Head Coach Scott Linehan
September 1, 2008
"Just a couple of things to announce, obviously we are officially now in our game week and we got an extra day in today and tomorrow we will be off. Then we will be in our regular in-season schedule practice on Wednesday. I think all of you got the release on our practice squad and so you have that. We did elect captains today. The team/squad elected five captains, two on offense, two on defense and one special teams captain. Offensively WR (Torry) Holt and QB (Marc) Bulger; defensively LB (Will) Witherspoon and S (Corey) Chavous and our special teams captain is S Todd Johnson. So that is the captains for this year's team. Another announcement, I just found out recently that we have come to an agreement with a player that was made available over the weekend to join our team, he is a linebacker and special teams is really what he made his name for in this league LB Gary Stills. He is an outside linebacker, rush player throughout most of his career. He has been in Baltimore the last two seasons and prior to that he was in Kansas City. One thing that struck us as we were going through a lot of things this weekend and looking to try to keep trying enhance our roster, is that we really wanted to give a jilt to our special teams and find guys that has been productive and a leader and also guys who can play his position as well. Gary was released by his former team. We got a hold of him right away and talk to him about it at length and then just today he agreed on a contract and will be joining us and he will be here sometime tomorrow night. He will definitely be here by Wednesday. So until he signs his contract and passes his physical, we will let you know. Obviously we are going to have to make another roster move but right now we don't know who or what that is going to be."
(On who got released to make room for CB Ricky Manning Jr. on the roster?)
"S (Eric) Bassey. It was tough you know he was a guy that has done a good job for us and came in as a practice squad guy and played well for us at the end of the year and special teams. But right now it is about the depth in our special teams and have guys that we feel came help us not only as a backup player or whatever but eventually you got someone that can play significance amount of snaps for us on defense."
(On if the coaches or players votes on the captains)
"Players, no coaches are out. I oversee the counting to make sure it's all accurate and all that, but it's the players that voted. I think it says a lot about those five guys and there's some other really good guys that received a significant amount of the votes, but it was pretty unanimous."
(On how he feels about the health of the team at this point)
"Very good. We've still got a couple nicks, but probably not unlike anybody in the league. Feel real good about it. The core of our team has a lot of work this preseason and now that we're in game week; I feel pretty good about it. We worked them pretty good here in the heat and the pads. Don't know if it will be like this next Sunday, but I don't even know if we're going to be able to get this kind of work as the week goes on. The weather doesn't look like it's going to be real good this whole week, so hopefully it will be a benefit for us to work out here."
(On if he has ruled out anybody to play this Sunday)
"No, no we'll start the injury report system or whatever we do, we'll start that Wednesday."
(On if CB Fakhir Brown was able to do anything today)
"Yeah, he did some good work today. Yeah, so that's encouraging."
(On if CB Fakhir Brown was able to participate in contact drills today)
"We didn't scrimmage today or anything so I don't know. I think he was out here in his pads ready to go, so I feel good about him."
(On if WR Drew Bennett and WR Dante Hall were able to practice today)
"Yeah, some. Dante more than Drew, but Drew did get some work today."
(On if T Orlando Pace was able to practice today)
(On if he turns up the intensity when the regular season gets here)
"Yeah we do. You don't really have to have the high powered discussions or speeches or anything like that so you just put the schedule up and they see that first game. And we've been aiming towards it from the very beginning and we know it's a 16-game season and all that stuff, but the openers always carry a little extra juice."
(On if WR Keenan Burton will get extra work now behind WR Drew Bennett)
"I don't know right now. I don't really know what his role is going to be. I think Drew will be ready to go, so what that means right now I don't know, I really don't."
(On if WR Donnie Avery was able to fully participate in practice today)
"He did not suit up today. He did a light workout and was running. We'll wait and see Wednesday."
(On the tempo of practice after a long weekend)
"It was good. It was a tough day though. It was hot out here. I'm really going to sound like a masochist but I was really glad it was hot, because we need it. We need to get work in this kind of weather. It could be like this Sunday and it could be like this three weeks from now for our next outdoor game. The work is good so I'm glad we were able to work it out. I'm glad they got to work and we can give them another day off tomorrow and get on our regular schedule."
(On if he thinks it's realistic that CB Ricky Manning Jr. or S Brannon Condren could have an impact on Sunday)
"I think more Ricky just because of the position and his background in our defense and his experience level. Both have very significant background now in the NFL on special teams at same level. It kind of remains to be seen on the defensive snaps they would get based on the comfort level, or our comfort level with them, knowing what to do."
(On if he was surprised to see LB Gary Stills released from his former team)
"Everybody has to make those kind of decisions. For whatever reason his former team had to make that decision, it was a positive acquisition, in our mind, for our team. I can only act for what we were able to do or what we're doing and we really felt like adding somebody that productive. The year before, I believe he had over 40 tackles on special teams. I know during his time in Kansas City, he has the all-time special teams tackle number for the Kansas City Chiefs which is pretty impressive. He's been that kind of guy. The thing I remind him is that's he's a good rusher and a good linebacker too. He gives us an experienced guy along with what I think what is a pretty experienced linebacker core. It also gives us a real hardcore special teams player, which I was hoping we'd find here over the weekend."
(On if had to think long about signing LB Gary Stills)
"It was just a matter of whether if we could do it. We got a hold of him Saturday night, tracked him down. Since then we've been able to work out a deal. I was really pleased with that."
(On his sense of how close RB Steven Jackson is to being ready)
"We'll use him. We're not going to inactivate him. He's going to be ready to go. He's been working real hard and we've really worked the conditioning level. Obviously he didn't get any preseason work, but he's had one grueling week and has had a lot of really good snaps today."
(On the target carry number for RB Steven Jackson)
"50. No, I don't know. We really don't. He's going to obviously be a big factor in what we're doing, just like (Eagles RB Brian) Westbrook is going to be a big factor in what they're doing. We just want to play well."