Transcript: Mike Smith Post-Practice Interview

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**On Thursday's game and how long the starters will be playing:

**"We're going to make a decision on who's going to play tomorrow. Normally, it's not a whole lot of snaps for the first group. There will be certain guys that are in the first group that we want to get some work with. We've had the first three games to go through and put together different things that we want to look at schematically in our different packages. This week, we'll get a chance to evaluate some of these guys that are competing for roster spots."

**On whether the shortened offseason plays a role in decision making for the fourth preseason game:

**"I think it does, not necessarily as groups, but I think as certain individuals because I think there is some competition at a number of positions. We need to continue to evaluate that because at this point in time, we don't really have clear cut winners and know who is going to be the starter at those two main positions."

**On rotating Mike Johnson and Garrett Reynolds by series during the Pittsburgh game:

**"Garrett had more snaps and opportunities because Mike couldn't play in the first ball game. So what we wanted to do was to be able to juxtapose them series-by-series. This week, we'll probably let Mike get more snaps because he wasn't able to get the snaps in the first game and that's really going to be the way we're going to evaluate them. We just felt it would be ideal for us to see them when they had their first team in competing against the first team and the first unit."

**On injured players:

**"The injured guys that missed the game, Dunta Robinson and Lawrence Sidbury, were working on the side today as well as Corey Peters. Those three guys missed the game. Todd McClure, this morning, had a minor procedure done on his knee. We won't know exactly the time frame of him coming back, but it was a very minor procedure. It was done this morning. I haven't had an opportunity to talk to Todd or the doctors yet, but we'll be able to update that next week. We'll make a determination as we get closer to (the opener) next week. The first few days, from what I understand, will be very critical in him coming back."

**On the absences of Josh Harris and Devonta Freeman:

**"Matt was excused for personal reasons as well as Michael Turner."

On the performance of Joe Hawley:

"In the ball game, I thought he stepped in and did a very nice job. We definitely saw improvement from the first two games that we had. We drafted Joe to come in here and be a contributor and he's getting an opportunity to do it. We liked what we saw in the ball game. Our first unit did not give up a sack in the ball game and that's a pretty good defense. There were some encouraging things that we saw improvement-wise from week two to week three."

On Ray Edwards getting more snaps during the Baltimore game:

"That would be something that we'd like to do in terms of getting him up to speed. It was a lot of saps for him in his first action. Again, we're going to make a determination in terms of how much we're going to play those guys tomorrow. This was kind of a feeling out day in terms of working the soreness out from the ball game on Saturday night."

On cutting the roster to 80 men tomorrow:

"We'll be in compliance in terms of the four o'clock deadline tomorrow. I don't know that we'll announce them any earlier than that. That's something that's part of the process and a lot of guys have worked very hard here for us, although it's been a shorter time period this year. Those are always tough decisions and it's tough to give the news to those guys because they've worked extremely hard."

On the play of Ray Edwards:

"I thought that there were some things that Ray did very well. He was explosive. Again, it's hard to judge the first game back. You can see his explosiveness but I think that there was first game rust that you see on all of the guys. That's why we'd like to get him some snaps this week."

On items that have been pushed into games due to the lack of OTAs:

"A lot of the stuff that we've shown, if we had gotten enough work on it in OTAs and mini-camps, then we wouldn't have shown it as much just because we'd have practiced it. Because everything was condensed, we've had to condense and do some things a little bit differently this camp than we have in normal camps just because of the pure volume. We haven't put as much in because we haven't had time to do it. As you'll see throughout the League through the first four or five weeks, there are going to be more and more aspects of people's offense and defense showing up."

On running the no-huddle Saturday night:

"We've always shown the no-huddle the last three years in the preseason. We always want to get a good look at it. One of the things that it also does is it allows you to evaluate conditioning on your football team. There's a lot of reasons that we want to look at things. We were going through the game week and game planning, but it wasn't 100 percent game planning. There were still things that we had to see and work on on both sides of the ball and in the kicking game."

On how the injury to McClure affects the running game:

"We know what we want to try to do offensively and we want to take what the defense gives us. We go into the games, whether it's the preseason or the regular season, and we look how people are trying to defend us and we're going to try to attack them. We feel very comfortable whether we're running the football or throwing the football. We feel like we've got a complete offense that is able to do both efficiently."

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