Opening Comments: ML:
We'll start with talking about the guys that are on the mend. We should have some guys back this week that did not participate in the game last week. They are John Busing, Tab Perry, Johnathan Joseph, Earl Everett, Adam Kieft, and Antonio Chatman. We have another group of guys who may be able to participate the following week, but I will reserve that. As you know, I see better than I can hear.
Last week's game gave us a great opportunity to get into a lot of great situations that you don't necessarily always get into. The tempo of our first groups was what we were looking for. Doug (Johnson) and Jeff (Rowe) got an opportunity to work in the one-minute, and those were two things that you don't necessarily get an opportunity to get in the preseason. Those guys got it right off the bat and were able to handle it. The chance to win with a field goal ... that's a thing that we have to make, because our sideline expects us to make that kick and the game be over. In addition, our back-up players need to be able to finish. They have to be able to squeeze the game out and get it over with. Those are things we have a chance to go back and point it out on tape to make sure we do a better job next time around.
With the Saints coming in this week, we have an opportunity, defensively, to get ready for a lot of personnel movement and change similar to last week. It will give us a chance to face Reggie Bush, a person who gave us a little trouble last year. We had a few difficulties with his athleticism and all the great things he can do with a football.
The Saints give you a lot of different looks, and that's a great thing for us to have an opportunity to work with in the preseason. They have an explosive front seven on defense, and they do a good job of pressuring our offense. They have good returners, so that's a good challenge to our coverage units. It will give us a good chance to get better at the return game. We need to put some pressure on our specialist, so that when we get to the end of a football game we expect good things to happen.
Q: Robert Geathers was moved to starter at left defensive end:ML:
Robert is one of the guys that we feel real good about . He came into his own last year, and he's done a fine job against the run and the pass. A lot of those guys will rotate through there, but he's earned the opportunity to go out and move in the first base group. We changed some guys around and put Bryan (Robinson) and Michael Myers with the first sub-group. We did this so we involve all the guys in what were doing so we can take a good look at them that way.
Q: Will you remove the (interview) moratorium on Chris Henry?ML:
No. He's not a member of this football team for eight weeks. It is a position he put himself in.
Q: After Kenny Irons' injury, there has been speculation about Corey Dillon possibly coming back here:ML:
It's not anything I've really thought about. I'm not sure of his status. But obviously Corey had a fine career here and with New England. I reserve any comment on that.
Q: What did you see from Skyler (Green), and how he handled his first opportunity?ML:
We were pleased with what we saw. The one thing we continue to coach him up on is decision-making. We were pleased with his handling of the football in the punt return game. We have to get better with his kickoff return game, and have him run with better tempo and better speed. He's still trying to feel his way through there. We just need to keep getting time and repetition, and continue to make positive yardage in both areas.
Q: What kind of camp has Keiwan (Ratliff) had, and what do you see his role being?ML:
Keiwan is competing to be a member of this team, and he started off by having a really strong camp, and it kind of leveled off a little bit. He needs to keep playing and getting things done productively on defense, and make sure he is in the right spots at all times. With Johnathan (Joseph) coming back, his time is going to be cut back a little bit, and everything Leon (Hall) does gains him more time and opportunities. Keiwan is in quite a battle to keep playing. He has had a role on this team and he is fighting hard to keep it.
Q: Coaches were seen talking to Keiwan after the breakdown in coverage that resulted in a touchdown during the Detroit game, was that his responsibility on that play?ML:
Oh come on, you know me better than that. There was a breakdown in the play (laughs), I'm sure coaches talked to all eleven guys that were on that field.
Q: You mentioned Tab Perry coming back, will he get a shot at returning kicks again? ML:
At some point he will, probably will not be this week, but yes, he will, and also punt returns as well.
Q: How is the battle for the strong side linebacker going between Rashad Jeanty, Eric Henderson and Andre Frazier?ML:
Eric Henderson, first of all, I thought has played better in the football game than he has practiced the last couple times out. He got a little winded because I think he was a little helter-skelter, but I was pleased with him. Andre continues to do very well in the kicking game and in his opportunity on defense. When Rashad was in there, the little amount that he was, he wasn't really challenged that much. So we've got to keep going. It is Rashad's job right now, but the other two guys give us a potentially strong group of players. Andre can play the other spot, and we've tried to limit where Eric is, but we would like to see them all be more productive as pass rushers when they get that opportunity in the third-down defenses as well.
Q: Do you feel more comfortable with the backup quarterback position now after the Detroit game?ML:
I thought Doug (Johnson) performed better in the football game than he had practiced, and really that is the key to playing any position in the NFL, to make sure when the lights come on, you play better. On the one throw, the ball can't be inside like that, and they made a play on the ball and intercepted it. That wasn't a good throw or a good decision. There are things that he needs to get better with technically, but overall, I came out of it feeling a lot better, and he will get another opportunity this week. Not as much as last week, but he will get some more opportunities this week.
Q: Do you have faith in Doug Johnson to be the backup?ML: