Can you talk about your injured guys and what is going on?
“They are on the injury report. We will see. I don’t know what is going to be the case. It is Thursday. There is still plenty of time. Both guys have played enough that I think there will be a decision to make. We have other guys as well that are practicing. So that will be a decision later in the week.”
If Arrelious Benn could not play on Sunday who is your kickoff guy at this point?
“There are a couple of them. Roscoe (Parrish) certainly can. Tiquan (Underwood) can. There are some other guys that can that might be in the mix as well. That will be a decision we have to make.”
Any change on Michael Bennett?
“Yes, Mike (Michael Bennett) practiced today. We didn’t have pads on, but he seemed okay.”
What have you thought about Da’Quan Bowers so far in his quick comeback?
“Well, I think he really worked incredibly hard. Our training staff and the doctors did an awesome job, but it is the kid’s effort that he put into it. We still have to be careful. We are not out of the woods. I don’t want to just [say] everything’s good. He feels that way, but we will keep a monitor on his plays. As he gets stronger [and] not just at the site of the repair, but everywhere then we will up his reps more and more.”
How does he look to you?
“Solid. You got to remember all these other guys have been through training camp and practice. This guy has got a couple weeks under his belt. I think he is going to be much better, but he is [a] very talented guy and you can see it. Then what we will do is get it to happen more consistently.”
With Arrelious Benn’s role as a receiver and can he gain a bigger role in the receiving core right now?
“Sure he can. He is a good player. He is just—you know it is all relative and it is all competitive. He is a good football player. I am glad he is on our team.”
What is happening that is allowing the 52 tackles for loss to happen?
“I think all those things. The scheme lends to that. We do a lot of moving. You can get caught moving as well, but you can get penetration into the backfield and that’s where you make TFLs. The guys are doing it better and better. They are executing the finer details. Cumulative reps. Again, it is all about cumulative reps. You’re building equity in the defense [and] you do it over and over again and they get better.”
Did you know Bob Bostad before you hired him and what kind of job is he doing?
“Knew of him. Did not know him personally. Everybody I visited with really spoke the world of him. I got a chance to meet him. No nonsense guy. Very good football coach. Good person. Good father. All those things [were] things that we were looking for on our staff. I think he is doing an excellent job.”
What are some of the things on special teams that you guys need to address such as roughing the kicker?
“When you do what we do and that’s come after the punt, sometimes that’s an errant risk with it. But for the reasons that it has happened to us, it should not have happened. So it can happen, but not because the way it did in the two times it happened to us. So that’s why I am not very acceptant of it. I don’t gloss over it. I will tell you that. I am very perturbed by some of the things that have happened in the kicking game that shouldn’t have happened. There is no reason for a blocked field goal. I don’t care how great an effort Oakland made. That does not happen and it did. If we don’t remedy it then it is on us.”
Have you seen something different in the way Connor Barth is kicking?
“No, I think he is kicking [well]. The first one that broke the streak was a 50 something yarder. He hit it right on the screws. It was a great kick. It was windy that day and it was a long field goal, but it was a great kick. I just ask him because he knows. Said you hit it well? ‘Yep.’ That’s all I want to know. If you keep hitting it well you are going to make more than your fair share. If he comes off and says ‘no I didn’t hit it well’ then you start to worry.”
Josh Freeman looks different than last year and how much of that is Doug Martin and the receivers that are around him or in your mind mechanics?
“Well, I think most of it is Josh (Freeman). The weapons around him are great. The mechanics fixing, but he has to do all the work. This guy has worked from the day we got hired. We had to hold him off with the rules being what they are. This guy has just wanted to do everything he possibly could to become the quarterback that he sees himself as. He is not where he wants to be. He is not where we want to be. Not even close because his upside is like way up here. If he keeps working the way he is, he is going to get there. That’s, as a leader on our team, that is critical. You say all you want as a leader. Talk is cheap. What are you doing? What are your actions? This guy’s actions back up what he is asking everybody else to do. Long as he keeps doing that, the mechanics will continue to get better. His reads will get better. His comfort with the offense will get better. All those things.”
How much credit does this offensive line get in this four or five weeks stretch?
“I think they are working well together. You mentioned Bob (Bostad) and Steve Loney, both of them working with the o-line. Really just continue to grind away at the little things. The detail because that’s what it is. Football is a game of details. That’s why I love it because it is also a physically brutal game yet it is also a game of details. Those things usually don’t go hand in hand. Bob (Bostad) and Steve (Loney) have done a great job with this line of bringing them along. As a guy goes down, they have worked hard with everybody so the next guy is ready to move in. We just need to make sure each week the challenge gets bigger. We are going to see some different things. We have to be able to consistently perform and that’s what we are looking for [is] consistency.”
For a poll by the Sporting News you were voted the coach players would least like to play for and any response to that?
“61 guys. That’s the only ones I care [about]. The ones back in that locker room. Now if they voted, ship them off to Buffalo or something.”