Timmons OK

Lawrence Timmons is okay. So are Ben Roethlisberger and Willie Parker. Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin didn't realized he needed a medical degree to answer football questions, but those were the main courses Thursday at the weekly press conference. Here's the transcript:

Mike Tomlin, head coach, Pittsburgh Steelers

We've been presented with a little bit of adversity this morning, which is good. I think it's just part of us developing as a football team. The weather provided that adversity for us today and it will give us an opportunity to respond to it. This afternoon we're going to load up on some buses about 12:30, bus back into Pittsburgh and practice in our indoor facility. We've got to remain light on our feet. Looking forward to seeing what this practice is going to be like from a tempo standpoint, from an intensity standpoint, from an attention-to-detail standpoint. The way we deal with the unforeseen is going to kind of define us a little bit. So we're dealing with that, excited about seeing how they respond to it today, and looking forward, of course, to moving forward this weekend against Green Bay in our first opportunity to play at Heinz Field.

Is Ben okay?

Yes.

Will he practice today and play in the game?

Yes.

What's the update on Lawrence Timmons?

He's in transit, coming back as we speak right now. Just like I told you guys yesterday we feel like there's a breakthrough in this process with him, and now it's just about starting the process of crawling him back to full participation, so looking forward to getting that started.

Any idea when that might be?

I guess we'll know more as he responds to what we give him on a day-to-day basis, so it'd probably be premature to speculate at what point he'll be full go.

Is their diagnosis the same as what your doctors came up with?

Absolutely. Exactly the same.

What do you mean by a breakthrough?

Just confirmation of what maybe we already knew.

What's the official diagnosis? Strained groin? Pulled groin?

It's a groin injury of some description.

When you're talking about a breakthrough, did he need to hear that from a second source to trust the diagnosis?

Yeah, but more than that it provided certainty as to what we were dealing with. You know, there are new and unique injuries out there, sports hernias and the like, and had an opportunity to kind of rule those things out.

How long will it take for him to return?

That'll be dictated on how he deals with the work that he's given on a day-to-day basis – how sore he is, so forth and so on. The speed of his recovery will dictate that. I'd be speculating if I gave you something in terms of that.

Do you understand why this groin injury has taken so long to heal?

No, there are a lot of things I don't understand, but I'm an impatient guy.

How much has it hurt his development?

Obviously he is behind, but he's a smart guy, he's a talented guy. He has enough time to catch up, but obviously it goes without saying that he's behind.

Have you ruled anybody out for Saturday's game?

I could probably safely say that Willie Parker will not play in this game. Alan Faneca probably won't play in this game. All others are still possibilities at this point.

What about Chukky?

Again, he's a possibility at this point.

Is that a serious back injury?

No, not as serious as you might have thought when you saw him go down yesterday. But we'll continue to monitor that day to day.

Coach, do you game-plan for Saturday's game in terms of starters and how much they might play?

Really, we want to approach this thing the same way we approached the Hall of Fame Game. This is our first preseason game of the official four, so we're taking the same approach that we really kind of took from that standpoint last week.

Does Najeh start for Willie and does Chris start for Alan?

Yes.

How eager are you to see the other changes in the starting lineup?

Not eager. It's not something we hadn't anticipated. We had a plan to do this for a long time, so I'm sure they're eager – I hope that they're eager – to get in there with the other guys. But it's part of the process. We're looking forward to seeing Sean out there, seeing what he's capable of doing with the same unit; same thing with Willie Colon. But it's just another day at the j-o-b for us in terms of watching this team develop.

Will Smith be the free safety?

I'm not certain of that just yet. You know, that rotation has been different than the offensive line because of, really, continuity purposes. Offensive line has to play together, so we left those guys in there for an extended period of time, whereas Ryan and Anthony Smith have essentially been rotating on a day-to-day basis, even on a drill-to-drill basis, in terms of who's running with the first team, who's running with the second team. So, to me, that is really less of an issue that what was going on with the offensive line for obvious reasons.

Are they 1 and 1-A?

At this point, yes.

On the offensive line, what are you looking for out of Max?

I just want to see him perform well, perform to the level that he's capable of performing. He's a talented guy. He has position flexibility. We expect him to display that again this weekend. The left tackle work is important of course. It will provide us a level of comfort going into this thing. But, like everybody, we just expect this guy to play to the level that he's capable of playing and play with great energy.

Will Clark Haggans play LOLB?

Yes, he'll play some left outside backer. Of course, he's been playing a bunch of right. Hopefully we'll get him an opportunity to see him back on the left side, but not in any way disappointed by what we saw from him on the right side. It's just, as I've been saying to these guys and they're starting to spit back at me, the more you can do.

Does he start on the right side or does LaMarr?

We'll determine that as we get closer to game time.

Is Willie Parker's knee more of a concern than initially thought?

No it's not. We're just being extremely cautious because we don't want a short-term issue to become a long-term issue, so in the meanwhile we're creating a little short-term misery for him. He's driving me absolutely crazy, but that's okay.

He wants in there?

Yes he does. You know, Willie is a blue-collar worker. All he wants to do is go to work. The running backs are starting to call him Coach Parker because he is wearing them out. But that's part of it. That's what makes him who he is. He's paid to play. We're paid to make decisions along the lines that we're making right now, in terms of making sure that short-term misery just remains that.

Are you worried there will be a letdown after such an impressive opener?

(Laughs) No. (Laughs) No. You know, you prepare and you go play. We'll always have that mentality. We'll always have our eyes moving forward. We don't care what we did last week. We're just going to move forward, get better on a day-to-day basis.

Were you satisfied with the way Timmons has handled himself during this thing?

I am. I am. He's a young guy. It's a growing process. Like a lot of young guys, they're doing things for the first time, so, no, no, I'm fine with that.

Is part of it with him learning to deal with injury and fight through it?

I don't want to speculate what maybe he's going through mentally. I'm sure that you guys will have an opportunity to get at him here soon enough. He can answer those questions.

Could the second occurrence have been simply the tearing of scar tissue?

Possibly. Again, I don't want to speculate too much on medical information. I don't want to give you bad info. I just know that we're comfortable with what hap-, with what occurred yesterday, the information that we gathered yesterday. The procedure is the steps that we're taking yesterday and now we're moving forward.

What are you looking at in the corner rotation?

We've only played one preseason game. Of course, we've got four to go. Bryant McFadden is a young guy that's on the rise. He's got starter skills. The other guys of course have had solid camps. We're just going to continue to watch that situation develop. When you've got three guys as capable of being starting corners, that's a good problem and I think we have that. It will continue to sort itself out.

Is Gay pushing for any dime spot or anything like that?

William Gay is just surviving. You guys … I mean, he's a rookie. He made a play. Great for William Gay. But, you know, no, seriously, he's showing up. You guys see it. He's making plays. But he's got to continue to do that. He's got miles to go.

You haven't made a decision on whether Townsend or McFadden is starting?

I have not. No.

Coach, Saturday for you, just another game even though it's your first time at Heinz Field?

It has to be because that's what I'm called to do. I'm sure that I'm going to appreciate it, enjoy it. That's fun. There's a lot of stuff about this job that's truly awesome that I appreciate on a day-to-day basis, but it can't get in the way of me doing the job.

Did anybody tell you how bad the traffic gets down there on game day?

(Laughs) I think that's one of those things that I'll kind of learn along the way. People tell you a lot of stuff about this job and you really don't understand it until you do it, so that's probably one of them.

Mike, your rookie tight end didn't play last week. What's he add to the mix once he's healthy?

Of course up until the injury he was starting to impress. Like William Gay, he was doing some good things. We're excited to see him come out there this weekend and play in a football game, and that will determine, really, kind of where he is. We've seen enough to be somewhat intrigued by what he's done on the practice field, but it will be exciting to see him play in a football game and then we'll go from there.

Could you talk about what injuries mean at this point?

Yeah. To me, that just comes with the territory. That's training camp. A lot of things that we talk about from an injury standpoint are just minor bumps and bruises that come with August and football season. That's just the nature of this game, and people play this game at less than a hundred percent. If we listed every minor bump and bruise after we got into the season, there'd be 53 guys on the injury report. For some reason right now, during the preseason, it's newsworthy. These are minor bumps and bruises. And during the season it's even less of an issue because you don't give them a day or two off, you just go, because that's the standard. But it's training camp. It's probably what I expected, what I've been accustomed to, and guys are learning to deal with it because that is football.

Is it a luxury to rest your players more so now than in the regular season?

You have to. You have to, because the more that you can head off things to stop them from becoming long-term issues at this time of year, it's appropriate to do that.

Has Willie Parker's knee been drained? What is the rehab like?

Specifically, in terms of the rehab, I don't know what's being done. I know that he feels a heck of a lot better and he feels like he might be capable of going, but we're going to be cautious.

What are you looking at in terms of the roster shakeout?

We're going to be really conscious about not making final decisions after this game. It's human nature to kind of want to do that. We'll have three more left to play. The picture will become clear – like I've said before – if we remain patient, in terms of the process. The guys will sort themselves out; the guys that are etching out roles will rise; guys that are falling by the wayside will continue to fall by the wayside -- if we remain patient and open-minded about what it is that we're looking at. So, that's the plan.

Do you see rookies making big jumps between the first and second preseason games?

Usually you do, because again it's not uncharted waters in terms of game-like atmosphere and intensity, but we'll see.

Mike, do you want to take another look at the field and see how it's draining?

Nah, I want to put this team on a bus, man, and go down and practice in the indoor and see if they like it, and then get on the bus and come back.

Coach, how many snaps will the first-team offense get?

We're going to have the same general plan that we had the last time. I can't give you a specific snap total because we'll do it based on what happens once the game starts. But we'll have the same general philosophy that we had in this past game.

What time will you start this afternoon?

As soon as we get there. We're going to get off the bus and touch our toes and go practice.


Steel City Insider Top Stories

\r\n\r\nMike Tomlin, head coach, Pittsburgh Steelers\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

We've been presented with a little bit of adversity this morning, which is good. I think it's just part of us developing as a football team. The weather provided that adversity for us today and it will give us an opportunity to respond to it. This afternoon we're going to load up on some buses about 12:30, bus back into Pittsburgh and practice in our indoor facility. We've got to remain light on our feet. Looking forward to seeing what this practice is going to be like from a tempo standpoint, from an intensity standpoint, from an attention-to-detail standpoint. The way we deal with the unforeseen is going to kind of define us a little bit. So we're dealing with that, excited about seeing how they respond to it today, and looking forward, of course, to moving forward this weekend against Green Bay in our first opportunity to play at Heinz Field.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Is Ben okay?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nYes.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Will he practice today and play in the game?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nYes.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

What's the update on Lawrence Timmons?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nHe's in transit, coming back as we speak right now. Just like I told you guys yesterday we feel like there's a breakthrough in this process with him, and now it's just about starting the process of crawling him back to full participation, so looking forward to getting that started.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Any idea when that might be?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nI guess we'll know more as he responds to what we give him on a day-to-day basis, so it'd probably be premature to speculate at what point he'll be full go.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Is their diagnosis the same as what your doctors came up with?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nAbsolutely. Exactly the same.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

What do you mean by a breakthrough?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nJust confirmation of what maybe we already knew.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

What's the official diagnosis? Strained groin? Pulled groin?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nIt's a groin injury of some description.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

When you're talking about a breakthrough, did he need to hear that from a second source to trust the diagnosis?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nYeah, but more than that it provided certainty as to what we were dealing with. You know, there are new and unique injuries out there, sports hernias and the like, and had an opportunity to kind of rule those things out.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

How long will it take for him to return?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nThat'll be dictated on how he deals with the work that he's given on a day-to-day basis – how sore he is, so forth and so on. The speed of his recovery will dictate that. I'd be speculating if I gave you something in terms of that.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Do you understand why this groin injury has taken so long to heal?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nNo, there are a lot of things I don't understand, but I'm an impatient guy.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

How much has it hurt his development?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nObviously he is behind, but he's a smart guy, he's a talented guy. He has enough time to catch up, but obviously it goes without saying that he's behind.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Have you ruled anybody out for Saturday's game?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nI could probably safely say that Willie Parker will not play in this game. Alan Faneca probably won't play in this game. All others are still possibilities at this point.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

What about Chukky?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nAgain, he's a possibility at this point.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Is that a serious back injury?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nNo, not as serious as you might have thought when you saw him go down yesterday. But we'll continue to monitor that day to day.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Coach, do you game-plan for Saturday's game in terms of starters and how much they might play?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nReally, we want to approach this thing the same way we approached the Hall of Fame Game. This is our first preseason game of the official four, so we're taking the same approach that we really kind of took from that standpoint last week.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Does Najeh start for Willie and does Chris start for Alan?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nYes.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

How eager are you to see the other changes in the starting lineup?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nNot eager. It's not something we hadn't anticipated. We had a plan to do this for a long time, so I'm sure they're eager – I hope that they're eager – to get in there with the other guys. But it's part of the process. We're looking forward to seeing Sean out there, seeing what he's capable of doing with the same unit; same thing with Willie Colon. But it's just another day at the j-o-b for us in terms of watching this team develop.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Will Smith be the free safety?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nI'm not certain of that just yet. You know, that rotation has been different than the offensive line because of, really, continuity purposes. Offensive line has to play together, so we left those guys in there for an extended period of time, whereas Ryan and Anthony Smith have essentially been rotating on a day-to-day basis, even on a drill-to-drill basis, in terms of who's running with the first team, who's running with the second team. So, to me, that is really less of an issue that what was going on with the offensive line for obvious reasons.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Are they 1 and 1-A?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nAt this point, yes.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

On the offensive line, what are you looking for out of Max?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nI just want to see him perform well, perform to the level that he's capable of performing. He's a talented guy. He has position flexibility. We expect him to display that again this weekend. The left tackle work is important of course. It will provide us a level of comfort going into this thing. But, like everybody, we just expect this guy to play to the level that he's capable of playing and play with great energy.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Will Clark Haggans play LOLB?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nYes, he'll play some left outside backer. Of course, he's been playing a bunch of right. Hopefully we'll get him an opportunity to see him back on the left side, but not in any way disappointed by what we saw from him on the right side. It's just, as I've been saying to these guys and they're starting to spit back at me, the more you can do.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Does he start on the right side or does LaMarr?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nWe'll determine that as we get closer to game time.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Is Willie Parker's knee more of a concern than initially thought?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nNo it's not. We're just being extremely cautious because we don't want a short-term issue to become a long-term issue, so in the meanwhile we're creating a little short-term misery for him. He's driving me absolutely crazy, but that's okay.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

He wants in there?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nYes he does. You know, Willie is a blue-collar worker. All he wants to do is go to work. The running backs are starting to call him Coach Parker because he is wearing them out. But that's part of it. That's what makes him who he is. He's paid to play. We're paid to make decisions along the lines that we're making right now, in terms of making sure that short-term misery just remains that.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Are you worried there will be a letdown after such an impressive opener?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n(Laughs) No. (Laughs) No. You know, you prepare and you go play. We'll always have that mentality. We'll always have our eyes moving forward. We don't care what we did last week. We're just going to move forward, get better on a day-to-day basis.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Were you satisfied with the way Timmons has handled himself during this thing?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nI am. I am. He's a young guy. It's a growing process. Like a lot of young guys, they're doing things for the first time, so, no, no, I'm fine with that.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Is part of it with him learning to deal with injury and fight through it?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nI don't want to speculate what maybe he's going through mentally. I'm sure that you guys will have an opportunity to get at him here soon enough. He can answer those questions.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Could the second occurrence have been simply the tearing of scar tissue?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nPossibly. Again, I don't want to speculate too much on medical information. I don't want to give you bad info. I just know that we're comfortable with what hap-, with what occurred yesterday, the information that we gathered yesterday. The procedure is the steps that we're taking yesterday and now we're moving forward.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

What are you looking at in the corner rotation?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nWe've only played one preseason game. Of course, we've got four to go. Bryant McFadden is a young guy that's on the rise. He's got starter skills. The other guys of course have had solid camps. We're just going to continue to watch that situation develop. When you've got three guys as capable of being starting corners, that's a good problem and I think we have that. It will continue to sort itself out.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Is Gay pushing for any dime spot or anything like that?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nWilliam Gay is just surviving. You guys … I mean, he's a rookie. He made a play. Great for William Gay. But, you know, no, seriously, he's showing up. You guys see it. He's making plays. But he's got to continue to do that. He's got miles to go.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

You haven't made a decision on whether Townsend or McFadden is starting?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nI have not. No.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Coach, Saturday for you, just another game even though it's your first time at Heinz Field?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nIt has to be because that's what I'm called to do. I'm sure that I'm going to appreciate it, enjoy it. That's fun. There's a lot of stuff about this job that's truly awesome that I appreciate on a day-to-day basis, but it can't get in the way of me doing the job.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Did anybody tell you how bad the traffic gets down there on game day?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n(Laughs) I think that's one of those things that I'll kind of learn along the way. People tell you a lot of stuff about this job and you really don't understand it until you do it, so that's probably one of them.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Mike, your rookie tight end didn't play last week. What's he add to the mix once he's healthy?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nOf course up until the injury he was starting to impress. Like William Gay, he was doing some good things. We're excited to see him come out there this weekend and play in a football game, and that will determine, really, kind of where he is. We've seen enough to be somewhat intrigued by what he's done on the practice field, but it will be exciting to see him play in a football game and then we'll go from there.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Could you talk about what injuries mean at this point?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nYeah. To me, that just comes with the territory. That's training camp. A lot of things that we talk about from an injury standpoint are just minor bumps and bruises that come with August and football season. That's just the nature of this game, and people play this game at less than a hundred percent. If we listed every minor bump and bruise after we got into the season, there'd be 53 guys on the injury report. For some reason right now, during the preseason, it's newsworthy. These are minor bumps and bruises. And during the season it's even less of an issue because you don't give them a day or two off, you just go, because that's the standard. But it's training camp. It's probably what I expected, what I've been accustomed to, and guys are learning to deal with it because that is football.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Is it a luxury to rest your players more so now than in the regular season?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nYou have to. You have to, because the more that you can head off things to stop them from becoming long-term issues at this time of year, it's appropriate to do that.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Has Willie Parker's knee been drained? What is the rehab like?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nSpecifically, in terms of the rehab, I don't know what's being done. I know that he feels a heck of a lot better and he feels like he might be capable of going, but we're going to be cautious.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

What are you looking at in terms of the roster shakeout?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nWe're going to be really conscious about not making final decisions after this game. It's human nature to kind of want to do that. We'll have three more left to play. The picture will become clear – like I've said before – if we remain patient, in terms of the process. The guys will sort themselves out; the guys that are etching out roles will rise; guys that are falling by the wayside will continue to fall by the wayside -- if we remain patient and open-minded about what it is that we're looking at. So, that's the plan.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Do you see rookies making big jumps between the first and second preseason games?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nUsually you do, because again it's not uncharted waters in terms of game-like atmosphere and intensity, but we'll see.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Mike, do you want to take another look at the field and see how it's draining?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nNah, I want to put this team on a bus, man, and go down and practice in the indoor and see if they like it, and then get on the bus and come back.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Coach, how many snaps will the first-team offense get?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nWe're going to have the same general plan that we had the last time. I can't give you a specific snap total because we'll do it based on what happens once the game starts. But we'll have the same general philosophy that we had in this past game.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

What time will you start this afternoon?

\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nAs soon as we get there. We're going to get off the bus and touch our toes and go practice. ","mobileBody":"

We've been presented with a little bit of adversity this morning, which is good. I think it's just part of us developing as a football team. The weather provided that adversity for us today and it will give us an opportunity to respond to it. This afternoon we're going to load up on some buses about 12:30, bus back into Pittsburgh and practice in our indoor facility. We've got to remain light on our feet. Looking forward to seeing what this practice is going to be like from a tempo standpoint, from an intensity standpoint, from an attention-to-detail standpoint. The way we deal with the unforeseen is going to kind of define us a little bit. So we're dealing with that, excited about seeing how they respond to it today, and looking forward, of course, to moving forward this weekend against Green Bay in our first opportunity to play at Heinz Field.



Yes.



Yes.



He's in transit, coming back as we speak right now. Just like I told you guys yesterday we feel like there's a breakthrough in this process with him, and now it's just about starting the process of crawling him back to full participation, so looking forward to getting that started.



I guess we'll know more as he responds to what we give him on a day-to-day basis, so it'd probably be premature to speculate at what point he'll be full go.



Absolutely. Exactly the same.



Just confirmation of what maybe we already knew.



It's a groin injury of some description.



Yeah, but more than that it provided certainty as to what we were dealing with. You know, there are new and unique injuries out there, sports hernias and the like, and had an opportunity to kind of rule those things out.



That'll be dictated on how he deals with the work that he's given on a day-to-day basis – how sore he is, so forth and so on. The speed of his recovery will dictate that. I'd be speculating if I gave you something in terms of that.



No, there are a lot of things I don't understand, but I'm an impatient guy.



Obviously he is behind, but he's a smart guy, he's a talented guy. He has enough time to catch up, but obviously it goes without saying that he's behind.



I could probably safely say that Willie Parker will not play in this game. Alan Faneca probably won't play in this game. All others are still possibilities at this point.



Again, he's a possibility at this point.



No, not as serious as you might have thought when you saw him go down yesterday. But we'll continue to monitor that day to day.



Really, we want to approach this thing the same way we approached the Hall of Fame Game. This is our first preseason game of the official four, so we're taking the same approach that we really kind of took from that standpoint last week.



Yes.



Not eager. It's not something we hadn't anticipated. We had a plan to do this for a long time, so I'm sure they're eager – I hope that they're eager – to get in there with the other guys. But it's part of the process. We're looking forward to seeing Sean out there, seeing what he's capable of doing with the same unit; same thing with Willie Colon. But it's just another day at the j-o-b for us in terms of watching this team develop.



I'm not certain of that just yet. You know, that rotation has been different than the offensive line because of, really, continuity purposes. Offensive line has to play together, so we left those guys in there for an extended period of time, whereas Ryan and Anthony Smith have essentially been rotating on a day-to-day basis, even on a drill-to-drill basis, in terms of who's running with the first team, who's running with the second team. So, to me, that is really less of an issue that what was going on with the offensive line for obvious reasons.



At this point, yes.



I just want to see him perform well, perform to the level that he's capable of performing. He's a talented guy. He has position flexibility. We expect him to display that again this weekend. The left tackle work is important of course. It will provide us a level of comfort going into this thing. But, like everybody, we just expect this guy to play to the level that he's capable of playing and play with great energy.



Yes, he'll play some left outside backer. Of course, he's been playing a bunch of right. Hopefully we'll get him an opportunity to see him back on the left side, but not in any way disappointed by what we saw from him on the right side. It's just, as I've been saying to these guys and they're starting to spit back at me, the more you can do.



We'll determine that as we get closer to game time.



No it's not. We're just being extremely cautious because we don't want a short-term issue to become a long-term issue, so in the meanwhile we're creating a little short-term misery for him. He's driving me absolutely crazy, but that's okay.



Yes he does. You know, Willie is a blue-collar worker. All he wants to do is go to work. The running backs are starting to call him Coach Parker because he is wearing them out. But that's part of it. That's what makes him who he is. He's paid to play. We're paid to make decisions along the lines that we're making right now, in terms of making sure that short-term misery just remains that.



(Laughs) No. (Laughs) No. You know, you prepare and you go play. We'll always have that mentality. We'll always have our eyes moving forward. We don't care what we did last week. We're just going to move forward, get better on a day-to-day basis.



I am. I am. He's a young guy. It's a growing process. Like a lot of young guys, they're doing things for the first time, so, no, no, I'm fine with that.



I don't want to speculate what maybe he's going through mentally. I'm sure that you guys will have an opportunity to get at him here soon enough. He can answer those questions.



Possibly. Again, I don't want to speculate too much on medical information. I don't want to give you bad info. I just know that we're comfortable with what hap-, with what occurred yesterday, the information that we gathered yesterday. The procedure is the steps that we're taking yesterday and now we're moving forward.



We've only played one preseason game. Of course, we've got four to go. Bryant McFadden is a young guy that's on the rise. He's got starter skills. The other guys of course have had solid camps. We're just going to continue to watch that situation develop. When you've got three guys as capable of being starting corners, that's a good problem and I think we have that. It will continue to sort itself out.



William Gay is just surviving. You guys … I mean, he's a rookie. He made a play. Great for William Gay. But, you know, no, seriously, he's showing up. You guys see it. He's making plays. But he's got to continue to do that. He's got miles to go.



I have not. No.



It has to be because that's what I'm called to do. I'm sure that I'm going to appreciate it, enjoy it. That's fun. There's a lot of stuff about this job that's truly awesome that I appreciate on a day-to-day basis, but it can't get in the way of me doing the job.



(Laughs) I think that's one of those things that I'll kind of learn along the way. People tell you a lot of stuff about this job and you really don't understand it until you do it, so that's probably one of them.



Of course up until the injury he was starting to impress. Like William Gay, he was doing some good things. We're excited to see him come out there this weekend and play in a football game, and that will determine, really, kind of where he is. We've seen enough to be somewhat intrigued by what he's done on the practice field, but it will be exciting to see him play in a football game and then we'll go from there.



Yeah. To me, that just comes with the territory. That's training camp. A lot of things that we talk about from an injury standpoint are just minor bumps and bruises that come with August and football season. That's just the nature of this game, and people play this game at less than a hundred percent. If we listed every minor bump and bruise after we got into the season, there'd be 53 guys on the injury report. For some reason right now, during the preseason, it's newsworthy. These are minor bumps and bruises. And during the season it's even less of an issue because you don't give them a day or two off, you just go, because that's the standard. But it's training camp. It's probably what I expected, what I've been accustomed to, and guys are learning to deal with it because that is football.



You have to. You have to, because the more that you can head off things to stop them from becoming long-term issues at this time of year, it's appropriate to do that.



Specifically, in terms of the rehab, I don't know what's being done. I know that he feels a heck of a lot better and he feels like he might be capable of going, but we're going to be cautious.



We're going to be really conscious about not making final decisions after this game. It's human nature to kind of want to do that. We'll have three more left to play. The picture will become clear – like I've said before – if we remain patient, in terms of the process. The guys will sort themselves out; the guys that are etching out roles will rise; guys that are falling by the wayside will continue to fall by the wayside -- if we remain patient and open-minded about what it is that we're looking at. So, that's the plan.



Usually you do, because again it's not uncharted waters in terms of game-like atmosphere and intensity, but we'll see.



Nah, I want to put this team on a bus, man, and go down and practice in the indoor and see if they like it, and then get on the bus and come back.



We're going to have the same general plan that we had the last time. I can't give you a specific snap total because we'll do it based on what happens once the game starts. But we'll have the same general philosophy that we had in this past game.



As soon as we get there. We're going to get off the bus and touch our toes and go practice. 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