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Transcript - Coach Smith post-practice interview


As a coach do you like to see extra energy and some disagreements between players?

"I like the intensity. We've just got to be careful about it becoming an altercation. When you're in training camp they're going to happen but I've always told the guys, we can't do that. It's something that's going to cost us, not only yardage, but if it happens in a game it's going to cost them financially as well. In the heat of training camp, those things are going to occur. I thought the intensity from whistle to whistle was very good today."

How do you think the linebackers have affected the defensive intensity?

"I think it's not only the personality of the linebackers, which they are some different personalities, I really think that it has a lot to do with the competition. We have competition for roster spots at the linebacking position. Who's going to be our starter? We have competition at the defensive tackle position. Who's going to be our starters and who's going to make our 53-man roster? We have a deep competition at the cornerback position. I think anytime you have competition, it brings out the best in all of our guys and that's what's going on right now I believe."

Is there a pattern that the defense is learning better than the offense?

"I don't know if there's a pattern. I know that usually the defense is ahead of the offense through the first week of training camp. The offense has to get their timing down. There have been some opportunities, I thought on both sides of the ball for us to make some big plays. We just haven't connected on as many on the offensive side of the ball as we'd like, but they will come I have no doubt about that I think traditionally and in my experience, is that the offense is usually behind the defense in the first six or seven days."

What are you expecting out of LB Curtis Lofton?

"I see Curtis continuing to develop as a four-down linebacker. What I mean by that is that he can play in our sub-package, our base-package, and on special teams. I think he's getting a much better understanding. Linebackers coach Glenn Pires, I think has done a very good job with him. We have a better understanding of what he's capable of doing, not only on the field but off the field and in the classroom. There's some familiarity there in our third year."

Do you have an injury update?

"We held WR Troy Bergeron out today. We anticipate that he'll be back tomorrow. He had swelling in his calf and so we kept him in the training room keeping his foot elevated to try to get some of that swelling out."

Are RB Jerious Norwood and CB Dunta Robinson any closer to coming back to practice?

"I think we're going to continue to treat them in the training room and get them out for team period so they can watch. I think that would be the plan right now and for the rest of the week. Both of those guys won't participate in the scrimmage on Friday night. We know what those guys can do. We know what value they have to our team on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball, so we are going to definitely be very cautionary in terms of bringing both of those guys back."

Did DT Jonathan Babineaux practice today?

"Jonathan was out. Jonathan is one of those guys that we are going to give occasional rests. Right now, we're on a routine with Jonathan, about every fourth or fifth practice we're going to give him some time off. Very similar to what we're doing with DE John Abraham and C Todd McClure. You're going to see that throughout these next 10 days. There's going to be certain guys that we're just going to hold out of practice. Guys that have a better understanding of what we're doing schematically. Again, it's a long training camp and we want to make sure we get all of these guys as healthy as possible as we get ready to open up the season."

What do you think of the interaction between LB Sean Weatherspoon and OT Sam Baker?

"Again, I don't like to see the altercations there on the field. I thought it was a very spirited practice. We've got to stop on the whistle. That's something that we're going to continue to address and continue to pound home with all of our guys. I think it's very important that we play on the edge, on that line, but not over it."

Will WR Harry Douglas play in Friday Night Lights?

"Harry Douglas will not participate in Friday Night Lights. I hope you all noticed he did participate a little bit more today. We will continue to ramp him up as the week goes on. We are anticipating tomorrow that he will be able to participate in all periods, that's barring any unforeseen things that arise today. We have started to ramp his involvement and his reps up in our practices and will continue to do that, as well as DT Peria Jerry. Those two guys are progressing very well right now in terms of getting back to full participation."

How do you feel about DT Corey Peters' performance so far?

"Corey is doing very well. I think that Corey is everything we thought he was going to be. Corey's not a very vocal guy, but when you watch on tape he's doing everything that Defensive Line Coach Ray Hamilton is asking. I think he's one of our bigger defensive linemen. He's got a chance to be a very good football player for us. The first two padded practices have not disappointed at all."

How did you feel about his film? Did anything jump out at you?

"He's doing everything that we're asking him to do. Corey is not a man of many words, if you've had an opportunity to talk with him, but he's definitely understanding what we're trying to do. I think the one thing that all of our guys have to improve on through the first two days of practice, is we've got to continue to work on our pad level. It's a leverage game, especially in the trenches and the low man is going to win, so that's' something we're going to continue to work on with our guys."

Do you monitor the number of throws for the quarterback?

"Yes we do. We number the throws, the number of snaps. The number of throws behind the line of scrimmage. The number of throws from 0-5 yards, from 5-15 yards, from 15-25 yards, and from 25 and above. We track all of that just to make sure that we're not overworking them. But we also want to see their efficiency in terms of completions and their accuracy in those different field zones. "

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