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Head Coach Scott Linehan July, 22, 2008
Head Coach Scott Linehan
Pre-Training Camp Press Conference
July, 22 2008
(On training camp)
“There is really nothing formal as far as announcements. This is the first official day back in the office for a number of people. A lot of people have been here all summer. The team will convene here first and then we will travel on Thursday to Mequon, Wisconsin. Then the first team meeting and official day is Friday, so we will do that on Friday morning. We will have a one-a-day Friday afternoon and then a team meeting for some administrative things. We will then get back on our schedule from then on. Our plan, right now, is to go through the first part of the next week – I think it is about 10 days – and then we will travel to Tennessee on Tuesday. I don’t have the date in front of me exactly but the Tuesday before we play them is August 5th. Wednesday we will practice twice in Tennessee. Thursday we will practice once and have a special teams emphasis practice. That Friday we will take off and play each other that Saturday night. Then we will reconvene in Wisconsin for three or four more days, flying back Saturday after the game and get there on Sunday. Sunday will be an off-day for the players and then we will practice again Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and right now, tentatively, Thursday. We will travel back to St. Louis on Thursday afternoon. That will be our official break of camp. We will also have our first home preseason game, so it all kind of comes to an end there as far as training camp. We have a lot to do before we get there. It will seem like Groundhog Day for a couple of days up there, but that is what you want up there in training camp. While you are getting your work done, you want a kind of tight-knit environment. I think that is what we have been able to create. The people at Concordia (University) have been unbelievable to work with. They have really bent over backwards to get things the way we want them. The facilities are outstanding and I believe one of the things is that this time of summer tends to get pretty hot. The temperature will be conducive to getting those afternoon practices in that are sometimes hard to get in, in the Midwest. We are looking forward to it.”
(On the current weather in Mequon, Wisconsin being 74 degrees)
“I can handle 74 (degrees). That is pretty good. You have the weather report already. That is a big part of it. Studies have shown that in cooler weather you can get more done. We have to modify our schedules in the summer when you get up into those high heat indexes. We will see after we go through it one time, but I think we will find that we can get a lot more work done. Right now we are scheduled to have a practice every afternoon. We are going to need to be able to have weather that is conducive to that. One of the things is also that they have field turf fields up there. So if for some reason there is a weather issue, we will not have to move indoors and just let the weather go through and just practice on the field turf, because field turf can drain and not hold the water. That is another reason we feel really comfortable with the facility we chose.”
(On needing an environment for training camp away from Russell Training Center)
“That was the primary idea. We were definitely looking to make some subtle changes, but one specific change was that I felt very compelled to find a site to train away from the facility. We have one of the greatest facilities in the league right here. The only real problem for us is that you don’t get that change or the anticipation of coming back. Breaking camp after being around each other 24/7 it is like it always is. There is no real big change from the off-season training activities, mini-camp, training camp and the regular season it gets a little monotonous. What you really want from camp is a change to heighten the whole environment competitively and that is what you really do when you’re around each other 24/7 and locked away in dorms, on the field, with the schedule and the cafeteria you tend to become more aware of each other and get to know each other a little better.”
(On fans having to travel to visit training camp)
“That’s the tough part. You definitely don’t want to make it harder on the fans. They are the reason for our existence. They make us tick. I don’t look at it a whole lot different than when I was in Minnesota. My hope is the fans will still come find us there. There were the always the hardcore groupies that came and found a way to get there and show up and figure out a way to fit it into their summer schedule. It’s just like anything else. The convenience of having it here for the coaches and players just makes it ordinary. There’s nothing out of the ordinary, so my hope is that the guys will find out that it’s a pretty neat way to spend a couple days or a week and travel up there to some place they haven’t been and see how we’re doing it. My hope is that there are going to be some fans that show up there and I believe there will be. And as we continue to grow with this thing and it may become a summer destination that people can go to. I think its such a great convenient thing here just like it is for the team, but it’s almost too convenient. Like the baseball analogy, I want there to be a big anticipation for our arrival back into town and for showcasing our team in the first (home) preseason game, our second game. Part of that is we want our fans to be anxious for us to come back and see what we have to offer.”
(On players having the option to have a car at camp)
“They will have the option of renting one if they need it. I don’t think there is going to be a real need for it. Everything is right there. They will have shuttle opportunities to get downtown. If they want to rent one, they are going to have a little time off and have a couple breaks in there and can get downtown if they want to drive downtown even to Milwaukee or something like that. They will have that option, but for the most part they are going to have everything right there for them. So if they want to get a vehicle other than the shuttles, some guys might drive. They have the option of driving or flying in to Wisconsin on Thursday. Our first official meeting is on Friday morning.”
(On the players being around each other continuously at camp)
“I want them to get on each other’s nerves a little bit. I want them to get to know each other so well that they see the positives and negatives of their teammates. That’s part of it, camp is not going to be easy. Camp is challenging because it’s monotonous, its tiring, you get tired of the schedule and the whole thing. You set a goal that you are going to start camp this way and finish it this way. When we break and come back to our facility, you want them to get real positive. It’s a positive change and specific change from where we are as far as our training to where we are as far as preparation the opener. We still have three preseason games once we break camp left on our schedule. And we will be getting ready for our opener against Philadelphia. So we want that change and that change is always an accepted part of the routine that everybody looks forward to. I think all of us coaches look forward to (camp).”
(On T Orlando Pace)
“The anticipation is probably going to be PUP for a week or so, maybe shorter, maybe longer. He’ll be close, but I think we have to be a little conservative with our approach just because of what has happened. He’s in pretty good shape right now, his weight is right where we want it and it’s just a matter of when we decide. We have (Trainer) Jim (Anderson) and (Strength and Conditioning Coach) Dana (LeDuc) the guys working him out pretty well while we are there. He will be able to be there in training with those guys. He will count on the roster. He will obviously be one of the 80. I would anticipate him coming off that before we leave to go to Tennessee and if that’s not the case we will have to be patient with him. I think he’s really close and I think that if we had to play a game soon, I think he would be probably closer to being ready.”
(On signing any other draft picks before camp)
“I don’t think so, I think (WR) Donnie (Avery) would be I would be concerned about and where he’s at, first pick in the second round. Once you start getting the guys signed around him, that becomes an issue so you’re able to figure out what the market is for him and those kind of things, but I have really no concern at all. Some teams don’t have any players signed yet so I think a lot of times what happens is when guys get done a head of you and behind you get their guys done it all falls into place. I don’t anticipate an issue.”
(On position battles during training camp)
“Certainly there are guys that are not competing for jobs, but I think we have created an environment to improve the depth of our team. I am looking forward to seeing how the young receivers that we drafted are going to compete with the veterans.
“Our expectation is that we are going to play our best players and that will be real interesting. Our offensive line is going to be the one to watch. We got everybody back healthy but there is still a group of guys that are competing. There is still a battle at center with Richie (Incognito) and Brett (Romberg). Marc (Bulger) is coming off an injury and I feel good with working him out at center to give us some depth. But he is still competing at guard depending on how center works out. Overall we are going to have to start settling on who are best five will be but the first couple weeks you will see and good battle going on.
“If Orlando (Pace) is not in there seeing how (Adam) Goldberg is performing and holding up. He has done well there before and we would have someone to go to if we have another injury.
“The tackle position will work itself out depending on what happens with Orlando and you don’t want to slight these two young guys we just drafted (T John Greco and G Roy Schuening) because you don’t know what could happen once we get the pads on. One or both of these guys could be in the top seven because you can’t evaluate those guys in shorts but once the pads are on, with offensive linemen the cream rises to the top.
That would be a position to focus on as far as a battle but there are other positions that are interesting. But we have an idea going into camp who those guys are going to be.”
(On what philosophy he has when determining playing time for starters in the preseason)
“It’s a fine line and you can be ultra conservative and even last year we didn’t play many of our starters in the last preseason game, we played them a little bit more than we did last year in preseason but the last preseason game we did not play many of our starters. The year before it was the same and we stayed relatively healthy. You can look at it both ways and say well we did it this way twice and one year we came in pretty healthy and the other year we came in with some injuries. I think the way we have set up our schedule, the fact that we’re working against another team, and we’re going into the season probably playing our starters a little bit more in the first preseason game. We’re approaching it a bit different, but we still have to, with 80 players, make sure you manage those players and that you don’t over do it.”
(On handling the veterans)
“There are some no brainer kinds of guys, veterans that have been there, you know how they are going to be. The way I look at it whatever rep they take we want it full speed and great timing, get the timing down, and if for some reason you’re limiting the reps go ahead and put the next guy in there. Because our depth is much better, we are able to do that. One of the things we have struggled in is giving quality reps to first unit because you have to give reps to the veterans. And now, I think, we have enough youth around them that you can do that and still get a lot out of them. There are still some guys that you really have to watch and manage, and we’ll do that.”
(On getting used to the new assistant coaches)
“You go back to the question that you asked me about camp and that goes with it. That’s part of being around each other. We have been around each other preparing for this season with OTA’s, office hours the way they are working and guys putting in time. I think that’s another great benefit of being together with new people and new staff, you get to know each other better and spend time together. You have to have an idea of who you’re getting in the trenches with. That will be a big part of our training camp as well for sure.”
(On the importance of signing Chris Long before training camp)
“Extremely important. (President of Football Operations/General Manager) Jay (Zygmunt) and (Director of Football Operations) Samir (Suleiman) and Marvin (Demoff) his agent, and Chris his wanting to get it done is all from the get go. We felt it was really important to have this done and not have it last until the last minute. This is one of the first number one picks in recent years, I think since Steven Jackson, Steven signed about the same time maybe. Other than that, a lot of guys have gone to the wire, and that kind of slows you down. Our expectations are high with Chris and starting and all those things and he has to from the get go be in all those meetings it was important to him. He should be here today. I think he officially signs this afternoon. It worked out great for the timing.”
(On managing the 80-man roster)
“It’s going to be challenging, we still have a couple roster moves before we leave, and we still have some guys around based on signing these last three guys, the timing of that. We can’t take all of them. The biggest issue is that you have some veteran players coming off injuries, we have some injuries we have to manage in practice and you can’t replace those guys. You can’t say we have three hurt guys so we need three extra guys to replace them until they are 100 percent. You have carry them to camp or they are not a part of the team. It’s going to probably affect us. And we will probably have to adjust as we go, but we should be pretty close to three deep at every position. We are as healthy as we’re going to be now. This is as good as it’s going to be and then we will have to start making adjustments when we start getting guys a little banged up. But that’s just training camp and those are things you have to live with, you just have to make the adjustments on the run.”
(On Orlando Pace potentially being on the Physically Unable To Perform list)
“That’s what we’re going to go with. It is not a done deal, but we’re going to do it. My anticipation is that it is probably what is going to happen. If he gets cleared full-go, and he’s ready, we will consider that as well. We’re monitoring his shoulder; I would think he is probably going to be ready to go. But until we talk to the doctors, (Matt) Matava and (Head Athletic Trainer) Jim Anderson on Thursday, the anticipation is that is where he is going to probably be. “
(On differences when working with another team)
“We have a lot of opportunity prior to that. Each team gets 16 installation periods prior to that. It’s not real different. The big thing is what we have decided to do which is to continually install when we go to Tennessee. We will work some areas and I talked to (Tennessee Head Coach) Jeff (Fisher) last night and he felt like he would like to work some specific things that were similar to what we want to do. Well will set up once we get there and we will be in a hotel, but we will meet and do some installation there. We will have everything planned before we get there and we will continue to move along. Part of the reason you do that is you want to work together and get work done, and you try to keep some of that as private as you can and continue to work some things that you wouldn’t necessarily work against another team normally. We will continue to do as much as we can and keep moving forward. We still have three or four days in Wisconsin when we get back so anything that we need more or less of we will make that adjustment when we get back from that Tennessee trip.”
Re: Head Coach Scott Linehan July, 22, 2008
Pace possibly going on PUP ! So he can't play in games until October 1st if I'm correct. That is not good news with our tough games right out of the shoot. Ring, Ring ....... hello Todd(Stussie), how about joining us in Wisconsin for the summer !!!!
Hope this isn't so
Maine -and out of the ashes rise ...The Breakfast Club !
Re: Head Coach Scott Linehan July, 22, 2008That Friday we will take off and play each other that Saturday night."Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod
Re: Head Coach Scott Linehan July, 22, 2008Pace possibly going on PUP ! So he can't play in games until October 1st if I'm correct."Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod
Re: Head Coach Scott Linehan July, 22, 2008
My understanding is that its for a week or two.
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Re: Head Coach Scott Linehan July, 22, 2008
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