Head coach Greg Schiano met with the media after Day 5 of training camp, and said Wednesday's practice wasn't as sharp as he would have liked it. Schiano also discussed Aqib Talib, the development of the offense and how good he thinks Gerald McCoy can be.
Can you talk about the return of Derrick Roberson and Gary Gibson?
“It’s good to get them back out there. It was disappointing, nothing out of their control. They both had some injuries that kept them from going the first four. But it’s good to have them back and hopefully with a practice they’ll feel okay tomorrow and be able to do a little more.”Was today’s practice as sharp as you would’ve liked it?
“No, it wasn’t as sharp as we like it. You know, we introduced something new again. There’s a new variable going in – situational two-minute offense. Some new third down stuff went in. But again, I don’t care what’s going in or what the variables are, the ball can’t come out. The ball cannot be on the ground, so we got to get that corrected.”How did Mike Williams look to you in this camp?
“I think good. I mean certainly that last play, that’s an NFL play there in the two-minute drill. So that’s what we need to be able to do. If you do it in practice, it gives you a chance to be able to do it in a game.”Did the offense look a little tentative today? Or are they picking things up rather smoothly?
“I don’ think they looked tentative. No, I mean… you know it’s a whole part whole theory of learning. So you give them everything. So in seven or eight days we’re going to give them 95 percent of the package in offense, defense, and kicking game. Then, we go back and we do it piece by piece and review and really try to perfect the things. And hopefully when you do that you put it all together when the season starts and you start a climb. So that’s kind of the theory why you install everything right up front. So when you do that, there is a little bit of hesitancy. That’s to be expected.
Is the team where you expected them to be after five practices?
“I really didn’t put an expectation level, so I don’t know if I can answer that. I just want us to do the very best we can in practice with effort, enthusiasm. Because I know we have good football players. I think maybe two and a half to three of the five practices were what we’re looking for. And then probably two parts of it weren’t. So we just need to become more consistent. Is anything going on with Michael Bennett?
“Hopefully it’s just heat, that’s what I think it is. But I won’t know until I get in there.”How is has Jeremy Zuttah done with the change of position?
“Well I think it is a transition, there’s no doubt about it. To make that your home, there’s a lot of responsibility to the position, especially the way we do things here. So, I think it’s his strength. I think he’s a very bright, sharp football player. But until we go and do it and do it against somebody else a few times, there will be a transition, there will be some growing pains. But we knew that when we decided to do what we did.”How has Zuttah grown as a player?
"Well, he’s bigger. Physically he’s a bigger guy than when we had him. Jeremy is not a huge guy relative to some of the other guys/ He’s very strong, but I think that’s helped him a little bit. He’s a legitimate 295 to 298-pounder, that’s different than being a 280-pound offensive lineman." Did you always think center was his best position?
"No, in college we needed him to play tackle. So we never really, he snapped a little bit but that was it. He was more of a guard and a tackle for us." Are the position battles coming into focus?
"I think they were in focus the day we reported. If you just go down the line there are some really great battles. And sometimes it’s not for the starter or who’s going to be No. 1 or No. 2, but maybe who’s going to be five and six. You look at wideouts, linebackers as you try to project, and then there are some where we may not have four that we feel really comfortable with yet. So those are the things that we’re trying to assess and figure out and strategically move with personnel." Do some of the WRs need to start distinguishing themselves in the second tier?
"I think there are some guys playing well. You try to project 53 and then you try to project 46 in your mind and as you look at the picture in your mind as it unfolds that’s really what I’m trying to do, is constantly keep that in my mind because that’s different than what I’m accustomed to." How has Vincent Jackson been in helping the other receivers
"No doubt. I think it’s clear. When you have a guy that’s as talented and who works as hard as Vincent works, that’s a great combination because it’s a great example for the guys." How has Aqib Talib looked so far this season?
"I think he’s done a very good job. I think he’s trying to do some things that are new. And sometimes at this point in your career that might be met with some resistance, not at all. He’s trying to do what we ask him to do, he’s very coachable. And he’s getting in better and better football shape, which is important at corner, because that’s your deal. You run all day and nobody really cares, but there are five or six plays that your whole day is based on, yet you’re running all day, so it’s not easy." What is the reasoning behind the quarterbacks wearing knee braces?
"It is something we require. That’s the position that I think quarterbacks are most vulnerable, that left leg. So since all our quarterbacks are righties, their left leg is braced. Because when you throw the ball and you follow through that leg is standing there, people roll into you. It doesn’t guarantee anything, but it gives you a little better chance." Will you do it during the game as well?
"Yeah, once they get used to it they won’t even know it’s on." How has Gerald McCoy's camp been so far?
I think Gerald has really practiced well. I think he’s got elite get off and when I say that, I haven’t been around a lot of guys like that, maybe two or three. So I think we just need to keep working him and developing him with the technique thing. I think he’d be further along had he not had the injuries. You know, it’s repetitions that allow you to get good at those techniques, but Coach Melvin and Coach Cox are working very hard with him and I think he can really be a special player." -Mark Cook and Haley Cornish contributed to this report
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