Opening comments: We're concerned, a little worried cornerback wise with Hawkins still down and the two corners (Jenkins and Newman) being day-to-day. I'm not worried long-term but short-term we've got a game coming up fairly quick. That and Alonzo Coleman, our running back hasn't come back the way we'd liked either. So that puts a little more on the number of running backs we have.
Other than that, we went through a special teams practice this morning: punt, punt return, kickoff, kickoff return and the special situations taking a slow safety, equipped safety, and different things involved punt after a safety, returns after all those. Situational things that you have to go over and need to go over. We're still getting ready for a ball game and its Thursday. You're in training camp mode but you have to cover all the things that can happen in a ball game and be ready for those things. And that's apart of the teaching process so that's an ongoing thing with us.
What's the Defensive Coordinator recommending to the head coach to do about the cornerbacks?
Phillips: Well it still remains to be seen who we have. The closer we get to the game and probably Tuesday we'll decide what the playing time is for everybody and who needs more playing time, what guys we need to look at quite a bit. It's an opportunity for the young players or new players or guys who have been there to show what they can do.
The first pre-season game is always interesting for me in that, I tell them all that they have a fair chance to make the team and I think they do. But this first game is really important for them because if you're not a starter coming back, to make a name for yourself, you need to do it early.
Does the injury situation you're in put Alan Ball in a confusing situation for him in that he might not know what position he will be playing?
Phillips: Well he'll know which position, we'll tell him. But he's worked some at corner and he played our fourth corner and basically played the whole game against Tampa Bay at cornerback. So we feel like he could play corner if we needed him to. But we'll see what our injury situation is and evaluate and go from there. But it's not a big problem for him, it's more of a problem for him to learn safety and that's why we need to keep him there.
Even if Newman progresses, would you limit him to one series, or one play?
Phillips: Newman, since we know how he can play and what kind of player he is, we will probably be cautious with him as far as playing time. And he's practiced tremendously well, he's had the best, well of course I haven't had him too much , he was even hurt in training camp some, but I think he's practiced the best I've seen him in the two years I've been here. He's really focused in on his techniques and he's certainly a very good athlete. And he had a pro bowl year two years ago even though he didn't play the whole season and he looks in top form right now. So we need to make sure to be cautious in that area.
How did Jenkins react to treatment and how important is it to get him back?
Phillips: I mean it's important to get him back as soon as we can. I don't know the prognosis today, he was walking around yesterday, so we'll just have to see. I don't think he's going to practice today.
What have you seen from rookie tight end John Phillips?
Phillips: He's done an adequate job; he's a very fast learner. He's been able to play both the tight end on the line and the h-back. He's grasped both those fairly quickly so he's a smart guy. A little more athletic than I thought when we drafted him so he's done a nice job but he's fighting for an opportunity and there is an opportunity because we didn't really have a third tight end coming back this year.
Quick hits with Wade
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