Is there a greater concern for
Coach Allen: “No, I don’t know if I’d say greater concern. He has to rehab and get himself back. He’s probably going to miss a little bit of time, obviously, but we’ll get him back out here as soon as we can. I thought [in] today’s practice we competed and that’s really the challenge for this football team on a day-in-day-out basis, on a down-in-down-out basis, to challenge. I thought offensively we did some really good things today. I thought they competed; they made some plays when they had the opportunity, and really at the end of the day, that’s what this game is all about. I thought we had a really good nine-on-seven session early in practice, a good, tough, physical session, and that’s what we have to be able to be. “
You mentioned drops yesterday; it looked like today they may also have been an issue.
Coach Allen: “It was better today than it was yesterday. It’s going to be a continual process, and really at the end of the day what it comes down to is concentration. Focus in on the football, make the plays when you get the opportunity and that’s what players in the National Football League do.”
How do you change out here with fans? Do you hold back anything or do you tailor the practice to them a little bit at least?
Coach Allen: “Well we go over there on that field so we’re closer so they can see. Other than that, we’re practicing football. Our main goal is to get ourselves ready for the opening game of the season. We’re going to do what we do; we’re going to practice the way we practice. I’m glad we have the fans out here. I think we have the best fans in the National Football League, and I’m glad they get an opportunity to come out and watch us practice.”
How much has
Coach Allen: “I think it has gotten better. I think he’s continued to get better, he’s worked extremely hard at it, and anytime you get a talented player that works extremely hard, he’s going to get better. We’re doing some things with him to try to take advantage of his talents, and I think he’s responded to that. He’s going to continue to work – he’s competing. The guy’s a competitor. He’s trying to do everything he can to help this team.”
Any chance with him, if at the end of this camp or at some point this year, you aren’t happy with where he’s at that you’ll ask him to play another position?
Coach Allen: “I don’t think we’re going to worry about that right now. Our focus is trying to train him as a quarterback. That’s what we’re working on right now. We’re not going to really look too far into the future on anything as far as that’s concerned.”
Two plays into the first team session a running back is taken down to the ground and there’s a scuffle.
Coach Allen: “It happens.”
Old-school coaches sometimes think it’s a good thing that it happens and other coaches say please don’t.
Coach Allen: “It’s football. At the end of the day we have to understand that we can’t hurt our team. We need everybody out there. You have to practice football, you have to practice it tough, you have to practice it physical, and you’re never going to be able to run the ball if you don’t come off the ball and try to knock the heck out of people. That’s what we did. First day of practice, everybody gets their pads on and everybody’s a little jacked up. It got a little feisty in there, but that’s alright.”Steve Wisniewski, when he was here, said that he and Greg Biekert used to stage things to get fired up; start pushing on each other on purpose. Does that kind of thing get people fired up?
Coach Allen: “Yeah, a competitor. At the end of the day, guys are competing. They want to win, and that’s not a bad thing. What we do have to understand is that all the stuff after the play, at the end of the day, hurts our football team. We’ve got to stay away from that. Make sure we don’t hurt our football team, but be as competitive as we can be from snap to whistle.”
Coach, Terrelle Pryor is the only familiar face at quarterback. What are the specific things these guys do to develop timing, rhythm and chemistry?
Coach Allen: “I just think that the more you hang around with each other, the more you get a feel for each other. They do a great job in the meeting room. They talk football with each other. They’re trying to help each other out because at the end of the day it’s not about an individual. It’s about a team, and what we can do to help this football team win. I think everybody’s pulling the rope in the same direction as far as that’s concerned.”
Coach Allen: “I think he’s a little more confident. I think he’s got a little bit better understanding of how the NFL game is played. He’s playing a little more physical, and that’s one of the qualities that we like about him. He’s improved his route running. Again, like I’ve talked about before, you’ve got a guy that’s got some talent. The guy works extremely hard. He’s going to continue to get better.”
At tight end last year, in training camp it looked like the position could evolve into a platoon thing. It turned out Brandon Myers played all the time and got more snaps than almost anybody on offense, caught 79 balls. You see a lot of tight ends doing a lot of things right now. Are you looking for somebody to step up and be the guy, or can you do a platoon situation and use different guy?
Coach Allen: “Absolutely. We’re looking for someone to step up. That’s what training camp is all about. We want somebody to say, ‘I’m the man, and this is my job.’ We’re going to let the competition dictate that, so we’re going to give everyone an opportunity, at least early in camp, to prove that they’re worthy of that title, of being to guy. Those guys are working hard. They’ve done some nice things and made some nice plays.”
What are your first impressions of the punter competition?
Coach Allen: “I think the more you watch it,
Do you think that some of these drops that we’ve talked about are going to work themselves out over time with guys getting back into rhythm, or do you maybe need to emphasize the mental aspect of it?
Coach Allen: “Well, you’ve got to emphasize the mental aspect, but they have to get better. We don’t have a choice. If we set are mind to it, we concentrate, we focus and we’ve got the mental discipline and toughness to get it done, then we’ll get it done.”
What’s the status of
Coach Allen: “Yeah, he was injured. I think he really got injured Day One of practice. I anticipate, hopefully, he’s going to be back out here soon.”