Tommy Maddox starts?
Entire first half?
Can you talk about what you've seen from Tommy from a year ago? Are you
surprised he's been so good?
Probably surprised last year. Not having been around him and we signed him kind
late and then he came in and had a very good training camp. This year, he really
has been very consistent. I don't want to say I'm surprised. When he first
came out, I know he was highly touted and really young, and I think through
everything he's been through he has a great appreciation for the game, the
opportunity, the job. And he's very at ease, very much in control. He's been
very, very consistent.
He had a rough start last year didn't he?
Yeah, but from just not knowing the offense. The only thing I remember was the
Minnesota game, a couple times the ball slipped out of his hands for whatever
reasons. It was real early so first impression you started to wonder if this
would be a consistent thing. But from that point on, you've never seen any
questions with him. He's a very consistent performer, makes good decisions,
anticipates things well. He's a very solid quarterback.
Is his best football ahead of him?
I think right now he's a more mature quarterback than he's ever been, so
certainly I think where he is today he has a much broader and greater knowledge
of the game than he did when his opportunities came early in his career, and so
I think he's approached the game differently, his mindset's different.
That's so much a part of this game, particularly at that position, is your
ability to deal with circumstances, to deal with adversity, to deal with success
and I think he has a great perspective of things that he probably didn't have
earlier in his career. Skill-wise, I think he still has a lot of years left in
him because he hasn't played a lot of football, so yeah I would think his best
years probably are ahead of him.
How did his signing come down?
Now you're testing my memory. He was out there and again we were looking at a
situation where we had the kid from Pitt and Tommy had just won the XFL title
and was the MVP there. He was looking for a chance to get into a camp and we
were looking for a chance to upgrade our third quarterback position. And then he
came into camp. He had a good resume coming out, then you liked what he did in
the other league. I think that league gave him some confidence that he could
play. Then he came into our camp and I guess everything's history from there.
He wasn't feeling 100 percent yesterday. I think he feels a lot better today.
This is more of a precautionary measure.
How has Kordell done at camp?
What about the rest of your QB rotation?
Charlie (Batch) will come in in the second half and probably finish it up, but
we'll see. We might put Tee (Martin) back in there after that.
Starters will play close to a half?
Bill, was it important for Charlie last week to come in and prove himself to the
players and coaches here?
I think it was important for him. I like his serious approach to the game.
He's all business. He's a very focused player. Here's a guy who came in
after everything's been started. He's a little behind everybody else. Here
you walk into a huddle and everyone's looking at you and you're supposed to
be running the team but you have the least amount of knowledge of anybody
who's been around this offense. And he has worked very hard at that. I think
the way the circumstances unfolded, him having to come in for Kordell as quickly
as he did, that's as close to a real situation as you're going to have in
the regular season, and he performed very well. I think it gave him a lot of
confidence, certainly the confidence of the players around him, and you could
see that he's a guy that has played in this league. The game experience part
of it really showed at that point.
Any thoughts on the new helmets?
I haven't heard anything. I'm sure it'll be something that takes some time
to see what the results are. I know a lot of guys are very comfortable with it
and I'm sure it's been tested, so if it's anything that can absorb the
side hits, which this is designed to do, than I think we're all for it.
Wilkinson seemed to overwhelm Kendall early in the last game. How can he
It's a game of leverage. Big Daddy's going to overwhelm a few. Kendall's
not that small. He's still 310. You've got to play with leverage. But those
guys are throughout the league. He held his own. He did pretty good. If Big
Daddy cranks it up like he did against us for whatever reason, he's going to
do that to a lot of guards.
Does the 0-2 record have an effect on you either way?
I'd rather be 2-0, but no.
Anything special you're looking to see against Detroit?
Just to come out and play well early. We did it the other night in Washington.
We're going to have two consecutive games to simulate our opener in New
England – hostile environment, good football team, a lot of excitement. That
existed last week in Washington. It was their home opener with a new coach, a
new system. And this week it's a new stadium and there will be a lot of
excitement. It's a good football team. They're getting better and it's
going to be cranked up. It'll be a good atmosphere and a good test for us to
see if we can weather that early storm, and that's a part of what you have to
do on the road.
Will you use your starters more extensively this week than next week?
Troy Edwards spoke of some frustrations. Does that disappoint you?
I can't control that. I understand in these camps that there's emotions that
vary up and down, so you've got to deal with that and each individual has to
deal with that. Those are individual situations each player has to deal with.
Concerned about the mindset on the team over it?
No. I'd be concerned if there weren't any disgruntled players because than
you'd have too many people that are too complacent. I want players who are
going to play, who want the ball and who want to be on the field. Sometimes you
can't give everybody what they want and I don't necessarily view that as a
Q: Would that be a problem in the regular season?
A: You've got to have an unselfish team. People have to accept roles. People may not always like the roles they have but roles can change on a regular basis and that's the nature of this game.
Bill, some of the players are happy to be leaving camp tomorrow –
Some of the coaches are happy to be leaving camp tomorrow, so we echo their
It's been a good camp though?
It's been a good camp, a great camp, and we're glad it's almost over.
What was your highlight of camp?
I can't think of any highlights at this point. It's been hot. It's been a
very hot camp, I will say that. It's been the hottest one we've had since
I've been here, without rain, without having an afternoon in the gym. I've
never really minded that because that's usually a day they get their legs
back. That's why I consequently I actually had to call a couple practices off
because I felt it was the right things to do because it's been very hot, very
demanding and very dry.
Q: What about Bell's replacement at inside linebacker?
A: We'll start with John (Fiala) and James (Farrior) inside. James will take over Kendrell's position. Than we'll probably bring Larry (Foote) in and move James over to John's position. Larry's going to get a good look. He's had a pretty good look this preseason, but certainly this will open up some opportunities for him in the next couple games.