A purposeful Marty Schottenheimer strode over from the other side of the field as the team was lining up for the next play. He called a halt to the play and pulled aside Florence for a flogging. After having words with Florence play continued as normal.
"The defense is starting to step up and make some plays," receiver Kassim Osgood said. "They are setting the tempo."
"A lot of the guys are active right now," said Kiel. "Everyone is excited about the first home game."
"We all know he is going to play, but how much he plays is up to him," fellow linebacker Steve Foley said.
Merriman still has to prove he can provide the coverage responsibilities necessary for a linebacker in the 3-4 scheme.
"I am catching up to the speed and getting my wind back," said the rookie. "I was getting my comfort zone back."
He didn't set any expectations on how much he will play, conceding that it is up to the coaches but he is eager to get on the field.
Interestingly, Merriman seems more concerned about some of the non-physical aspects of the game heading into Sunday.
"As much as I can," Merriman said of how much he will play. "The coaches expect me to learn as much as I can as quick as I can which I have. They want to get me on the field but I had to be mentally prepared to get out there."
When he does get out on the field, Schottenheimer will be staying clear of him.
"If I see him coming towards the sidelines I am getting out of the way," the coach said. (He will have) a lot of adrenaline running into people and knocking them down and probably some of our own guys knocked down."