On injury updates to Ryan Mayes and Quan Johnson:
Again, it’s day to day. They’re both close. They’re starting to do some things. I don’t think it’s anything significant. We don’t want to be talking about this two weeks from now. One is a hamstring with Mayes and one is a bone bruise with Johnson.
On Darrion Owens:
He’s big. He’s 240 now. He’s strong, and really works hard. He’s a relentless player.
On the O-Line:
Even today, Alex Gall moved into center and moved Nick out to guard for six or seven plays. We’re working with 12 primarily right now. We’ve been to as little as seven going into a game. I’d like to get it down to 10 going into the season.
On the tackling:
“I think it’s a team right now that is bending really well. We’re trying to do the little things when we’re not in pads, which you can really develop bad habits and I think they’ve made a commitment to that and when they consistently do that you can give them trust and you don’t have to bang them as much. We’re tackling a lot in compartmentalized situations so we’re safe but the tackling isn’t where it needs to be after our first day on the field.”
On Trevor Darling…
“He’s leaner. We have to challenge him to stay lean and stay quick. He’s stronger than he was a year ago. He played a lot of football for us, sometimes we glance over that, but he played a lot of football and he’s a returning starter and a returning veteran for us and he just has to stay lean and do the little things right. I'm pleased with him and we got a good competition over there right now with him and K.C. [McDermott].”
On depth of the safety group:
“Rayshawn [Jenkins] makes a big difference. His health, his explosion, his range and he’s just so much more mature than he was a year ago I'm really proud of him. Dallas [Crawford] can’t say enough about him as a leader. Deon [Bush] is the most experienced. Jamal [Carter] and [Jaquan Johnson], it’s a good group and they take a lot of the pressure and burden off each other and they work really well together they communicate well and it’s a tight group.”
On Raphael Kirby and Jermaine Grace:
“High standards. Kirby is the best at communications and preparation. I know we’re in college but he’s a pro. He’s a super vet and he’s a guy that does what champions do. He’s got to elevate everyone around him and he’s brought Grace [Jermaine] a really long way in a short period of time. That’s been a big difference from his freshman year”
On Grace being more mentally prepared now:
That’s exactly what I’m saying. He’s made a commitment to that side of the game. He’s always been conditioned and tough. He’s made a commitment. I’m proud of him. He’s elevating the play of guys behind him.
On Gerald Willis playing this season:
I don’t believe so. We’re not counting on that. We’re trying to get him involved with how we do things. The structure, the unity, the love, we are all trying to get him better.
On bringing in any more transfers:
Anything is possible but I don’t think we’re in the market for that. We’re pretty locked right now.
On the tight end group:
We lost a great one but we might be a better position overall if that makes sense. We have two Ys, two H’s, two guys who can flex. We didn’t have that last year. Jerome has made the biggest jump in the offseason. Jake’s been having a good camp so far. We’re pleased with his performance. The more things those guys can do the more options you have.