How tough is it, being thin on the offensive line?
We started off, right off the bat. We had a plan to get some repetitions off of Jacobson because he's coming back off the leg injury. The minute we did that, we had somebody (Matt Rotheram) get their leg caught up in a pile there, so we had to move somebody else around. It's all good. Guys got repetitions. It's early right now. We're not preparing for a game.
On getting Arthur Doakes and Shane Johnson involved...
They've been here. It's time for them to step up. We're pushing the two freshman kids (Gabe Roberts, Adam Bisnowaty), too. We're not going to give it to anybody. We haven't since we've been here. We're not going to give it to anybody.
Can you better gauge how second-team guys will fare against a first-team defense, even if it's by default?
Nothing by default. Everybody we put out there, we're expecting their best. Nothing by default.
How are the guys responding to you as a new coach?
If you talk to those guys coming off the field, right now I'm the most hated man. They got a poster over there. They jump out of bed, they got a full-size poster of me on the floor. They jump me, they kick me. They're sick of me after four days, it's ridiculous.
They're getting a lot of work, but I don't know that anybody has ever watched every single step they take from the minute they walk on the field to the minute they went off. That's not a knock on anyone that's ever coached them. That's just my job. That's how we do it. I don't know that they've been on that kind of pressure; running in there and wanting to be mistake-free.
When it's all said and done, would you expect a hug from any of them?
I hope so. It's usually worked out that way, but I have some guys that still hate me.
On moving Cory King to left tackle
We had that planned. We had an idea that there was something that could happen there. We had a plan there, as we went through the summer, that we just kept telling him, ‘keep thinking about the guy that plays next to you, and what he does.' Every time you watch yourself and watch the other guy, and then if it goes in there, it won't just be fine. He really did a nice job trying to do that in the summer.
How hard is this group working?
There is nobody around the country, I don't care what position, that does what offensive linemen have to do. Block sleds, block shields, block bodies, every single play. There is no pass skel(eton). Pass rushing is against the body. It's about toughness. Your body has to get tough, and your mind has to get tough. That's a constant. We're out there for three hours every day. Every (lineman) out there probably took 100 hits. That's mental toughness to get you through that. It is about that.
They're doing good. There's nobody backing down. I'm not going to say we don't have to push you. I'm not going to say every once in awhile, they go up for an easy way. It's our job not to let them have that. They're working at it. They're working their fannies off.
How do you teach guys to be tough?
It's got to be inherent in the first place. You can tell. If you send a guy out there, and he's going to shy away every single time, there's not much you can do to help. You can teach him technique, but he's got to learn how to get in there, and he's got to learn how to want it.
Is the second-team gelling?
I hope so. When I watch the film, I hope you're right. I'm not real sure, sometimes. They have their good plays and their bad plays. They're working at that. That's mostly where we see the freshmen show up. They are. They are a lot better today than they were yesterday. Yesterday, I don't know if we played American football or not.
On staying healthy, and keeping the numbers up...
It'd be nice. Like I said in the spring, it would be nice if we could have started over again, but then it wouldn't have mattered because we have all these things happen to us right here. We're good, though. We're all good.