Q. After being back in full pads, did you accomplish what you were after today?A. "Yes we did. We wanted to do some work in the red zone and we had a good session. We also wanted to work some two minute (drills), so we finished up the practice with that. I think we did the things we wanted to get accomplished. We will just have to watch the tape and see."
Q. Did you try to mix in some players that you wanted to get a look at in these certain situations?A. "We sure did. We wanted to get certain players in certain situations. This is the time of the season that we want to work different rotations to see how guys respond and work with each other."
Q. After losing Harry (Douglas) with his versatility, do you think that you might have two guys doing the job that one guy use to do before?A. "That very well could be the case in terms of the third receiver maybe having to be someone different than the punt returner. I was very pleased with the way Eric Weems caught the ball in the game the other night as well as Chandler Williams. These next three games are going to be very important for us to make a determination on who is going to be our punt returner. Harry is going to be a hard guy to replace. The second half of (last) season, he did an outstanding job returning punts."
Q. How about (Marty) Booker and the job he has done so far?A. "Marty has really fit in well in terms of the room. He has a good understating of the game of football. He has been playing it for a very long time. It's just a matter of getting the verbiage down. I think he is getting more comfortable everyday."
Q. Are you still searching and mix and matching in the nickel package and the linebacker situation?A. "Yes we are. I think you could see that we have worked different guys this week than last week. We want to get as many guys cross-trained as possible in this preseason. I think that it is important for us to have contingency plans not only when we are putting our 53-man roster together, but also for injuries that are going to occur during the season."
Q. Can you talk about getting a couple of guys back today?A. "Yeah, we got a couple of guys back. Tony Gilbert was back as well as Kroy Biermann. Those guys felt a lot better today. We are still missing a couple of guys, which includes the post operation with William Moore. Thomas Brown did not participate and we got (Robert) Ferguson back. So we got three guys back today. As the week goes on, we hope to get them all back."
Q. Comment on Chris Houston.A. "Chris did not participate. We are going to monitor Chris day by day to try and get him back. Our main goal is to be as healthy as possible when we play that opener on September 13. We are going to be cautious with all of our players."
Q. Are these (injuries) going to give you a chance to look at guys like Christopher Owens and William Middleton?A."Exactly. It's a good opportunity for Owens and Middleton to compete and get into the game earlier against the top players that St. Louis has on their roster."
Q. How is Peria (Jerry) coming along and how did he do during the game (against Detroit)?A. "I thought Peria was very explosive off the ball. We saw flashes and spurts where he did some really impressive things. He is going through that learning curve that all of our rookies are going through. I think he is going to become more and more comfortable over these next three weeks. We are pointing everything towards the opener and getting these guys prepared."
Q. What are some of the keys in making a transition for a guy right in the heart of the defensive line?A. "I think the biggest thing is pad level. I think that you can get away when you're playing in a college game with superior talent that play with higher pads. You have to play with your pad level down in this league or they are going to knock you out of your gap. I think the intensity in which a guy is playing with every down against an outstanding player. I think those are the two big things. The intensity level of the game and then he has to work on his pad level. The "picking up the scheme" will come. All of the guys (rookies) are swimming a little bit in terms of the volume that we have given them."
Q. What about Thomas Johnson?A. "Thomas is a guy that has played in some preseason games before. He hasn't been on a 53-man roster, but he is very explosive and has done some really good things as well. We want to get a rotation in our defensive line. Even though you say that "this guy is a starter, that guy is a starter," we want to have seven or eight guys that we feel comfortable with that we can rotate through. That is really our approach to the defensive line."
Q. How is the competition going at left end?A. "I think that it is a good competition between Chauncey (Davis) and Jamaal (Anderson). Both of those guys are guys that we feel really good about. We made the offseason move with Chauncey and felt good. Chauncey is a guy that we feel comfortable with being in that rotation and Jamaal has been our starter in the past two years."
Q. Is anyone ahead of the other right now?A. "No. I think they are really competing against one another. Whether a guy is a starter or whether a guy is a back-up, the way we do things with out defensive line, all of those guys will play. Just like John Abraham is a starter, but John only plays about 40 snaps a game. We are going to make sure that we keep our guys as fresh as possible up front. I think that is the mode of operation throughout the week."
TRANSCRIPT:Head Coach Mike Smith talks about camp * FEATURE:Changes ahead for receiver, return spots * VIDEO:Head Coach Mike Smith | Middleton | Nicholas * BLOGS:Familiar Foes (Time Machine) | Workout Warrior (PR Blog) * BLOGS:J. Michael Moore's blog posts from Aug. 18, 2009