After Practice – JULY 30, 2007
On the offensive line at practice today
The run game all day looked pretty good. Running backs in the hole and (the line) making a hole for the running backs
On how the offensive line feels they must produce because of the investment in them this year
I think they know that and they feel that. We've always said from the beginning it looks good on paper but now we have to do our part and live up to our end of the deal. I'm supposed to progress a certain amount, the linemen are supposed to progress a certain amount and that goes for everyone on this team.
On the increased intensity practicing with pads on
The first day is always tough. You have to get past the first. The first day we were moving a little bit slower, not as quick. You get tired a little bit faster. Tomorrow will be much more crisp. Everyone is going to be a lot more excited I think tomorrow because as practice goes on they will realize they're not as tired. As far as quarterbacking goes you step into the throw a little bit more. Receivers get down the field a little bit quicker. It's going to be exciting tomorrow
On his thoughts about how this season will contribute to his legacy as a quarterback
I was thinking about them last year and the year before too so nothing has changed in that aspect. The same amount of pressure on me is there to produce a certain amount. My personal goals that I want to accomplish, and they've been there for quite some time, are still there obviously. I realize with each next year it's even more important then the last year so yes, it does seem that this is the most important year of my career so far. I'm excited and I'm ready for it and just working to make it the best.
On how the success at the end of the season last year convinced him that he is ready for success this year
It's just a natural process. There were some highlights there early on last year and there were some reasons why weren't successful and reasons why we were more successful towards the end of the year. The game is such an up-and-down game and you learn how to deal with that. You realize that there is a lot out of your control so it's a very humbling situation. It's a very humbling sport from that standpoint. You're constantly trying to tell yourself not to second guess yourself, to trust the coaches and trust the players around you. That's a lot of people that you need to trust for things to be right so that is why this is the ultimate team game. You need everybody to be successful.
On whether he and Lee Evans are on the verge of being a great quarterback/receiver duo
Of course. When me and Lee first came into the league we felt that was a possibility then we had some deep hits there the first year and obviously a little bit more last year as the year went on. We had more chances in the beginning of the season to get those things accomplished but didn't. This year we're looking to grow on that even more. Those things just happen over time. We're not going to make it happen. We have four to five great receivers on our team right now and a lot of them are going to want the ball just as much as everyone else. We're expecting Lee to get double covered a little bit more so it's going to open up some things for some other guys and give them some chances.
On whether some of the guys lost their step at practice today and whether tomorrow will be better
I feel like everyone's mental (approach) will be a little bit sharper. Learning how to deal with the pads, it's a constant reminder. We play every year but that first day to get it out of the way in the sun, its tough mentally and physically. Tomorrow I think everyone is going to be a little bit fresher, know what to expect, know how to fight through it. You're a little bit tired and learning how to not let your mental (concentration) slip and not let mental assignments slip because you're tired. It's going to be fun to see tomorrow night.
On what Mr. Wilson had to say to the team after practice
Mr. Wilson had some choice words of encouragement and gave a brief thought of his own. Somewhat similar to what he said to us last year but that's personal. If he wants to discuss that he can. He's a funny guy. I'll give you that. He makes people laugh.
On practicing under the lights
Friday night lights, football, high school. It doesn't get much better than that as far as growing up in the football world. I have lots of memories of those night games so when you're able to play them in the NFL they're special. It reminds you a little bit of those high school days.