What are your thoughts on practice?
"That was a rough one, right there. It's hot, but we're out here competing and getting better. I'll tell you what, the team looks good. It looks real good. The defense looks great and the offense is hitting on all cylinders. But we've got a long way to go and we know that. It's good to come out here and work like this because it's a good test for the mental capabilities of our team. I think we passed it. But we still have a ways to go."
Do you want the Oklahoma drill inserted back into camp?
"I am old school because I actually remember when they used to do that in the NFL. Marty Schottenheimer used to line it up and go live at the end of practice. For me, no. Maybe for these young guys though."
Besides the obvious guys, who has been standing out in practice?
"I've been really impressed with [LB Sean] Weatherspoon. For a rookie to come in and play like he has, it shows a lot of maturity on his part. Just his whole swagger, it's going to help us a lot. Right now, it's looking like a very, very good pick. If he can carry what he's doing now over to the game day and just keep learning the defense, the sky is the limit with him. I think he has all the ability in the world. He looks good."
Do you feel as if the offense is catching up to the defense in practice?
"Defense is pretty easy. You just go out there and hit them in the face. They probably wouldn't say that, but the offense is coming around too. They've been together for three years and I've been with them now for two years, so we know exactly what we're doing out there. We're still installing and we're moving every day. We're ahead and learning new plays. Once we start to get those plays and run them over and over again, that's when we'll really start clicking. Right now, I'm happy with where we're at. We just have to keep going out there and keep working and we'll keep getting better."
Is it nice to see WR Harry Douglas and some of the other injured players back on the field?
"I can't wait to see all of them healthy. WR Brian [Finneran], DT Peria [Jerry], Harry, all those guys that got hurt last year with knees. When they come back, it's just going to make us that much better. We just have to stay lucky this year and stay healthy. I've said it before, the sky is the limit. We just have to keep working like we did today and keep coming out here every day and keep getting better."
Do you still feel as if the seventh or eighth day of practice marks the beginning of the dog days of Training Camp?
"(Jokingly) Are you kidding me? I felt that after the first day. Camp is camp and until they change it, we've got to come out here and do it. Hopefully they will change it soon. I think coming out here twice a day is a little tough, but it's how it's always been done. Right now, getting into day eight, nine,10, 11, for these next three or four days, it's tough. But that's also testing the mental ability that we have, the mental toughness. I think that it'll make us a better football team, hopefully."
What are your thoughts on the combined practices with the Jacksonville Jaguars?
"It'll be good for all of us. Beating up on each other and also taking care of each other. Remember, it's still a practice. It's not a game. It's designed to help both teams get better so that when we hit the season, we can hit the season running. I think it's going to help."
Do you feel as if the extra reps that you take in practice are beneficial when you get to the regular season, for example the fourth-and-one situation against the Jets last year?
"They're all meaningful, getting that timing down. That play that we ran against the Jets was a play that we ran the first day of camp. It's a pretty basic play. This League, they try to trick you every once in a while but sometimes you just go with what works. It adds up. It does add up, I will admit that. But we're being smart about it too."
Do you feel as if the mental connection that you have with QB Matt Ryan, in terms of reading coverages, is helpful?
"I played basketball and I played at a pretty high level. I tried out for the summer leagues, Miami Heat and all that stuff. It's nothing compared to football. The professional football athlete has to consume so much with the playbook and especially on the offensive side of the ball. I don't know the defensive side of the ball. I've never played defense at this level. But on the offensive side of the ball, the playbook is thick and about 200-250 plays and you have to know all of them inside and out. You cannot mess up. Everybody has to be on the same page. If one guy messes up, the whole play is screwed up. In those types of situations, you better be prepared. That's why we're out here, twice a day. For better or for worse, hopefully it adds up. We'll see. I've seen it both ways though. I've missed a whole camp and done well."