Coaches' Corner: Zorn and Blache speak.

Jim Zorn and Greg Blache spoke to the media after the first day of mini camp. See what they had to say.

Jim Zorn

On his first practice:

"I thought that all the preparation that we have done was executed very well out here. I am very happy with how guys worked and how guys finished, great effort with the ball. The thing that I was really amazed by is some of these guys have only been here a day or two and to come out, line up, not jump off sides, no fumbles, no fumbled snaps; there is kind of a victory just in that. Then, to put the whole practice together the way we did, I thought it was outstanding."

On if he had any butterflies:

"I had no butterflies. I had too many things to think about."

On if practice went like he thought it would:

"Nobody really knew what to expect out there. We tried to explain what to expect and for the most part everybody did exactly right. There will always be little things that we can do to make it more crisp, even setting the ball down, where are we going to be, that takes a little time for everybody to get an idea of how fast we work."

On rookies not having logos on their helmets:

"Yeah we decided to take those off for several reasons. One, there are names on the back of the jerseys just so we can remember who they are, especially the new coaches. Secondly, I think without the logo there are a couple of things there. One, it tells you who the young guy is. Two, those young guys look at the logo and then they have a sense of something that they want to earn, especially at the end of training camp, earn the right to have that decal on the helmet. Those are the ideas behind it."

On what he said to the team after practice:

"We said a lot this morning, and I told them exactly what I told you. We practiced hard, we practiced well, then we made announcements and then we got done. Not a lot of fluff after the morning practice."

On what he thought of the new guys:

"I thought the new guys were outstanding in what they did. Really the new guys were outstanding, but what they did was they learned from the veteran players. I could see them waiting for that veteran to show them how to do it and then they tried to execute in the same manner, full speed, trying to do everything they could to show what they can do, and they did."

On the offensive playbook:

"We worked on it long and hard. There were long hours and adjusting all the way along, even up to yesterday just putting the final touches on it. Chris Meidt, who is our offensive assistant, he had to do all the printing and we would make an adjustment and he would have to reprint it and reorganize it on the computer. Everybody contributed and what is outstanding about the offensive playbook is it was a group effort. Everybody had input

in it, as far as coaches and so we all take ownership in that book. It really doesn't mean anything unless we can go out and execute it and today was our first step in that. [I am] very pleased on how we executed."

On if anyone stood out:

"I don't know about one guy. I was really impressed with how hard the receivers worked. To put four wide receivers out there and the ball gets thrown to one guy. All three of those other receivers, I heard no complaints, no disappointment in not getting the ball. Even your starters would come down and run hard, come back to the huddle with nothing. I thought that was outstanding."

On Jason Campbell (QB, #17):

"What he did today, if you remember there was a pattern where he looked to one side and it was covered and then he looked over the middle, it was covered and then he turned all the way around and hit the back coming out the other side. Those are the kinds of things that you put in on the board, talk about it in a position meeting and then you hope it gets executed out here. Nobody set him up for it, he just did it. That is when you know that the playbook, all the talk and all the stuff that we do connects with the player."

On how much Jason Campbell's (QB, #17) familiarity with the West Coast Offense has helped him:

"I think it is little. I am going to assume myself that he has learned nothing, so we are starting from square one and just making sure we cover everything. It is a very sequential game. You can't go one, two, five, nine, ten. You have to go through the sequence of events. It doesn't get that mechanical in a game, it flows, but still those are the things. I am not going to try to skip the steps that it takes to coach, that it takes to get him to play the game like he has done it all of his life, and that is what we are going to get to."

On if he is going to change how Casey Rabach (OL, #61) snaps the ball:

"I am going to go watch that on video right now. I want the quarterbacks to be very explosive away from the line of scrimmage and that would be one thing. I have to get these guys quicker away from the center. I'm going to go look at it, talk about it and try to do it. I'm always doing that kind of stuff."

On if he had any thoughts about how this is his team now:

"Not so much it's my team, I just thought that I was going to be held accountable for the product that we put on that field. Now I know it's not solely me, because we talked about this being a team effort, no question about it. I'm not trying to ignore that by thinking I'm accountable for it either. My plan is to make good on that, is to really be a man that pays attention to the detail."

On if there is a person he wants to model himself after:

"I would not say there is one person because I have been influenced by several position coaches. Jerry Rome, who coached here in the years that the team was going to the Super Bowl, he was my position coach in Seattle before he came here. He is an outstanding coach. Mike Holmgren (Seattle Head Coach), Chuck Knox, Bobby Ross, all of those guys that I worked with and then there were a lot of guys that I was along side of that I admired as well, that were very consciensious in how they coached the details of the game. I think the key is they did it over and over and over and over again. It is a long term situation. This is not just one day and, ‘Hey guys, we're ready to play tomorrow.' It really is a long term process."

On the target net he used for the quarterbacks:

"When you add an element to a drill what happens is the players get distracted and they lose the idea of the drop. They lose the idea of the rhythm, because they want to hit the target so bad. I think the target drills really add the right kind of element to the plan. There is actually a goal in mind. Not just throw a vicinity pass, not just hit the big net, but to hit the pocket that I called. I think that particular apparatus makes a difference for me. It creates a little bit of fun as well."

On Defensive Coordinator Greg Blache:

"What impresses me is, I think he is a very patient man. He wasn't concerned that we completed passes on him. He was trying to get his scheme introduced, worked. He is trying to see people and see the scheme. He didn't have to win. Obviously he didn't feel like he had to lose. I think that is what makes him an outstanding coach. He is working out a plan for our defense. He is not really trying to really beat the offense, putting in blitzes or doing something radical. Getting to know him, he is a man that is not going to sit back and wait for you to get to know him. He has been very active within our staff having functions at his home. He really brings people together. He and his wife have done a great job bringing the staff together. They are the same, and he is the same off the field in a private situation as he is on the field. Now, we can get very demanding and very vocal on the field, but his demeanor in the caring is the same. It is pretty awesome."

On the second practice session:

"Very crisp this morning. Not as crisp this afternoon, but what we did is we put in a whole other load of plays. We stretched everybody again, especially on offense, mentally, because we put in new plays with new techniques and we didn't execute them as well. The defense again put in their defensive coverage's and played much tougher. We kind of got it handed to us on offense, but I was very excited about what the defense did this afternoon."

On how much he is learning:

"I have been at it for a while, so I guess it is a learning curve for me to be able to speak out and actually jump in when I want to jump in and when I need to jump in. Those things are a little different. We are all coaching hard out there, and I am as well."

On the burgundy line on the field:

"The burgundy line is just a tool for the offense and defense. It is for the quarterbacks and receivers to know that when that receiver is running it is kind of an indication of saving room in case he has to fade into the sideline. It is an indication for the receiver; don't get squeezed into the sideline. That burgundy line is an opportunity for us to know where we really want to be when that ball is thrown deep down the field. Really, it is for go routes. It is going to work. It really wasn't my idea, I just brought it here. Our offensive coordinator in Seattle used that when he was coaching and it really made a difference for us, so I brought it here. It will make a difference with our quarterbacks and receivers."

On how long he expects draft pick Kareem Moore (S, #41) to be out:

"He has to go through the process of post surgery stuff and then rehab. He is going to be out for a little while. I suspect he is going to be ready at some point in training camp, but I wouldn't give you a definite day."

On what he hopes to see from the offense by the end of mini-camp:

"I hope they see the flexibility in our offense. I hope they see the various concepts that we are trying to put in. I would love to expect them to run everything perfect. That is not going to happen. My expectations are just to push them and get them to get the verbiage down, get the tempo at which we are trying to practice and try to execute. When they are really confident in it they are going to execute at a much higher speed."

On what percent of the offense they will have installed by the end of mini-camp:

"I would say by the end of this they will have learned 65-70 percent of what we are going to try to do. We haven't talked about the multiple personnel groups and formations, but maybe 65 percent of what is going to be going in."

On the tempo of practice:

"If I wasn't even here, if they were just running the offense, they would have to improve their tempo, but I am here and I am demanding a very high tempo. We haven't attained that point yet and everybody is learning so I'm not worried or upset."

On what the team did to check out Colt Brennan (QB, #5)):

"I don't know if we did anything more normal than we would do somebody else, but we wanted to make sure we had answers. Here is the situation, I think as he went through the thing that I talked to him about is to make sure that he knows, and I think that he knows that, but really make sure that when you make a decision you risk your reputation for many years. Everything you do reflects you, your family and it stays with you for a while. What he is seeing is decisions that he made years ago are still coming up. I do know this, once that person has decided to go in a different direction, lifestyle will reflect that. Over these past several years at Hawaii his lifestyle has worked at reflecting that change. I think that is all we do here, is watch that, and watch what he does. Chuck Knox said this a long time ago, ‘What you do speaks so well I don't need to hear what you got to say,' and so we will be watching what he does. He will keep an eye on that as well because he has stated that things have changed in his life."

On where he got his idea to not put logos on the rookie's helmets:

"It was really emanating from seeing it in the past, having it done here in the past, but also you think of those things because of what it means. What it means is a young guy coming in to earn a spot on the team. I'm not overly emphasizing it out there. I'm not even bringing attention to it, but it is just another small thing. I think it could mean a lot. It's not just this year. This year we are instilling it, but next year when those young guys who have made the team come the first day, they will already have their feathers and they will see the new guys coming without them and I think that will be a sense of pride for that first year player to see that he has actually gone through mini-camp, OTAs and pre-season without that logo on his helmet."

On if he has impressions of Billy McMullen (WR, #16) and Jerome Mathias (WR, #13):

"Not quite yet, I mean they are both working hard. Each guy is getting reps. To me everybody is new, so I am watching every single guy. Nothing has disappointed me or stood out quite yet. We have only had two practices. I'll get a lot of the detail on this video and watch one-on-one. Watch seven-on-seven and really get a feel for how these guys move down the field."

Greg Blache

On how much change there will be with the defense:

"Not a lot of change. One of the things we are trying to do is maintain continuity, keep stuff that the players understand and that's what our goal is. Our defense is designed for our players. This is a player driven league and it's not about us as coaches. It's about being able to execute at the highest level that they can. That's our job as coaches to put them in situations that they're comfortable and situations where they can be successful."

On what he is looking for out of this mini-camp:

"I'd like to find some players: find out the young people that can perform in this league, guys that can perform at a high level, guys that can learn. This is a camp that guys can show us how intelligent they are. They're not going to show us how tough they are because we don't have pads on. Right now it's strictly: can you learn the system, can you handle the stress and pressure of calls as formations change. This is a good camp for the old guys to understand what we have in the packages, what we've taken out of the packages. And it's a good camp for the young guys to get caught up and show us that they belong in training camp. Then come training camp, the competition really starts physically. Right now, this is more of a mental challenge than it is a physical challenge for them."

On if he will have fewer packages than in the past:

"We will have fewer packages because like I said this is about the players. This is not about building the perfect castle or whatever. It's about giving the players something they can execute in the heat of battle and under stressful situations. The biggest thing is being able to execute, get to the football and knock the ball out. We are trying to be a hard, physical defense that's intimidating with our speed and hitting ability and you can't do that when you're thinking about 20,000 different things. You can do that when you're comfortable knowing what you have to do. And that's what we are going to try and focus on."

On if he is concerned about the age of the defensive line and needs to add youth:

"You don't worry about what you want, you make do with what you have. You can try and establish that you'd like to have something and if it comes, fine you work with it. But if you don't, you can't sit around crying and worrying about what you don't have you make do with what you do have. We have some very talented people regardless of their age. I think they compete at a high level. I think they are capable of winning in this league. I think they proved it last season. Yeah we'd like to get some younger players and we do have some younger players that we are going to try to infuse into the program. But you can find football players other than in the first round. If you look at Tom Brady, Joe Montana, a lot of guys on our football team that were fifth, sixth, seventh round players or some guys that were undrafted free agents that can contribute, it's just a matter of finding guys with the talent, the desire and putting in the time to coach them. That's why they call us coaches. They don't call us interior decorators. We're coaches. We have to find guys with a passion for the game and coach them to be able to do things that they are successful at in our system. Our system will fluctuate predicated by our people. Our stuff will be tailor made to our people. So if we have an injury, you'll see a change to be

able to suit the guy that gets that spot. We're gonna be what our people are. And we'll be as good as our people are. And right now I like the people we have. I like the young additions. There (are some areas) where we need some depth. No question we need some help at strong safety. I think we have some young people that show some promise there. We'd like to get some younger guys up front in the d-line. We have some guys that you may not know of them today, but today's not important. It's important that you know about them come December and January. If you know their names in January and December – because I remember a couple years ago you guys were dogging (Kedric) Golston and (Anthony) Montgomery and all of a sudden they are legitimate NFL players – so it's not who you know today, it's who you know come December and January. That's the important factor."

On Kareem Moore, sixth round draft pick at safety from Nicholls State:

"I like the way he played physical. He hit people. He hit people like the late Sean Taylor. He doesn't have the range or size that Sean had but there were times when I saw him come across and intimidate receivers and there's only one other person I've been around that could do that – that was Sean. And he did that a couple of times and like I said it just kind of touched me. I was like, ‘I want this guy on our football team. I think this guy can come in and be a force in the NFC East as a safety.' Time will prove me right or wrong but at the same time I think the guy has potential and that's what we saw in him. We knew about the injury and kind of felt like he'd fall back to where we got him and we feel very good about it. We feel like we got a real fine football player in the later round because of the injury."

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