Saturday Quotesheet: Linehan

(On today’s practice) “We had a couple of absentees today. Corey Chavous had a death in the family. It happened prior to Thursday, he arranged it, and he went back yesterday. The funeral was today and he’ll be back for tomorrow afternoon’s practice. Will Witherspoon, I think you all know, has an expectant wife. He went home because they were going to induce [labor]. I’ve been through that three times and hopefully that’s all going well. He was hoping that we’d have news by now, but I haven’t heard [anything]. He was hoping to be back and planned to be back tomorrow as well. Richie Incognito has a respiratory virus that’s going around and he felt very ill today, so we just held him out of practice. He felt good enough to come out and watch some, but he wasn’t well enough to practice. We just had the general postgame soreness that we were trying to get through out there. It was a challenge, but we increased our tempo as we got through practice and it did pick up.”

(On having to remind the players to keep the tempo up during practice) “That’s a natural [thing]. Your body shuts it down when it gets sore. It’s just natural. Those were just friendly, encouraging words to push ourselves through it.”

(On the competition among the young wide receivers) “I think we’ve created a very competitive environment at most positions, and that certainly is not different [with the wide receivers]. We’ve certainly got some frontline guys that are going to be Rams come the Broncos game. But that’s why you have training camp. In this day and age with the limited numbers, you get more opportunities to play and do things. There could be some things developing in the next couple of preseason games.”

(On giving DE Victor Adeyanju more repetitions with the starters during practice) “Pretty much everybody who played at a high level is going to get a little bit of time out there. I think right now we are still evaluating who we were actually playing at that point. We will still give credit where credit is due, but we haven’t made any radical changes in our depth chart yet.”

(On evaluating playing time for the threes and fours) “When [the players] do get the times [to play], how do you play when you are elevated [on the depth chart]. We’ll continue to evaluate. We evaluate the practices just like we do the games. It’s no different in practice, in a lot of ways it’s probably more valuable how you practice. We’ll continue to reward guys with playing time based on performance, for sure.”

(On CB Jerametrius Butler’s condition) “[He is doing] a little better, testing it. I think today was phase one in the test stage. Hopefully it will continue to improve. There’s nothing to make us think it didn’t improve.”

(On TEs Aaron Walker and Jerome Collins) “[Aaron] Walker’s been really consistent. He’s blocked well and been a more-than-adequate pass receiver when called upon. He’s protected the passer. That’s really what a tight end has got to do. If we want to be able to run the ball and have that balance, our tight ends are going to have to be blockers attitude-wise first. When people come up and try to stop the run, then it’s easier to get the tight ends the ball in the passing game. I think Jerome [Collins] has done a nice job as well. Right now, we are looking at Joe [Klopfenstein] and Aaron as the one and two and then Collins and [Dominique] Byrd right now are battling for that third spot. It’s still real early just like it is for all the positions. The tight end spot, I’m going to keep a close eye on.”

(On the development of rookie LB Jon Alston) “He’s made great strides in the last couple of days. I think he played much better defensively than he did on special teams in the game, which is different [for him]. We’ve been focusing a lot on his special teams play and I think his defensive progress has been slowed some, mainly because he missed the whole offseason. He showed up quite a bit in the game and made some nice strides at the weakside linebacker spot. I think he’s definitely going to have to learn to be able to do both. He’s got to be a very effective special teams player for us, especially early in his career.”

(On injuries and trying to keeping his team fresh) “I think this has been very good. When you start playing games, you’re going to start seeing guys come up with the training camp soreness, but I think we’ve avoided a lot of that, those soft tissue, nagging type of injuries that keep guys out and keep guys from going full speed. We haven’t had that many. We’ve had some, but quite a few less than in the old training camp format, so I’ve been pretty happy with that.”

(On whether or not players are beginning to separate themselves in terms of who will make the team and who will not) “Generally speaking, yes. It’s still too early to make that assessment. One game doesn’t make or break a guy. It certainly puts him in position to either win a job or lose a job, but I think right now it’s still pretty early. The obvious established players are solidifying their positions, but there are some pretty good battles that are going to probably continue to change daily.”

(On whether or not the tempo of practice will change as the team begins to prepare for individual games) “Maybe two days ahead of the preseason game as opposed to one. We’ll do a true Friday type practice on Thursday and a true Saturday type practice on Friday, but other than that we’re in training camp. We have a two-a-day on Monday and a two-a-day on Wednesday, then we’ll be officially kind of working into those game week routines. The next week, the third preseason week, will be more of an actual game week format and we’ll game-plan a lot more for that game that we have for the first two.”

(On whether or not the first and second string players will get more playing time in games as the preseason progresses) “In general, you’ll see a little bit more playing time for the ones and the twos. Exactly what that number is will be based on how the game goes, but that’s generally the philosophy there. It will increase a little more in the third game and then we’ll see what work we want to get done."