"It's tougher on me than it is on them. I have to be able to get around. I wouldn't have given consent to have the surgery if I couldn't do things my way. Doctors don't always agree with my way. but I have to coach and do my job. I won't let this injury get in the way of that."
Q: Do you think they were pleased to see you at practice yesterday and today?ML:
"They knew what I was going to do. I have to stay with what I planned to do. I've had great care all the way through, and I have a lot of people looking after me around here."
Q: Will you be on the field for the Atlanta game?ML:
"I'll be in the press box for the Atlanta game."
Q: Do you think that will be a one-time thing?ML:
"Hopefully it's a one-time thing."
Q: What will you do in the press box?ML:
"I'll do the same thing I do when I'm on the field, I'll just do it in the press box."
Q: When was the last time you coached a game from the press box?ML:
"Probably 1996 in Baltimore."
Q: Does this injury give you a chance to sit back and see things from a different perspective?ML:
"I don't know about that. Instead of going by foot, I'm going by cart or crutches. It doesn't bother anyone else, but it does make my life a little bit harder right now. Unfortunately, people have had to make certain adjustments for me."
Q: What do you hope to see Monday night?ML:
"Some of the guys who haven't had the opportunity to play will get their chance this week. We get the chance to stay in rhythm offensively and defensively. We want to win third-down conversions and play well on first downs. The special teams guys are still fighting for jobs, and we'll keep on moving forward in that way."
Q: How does Rudi Johnson look?ML:
"I think he's a little bit farther along than he has been in the past at this time of year. He has a new (leaner) physique, and he's proud of it. He's worked harder in the passing game and in his individual periods. He's spending some extra time to work a little harder to become more comfortable receiving the football. I think we've seen that in the first two preseason games."
Q: Rudi's yard-per-carry average was down last year from years past. To what do you attribute that?ML:
"I think we've already discussed that a few times, and I don't think it has anything to do with Rudi."
Q: You know Lemar Marshall as well as anyone. What does he bring to the football team?ML:
"He's a guy who has the opportunity to come in here and compete for a position. He's started a lot of games in the NFL. He has spent some seasons in Washington, so he brings a lot of experience. He should be up to speed pretty quickly."
Q: Will Marshall play strongside and middle?ML:
"He'll play all three positions."
Q: How does the offensive line shake down, with Levi Jones' return?ML:
"Right now that hasn't changed anything. Levi is working in the second group and we'll go from there. Hopefully we'll get the other guy (OT Willie Anderson) back next week".
Q: Johnathan Joseph has flown under the radar in his rehab. How does he look?ML:
"He's had to fight through the soreness which he's had since he initially returned to practice. This week has been good. I think he's practiced very well."
Q: How do you think Ahmad Brooks is doing?ML:
"Again, I think Ahmad has done fine."
Q: You had the chance to get your eyes on Chris Perry for the first time in a while. How do you think he's doing?ML:
"I haven't seen Chris do anything on the field. He remains on PUP."
Q: What have you seen from Justin Smith throughout the preseason?ML:
"I see a guy who is really trying to become a pass rusher at the next level. Justin's going to play hard and make sure he's in the right spots. That's some things we would like him to become a little more consistent at. We also want to see him continue to progress as a pass rusher. I see a little difference in those things and that's good. We may not see results right away, but over time you're able to see an improvement in those areas, and that's what we've seen from Justin so far."
Q: Many players don't like the franchise tag. How grateful are you that Justin didn't hold out when he was signed as a franchise player?ML:
"I think he has risen above all of that and just realized that it's a good thing."
Q: Does Ed Hartwell figure in the mix in the middle?ML:
"Yes. We'll see what happens."
Q: How have you been able to prepare during this extended week?ML:
"We've been able to go to what we hope will be our normal schedule. Practice at 11 a.m., lunch after practice, rehab, treatment, eat, weight train, watch tape on their own, and then they get with their coaches to finish the day, and come back the next day fresh."
Q: Does making the practice earlier allow everyone to recover more quickly?ML:
"No. But you have a chance, as a coach, to clean up the day. You don't go home with a mistake on your mind. You have the opportunity to change things and regroup. The players have a chance to keep their days moving. We've cut out some of the dead time for them."
Q: Do you sense an eagerness to start the regular season?ML:
"I think any team that has been together for a while, as we have, feels that way. Last year there was the buzz was about Carson. (Carson Palmer came back in preseason game three after offseason knee surgery). This year, we just all know we'll have to step up our intensity when the regular season begins."
Q: You have a long week this week, and a short week next week. How does this prepare the guys for the regular season during longer and shorter weeks?ML:
"Some of the guys that play this week won't play next week. That's the way we'll manage that. It's good for us to get the preseason over with. We're looking forward to playing good football this Monday".
Q: Will the starters play more in Monday's game than they have in the first two?ML:
"Yeah, they'll play more than they have in the past."
Q How is Keiwan Ratliff doing right now?ML:
"He's done a good job and played his butt off. He just needs to keep working."
Q: Being part of this three-ring circus going on in Atlanta:ML:
"We're not part of the three-ring circus. We're just going to play football. We have nothing to do with the things they have going on".
Q: Is it relieving not to be part of that circus?ML:
"Yes it's good. Life is good."
Q: How is Chris Henry handling his situation?ML:
"I don't know. He doesn't have a situation. He's not a member of this football team (due to NFL suspension). He has a long way to earn his was back, both here and through the league. I think he's practiced well, but he needs to make sure he does everything well outside of this building. He has a long way to go."
Q: Kyle Larson has been described by teammates as a perfectionist. What about him is appealing to you?ML:
"I know Kyle has continued to work to get better, and I have seen another jump this offseason. Kyle started punting with us as a rookie and has just kept improving."
Q: With respect to the kicking game and special teams coverage, you have brought a lot of guys who can help in this team. Do you feel contributions have been made to help in that are?ML:
"I think we're much better than we were a year ago. We have to get everyone healthy so we can play together"
Q: On special teams do you have any interest in Eddie Drummond? ML:
"He's done some good things in the return game. It's just a matter of whether he would get suited up on Sunday."
Q: How's the third receiver situation work?ML:
"I'm glad you asked that. I want to know what NFL team talks about the third receiving slot so much. Let's just end it there, OK? Thanks.""