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Transcript: Chan Gailey and Shawne Merriman

Posted Jun 21, 2012

Head Coach Chan Gailey

Thursday, June 21, 2012

On the team’s injuries:

It is minor stuff. Just kind of nagging and we said why push it now? They can be 100% when we get ready for training camp.

On if he was pleased with this week:

We got a lot done. We got a lot of situations looked at. We got a lot of situational football done this week—which was great to get that. I have been pleased with the overall progress of our football team. One of the best things is no injuries throughout the whole thing really to speak of.

On if he anticipates everyone being ready for training camp:

Yes. Now whether they can practice every day, it might be every other day to start with and then work them slowly in. But I expect them to be ready to go at camp.

On the message he had for the team now that they face a few weeks off before training camp:

I talked about several things. If they want to talk about them they can, but I just talked about the state of the team. Where I feel like we are right now. I said ‘this is where we are, this is where we want to be and how do we get there? These are the things we need to do to get there.’ That is what I basically talked about with them in the team meeting today.

On his thoughts of the depth and competition of the offensive line:

Extremely large as far as the depth goes. I mean the size is large, too, but the depth is (large). We have a lot of people there. That competition is going to be strong. That will be one of the things that we are really looking at hard during training camp.

On the offense’s confidence after last season:

I think there is a lot of confidence. I do. I think our guys believe they can move the football and believe that they can score points. But believing it and doing it are two separate things. You have to go do it. We are all on the same page that we believe we can go get that done.

On the offense already showing they can be successful:

Yes. When you have done it, it is a lot easier to sell it.

On rookie CB Stephon Gilmore:

He has done really an excellent job. Everything that we have asked him to do, to pick up, to adjust to—he has handled it so well. He is very mature beyond his years. He really is. He has done an excellent job. I think he has a chance to be a very good player if the same things show up in pads that showed up in shorts.

On Gilmore being a physical corner:

He is. It is something that I think is very natural for him. Some guys have to learn how to feel a receiver. I think he has instincts in that regard of understanding what great receivers (do). Probably playing against great receivers in college has really helped that.

On where CB Aaron Williams is in relation to last year:

I think he is a much more confident player this year than he was last year. He was feeling his way through some of the time last year. It did not help him that he got a little bit dinged during camp here and had to miss a couple of days. But he came back strong the last three and really did some better things. He had one great day, I cannot remember if it was Tuesday or Wednesday, but he had one great day.

On the receiving corps:

Everyone else has a lot more negative things to say about our receiving corps than I do. I have a lot of confidence in our receiving corps and what we will be able to do. Having people that have been out there, been in the games and been on the same page with (Ryan Fitzpatrick) really is going to pay dividends for us I believe. T.J. Graham struggled because he has just not been in the system. He just needs to learn the system. He has a lot of talent. Everybody else has been on the same page and it has been good.

On QB Vince Young:

He has done a very good job considering the circumstances. He had to come in and try to learn all of that stuff. It is very difficult. It would not have been as hard two years ago, but we are in so much more of an advanced stage now than we were two years ago. He is trying to learn what the base concepts are and how we have advanced to where we are today without the benefit of going through the baby steps. It has been tough on him but he has got a natural feel for playing the position. That is going to be another good battle in camp.

On if his Young’s experience gives him an edge over Tyler Thigpen for the backup QB role:

It does in that respect. He has more experience than Tyler (Thigpen). Tyler has more experience in this offense than Vince. There is probably a tradeoff there in some degree.

On if the backup QB role will be decided in camp:

Yes. That is the way we see it.

On not having mini-camp last year and how much different it is this year:

You guys all tried to get me to use the word frustrated and I never would say it. It was a little bit frustrating at times just because you are going in with a lot of unknowns. It was not like we had everything in place going into it. We had a few things in place but not a lot of things in place. We needed the work. We were a team in transition, in progress and we needed the work and did not get it.

On if he thinks the team is quantum leaps ahead of where he thought they would be:

I think we are ahead. I do not know how much quantum is, I am from south Georgia. (Laughing) But we are ahead for sure.

On if rookie T Cordy Glenn is in line to be the starting left tackle:

He has the ability. A lot of guys with a bunch of ability are home today. He has the ability. It is can he transition that into pads and the speed of the game? This is just one speed. There is another speed when you hit training camp, another speed when you hit preseason games, a total (different) speed when you hit regular season and another speed when you hit playoffs. Can you transition with all those speed changes? That is a different deal. He and Chris (Hairston) will be working at left tackle. I do not know who will win that job.

On the team staying in shape over the break between camps:

I addressed that today with the team. I hope that they are pros. That is what you hope. If they are not then we are in deeper trouble than we think we are. If they are not smart enough and they are not honorable enough to come back in shape then we are in dire straits to be honest with you. So I think our guys are pros enough to come back in shape.

On how far the team has come since he took over:

We have come a long way. We do not have any kind of record to show that. That is our objective this year to show that. I do believe we have come a long way as a football team going into our third year. But you have to go prove it. You cannot talk (about it). You have to go prove it.

On what he has planned for his break between camps:

See my grandkids. That is always fun.   

DE Shawne Merriman

Thursday, June 21, 2012

On where the team is defensively now:

We’re still building. I think we had great OTAs and a great mini-camp. We’re going in the right direction. We’ve still got a lot of work to do and we’ll get there.

On how he feels after mini-camp:

I feel good. Obviously I’m out there every day. I know it’s going to be a question for a long time but I’ve been working every day. I’ve been very happy being able to come every day during offseason workouts and through the OTAs and mini-camp. I’m just going to keep working and keep progressing.

On how he feels this year compared to last year:

It’s night and day. Just to be able to go out here and work every day. I haven’t had a real offseason in about three years and this is the first time I was actually able to go out and work out every day and practice every day. I just feel really good right now.

On the time off between mini-camp and training camp:

From mini-camp to training camp the speed is obviously going to pick up. We’ll have pads so it’s going to be a little bit more physical. It’s a process that we have to keep building. When you get a chance to go out there and do the things that we’re going to do on game day with pads in game speed it’s a whole different situation.

On if he’s looking forward to training camp:

I am because it’s the first time I get a chance to go in after a good offseason and just being here with the guys has been one of the biggest and most fun things for me and seeing how we’re going to work through training camp and how we get better towards the first pre-season game and then the season.

On the difference between the beginning of last season to now:

I had to look fast but I didn’t feel fast. I didn’t have explosion. The last couple years I couldn’t really do the things that made me the player I am in this league. I’m blessed to be in the position now because now I get a chance to go out and really not think about if I burst too hard or if I do certain things will my Achilles hold up or what not, that’s not a concern for me anymore.

On if he got enough push back from the offensive linemen to where he feels good enough when the pads come on at camp:

That was one of the things that I wanted to make sure that we did especially during the offseason and pushing the sled and make sure we have actual body weight against me. Like I said, I can’t sit up there and say I’m 100% and I’m ready for this to happen during the season but what I’ve been able to do with my body and able to get ready for training camp and then the season has been incredible.

On if his mental hurtle has been cleared:

That’s one of the things is you have to be mentally tough, especially when you battle some things. It’s going to be an uphill battle and then you’re saying I’ve got to get right on body so it’s ready to take this on again and get back to doing things I used to do.

On what percentage he feels he’s at right now:

Not really a percentage because training camp will be a different story when you put the pads on, when you get to preseason and then when you get to game speed. But just being able to come out here every day and compete and go out all out 100% not worrying about if something’s going to happen has been really good.

On if he’s still rehabbing or just maintaining what he’s got right now:

Maintaining and I’m not looking to go out and say I’m ok with just being ok. Not only will I want to get back to where I was completely but yes I’m much smarter player much more technical now, know a lot more about the game. When you don’t have those physical things to deal with over the last three years of being able to go and blow by a guy or a great pass rush ability you start to learn more about the game and you get a little bit more technical sounding and that’s what happened. Now my body’s ready to take that on again along with the knowledge I’ve picked up over the last few years. It’s going to be good.

On what are the new challenges in regard to living up to expectations now that they’re there:

Expectations are just what they are. But unless you go out and do it, it doesn’t mean anything and that’s what we’re about. We have to go out and not look on paper and see the guys that we have now. We have to go out and be ready and prepare and that’s what’s going to be one of the biggest keys for us coming up this season.

On if it’s better to have outside expectations there or does it not make a difference:

I don’t think it makes a difference because all expectations are coming from outside. Our personal expectation is to just build from where we are. Obviously we have great, talented guys on this team and we’re looking to be a lot better than we were in the past and that’s where our expectations are.

On how he’ll continue to work during this break before training camp:

Just continue to get better. We’ve got a chance to watch film through OTAs and pass rushing and playing the run and turning to the ball, and just getting more fitted to playing back to football. You see what you need to get better at and that’s what I’ll gauge from now until then.

On the depth and defensive lend:

We have a lot of depth. We’ve got guys that are going to be in rotation a lot and that’s only going to help us. Last year I don’t think we had as much as that and this year we are full of it. We’ve got to go out and perform.