Head Coach Robert Saleh, 7.26

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Brian Costello, New York Post: Where was Mekhi (Becton)?

Mekhi’s knee just wasn’t up for today, so we just held him back.


Brian Costello, New York Post: (follow-up) Is that going to be longer than today?

I don’t think so. We’ll see. It’s going to be more day to day, but hopefully we can get him back out there tomorrow.


Zach Braziller, New York Post: (follow-up) Is it the same knee?

Same knee.


Dennis Waszak, The Associated Press: (follow-up) Is that something that you guys kind of anticipated? 

Yeah, we’re all trying to pace it, trying to get them back up to full speed where he can play an entire game, so we’re just working with him. The doctors, our training staff, and coaches, are just trying to make sure we do the best we can to get him ready to play a football game.


Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: I know it’s only been a few practices with pads, but how do you feel like the offense was doing? 

Yesterday, I thought o-line was fantastic, physical, delivered the first blow. The entire day I thought offense dictated. I think it flipped today, so it’s going to be a back and forth battle. You guys know, I feel like we have one of the deeper defensive lines. I love our d-line. Our o-line is getting tested and our d- line is getting tested because they’re all fighting for a position, so you’re getting everything they’ve got too. It’s a really cool battle, doesn’t get a lot of showtime because it’s not on camera and you can’t really see it, but there’s a lot of grit and strain that’s going on in the trenches.


Brian Costello, New York Post: With all of those moving pieces on the line, Duane (Brown), Mekhi. I’m not suggesting that this is now, but at what point in camp do you kind of figure who the five are going to be and have them working together?

It’s a fair question, Coz (Brian Costello). I don’t want to put timelines on it because you still got Tampa, we got Carolina. There’s a lot of things that we’ve got to go through and there’s a lot of games left, but those inner squad scrimmages with Carolina and Tampa I think are going to be a big measuring stick and it’s going to allow us more clarity, so we got a lot of time left.


Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: Jeff Ulbrich likes to identify a guy’s superpower, what they are best at kind of thing. Would you say Will McDonald’s IV is his speed? He kept coming off the line and we saw him getting around some guys today.

I call it a fastball. His fastball is definitely his freakish ability and bend. His get off the line. I’ve said it before, once he develops power and he learns how to run through the face of another tackle, that’s where it’s all going to change and come to fruition. It’s something that he’s learning. It’s something that we’re trying to figure out for him, but his knee bend or as his ankle flex, it’s freakish.


Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: Tony Adams, somebody that’s consistently made plays. Can you just talk about what you’ve seen from him throughout camp?

Tony, I guess the cat is coming out of the bag a little bit. Tony has an unbelievable mental makeup. Undrafted free agent, unseated, a bunch of guys who we all thought weren’t going to make the team last year, made it impossible for us to cut him. Does everything we ask of him and his efforts, strain, communication, football IQ, all of it is pretty damn good and he’s competing, they’re in a competition with him Ashtyn (Davis), and (Adrian) Amos. They’re competing their tails off for that starting spot, so there’s still some of those undrafted kids that we took this year that are also fighting, but he’s definitely been showing them.


Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: When you have a guy like that who is undrafted, what do they have to do to get your attention and the other coaches attention? 

Well, that is the thing, you never know. I said it yesterday, your opportunities come a million different ways. And it’s not where your opportunity happens, it’s what you do with the opportunity when you get it in. The first and second, third, rounders get all the accolades, but it’s day three guys and undrafted free agents that make up most of these football teams and every team has these stories. There’s always going to be a guy that slips through the cracks. In Tony’s case, he’s so smart and so versatile, that he played a lot of different positions at Illinois and while that’s great for Illinois, kind of hides the player a little bit. We were fortunate enough, knock on wood, to get him as a free agent and put him in the one spot where he can execute the same thing over and over and over again and he’s just gotten better and better every day.


Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: We saw JFM (John Franklin-Myers) leave and then come back. What’s that?

He’s just dealing with some groin tightness, actually Zuff (David Zuffelato) pulled him, so he didn’t pull himself. He suffered it during one on ones and then got through the first part of practice and then Zuff pulled him, so I don’t think it’s bad. Might cost him a couple of days, but it’s nothing serious.


Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, we have another open practice on tomorrow. I might be wrong. Probably with the weekend, maybe it’s Aaron’s (Rodgers) presence, but there’s more videos of your practice than I’ve ever seen before on social media. Pretty good angles of plays. Do you get concerned with that at all in open practices and do you look for it with other teams?

No, and no because you have to spend a lot of time as a coach to try to decipher it, so if you want to waste manpower to figure out a play, especially in the first couple of days of OTAs where everyone’s installing the same stuff, more power to you. I don’t get caught up on that. I think people are excited, people want to videotape and all that and that’s fine. If I was a fan, I would try to make sure it’s an angle that doesn’t show the entire play. Just saying.


Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: Back to the offensive line for a second, they are going through some stuff or whatever. How much does having an 18-year quarterback mitigate things a little better? In different ways he can help them either with his mind or physical ability?

It does. He gets rid of the ball. I won’t say where, I remember I was in a place where, don’t stat check it or look it up, but we gave up like 50.0 sacks in one year. Same o-line (offensive line), new quarterback and it’s like 25.0. Well, what the hell happened? The guy just gets rid of the ball and he’s so smart. I think Carl (Lawson), I was listening to Carl talk yesterday and he talked about how it’s almost a detriment to him because he’s not even out of his stance yet and the balls out, so a quarterback can help the o-line by getting rid of the ball, keeping a defensive line off balance, keeping the coordinators off balance with quick releases, and then pick and choose when it’s time to take his hitch and hold the ball, so 18 years, he knows exactly where the ball needs to go and how it needs to get there, so he can help a lot.


Eric Allen, New York Jets: Can you talk about the pre-snap matchup between Rodgers and (C.J.) Mosley and what goes on there?

For sure, Aaron is up there just dissecting and he has obviously autonomy to change every and any play he wants. You put trust in him because he’s had so many years and he’s so knowledgeable in the system and the way they communicate, but it’s always going to be a battle, in terms of, trying to move Mosley off his spot and all that stuff, but it goes with the entire defense, we’re a vision defense where we’re looking at the quarterback and his manipulation and the way he moves us to get the ball somewhere else has been pretty cool. I call it football 501 where we’re getting a doctorate’s degree, in terms of quarterback play. For our defense, it’s been really beneficial.


Ian O’Connor, HarperCollins, News Corp: Aaron always used his athleticism to escape when necessary. Do you still see that same escape ability at this age or what are you seeing in terms of his movement?

For sure, he still looks every bit as athletic. Obviously, he doesn’t have the same juice he had on his lower half than he did when he was in his 20’s, but he still has plenty. I still think he’s just as good. He’s well above average. I don’t think it’s something that you’d look at and say it’s a detriment to his game at all, but his strength, his fastball, his superpower, is going to be above the neck. His arm strength is all still there. He still has unbelievable zip on the ball. He still has enough athleticism to be able to create off schedule if he needs to, it’s all still there, but at this point in is career, he doesn’t have to because he already knows. A lot of times those off schedule plays are things just maybe happening just a touch too fast and for him, everything is in slow motion.


Ian O’Connor, HarperCollins, News Corp: (follow-up) And how much does that help the offensive line, knowing that he can still escape and extended a play? Is that a great help for the line when there is question mark?

For sure, because you know that you keep straining, keep fighting, because you know that he’s still going to be able to find ways to extend the play if he has to. From a defensive standpoint, you know that you have to stay in the down and look the plaster and know that there’s always a chance that there’s a second plate because there are other times that, he’s interesting, even going against him, he’s going to lull you to sleep. Then boom, he’s just going to pop out of nowhere with something freaky, where it’s longer developing and all that, so he still has a full repertoire of stuff in his bag, so offensively, you keep fighting, defensively, you keep playing.


Al Iannazzone, Newsday: Have you ever been around a quarterback as vocal, from the standpoint of, you hear all the guys saying that he’s coming up to them saying, “This is what I’m seeing, this is what you’re showing quarterbacks,” and we saw him talking to the defense while practice was going on. Have you ever been a part of that?

No, I’ve mentioned it, we’ve had some really good ones. Matt Schaub in Houston, David Carr when he was, it was a new system, I thought he was good, then we get to Seattle and it’s Russell Wilson, so he’s a baby. He was a rookie when I was there and I was there for his first two years, then we go to Jacksonville, same thing, Blake Bortles is just a baby. Go to San Francisco and Jimmy (Garoppolo), technically even though it was year three or four, he was still a baby in a new system trying to figure it out, so to answer your question, no. I’ve always been part of just young quarterbacks trying to develop, trying to find their way and to have somebody like him, just to observe it all,  the best thing I could equate it to is being in Seattle, being in San Francisco, where we had Richard Sherman and you have these experienced defensive guys and they’re bringing the young guys along and they’re talking about the defense and they’re trying to speed up or accelerate the install and accelerate the learning curve. We have always experienced it on defense, just never have had that guy on offense. Just seeing it has been really cool.


Brian Costello, New York Post: Did you notice when he went over to the defense?

I see him walking all over the place, talking to people and it’s funny, I think I’m learning his body language where he’s going to either talk some trash or give a good coaching point, so it’s been good, he’s been great. He’s been great.