Tuesday's training camp quotes
HEAD COACH JON GRUDEN
On the team's intensity today and the one-on-one drill near the end of practice:
Two areas we've obviously emphasized outside of some other areas are our pass rush and our pass protection. And sometimes you put a red light on a guy in front of his teammates and the fans down there late in training camp or guys are exhausted physically and mentally. It's a true test. I thought it spiced up practice a little bit today, and obviously the defense won the drill, 4-3.
On the defense's reward for winning the drill:
That's an hour extra curfew, so these guys will be able to have extra time to play an extra round of pool down in our lobby tonight.
On quarterbacks and receivers being out of sync:
It's unfortunate we had three or four dropped balls, big plays today. We did that last year. We did that last year in games, and I'm a big believer in what you see on the practice field is what you're going to see on Sunday. Unfortunately, today is not what I want to be associated with, nor do I want our players to have to go through that. We've got to make those plays, and that's just the bottom line.
On if he likes what he sees out of his defense:
Yes, I do. The effort's been great on both sides of the ball. What we need to do now is we need to take it to the stadium, between the lines and bring that energy and the playmaking back. And until we see it between the lines on gameday, we'll continue to work hard to try to get it.
On playing music at the beginning of practice:
Every time I go out and stretch in pregame warm-up, it's always loud and there's always music playing. Some guys don't like it and some guys do. It's really late in camp, so we're trying every way we can to stimulate our men and have a little fun in the process. This is one of the great times in all of our lives -- playing football, coaching football and being together. So we're just trying to finish training camp with a little creativity, not that this is a party atmosphere, certainly. But we're just trying to liven things up and get our snap count squared away in the noise because it is going to be incredibly loud early in the season.
On if he can stimulate the players off the field, in the meeting room:
We try to do that. We try to change up our meeting routine whether it be walkthroughs, whether it be films, whether it be demonstrations -- whatever it may be. Sometimes a little levity can break the monotony. Certainly, there are lessons to be learned while you're having a good time once in a while, but for the most part, this has been all business here. Every day we haven't had a lot of guys miss practice. That's what I'm most pleased with. The weather has cooperated lately, and we haven't had many guys sit out of practice. The guys that have, have been sat out by design and for that I'm very pleased.
On QB Chris Simms:
We're trying to get him some work, and you saw what happened. He did do some decent things, and we're trying to work him back in. We've said that for the last seven or eight days, and it's a work in progress.
On the fullback play in the team's nine-on-seven period:
Mike Pittman honestly did a great job in there between the tackles as a physical blocker. He's making his case right now for 'Why haven't I been playing fullback earlier.' He's built for the position, certainly, and he's a willing participant. He's a contact player, and he's going to really help us.
On seeing T Luke Petitgout in action throughout the last few days:
We're really happy. Number one, he feels good. And number two, he is good. And number three, that's something to be excited about. He's a quality guy. He's a team guy. He's a detail freak. He's going to really help Arron Sears. He's going to help our young right side. And his presence in the meeting room has been invaluable also. His performance will continue to get better and better and better. I think his stamina is good. He stayed in really good shape during this process, and he's going to bring us some stability there. And that's something that we need.
On who will be returning kicks and punts this year:
It's a position that you want to evaluate in a game. Unfortunately against New England most of the punts were fair catches and most of the kickoffs were not returnable. But Mark Jones is a guy we want to look at in a dual role as well as [Chad] Owens. We want to look at those two guys, and strategically, we've worked Joey Galloway and Phillip Buchanon and others in there also.
On WR Ike Hilliard:
I keep talking about Ike Hilliard even though no one else does. That's why Ike Hilliard is one of my favorite guys -- he doesn't drop the football and he runs all the routes and he makes plays. One of the things we're going to scrutinize heavily when it's all said and done is who can catch the ball and make the great catch. Forget about the routine plays where the ball is laid right in there. I'm talking about the freak catch away from your body, the ones you see on SportsCenter every Sunday night. That's what we need here, and unfortunately we had three or four big drops today down the football field.
On if anything is wrong with WR David Boston:
He might be tired. We've pushed him hard, and he might be a little bit tired. The accumulation of routes and repetitions might be catching up with David a little bit, but he fought through it and he's ok.
On if people take a wide receiver such as Hilliard for granted:
I don't take him for granted. We had a guy -- [Keenan] McCardell -- come in here who was a great player for Jacksonville. He was a really good player for us. Some guys just need an opportunity to get out on the field and do their thing. And that's what we're going to do. We're going to play the guy who we think is going to give us the best chance to win, and Ike Hilliard is one of those guys.