Coach's Corner

Receivers coach Daryl Drake took the time to talk about several topics including, how a different quarterback impacts his players, Nathan Vasher and the recently released Bobby Wade.

With the switch at quarterback, does anything change for the receivers with Rex Grossman under center?
DD: "No just be aware, be more aware having a guy like Rex just better make sure that you're aware at times, which you tell them the same thing when Kyle (Orton) was in there. The ball could come to you at any given time. So in essence nothing really changes, you've got to go out and play and execute."

Considering Bernard Berrian is now the punt returner, does it help him as a receiver?
DD: "What helps him being a better receiver is just playing. Being out on the field whether it's on punt return or anything just having those opportunities to play. He's healthy now, he's not out there wearing that big cast on his hand and he's able to go out there and have confidence in catching the football. The more playing time he gets and the more he's out there the more confidence he is. We've got to continue to let that confidence build because he's playing pretty good right now and we need him to continue that going down the stretch."

When Muhsin Muhammad left the game briefly with cramps, Berrian stepped into his role. How did he do?
DD: "Bernard stepped in, we asked him to do some of the things that Moose was doing. If it meant sealing off a defensive end he did it. He got the defensive end down on the ground."

What aspect of being a receiver is overlooked?
DD: "Part of being able to run the football is guys have to be able to block. Safeties can come in and destroy plays. People try to get eight men in the box and do things with their safeties and you don't account for those guys. When you watch teams play a lot times you see those safeties making plays on the line of scrimmage, making plays behind the line of scrimmage. How many times do you see Mike Brown making plays at the line of scrimmage?"

How important is it for your receivers to be effective blockers?
DD: "Against Atlanta there were several runs on the weakside and Justin Gage went in and knocked the safeties down, which allowed Thomas Jones to run the football and get some extra yards. Then obviously the block on the reverse Bernard ran, those are the things you get excited about because a lot of receivers don't block."

You have a relationship with Nathan Vasher going back to when he was in high school. What's your reaction to him Pro Bowl going to the Pro Bowl in just his second season?
DD: "It means a lot to me cause Nathan is like a son. I recruited Nathan out of high school and was fortunate enough to get him at Texas. I recruited him as a wide receiver, he was one of my guys. I decided to leave Texas and I look up and he's in Chicago. I'm so proud of him because I know how humble he is. I know what he came from but I also know the work that he's put in. I couldn't be happier for a guy than I am for him. He deserves it and that's just the first of many to come."

Have Vasher's abilities as a receiver made him a better cornerback?
DD: "A lot of those skills carry over. He's a gifted athlete. He studies the game. In his off days he comes upstairs and spends time with (secondary coach) Perry Fewell and talks about defensive back play. Then he'll come to my office and talk about receiver play. He's a student of the game and people don't realize that."

So when people say Vasher has a knack for being in the right place, it's more than a coincidence?
DD: "He knows what's happening before it happens because he spent the time in the film room. He's done the extra work. He sees the things he's studied and he's able to adjust like he's already seen it and played it in his mind."

Even with his problems catching the ball, how difficult was if for you to see Bobby Wade released?
DD: "It's always tough when you see a guy that you coach go but it's a business. It's a new start for Bobby, it's a better opportunity for him (with the Titans). Sometimes you need to be in a situation where you need to make a new start for yourself and for him that was something that he needed to do.

"The only way you maintain in this business is to consistently produce. It didn't workout for him here in the long run, but he did some good things while he was here and I'll always remember the good things that he did and hopefully he'll continue to grow and be the kind of player he wants to be."


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