USFNation- What have you been seeing through the first few weeks of spring ball?
Coach Canales- I'm seeing a lot of good things. A lot of positives, and we're seeing what we can do. We are excited with whom we have and a lot of the new guys are getting a lot of experience. That is crucial, that is going to help us out a lot. We need some of these guys to come on in and help us out. I see a lot of good things and many of these kids are stepping up and taking advantage of their opportunities. Landi and BJ are doing a lot of good things as well; the running backs are doing some good things but overall I am very happy with where we are at. We are not where we want to be yet but we are not far from where we need to be.
USFN- Now that you're working with QB's exclusively, how are they doing?
Canales- They are great kids and they are all hungry. They are all sponges right now, I want them to listen and learn. They have been great in the meeting room; they ask a lot of questions in the film room. No unanswered question is wrong; you need to ask a question even if you are not sure. It is always good to ask the question and it builds their confidence. In the meeting room they get after it, they get used to taking quizzes every day, they get used to the meetings everyday and the time is put in.
USFN- They seem real excited, do you see a difference in attitude?
Canales- Very much so, part of it is the drill work that we are doing at practice and making their reads. I am pressing them to make the right reads and see what the defense is doing. We spend a lot of time just dissecting defenses, we look at so many different people, not just ourselves and trying to understand what people are doing and how to exploit it. I think that is where they can get better as quarterbacks. I think that why Philip Rivers was so good because he really understood defenses, and how to exploit them and how to find the mismatch, so that is what they are learning how to do now.
USFN- How comfortable are you with Evan Landi being looked at both WR and QB?
Canales- Oh yea I think it's great because he knows the offence and he is really starting to pick it up and understand it. There shouldn't be a drop off having a quarterback try out different positions because he knows everybody's routes. So it has been good. He is so hungry to get out on the field and he just wants to play.
USFN- What's your interaction with the receivers like now?
Canales- You know we meet together every day in the same room now and they are hearing the same things I have been saying for two years now, about the reads and the keys and what the quarterbacks are looking for and the movement of the safeties, and they tell you where the ball should go. They have a pretty good understanding and they are learning too. Much like when I was with the Jets, I talked to the receivers from the quarterback's perspective and they would get a better understanding.
Canales- Yes, Dontavia Bogan is also now in that leadership position. He is young but he has that personality within himself. Watching Carlton and Jesse take over is kind of fun. They are really starting to grasp what is going on and it is going to be fun when we get AJ back. He hasn't dropped off though, he is still learning. He is so far ahead of everyone else and he hasn't let his injury damper his progression
USFN- How do you feel having your buddy Phil (McGeoghan) with you?
Canales- Oh he is having fun, he is a good young coach and he loves the opportunity. He just goes and he understands what the pace is now. You never really understand what the pace is here until you experience it. I think he now understand why people call him "Full Go Phil"
USFN- The running backs also seem to be really energized, talk more about that?
Canales- I told the quarterbacks, you want to increase your completion percentage, throw to the backs. You will increase it 6 to 8 percent. They are doing it now, and they understand that they don't have to force the ball to the receivers, and have done a great job with that. The backs now know that they can get the ball and make plays. This is good, they are learning what we are doing and they really like how they're involved. Mike (Ford), and Demetris Murray are doing some really good things.
USFN- Do you think it helps having refs at the practices with penalties?
Canales- Anytime you have officials out there they see what is going on. So we know if the defense is doing this and we can't do that, our alignments and if the offense is lined up properly, so that is important. It always makes a difference when we have officials out there. We can't cheat on alignment and we can't go offside.
USFN- What is the main focus this spring for the offense?
Canales- I think the biggest thing we are working on right now and preaching everyday is ball security, take care of the football and make the right decisions and I am very pleased on where we have been. In terms of a live scrimmage situation we saw what we can do with the football. We are not going to force the ball, we are going to make smart decisions and play the field position game.
USFNation.com - Get it First, Get it Fast!