ML: “It was great being here (for the start of camp yesterday). It was a fantastic kickoff to training camp. All the work of everybody on the staff here, from the grounds crew to Aramark (food and beverage service) and all the stadium operations people that have done so much to bring the camp here. It was run very smoothly.
“It was a very productive day for the football team – a good start. It’s been a very smooth transition thus far. As far as Leon (Hall), for him to reach his goal and be out there the first practice on the first day, I was very pleased with that. It’s good that he’ll be able to work along as we go and play himself back mentally and physically into where he was before the injury. With the couple of guys that started on PUP (Physically Unable to Perform list), I think we’ll have them out there in short order. I don’t foresee any of those guys taking very long. But we’ll continue to work with them through their process and through their rehab until they’re ready to go and prove that they are ready. Then we’ll take them off the list and work them back into practice. For the rest of the guys on the football team, I thought they returned in really good condition. Yesterday they proved during their tests that they were in very good condition. With the humidity and heat the way it was yesterday, and with the storms rolling around the last couple days, it zapped some of the guys. But this morning we’re back and ready to go, so we feel like we’re in pretty good shape. And obviously the weather has cooled off for this afternoon, so that’ll be a good thing.
“We have a lot of work to do. That’s the thing: we know as a football team that we have a lot of work to do to prepare for the season and the opening game.”
ML: “Yeah. When he’s ready to get back out and after it, he will. The screens (medical tests) were all negative, so he just had a little slip, a little tweak of the knee.”
During offseason workouts, what impressed you most about
ML: “That his approach to the game was as he was an undrafted free agent – in everything we did. (Green-Ellis entered the league as a college free agent with New England.) He had that same approach and feel that he’s had since he’s been here. Obviously that’s his personality, so he’s not going to change. He’s a quiet person, but he’s a very warm personality.
“His approach to the game is very, very serious. It’s very important to him. He seems to be a very bright guy that wants to know the details and wants to be right. He wants to know how you want things done. He’s with us on offense, but also on special teams, and he’s very attentive in those meetings that he has to attend for special teams. He’s been impressive.”
To have a guy like that who has had a lot of team success and doesn’t take anything for granted, does that help in your locker room?
ML: “It’s a big plus for the football team when you have a guy like that that’s been on a team that’s been very successful. You see his approach, and that rubs off on others very quickly. It’s been very effective with the rest of the running backs, for sure.”
What about the impact of another newcomer,
ML: “Travelle has a very similar personality (to Green-Ellis). They’re warm guys that are getting to know their teammates, but they know they brought here for a reason. I know that’s important to them.”
You’ve had one season to work through the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Did guys come into camp this year in better shape than they were under the old CBA?
ML: “It’s hard (to tell), but it’s better in general, because last year I felt after the conditioning test that there were five or six guys that weren’t quite where they needed to be. Some people had handled the lockout a ton better than others. But right now, I think we’re in pretty good shape. We’ve had guys like Nate (Clements, who is on PUP), who ran on the side field and passed his test. (Jordan) Shipley passed the test. So there are guys that, even though they are on PUP, they’re in pretty good position in that way. It’s just that there are other things that we’re dealing with until we’ve had our eyes on them for enough days to put them out there.”
Are you hopeful that your team will handle that in a mature way?
ML: “I don’t think I need to talk about it anymore.”