Head Coach Robert Saleh, 7.31
Antwan Stanley, New York Daily News: How do you think the offense performed today?
I thought it was good, a lot of energy today, a lot of back and forth. I thought it was a really good competitive day in all three phases.
Connor Hughes, SNY: Could you just sum up Dalvin’s (Cook) visit here yesterday, now that he is gone?
I thought it, he is a very good young man. He has a plan, he knows exactly what he wants and it was a really good discussion.
Ryan Dunleavy: New York Post: Did he give you guys any indication, is he taking other visits or deciding?
I didn’t ask that. For me, do whatever you need to do to make the best decision for you and your family, so I am not pushing, not pressing. I think it is an important decision for him and a decision that I know he is taking very seriously.
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: Robert, how important is it for Aaron (Rodgers) in the locker room to have guys like Randall (Cobb) and Allen (Lazard), his guys from Green Bay here. Can you talk about that?
The familiarity of it all, it’s no different. I tried to express a little in OTAs, like as a coach, sometimes we bring in guys who we are familiar with to help, they know our messaging, they know our scheme, they can at least help. It’s no different for a player, no different for a quarterback I’d imagine, so I think it was good for him, I don’t speak for him but I would imagine, speaking from my shoes as a coach and what we look for, I would imagine it helps a lot.
Connor Hughes, SNY: Is there some element to when you bring your own guys in that they kind of get your message out inside the room when you’re not in there, so to speak? Is there a similar element where they kind of deliver what his expectations are to some of the other guys in the room, his standard?
It’s all of it. The best way I can put it is sometimes when something new is being presented, it can sound like a foreign language, so having another voice who knows from a receiver standpoint, I will try to picture this the best I can, you teach something, but receivers might be receiving that thing a little bit differently, so a guy like Randall and Allen could say ‘hey this is what he means’ in receiver language and they’re like ‘oh, okay.’ It’s unique because it’s player-to-player conversation and those moments are very powerful, sometimes more powerful than coaching. So, it’s a really good thing to have them around, but the cool thing is they stand for the right stuff, and they have got tremendous internal drive and all that good stuff, so it is really good that they are here. `
Connor Hughes, SNY: With you guys rotating the centers, Connor (McGovern) and Wes (Schweitzer) getting some equal run with the ones, how would you sum up that position? Is it something where you are expecting another rookie to get involved there a little bit as well with (Joe) Tippmann?
Yeah, it’s going to be an ongoing battle, it’s going to go all the way at least through Carolina. It will be really good to see how they play within those intersquad scrimmages, the practices, both Tampa and Carolina have tremendous d-lines. It is going to be a good opportunity for all of them, so it is just something we are going to continue to watch throughout training camp.
Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: Do you see Tippmann with the starters too? Will he get a chance to run with the ones out there?
We will see, he has to earn it, but we definitely have to see if he can hold up in there.
Robert, when you are evaluating a center, is there such thing as chemistry with the quarterback? Does he have to have a rapport with Aaron?
I think so, in terms of just the amount of communication and setting the Mike and run game and communication all starts with the quarterback and center, the more he is capable of, the less a quarterback has to think of, so there is definitely a learning curve.
Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: For Mekhi (Becton), is there any thought process to putting him as well with the ones, or are you just trying to ease him back at this point?
Mekhi’s had back-to-back really good practices and he’s been able to finish all the way through and he’s getting stronger on that knee, and I think he’s getting more confidence in it. The big thing for him is rather than rush to be a first teamer, let’s rush to see us get through a game and just have that ability to get through a game or a practice or a week. There’s no denying his talent, so right now it’s just about building confidence, building strength, building the endurance, and once all that comes, then we’ll take that next step of “Alright, let’s see how he can perform with the ones” and all that. Right now, it’s all about gaining strength and confidence in that knee and being able to get through an entire practice, which he’s been able to stack them up, so we’re really pumped for him in that regard. He’s definitely getting stronger, so excited. We’ve got a long way to go with Mekhi, but he’s taking the right steps.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Do you see him on a limited pitch count?
Connor Hughes, SNY: Robert, have you gotten an apology from Sean Payton?
Sean? Whether he calls or not, I’m going to leave that between me and him, I appreciate it.
Erica Allen, New York Jets: Any more cool lyrics?
I just sent my wife that song, she’s hating on me a little bit ago.
Ryan Dunleavy, New York Post: How challenging is it for the defensive line every day against Rodgers with his cadence and when he goes to a quick cadence?
You know what? I think it’s hard on the o-line too because you see a lot of offsides, a lot of pre-snap penalties right now. I’ll be honest, standing back there and just listening, I jump every play. It’s a pretty advanced cadence, and I’ve even talked to Coach (Matt) LaFleur about it in Green Bay, and he said “Man, it’s tough”, and he was just talking about. It is a pretty unique deal for him. A lot of guys are learning it, we’re straining to learn it, and oh look he must be watching, because he’s calling, but no, it’s an advanced cadence system, so he’s straining both sides of the ball.
Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: With Will McDonald IV, usually first round picks, there’s so much spotlight on them at this time of year, but with Aaron (Rodgers) here and Super Bowl talk and everything, it seems like he’s flying under the radar more than first round picks. Is that a good thing for a rookie to not have that intense spotlight on them?
For sure. I’ll equate it to Jermaine (Johnson), you know knock on wood, we’ve got as deep of a d-Line group as you can have in ball, a really good group of talented guys. Aside from the quarterback, d-Line is one of the harder positions to produce within your first year. It’s just hard. It’s always good when you can fly under the radar and have the season he had, and it was a good season, don’t get me wrong, but the pressure of production that comes with being a top 10 pick or a first-round pick, he didn’t have that. He could just sit back, and learn and do the things he did, and a lot of the things he did were very good, and I think he knows he has a lot more and he wants more, and I think that’s why he’s taken the steps necessary in this offseason to go get more. I’m talking about Jermaine. As for Will, kind of in that same boat. He’s got a chance to go find himself, figure out who he is, learn some new techniques. I’ll say it again, his athleticism is freakish. It is freakish. I’m not going to put names on them, I’m not going to compare him to the people I’m thinking of, but he’s got a tremendous amount of ability in him. He’s got to learn some things, but to be able to do it on his time is always a plus.
Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: What do you think is so difficult for a defensive end as a rookie to come in and produce?
Well, it’s different, your athleticism is not enough because now you’re playing a game within a game. You’re playing these tackles, every single one of them was All American. Every single one of them can move just as quickly as you can. They’re all just like walls. They are so freaking strong. Talk about o-line, man. Along with the game, within the game that’s being played with regards to hand usage and pass rush and giving edges and all that stuff. You just have to learn a whole new style. When he was in college, he went off the edge, tackles overset, I’m going to win underneath. Well, tackles can do both. They can take care of both. They can handle everything you throw at them, so it’s a completely different game in there. Like I said, it’s a game within a game.
Otis Livingston, WCBS: What have you seen from Zach (Wilson)? I know some of the plan was that he learns from Aaron and benefit. Are you seeing that so far?
Yeah, what’s cool about Zach is it’s interesting and I want to be careful about my wording here because it’s not a knock on anything that was done on the past. For Zach, I feel that he’s very confident right now, like he’s gained confidence and not necessarily in his ability to go out there and play. Just in his decision making and what he’s doing play in and play out. You just feel that from him. You can see it in him, just how decisive he is with a football in his hands. It’s not where we think he can, but he definitely looks confident, he looks comfortable and he’s definitely moving in the right direction.
Otis Livingston, WCBS: Are you saying it’s because of Aaron and what he’s teaching?
It could be a little bit of everything. For sure, it could be. I don’t want to discredit anything, but with Aaron, position player in your group, a player to player can decode a foreign language that coaches speak sometimes. Just being able to have that, Aaron is so locked into the scheme Hackett doesn’t have to explain everything. Aaron can do it on the side and explain in his language on what he’s feeling because at the end of the day that’s the player that’s feeling all the bullets. He’s taking it all, he’s feeling everything. So, when he’s speaking to Zach the weight is being made clear to him.
Dennis Waszak, The Associated Press: We saw Corey (Davis) out there and then he went back in?
Yeah, hopefully we get him back tomorrow. After a couple of days, we wanted to get him some conditioning, get him out there and let him sweat a little bit, but we’re in no hurry to get him back out.