Philbin: It Was Great To Be On The Field Again

Posted May 3, 2013

Coach pleased with rookies' energy as they take to the field.

(On how the team looked today) – “It was great to be out on the field again. It was fun. The guys had really good energy and I thought they took a lot of good things form the meeting room to the practice field. I just started watching (the practice tape), I had a chance to watch a couple of snaps. Obviously, we have a long way to go, but I thought the energy was good.”

(On the competition among different positions) – “This is really a rookie orientation. Right now, we’re focused on these players that are in the building right now and working with them both, as I’ve said, we’ve worked with them in the weight room now; we’ve worked with them in the classroom. This was our first opportunity to get them on the practice field. Like I said, that’s what our focus is. I thought the energy was good. There’s going to be a ton of corrections. You get a shower and get into the meeting room again, and learn from some of the mistakes that they’ve made and hopefully practice a little better tomorrow.”

(On what Dion Jordan and Dallas Thomas can get out of practice today given that they did not fully practice) – “There’s a lot of things, they are now, they’ve kind of crossed the river now. They’re professional athletes, so there’s a ton of information that’s going to be disseminated to them from a variety of different sources during the course of the weekend. Obviously, we want them to absorb as much of it as they possibly can knowing that it’s a little bit of throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks with all of these guys. But there’s a bunch of things that they can get out of this.”

(On if expectations for a top draft pick to start and produce right away are fair) – “Everybody’s in a competitive atmosphere here. We’re going to bring 90 guys to training camp at some point in time when the quote real competition begins and everybody has to earn their keep. There’s no preconceived notions that you’re going to play X amount of snaps for any player. People earn play time by how they perform day-in and day-out on the practice field and he’s not unlike any of our other players. I told the guys last night in the meeting, ‘I don’t really care how you got here. You’re here. You got invited. You didn’t just come into the building unannounced. We know who you are. We know why you’re here. We all feel like we brought you in here to compete for a spot on this football team and everybody has to do that.’”

(On what Jordan is expected to do during his downtime between when he came come back and practice) - “I think he’s going to be doing, I think he’s going to get himself well as quickly and completely as he possibly can. Whenever that is when the medical people deem he’s healthy, he’ll be joining us on a full-time basis.”

(On the expectations of Jordan’s condition in that time) – “Whatever the medical (personnel say). Again, I’m not in charge of the medical situation. I wouldn’t have a great idea. I had a shoulder surgery myself and I’m still not good, but I’m 51 so…”

(On if he expects to sign and of the offensive tackles that tried out this week) – “I wouldn’t rule anything out, but I wouldn’t say anything’s imminent. We’re evaluating our roster as we do at all point sin time during the course of the season. We’re not afraid of looking to improving the football team at any possible way at any position. That’s kind of our standard MO.”

(On what the tryout guys can do during the weekend to help improve their chances) – “We told them they’ve got equal reps. Today’s not about getting a specific player all the reps. Reps were distributed evenly. (We) want to get a good evaluation. We taped everything. We taped the individual periods, the special teams periods, the team periods, the pass skelly. (We) want to get a good evaluation of these guys (and) watch how they move (and) see how quickly they can take things from the classroom to the practice field and see how they perform. We like the term, you’ve heard me use the term, we want to see guys move around like football players and see if some of these guys can do it just like the other guys.”

(On how Mike Gillislee looked today) – “It looked like he had some good burst out there today and he’s picked up the offense relatively well so far. I thought he did a good job.”

(On if the running back starting job is wide open and if Gillislee could content for that spot) – “All of our jobs are open, certainly.”

(On Gillislee’s realistic chances of starting) – “I wouldn’t rule it out.”

(On Jordan being resilient and overcoming a burn injury earlier in his life) – “We looked into his character as we do all those potential guys that could be members of our football team and we certainly were impressed with his background and his passion for the game, and some of the things that he overcame to get (here) and some of the things that he accomplished as an athlete at the University of Oregon. So those were certainly impressive.”

(On what the coaching staff saw in Gillislee that caused them to draft him) – “I like the way…he's a guy that earned his stripes there. He played on special teams and contributed to the team in a number of different fashions during the course of his career. Then when his opportunity came we thought he took advantage of it well. We liked his productivity, we thought he had a good combination of size and speed and enough size that he could perhaps do a couple of different jobs. You know how we feel about pass protection here at that running back position, and then we thought he was a guy that had good all-around skill for the position.”

(On whether he heard anything from Hurricanes fans about drafting three Florida Gator players) – “I did not, no.”

(On what he saw from Jamar Taylor and Will Davis today) – “I thought their communication was good. I heard Jamar specifically. I might have been on his side (of the field) a little bit more than Will’s side. I like the fact that those guys were communicating. I watched some of their fundamental drills and they look like both they have good knee bend and move their feet pretty well, but obviously it was just a quick glance.”

(On whether there is something to the fact that the three cornerbacks he drafted were from non BCS schools) – “No, I don’t think so. Not necessarily that I’m aware of.”

(On his first impressions of Dion Sims) – “I think he looks like a tight end. The other thing I liked initially was his bend when he gets down in a three point stance. I know that’s a fundamental thing, but that’s one of the primary (things). You know, again we want these guys…it’s ground zero if you will and getting lined up in a good three point stance is important in high school football, college and the pros.”

(On what he likes about Dallas Thomas and the versatility that he brings to the field) – “Well you stole one of the words, one of the reasons (versatility) that we like him. But we watched a lot of film in 2012, a lot of film in 2011. We thought he was a productive player, we thought he was an athletic guy, we thought he stayed on his feet well. Obviously young players that have some versatility potentially in the NFL, that’s a valuable tool.”

(On whether he thinks of him more as a tackle or a guard) – “Well we’ll have to see. We have to get our hands around him and watch him, but I thought he had good productivity at both positions.”

(On whether he noticed anything about how the ball was coming off Caleb Sturgis’ foot today) – “Not necessarily. We liked his consistency coming out. He kind of approached the ball in a similar manner every time, and obviously we felt strong about him as a kicker.”

(On why he felt it was important to get faster at the linebacker position this season and what qualities Jelani Jenkins posses’ that make him a fit in that mold) – “Well, again every opponent that we play has different styles, but let’s face it, this is a passing league at this point in time. So to have linebackers that have the ability to do more than play the run (is important). Be multi-dimensional, play man coverage, play zone coverage, blitz effectively, all those things are part of it. I think the more skill you have as an athlete, the better off you are going to be.”

(On specific things he looks for when he is evaluating players) – “Well each position is different. Obviously there are different physical characteristics at the position. The other thing is the intangibles that cut across positions. We’re looking for guys that are good people number one. Number two they want to be great football players. Number three, they want to win. Number four they want to make a difference on and off the field. Then we have a specific set of criteria for size and speed and those types of things, but the intangibles are probably as important as the other part.”

(On what he saw from Darius Smith today) – “He got off to a good start. I’m sure we’ll throw the tape on today in the defensive line room, and there will be some positives and there will also be some corrections that need to be made.”

(On what it is like for him in his second season as a head coach) – “It’s a little more comfortable. I know what’s coming a little bit more. There are always some surprises that happen in practice and some other things, but I thought we had a pretty efficient practice for the most part today. We were a little bit behind schedule but we wanted to take the extra time to make sure these guys understood the tempo of the drill and exactly what we were asking them. I thought overall it was a good start to the orientation.”
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