Head Coach Robert Saleh, 8.16
Connor Hughes, SNY: We didn’t see Laken Thomlinson out there, what is his deal?
Yeah, yesterday he just had something going on with his leg. It’s day to day.
Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: How do you think the offensive line performed out there today?
I was with the defense the entire day today. I am going to catch up on tape.
Ryan Dunleavy, New York Post: Robert, what happened to Tony Oden?
He’s doing fine. I am not exactly sure what happened, but I know during one of the altercations, I think he caught some friendly fire, so we took him for precaution. He’s awake, doing fine, he is stable, so everything is fine.
Ryan Dunleavy, New York Post: Will he have to go to the hospital?
He is there right now, just being evaluated.
Bruce Beck, WNBC: Robert, there was a lot of skirmishes today, is that fight that you like or how do you evaluate all that stuff?
It’s hot. You guys know me, I joke around, but it is what it is. Keep it below the neck, above the waist, and at the same time, if you want to get a little extra conditioning in and have a little skirmish of pushing and shoving, then go ahead, it’s not going to hurt you, but it doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t bother me.
Rich Cimini, EPSN.com: Robert, just another couple of injury things. Corey Davis and also AVT (Alijah Vera-Tucker) and Carl Lawson, just an update on them?
Corey Davis is a personal leave for a day. AVT still has his ankle and Carl (Lawson) is dealing with a back.
Rich Cimini, EPSN.com: Carl has been a little over a week now, is there updates?
Yeah, I am not going to get into detail into the stuff he has had done, but this is part of the rest phase to get him going back up. I am hopeful that we will get him back into practice next week.
Brian Costello, New York Post: What about Duane Brown?
He is getting closer. I am not going to put a timeframe on it, but I know he is getting a lot closer.
Brian Costello, New York Post: And Carter Warren hasn’t been out there for awhile?
Yeah, he is still dealing with another injury and he should be back, we are hoping to get him back next week.
Connor Hughes, SNY: Robert, when it comes to the offensive line, I know you were watching defense, we have seen a lot of the struggles they have had today or in camp so far, you have rotated a number of players with the first team. The one guy who has not had any scheduled first team is Mekhi (Becton). Is there a reason for that? Because you see the struggles, you see a guy who is a former first-round pick and you go why isn’t he getting the same treatment as the others?
That’s a fair question. Mekhi (Becton) and I have talked about it. The biggest thing for Mekhi is to show that he can play a game without having to be spelled out and take a break and all that stuff, so it is unfair for the team to prepare a guy to start if you are not sure if he can make it through a game, so he is moving in the right direction. Like I said, I thought he had a big step against Carolina in that game and he is doing a really nice job of competing. Every day he is pushing himself to do a little bit more to prove that he can be out there for a full game and as soon as a staff, a training staff, and everyone feels comfortable that he is able to show that and stack days up, then we will definitely start rotating him in to compete.
Connor Hughes, SNY: When you see some of the struggles that maybe some of the guys are having upfront, does it expedite the process where you want to see him play in games, it’s not fair to the other guys, but we need to see if the talent can do it?
He can do it. It’s just a matter of being available, so as soon as he shows he can be available, everybody knows that he can do it.
Brian Costello, New York Post: What about giving him reps along the right side?
For sure, so he gets all of his reps on the right side during walk through and all that, so he is being worked that way, so we are hoping to get him some right tackle reps here, some live ones, starting tomorrow.
Ben Volin, Boston Globe: How soon before Week One, do you need a starting five?
Like I said, as a coach you want it done yesterday, but at the same time, individually, we have a lot of faith in the guys that we have. It is just trying to find the right combination. If it takes us up to game day, then it takes us up to game day, but we are going to keep pushing. I know our players are working. It is very important to them. Like I said, there is a lot of faith in the individuals that we have competing. That hasn’t changed. It’s just a matter of finding the right combination of guys and going out there and working together.
Charles McDonald, Yahoo Sports: Robert, you said you were okay with how the Dalvin Cook situation off the field was progressing, are you concerned about him getting suspended through the season at all?
No, we are not concerned. We will see how all of that stuff goes, but at this moment we are not concerned.
Rich Cimini, EPSN.com: Obviously, he is here so what does his week look like? Does he start attending meetings?
Yeah, for sure. Obviously, having him here was awesome. Going through his physical, signing his contract, all of that stuff will happen I think this afternoon, but he is going to integrate himself in the meetings, acclimate himself to the building. I do believe he is going to go home over the weekend, they are having their baby which is awesome for him and then he will be back the following week.
Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: Do you know when Breece Hall will start doing team drills?
Like I said, we are going slow with him. Probably more into next week.
Bruce Beck, WNBC: Robert, what did you get out of today and how positive are you about what happened out there?
Whether it is good or bad, I think there is so many great teachable moments on the football field when you practice in a controlled environment with another team because the strain is game-like, but the safety of practice. So, there is a lot of things that we will be able to coach, playing different schemes, feeling different bodies, guys you aren’t comfortable with, so we will be able to go on the tape and just watch it all, but there was a lot of good, there is going to be some bad, there is going to be some ugly, but at the same time there are so many great teachable moments and if you are doing what you are supposed to do with controlling what you have control over, you can get so much better off.
Tom Rock, Newsday: They were a franchise that three years ago was pretty much where you guys are at right now, did you pick their brains at all?
Yeah, that has been throughout. We have had discussions, I am not going to get into details about those, but you can always learn from other people.
Ben Volin, Boston Globe: Sorry, to go back one more time about offensive line. Everyone who watched Hard Knocks last night saw that it was a big theme of the show, obviously it seems your put under the spotlight a little, how do you think that unit is responding to the challenge you set for them?
I think they respond every day, we had the practice we had on Wednesday, they came out and had a really good game. I think we rushed for over 120 plus yards or whatever it was. I think they respond to everything, like I said, individually they are a really, really good group of guys, it’s just trying to find a way to mesh and gel and find the right combination of five and letting it rip. A lot of faith in the group, like I said as a coach the urgency was yesterday, but we are going to continue to grind to make sure we get the right five out there.
Connor Hughes, SNY: One more on Mekhi, you said you need to see him, he needs to show you that he can perform and play for a full game and not come out. Does that mean in one of these final two preseason games the plan is to play him in an entire preseason game to see if he gets through unscathed?
Not necessarily, because there is a play count where we feel comfortable based on practice, like no one is going to hit 70 plays in a practice during training camp, no one does that, but you can tell from a conditioning standpoint, you can tell from a play count that he hits. It is not just for us to see, it is for him, to have the confidence. This is a team effort for Mekhi to get connected to his knee and have the confidence he can conquer the world with it, so as much as it is for us to know that he can, it is also just as important for him to know that he can, because I think that it adds just so much power to him and who he is, so we will feel it like I said, we are constantly building up to a certain play count, that’s for everybody and he has been grinding towards that.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Do you think he is onboard with the right tackle thing because that has been a question in the past and also when you speak to the confidence in his knee, he has made comments that he felt last year playing on the right side contributed to his injury?
I will comment on the first one, I will leave the other one alone. I think he is on board, I do. He is saying all the right stuff, he has been practicing, in the walk through it’s been clear, he knows that there’s possibilities of being on the right, I think he is realizing that he loves the game of football and he wants to be out there in any capacity possible. Like I said, if part of our best five is him playing right tackle, then I think he is on board, it feels like he is. Again, obviously for him to answer, but that is the way it feels right now.
Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: How do you feel Becton is now compared to when training camp first started?
He is so far ahead from where he was in the begging of training camp, lightyears ahead.