.
A: Yeah, it’s more outside. Coaches swapped me and Victor to give me some work in the slot too.
Q: What’s the challenge for you when you play outside?
A: Basically the route running. You have bigger corners out there and you have your nickels on the inside, little guys, kind of your size and then you go outside with the bigger corner trying to get contact and get their hands on you. That’s the biggest difference out there. You just have to get used to that.
Q: So what’s the key for you when you have those bigger guys on you?
A: Quickness. Quickness in my route running and be precise in your route running.
Q: Are you being asked to do as many reads as you were under Gilbride’s system?
A: Not at all. We’ve got a couple reads but we don’t have that many reads.
Q: Is that sort of a relief?
A: I cant complain about it, read so you can go out and play faster and get the thing going and don’t have to think that much.
Q: What did the end of last year do for you? It was just such a strong finish. Did it help you at all in the offseason? Did it kind of propel you?
A: Without a doubt. I mean, it got my confidence back up, not because it was down, but you know, sitting on the sidelines for a long period of time, not really getting any reps here. It just got my confidence up a lot for me to come in this year.
Q: It showed you that you can do it, right?
Q: What’s Eli like in the new offense? Can you tell he’s sort of still grasping it?
A: Yeah, pretty much everybody’s still learning. We’re still out there learning. Coach Ben has been going over everything with us when it’s necessary. He tells us what we’re doing wrong so everybody is still learning.
Q: Did anything in the last two games surprise you about yourself at all?
A: Not at all. All I needed was time out there, a whole game out there and just getting into the groove of the game, not coming in and coming to the sidelines, sitting for two quarters and going back in for a play or two, stuff like that.
Q: At any point did you think back to college and think, ‘Oh, I remember what this feels like’?
A: Yeah, it’s kind of when you get in there and you’re like, ‘Oh, I remember what it feels like to play a whole game.’ Get your sweat going.
Q: You showed what you can do and then they went out and drafted a receiver in the first round right after that. Did that, I assume you took notice when that happened. Did it bother you at all?
A: No, it didn’t bother me at all because everybody knows we lost Hakeem Nicks. We had to bring somebody else in. It doesn’t bother me at all.
Q: Are you convinced that what you showed them is enough to give you an opportunity to show it again this year?
A: I think it’s enough but I always have to go out and continue to work hard and continue to show them.
Q: Do you like the new offense and your role in the new offense?
A: I do, I think it’s an offense that fits my game and also spreads the ball out to everyone and gives everybody the chance to make plays.
Q: Do you think getting the ball out more quickly is good for you because maybe you can get the ball in your hands and run for a little bit?
A: Just get the ball to your playmakers and let them do the rest in open space against defenders.