WR Jacoby Ford spoke to the media after Monday's training camp practice as he returned to action after suffering a hamstring injury.
Q: First day back…
Ford: Yeah, first day back. It felt good to get back out there. Just kind of took my time this time coming back. I felt good, it didn't grab or anything. It definitely was a positive day for me.
Q: Was the hamstring earlier in camp the same thing?
Ford: It was the same thing. I just kind of came back probably a little too quick. I just wasn't ready. It just kind of tightened up on me again. They just kind of rested me a little bit, for precautions.
Q: DA [Head Coach Dennis Allen] was talking about just generally speaking trying to ease guys in more because he doesn't want those setbacks. Does that kind of work for you even though you only have 20 days left?
Ford: Yeah, you know, it definitely works. You start to get your legs back under you, but then you start to get the rhythm back. You don't want to come right back the first day just full go and just to let you at it. I wanted to do a little more but they kept holding me back. They're definitely doing a good job with that.
Q; Do you feel like the speed and the burst are there?
Ford: Definitely. It's definitely back. Before it was kind of hard to accelerate and I was probably a little bit more timid. Now I am 100 percent just full go.
Q: DA said when you had run on the sidelines the other day that you looked really good, ready to go. Did you feel like perhaps you could have come back earlier but it was good to keep you out just in case?
Ford: Nah, I think the other day was probably the big test for me because I had two days of rehab back-to-back. You always want to put a couple of good days back-to-back of rehab where it doesn't bother you at all. First day it didn't bother me, then the other day I was able to do this drill running on the sideline full speed and stopping, it never grabbed me at all. I actually opened up. That was a big accomplishment for me there to come back.
Q: After going through what you went through with the foot last year, was the hamstring kind of like 'hey, I can take this, it's no big deal?'
Ford: Most definitely. It didn't need a surgery. That was a good thing. It was definitely a little frustration thing, it just was just kind of nagging. It's something I'm going to stay on top of at all times, just stay on top of my body.
Q: What's the plan for the rest of the week? Are you hoping to play Friday night?
Ford: I'm hoping to play. You know I have to see what the offense wants me to do. Whatever they want me to do I have to go with it.
Q: What do you think about being a kick returner again? It's high impact, it's violent, but you're good at it. How do you weigh the pros and cons of that role?
Ford: It's a role - you have to love and embrace it. It's definitely something I love to do and it helps this team out. Anyway I can help the team out, be a playmaker, be a big play threat, any way to get the ball in my hands I'm excited about it.
Q: If you are to play on Friday, do you anticipate that it would be both at receiver and return man?
Ford: If I play I'm going to pretty much do everything, just get a feel for the game again, just get back out there and get back into some contact.
Q: What kind of impact has Special Teams Coordinator Bobby April had with the special teams since he's come in?
Ford: He's had a good impact. He's real detailed. He's real flexible with the returners back there. He lets us do a few things. We haven't showed it or done anything yet. He's definitely a good coach and he's definitely leading us in the right direction.
Q: DA's waiting for a #1 guy to emerge in the receiving corps. Are you back in time to get back in the mix for that #1 spot?
Ford: I'm just out here going out and just playing. The game will just speak for itself whenever it comes down to it. Whoever that number one guy is, whether it's Denarius [Moore], myself, or [Rod] Streater or Brice [Butler], or any of those other guys…we all feel like we're one unit, everybody is like the number one receiver. We're all going to go out there and try to make plays as much as possible for these quarterbacks.
Q: You guys have all grown up together. Are you a tight-knit unit?
Ford: Yeah, we are. We just got Brice, but myself and Denarius, we've probably been together the longest. Streater, it's his second year. You can definitely feel the camaraderie coming along in that meeting room. There's definitely a lot of chemistry growing and will continue to grow as well.
Q; You mentioned Brice Butler. What are your impressions of him so far?
Ford: He's smooth. He's tall but he plays low. As a big guy like that playing low like he does it's a good advantage for him. He goes up and gets the ball, he's just swift with it, he catches everything. That's good. It doesn't matter if he's a rookie, he's just a ball player. When the lights come on he's going to the ball. I love the intensity he brings to us.
Q: Have you been able to impart any knowledge?
Ford: Whenever he asks me anything about something I'll tell him. For the most part he's pretty attentive, he asks a lot of questions. It's hard to tell him anything; he's real attentive. He just asks a lot of questions.