Will you once again lean on your offensive line as you did last year to help set the tone for your workouts?
"Quite honestly, I would always like to see the offensive line as being the workhorses of the weight room. I think last year we made some strides in that area and I think they were to a certain point. But I still don't know if they were to the point that we needed them to be. I think (David) Castillo is a guy who works and trains really hard. Right now he's our starting center. He's a guy who is going to need to continue to do that. (Matt) Meinrod is that way. (Alex Barron) can be that way although I am a little bit concerned. I am a little bit concerned right now because he came in yesterday weighing 330. But we have a group of guys there who have to develop an attitude that they are going to mean. And they are going to become a physical bunch. There's some of those kids that have that mentality and it has to be contagious to the rest of the them. And that needs to become contagious to the rest of the team. That's not to say that other positions, kids in other positions, can not do that same thing. But as an entire group, or as entire position, it seems to be natural to be that the offensive line, followed by the defensive line, should be the two groups that carry that load. To initiate that."
What's the focus for your defensive line?
"(Kamerion) Wimbley is a person that needs to become bigger and stronger, still. I think in the past there has been a little bit of perception that particularly when talking about somebody who needs to get bigger and stronger that speed is secondary. That is not the case. Kamerion and (Darrell) Burston, there's no reason they can't get bigger, stronger and faster if we put the right type of weight on. If we do the job the right way - bigger, stronger and faster. Kevin Emanuel, he needs to be the leader of that group. And he has done a really good job in the weight room, and I anticipate he will continue to do so and can be the leader of that group. Unfortunately, right now, Darnell (Dockett) is unable to train with us. We are going to have to wait until he gets his issues taken care of and we are going to need him to come in. He's always done a good job here in the weight room in the past and when he gets back, I am sure he will continue to do so. And we are going to need him to take on a leadership role. Womble is a guy who has always done a good job. He's a strong person and can be a leader for us and will be a leader for us but again he's a guy who has to get healthy. We have an awful lot of pieces that will shine very brightly for us, I really feel. We have to get them all in here together going in the same direction. When you have one guy who is not able to train with us right now for a certain reason and another person who is trying to rehab and can't do everything, it's going to make it a little bit challenging. Summer is going to be a critical time for us. That's not to say this isn't a critical time for us, because it is. In our first team meeting, I told the team, and I really feel this way, we are probably going to be faced with the most challenging next year in the nation. We are going to go to Florida, play Miami, to Miami, Colorado, play 12 games, plus the bowl game. Seven of the teams that we play finished in the top 25. It's going to be a bear of a schedule, and we have to start preparing for it right now. We have to begin setting the tempo right now. We have to start determining who are leaders are right now. Our leaders have to start emerging right now. We've got to start developing what the character of this team is right now. We can't wait. Those who are unable to participate with us right now will have to catch up once they are able to. A guy like Greg Jones, a guy like Womble, a guy like Willis, they are all in here training with us. It's just they are not able to do everything. They are on a different program tailored to what their needs are, which obviously is getting healthy. They are training with us and it's still a team concept. But once they are healthy, it will help us in our training."
"It's probably premature for me to make any comments of what their abilities are physically because I haven't spent that much time with them. But I am excited, just in the brief time I've spent with them as an individual, they seem to be very driven. Very enthusiastic. A lot of positive energy. They want to get better. They want to help the team. The more of that we can get, the better. Unity is going to be a very big factor for us."
Speaking of unity, this is an important time for Chris Rix.
"I am going to treat him like I treat everyone else. I am going to have extremely high expectations. Whether you are the starting quarterback or anyone else, you are going to be expected to show up at the right time and be accountable and work hard and do what's asked. We need everyone to do that, just not Chris. We need everyone."
Talk about how important team unity is going to be, since that appeared to be a problem last year.
"At times there were (problems) but I don't want to elaborate on that. I want to look to the future and do everything that I can in helping this team be excited about the future. We need to foster unity. I am going to do everything I can to improve the team concept, to foster strong character and unity and everybody working together. It's a very key ingredient. Coach Bowden said many times throughout the season that the best team will win the win. With the emphasis on team."
With Anquan Boldin's decision to turn pro, talk about your receivers. It has always been an important part of this team's success.
"It's an enormous loss, not only because of his physical attributes and qualities but his leadership. I don't think that's a secret to anybody. I think there is a feeling that amongst everyone on the team, and particularly with the receivers, we are going to have to step it up. WE have to take on some strong leadership roles and fill in where Anquan left. Again, we have a young group but it's an extremely talented group. Craphonso (Thorpe) is going to have to be a key for us. P.K. (Sam) is going to have to be a key for us. I am very, very excited about (Chauncey) Stovall. He had an outstanding redshirt year. He really, really did. You would like to say that every single person who redshirted makes the most of that year. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. But he really made great use of his time. He did a tremendous job for us in the weight room. I think he showed great work ethic on the field. I really hope he can step in and have a strong presence. He has given every indication to me that he can do that. I think another person is Chris (Davis). He hasn't played at all and he has to have a strong presence. No question is going to be a key position for us."