After practice – AUGUST 8, 2007
On the game tomorrow
Going into the game, we've kind of talked about it before and it's not going to get real specific but JP will play a little bit, followed by Craig then Trent will go and then we'll see about Kevin (Eakin). Kevin may play in the game and he may not. Our first group on both sides of the ball will probably play somewhere between12 and 15 plays. It just depends on how it goes. If it goes real well it may be just one drive. You'd love for that to be the way. If it goes real poorly it may be three drives. You just don't know. We'll get everybody else in that we can. I would say most of the guys will play. Some of our injured players, we don't have many now, knock on wood, some of them won't make the trip down there. We'll leave them here so they can get treatment. We have their treatments scheduled back here. That will be a big plus for them and for us so that we can get them back out on the field. The guys who come to mind right away are Josh Scobey and Brad Butler will make the trip with us for sure. We don't know yet about Aaron Merz. Donte came back tonight. He went through some of the practice and then we pulled him out of it only because that's what we wanted. He went through some individuals and it's a little sore so we'll just wait on that and see how that goes. I'm looking forward to the game. I know our players are. It is the first exhibition. It is an exhibition, but we'll do everything we can to try and win it. We won't substitute to win it. We'll anticipate and tell our players that the guys who are out there, we expect them to play to win the game. That's how we'll coach it too.
On whether the offense will see more playing time tomorrow in order to encourage cohesiveness
They're doing all right. I think we're on pace with them. I've been happy with what I seen at these practices. Let's face it, they may come out and look rusty in the first one and we'll get them more in the second and a little more in the third, a good deal in the third. Usually what we do is not a lot in the last one. I am confident in that group, but we need to see them perform in a regular season.
On whether Marshawn Lynch will start at running back
I would say Anthony (Thomas) will probably be the starter.
On why he decided to go no pads tonight at practice
They worked really hard yesterday. It's been a hot week. We've done a lot of work. We had a good morning this morning. We work in that one too. I don't know. I can't really tell you why. It's nice to be able to make the decisions and just change it on the paper.
On whether Anthony Hargrove will travel to New Orleans
Yes he is.
On playing music during practice
We needed to work through some noise. Every part of our team, offense, defense and special teams. It's really good. It makes them concentrate. It makes them communicate in all different ways. They're used to just vocal so it forces it on them. It also pumps the practice up a little bit for them. The reason we do it is when we play away we like to work with it.
On whether Aaron Merz's MRI showed any structural damage to his shoulder
No. Nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing that we hadn't seen before. Hopefully it will bounce right back. We're hoping.
On big a test New Orleans' first team offense will be for our first team defense
They're really good. They're really a top notch football team. The number one offense in the NFL last year. A lot of speed, a lot of weapons. They're talented and the guy who makes the difference is the quarterback. He's just really good and he's been good. He's was good in San Diego. He was good in college. He's a good football player. They are a real challenge for us everywhere, offense, defense, and teams. It will be good for us to get down there and play.
On whether New Orleans already playing a game makes it more difficult
It's probably better for us. Hopefully they're ahead of us. Hopefully they'll make it even tougher for us. That's what this thing is all about. We have to get ready for what I think is the toughest division in football. The tougher the better. Let's just go and play and then get better every week.
On whether or not he is concerned with what New Orleans is doing
There is so much that happens, both sides of the balls in our league now in terms of schemes. You see it all so you have to be ready for it all, formation wise, movement wise, personnel wise. On the other side of the ball, the zone pressures. You see a lot of different stuff.
On the importance of the number two receiver stepping up
I am a believer after looking at the tapes from last year that Peerless had a good year. We didn't feature him. For the right reasons. Lee (Evans) was the guy. Lee will still be the guy. Peerless has unique abilities and has proven that. I think he will step up and play as well or even better than he did a year ago. We will force some issues over there and that may help us. If we really hurt them on that side they'll think twice about rolling to Lee all the time and not worrying so much about that side. I like our group. I think we have unique playmakers through the first four certainly and maybe well beyond on that. The first four with Josh and Roscoe after Peerless and Lee, I think they're good. We have to make more plays. We have to make more big plays and get more yards and score. We just have to score more.