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Transcript: Mike Smith Interview

Head coach Mike SmithOn the number of snaps the 1st team will get:
"Well, were going to see them play more than they did the first ball game. Then we've got some specific guys we want to play even a little bit longer, because we want them to get used to the sequencing of the game, some of the substitution patterns that may take place.  We'll have selective guys that will have a significant more time than they did in the first game.  Our first groups probably played ten, twelve and fifteen plays, we will go above on that, probably take them a couple more series."  

On the category of guys that needs to get used to the substitution patterns:
"The young players that we are anticipating are going to play for us.  We want them to get the feel for what it's like at halftime.  They're used to playing a game that is a little different pace; they have a twenty minute halftime.  We want to make sure that we get some guys understanding what they have to do at halftime, so it's not the first time they've done it in regular season, that they've done it probably three times before we play our first game. "  

On being at the right pace during preseason:
"Yes, again, I want to win every time we go out and play.  That's what we're all about, but in the preseason we're all about evaluation.  We've got a good evaluation on a number of players.  There are some guys who have earned the opportunity to move up the depth chart so to speak, and when I say that,  maybe there not moving up the depth chart that is printed, but in terms of the number of snaps they're going to play and who they're going to play against.  They guys that played in the 4th quarter that did a nice job are going to get an opportunity to play earlier in the game, which will match them up against players that more than likely will be playing on the 53-man roster.  We want to get a good look at those guys competing against a higher level of competition."

On wanting to see more emphasis on the running game: "Well, yes.  We want to run the football.  It's going to depend on how Baltimore is going to defend us.  They have a very good defense; I took a quick look at their game against Tampa Bay in the first preseason game with their 1s in there.  They were playing with a lot of energy; they're still a very good defense.  They've got two very good outside rushers that can create havoc coming off the edge.  That is going to be a challenge for us.  I thought they didn't miss a beat in terms of what they were doing when their 1s were out there."  

On how important it is having Sean Weatherspoon mentoring on the sidelines:
"It's very important.  That is a lot of the evaluation process that we go through.  We want to see how these guys handle it on their own out there, but also, being able to come over to the sidelines and make the corrections.  The corrections aren't always made strictly by the coaches.  There are guys always watching guys in their position, and they are going to tell them what they saw.  The more eyes we can have the better off we are going to be.  Sean knows our defense; he will do a good job coming back.  I will give you kind of an update; we have four guys who aren't going to play in the ball game, Bradie Ewing, Jason Snelling, Robert James, and Sean Weatherspoon.  We are on target for them to all be participating when we play the Tennessee Titans.  We feel very good when we start our regular season week, we'll have all those guys ready to go."  

On having number 52 missing from Baltimore:
"Well, you notice that.  The guy that they had in there is a very experienced guy, 51 Darrell Smith.  He did a very nice job in the snaps that he was in.  I'm very familiar with Darrell, we drafted Darrell when I was at Jacksonville.  He's a very good player, very experienced.  I thought that he did a nice job.  Again, they're in their evaluation process just like we are.  I'm not sure they're going to be doing a whole lot of game planning, just like we're not.  We're going to go out there and evaluate our roster and try to win the ball game. "   

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