Coach Philbin: We Had A Really Good Practice Today

Posted Aug 11, 2013

Coach Joe Philbin speaks with the media and comments on Dion Jordan, Will Davis, the offensive line situation and much more.

(Opening Statement) – “I thought that we had a really good practice today. We decided to change up the practice schedule a little bit. As you probably noticed, we didn’t do 11-on-11 today. We felt like one of the primary identities we want to have on this team is a fundamentally sound team, so we devoted a lot of time to fundamentals today and a lot of time to one-on-one competition, so to speak, in all three phases. I think, initially, obviously I have to go in and watch the tape, but I think we accomplished our objective.”

(On how he used Dion Jordan in the game against Jacksonville)– “We want to develop him in all three downs, so that was certainly part of the plan. We want to see him play on first down, play on second down, play on third down, play in our base defense, play in our sub defense so he gets exposure to a variety of schemes and a variety of defensive calls.”

(On if Dion Jordan was outside at practice today) –“I’ll talk about anybody who was at practice today.”

(On the way Will Davis is playing, and if he could work his way up to first-team packages) – “Again, I wouldn’t rule anything out at this point. There is a lot of football still left before September 8th. Today is August 11th. Again, I wouldn’t rule anything out on who’s going to be playing what role on September 8th.”

(On what he will need to see out of Will Davis to play the third cornerback role in nickel back situations) – “Just a little more consistency. He showed better awareness on the field on Friday night, no question about it. He certainly made one big play there, again got his hands on the ball. We’ve all talked to the players about classroom to practice field, the practice field to game field. You’ve seen some of that. You’ve seen him get his hands on the ball out here, and he was able to do it again in the game. Just consistency, awareness, those type of things. Sometimes only experience when you throw him out there where you can learn those things.”

(On emphasis improving turnover ratio) – “Well I thought we had a good second half. Obviously we got two takeaways on defense, two on special teams, which was critical. In the hotel before the game we talked about what we have to do. I put up a slide what we have to do. We talked about three things. Number one, winning the turnover margin. Number two, playing physical. Number three, playing fast. I think we clearly won two out of the three and probably playing physical was a draw. It’s absolutely important. It’s critical. I think it is the number one way to get a football team turned around is to be on the plus-side of that turnover margin.”

(On emphasizing creating turnovers more in some ways this year compared to last year) – “I know the film reflects our defense is doing a better job in practice, clubbing the ball, stripping the ball, getting their hands on the ball, putting their nose on the ball. There is no doubt about it in my mind, and I believe that will transfer to the game.”

(On the blocking of the first-team offense on Monday night) – “It was OK. It wasn’t great. We didn’t get off to a great start offensively, I think everybody would agree to that. We have to do better. We are going to have to do better in pass protection early in a ball game. I don’t think most quarterbacks, it’s tough, you want to get them off to a good start. You want to get them comfortable in the pocket, and that didn’t happen. When the first play is a sack, that’s not the way you want to start a game.”

(On what Nate Garner has to do to be a contender for a starting offensive guard position) – “He is a contender right now. He’s got a lot of snaps in. We know a lot about him. He’s very versatile. He fills a lot of roles, at times we’ve been competing. Again, our philosophy is we are going to find the five best guys and line them up get them ready to go. Right now, we aren’t exactly sure who those five guys are, so he’s absolutely in the competition at this time.”

(On how problematic the offensive guard position is right now) – “Some of those guys came in and played well. Josh Samuda has been working his tail off. He wasn’t the only issue. Everyone wants to focus on him. That’s certainly wasn’t the only issue we had in the ball-game the other night.”

(On Caleb Sturgis’ first game kicking last Friday) – “I thought he kicked well. I thought he acted professionally. I thought he had a good warm-up. I thought he went out on the field and did his job well, acted like a pro. (He) wasn’t too high or too low. He just kind of did his job and did it well.”

(On who will kick during the next preseason game) – “It’s to be determined.”

(On how much of the offense schematically will be shown in the preseason and how to determine what to use and what to hold back in a game) – “We kind of run our core stuff, but we aren’t overly concerned about that stuff right now. We want to run clean plays. In the preseason, we are most concerned about doing a great job evaluating, doing a great job of executing our fundamentals, taking our core principles, (the) plays we know we are going to run over the course of the year. It’s not going to be a surprise to people. We are going to get out there. We are going to run them. We are going to evaluate different people, different combinations of people. We aren’t right now into the trickery, deception, any of that kind of stuff. I’m going to say we might see 50 percent of our offensive schemes in the preseason, something around there. That would probably be right.”

(On Rishard Matthews returning to practice and what he saw of him at practice today) – “I thought he looked good. We’ll take it a day at a time, see how he does tomorrow, but I thought he looked good today.”

(On tight ends playing downfield more often, and if the offense requires that or their skillset allows that) – “I think both. You want to be able to attack all areas of the football field in the passing game. You want to have a horizontal game. You want to have a vertical game. Vertical doesn’t just mean outside of the numbers. Vertical means attacking the middle of the field. Again, things are all at times based on coverages as well, and they do have a good skillset. We’ve got some guys who have a good feel down the middle of the field. They are big targets, and they catch the ball well.”
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