Jelani Jenkins – June 9, 2016 Download PDF version

Thursday, June 9, 2016

LB Jelani Jenkins

(On how he would describe Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph’s coaching style) – “I think he’s very articulate and he’s very sure of what he wants and he explains it really well. He coaches really well and he teaches it really well – not just what we’re doing, but how we’re doing it (and) why we’re doing it. So I mean that’s the best way I can describe that.”

(On the development of the players from last year’s rookie class and if anything has surprised him about the class) – “I think just being one year in already and getting one year under their belt, I think with experience they definitely look more comfortable out there. I think that biggest jump is usually from that rookie year to that second year. You can definitely see that they worked on what they needed to work on in the offseason and just got better in those areas that they were weak in. With this new coaching staff, I think they’re teaching them really well and I think ascension, as you said, is really happening for them.”

(On what has struck him so far about the Wide 9 defense) – “That we are just always attacking. I think that’s just the biggest part of it. It’s a very attack-style defense (with) constant pressure and I think that’s how we like it.”

(On how much pressure it puts on the linebackers, especially stopping the run) – “I don’t think it puts too much more pressure on us. I think with the Wide 9, it kind of keeps everything in the box and inside, and that’s where we are. So it doesn’t put too much pressure on us.”

(On what changes has he noticed from the linebackers with Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph’s approach compared to previous coaching staffs) – “I’d say that I think that we are playing a little bit more just team-oriented. I mean that’s the best way I can describe it, without going too much into the depth of (the) scheme. I think we’re just working well together as a unit and kind of moving with each other, if that makes sense.”

(On what unique skill that LB Kiko Alonso has that’s going to be a real asset to their group) – “I think just his instincts and just his ability to run to the ball. What I’ve noticed from him, just in the run game and the pass game, is just … he’s smart. He kind of understands scheme – offensive scheme – and he’s able to decipher things really fast (and) not bite on decoys. He’s really good at just instinctually playing in the middle and kind of seeing the bigger picture.”

(On if he is concerned about linemen getting to the second level in the Wide 9 defense) – “Yeah, I mean when the linemen get up and say there’s space, a little bit of space, that kind of puts the lineman on the island. So you got a lot of things you do to them. You can beat them with speed, juke them, hit them. I think it plays well for me.”

(On if he doesn’t have to always take on linemen head-on in that defense) – “Not at all. You don’t always have to.”

(On being one of two draft picks still here from his draft class and if he feels like he has to make up for everybody else) – “No, not necessarily. Not necessarily. I don’t really feel too much pressure on what happened to everybody else in the draft class. I just come in every day to work. I didn’t even notice that or didn’t even think about it, to be honest with you.”

(On the biggest issue the linebackers had against the run last year and what they’re doing to fix it) – “I think just overall, that front seven, just everybody being on the same page (and) playing the same way. People are playing things a little differently and I think that caused gaps in the scheme. In the past years, I think if everybody was on the same page (and) we’re all playing stuff the same exact way, it probably would have been a little better. That’s what I saw.”

(On if it’s a combination of the right people and thinking a little bit too much) – “It could be a little bit of that. I’m not sure. I do know in the Wide 9, we all kind of know where they are going to be. They’re going to be up the field, they’re going to be doing that thing on the edge. So (thinking too much) could be a little bit (of it), but I think a lot of different things played a role.”

(On if there’s a little bit of anticipation and excitement with a week left of the offseason program) – “Yeah, I think we’ve worked really hard since we’ve gotten back and we’ve learned a lot. I know that guys are looking forward to this break (and) kind of getting everything that we learned and kind of revamping their skills in this next little offseason part. Training camp is right around the corner so we’re just trying to finish strong next week; but I think there is a little bit of looking forward to it for a lot of guys.”

(On how you get yourself prepared for training camp after the grind of OTAs) – “You still watch film. You watch film on things that you did wrong. You just tweak the little things. You focus on weaknesses. You know if you got a little banged up, you work or those things and you just keep getting stronger and faster. That’s all you can do. Yeah, you kind of get with the guys (and) work on catching (and) linebacker drills for me. You kind of just revamp and technically work on the skills that you got to do.”

(On what he is going to work on) – “Me personally, I think I just need to … because I can’t hit anybody without the pads on in the offseason, (I’ll) just work in the weight room and just (try to) get stronger, faster. I’ll keep working on the foot work that linebackers have to work on.”

(On his coverage ability paired with LB Kiko Alonso’s coverage ability and how much flexibility that gives the defense) – “He gives (us) a lot of flexibility. It kind of keeps offenses off balanced because you don’t really know … You can’t really say this is the cover guy and this is not the cover guy. They don’t really know exactly who’s going to cover who, because we can kind of do both. I think that’s one of the biggest advantages of that – it’s hard for offenses to game plan or scheme up because you never really know what we’re going to do.”

(On any observations of who has been good at running routes out of the backfield) – “Yeah, I think Jay (Ajayi) has done an excellent job out of the backfield. He’s done really well. I think this second year is going to be really good for him. I think Jakeem Grant, he’s done an excellent job in that slot. I mean he’s one of the quickest people I’ve ever seen. But we got talent all over the place over there (on the offensive side of the ball). Obviously the coaches are doing a good job of putting them in good situations to make those plays.”

(On his early impressions of the undrafted linebackers such as LB James Burgess) – “Yeah, I think they all work hard and they’re learning at rookie pace – kind of just what we’re used to seeing from rookies. They’re learning. They’re getting adjusted to the speed of the game; but athletically, they’re all gifted and they pick up on stuff really fast.”

Kraig Urbik – June 9, 2016 Download PDF version

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Center/Guard Kraig Urbik

(On if the team told him when they signed him that he had a chance to compete for a starting guard spot) – “Yeah, they just told me to come in and I’m going to compete every day (at) right guard, center, left guard, it doesn’t matter. It’s been a different combination every single day so I’m kind of just going with the flow of that.”

(On if the first team snaps have been pretty much even amongst several guys) – “Yeah, every day is a different combination. I think it is getting split pretty evenly right now.”

(On if he feels like he is getting the same looks and attention at the guard position as other guys) – “Yeah, for sure. Like I said, I’m just going in every day and trying to compete. Everybody is competing for a spot and I’m just going in and trying my hardest every single day.”

(On his versatility and how many positions he has played in his career) – “I’ve started games at every single position on the inside. I think I’ve started 10 at left (guard), about 10 at center and 30-something at right (guard). I feel comfortable at all the positions.”

(On how difficult it is to learn the center position) – “Not bad. I’ve been, the last five or six years with Buffalo, I’ve been the backup center, so I’ve had to make the calls all the time. (There’s) nothing really different with that. It’s just being comfortable at every position.”

(On how it has been to work with C Mike Pouncey) – “Pouncey is great. (He’s a) great teammate, great leader. Obviously, he’s a fantastic player so it’s been great working with him and learning from him. My chances with the ones, it has been great going with him.”

(On if it’s a challenge to work with different guys and their tendencies) – “It’s a little different from guy to guy but the way (Offensive Line) Coach (Chris) Foerster’s coaching, guys are trying to do the same footwork and get off and stuff like that at very single depth, so it’s not too different but it is a little different.”

(On if you can tell how good the offensive line is right now without pads on) – “I think we have a lot of potential, for sure. But like you said, (we’re) in helmets and jerseys so you can’t really tell. We’re not working too much in the run game because you can’t really come off and double team in just helmets. I think we have a lot of potential and I think we can be a really good o-line.”

(On if he expects to see DE Mario Williams thrive here) – “Mario is a great teammate. I look forward to him and the whole d-line getting after it this year. I think they’re going to be a very good strength of our team, for sure, and I just look forward to seeing what they do on the field.”

(On the most difficult part of facing the defensive line in practice) – “Their get off. They’re an attack-type defense and it’s tough to get combinations on some of these guys because they’re trying to split double teams and stuff like that. They’re a really, really good d-line. They’re all athletic. They’re all really strong. It’s a really good, strong group.”

(On if his unit is at a disadvantage in OTAs because they aren’t able to call many run plays and the defense pins their ears back) – “Sometimes that happens but it’s great for us because we’re going against a really good d-line and we’re getting a lot of passing situations that we need to work on. That’s always going to make us better.”

(On if a running back’s mentality affects the offensive line and their attitude) – “No. We’re going to block regardless of who is back there. It doesn’t matter who is back there, we’re going to block the same.”

(On RB Jay Ajayi) – “He’s doing good. He’s a really shifty running back but then he also pins his ears back and gets the tough yardage. Obviously it’s just in helmets right now, so we can’t tell. From what I’ve seen on film and from the past couple years, he’s a good running back.”

Bobby McCain – June 9, 2016 Download PDF version

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Cornerback Bobby McCain

(On if he let Chairman of the Board/Managing General Partner Stephen Ross, who attended practice today, know he was here) – “Most definitely. When Mr. Ross is in the building, you have to make your presence known (and) just appreciate him and thank him for the opportunity that he gives me and the other guys.”

(On his draft class and if they are ahead of the curve) – “I don’t know if you could say ahead of the curve but I know you (could) say that we’re just doing our job. They brought you here to play and they brought you here to win, regardless if you are a rookie or you’re in your sixth year or second year. Our draft class, I feel, was strong. We are going to have production for the team. The best thing to do is just try to get wins. If we have stars that do that, then that’s what we got to do. If we have backups that have to do that, then they have to be a backup. That’s what it is.”

(On if he feels nickel is a good spot for him or if he is pigeonholed there because that’s what he’s done before) – “I wouldn’t say pigeonholed. I want to do what’s best for the team and what’s best for me. I’m a slot corner. That’s the name of the game. I play in the slot and I can play outside. Coach VJ (Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph) and (Defensive Backs) Coach Lou (Anarumo), they both know that. I get reps at both; I get a lot in the nickel. At the end of the day, most of the time there’s going to be three corners on the field. That’s just the way the game is now. Whatever I have to do to make production and make plays, that’s what I got to do.”

(On his biggest areas of growth this offseason) – “The little things such as leverage, your eyes, eye discipline – just learning the schemes and just knowing how Coach VJ (Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph) likes to call it – and just taking coaching. That’s big because with a new coaching staff, you don’t know what’s going to happen; but as long as you take coaching and work every day and do your best to get better, the chips will fall where they may.”

(On how much it helps that Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph coaches his position) – “It helps. It helps a lot. He sits in our meetings sometimes, from time to time, and he knows tricks of the trade. So little things that you may not have learned, he may teach you little things that you may learn and you can ask him questions about it. He may further your knowledge on them. It’s a big deal. It’s great to have two DB (defensive back) coaches in the room.”

(On if he was intimidated by the established veterans as a rookie and if he would have approached them last year) – “When you first get here, I wouldn’t say you are star struck, but you’re like ‘That’s Ndamukong Suh. This is serious.’ Me personally, I’m an outspoken guy. I had a good relationship with Suh my rookie year (and) with (Cameron) Wake. They do a good job of not being too harsh on guys. They may give you something here or there but it’s nothing too serious. I don’t think, to make your point, it’s a big deal, no.”

(On if he feels that Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph likes tall corners) – “He likes people that make plays. Yeah, he likes tall corners; but if you’re going to make plays, he likes short corners. It doesn’t matter your size, if you can make the play, you can make the play, and that’s the name of the game. At the end of the day, a play isn’t going to make itself, so that’s what you got to do.”

Jarvis Landry – June 9, 2016 Download PDF version

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Wide Receiver Jarvis Landry

(On if he feels like it’s a slight being referred to as a slot receiver) – “I pride myself on just being able to do it all. Being an all-purpose receiver, being able to play inside, outside, come out of the backfield. This offense allows me to do it. (In) my defense, I’ve been in a position to be in all of those positions, so it’s allowed me not to just be labeled as a slot guy.”

(On Head Coach Adam Gase wanting to see him take his play to the next level) – “For me, that’s the thing, just progress, trying to first of all, put wins together as a team. Secondly, just continue to build off of what I’ve done already. I think that comes from trusting his (Gase’s) coaching, being as coachable as possible, and not only that, but leading these guys and letting the play speak for itself.”

(On what is that next level) – “Just be as consistent as possible. A lot of what you’ve been seeing, but not only that but being a leader and putting wins together. At the end of the day, that’s the biggest thing we need to do as a team. As far as my outlook on it, that’s all I want. That’s all I’m thinking about.”

(On if it is strange that he’s one of the most veteran player in the receiver room) – “I embrace it. We talk about leadership all the time. I think I’m one of those guys that lead by example, and just try to go out there and be a pro every day. There are days that guys have to lift me up. But at the same time, for me, going into my third year, having guys like Kenny Stills, Griff Whalen, those guys have been in the league for four or five years, they are a testament to the things that they’ve been through and also being a leader in that room.”

(On how much losing hurts him inside and how he overcomes that) – “I hate losing. It goes without saying. Until I get a win, until that next Sunday, it’s really just stuck in my mind. Everybody says the 24-hour rule and let it go and whatnot; but for me, as competitive as I am, I want to win every game. I won’t say it’s not possible, but we have to find ways to do it, and it starts right now in OTAs and going into training camp.”

(On if he carries any of that motivation not to lose around in May) – “Motivation is definitely there. The motivation is definitely there; but again, it’s a new season. We have like 90 days until we play again, a regular season game. Until then, yeah it’s a little bit on my mind.”

(On what makes him confident that things will be different now) – “(We’re) just out there having fun, competing with the guys. Just seeing how – I can speak from an offensive side of the ball – just seeing how the guys have (taken) the coaching, have taken the teaching and let it translate to the field. For me, the biggest part of when I came out of college, I came into an offense that I was already in. So that transition was easy. And now, learning a new playbook but having (Head) Coach (Adam) Gase teach it, he’s made it so simplified, so easy, so up-tempo that I think it’s going to allow us to have success.”

(On if he sees productivity compared to last year) – “Absolutely. I think the guys upstairs, they break down the charts of targets and catches and MAs (missed assignments) and things like that, and I get to watch the tape a couple of times and it’s catch after catch after catch. And then, it’s other guys, and that’s what this offense has allowed us to do.”

(On if there is anything else he did during the offseason to get ready for the season such as reaching out for advice to anyone) – “Honestly, every now and again I’ll run into a guy, but for the most part, it’s pretty much me, Odell (Beckham Jr.), Antonio Brown and that’s about it. Us three against a couple of DBs. We go down to North Miami and go against each other and try to just compete against each other. That’s what I did all last season and I’m probably going to do it all this offseason too.”

(On what those workouts are like) – “A lot of it feels like it’s been made up by AB (Antonio Brown), but it’s some good stuff in there. A lot of footwork drills, get some one-on-ones against some longer corners like Xavier Rhodes and guys like that. (We’re) just getting to work against those guys and really just getting a feel, for me, playing outside receiver, being a short guy; I kind of look to AB (Antonio Brown) for that motivation.”

(On how many current pros attend the little group that he has) – “About eight or nine guys. A good mixture of different guys. There will be running backs in there, DBs, receivers, a couple of quarterbacks, and we’ll go from there.”

(On how often they work out) –“Probably twice a week. We’ll probably go twice a week. Once on the weekend and then probably on an off day.”

(On what other corners are involved) – “Well, a couple of guys … Honestly, I want to say they haven’t gotten their shot yet, as far as being in the league. At the same time, having them out there and seeing that competitive nature that they have, in due time, a couple of those other guys we train with will be big names too.”

(On who is throwing the football) – “Geno Smith.”

(On if he has met Khloe Kardashian while hanging out with Odell Beckham Jr.) – (Silence followed by laughter)

(On if his second season was easier because he knew the league better or tougher because the league knew him better) – “The thing with the league is it’s never easy. Going into my second year, I just found guys to latch onto and help me evolve as a pro. And honestly, as the years go on, and Bobby McCain can speak to this, the game starts to slow down a little bit and you’re not really running around out there, not sure of your assignments. Going into my second year, I was a lot more confident. It didn’t matter who was across from me. I just had to make a play.”

(On if a player notices when the team owner is at the facility) – “Absolutely. Mr. (Stephen) Ross finds a way to make his rounds around the building and say ‘Hi,’ to everybody on the field. His presence is definitely known. I had the opportunity to talk to him and honestly, just having him in the building was a good feeling for us today.”

(On if the scheme that Head Coach Adam Gase brings in allows him to move around and if that excites him) – “Yeah, and everybody gets touches. Like I said, they chart catches, drops, MAs (missed assignments) and stuff upstairs. The best part about it, every guy is in the same range, as far as catches, targets (and) things like that. Having the opportunity to spread the ball around, for us, is definitely key.”

(On if he has noticed any improvement in CB Tony Lippett) – “Yeah. He’s a long corner. Not only that, he’s been accepting coaching well and talking with (Byron) Maxwell (and) getting the tricks of the trade. That allows him to play on an island and have confidence out there.”

(On if the wide receiver group has gone back to the basics) – “One of the things about (Wide Receivers) Coach (Shawn) Jefferson, he always stresses details – details, alignment, assignment, top of the route. He always stresses that when you’re at the top of the route, one foot takes you in, one foot takes you out (and) being able to be balanced when you come out of the break to be as explosive as possible.”

Adam Gase – June 9, 2016 Download PDF version

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Head Coach Adam Gase

(On evaluating the undrafted players) – “It’s hard right now. I don’t want to single somebody out, because I think all the guys are working hard. They’re trying to learn the schemes. It’s a lot of information in a short period of time. You come in, you’re behind. Between offense, defense and then you throw special teams in the mix, they’re swimming a little bit. But I think guys are doing a good job of staying caught up and trying to play fast to the best of their ability. But the whole group has done a good job of really focusing in on what their job is.”

(On this week’s OTA practices) – “It was good. We did a lot of situational work. Almost every period had some kind of theme, whether it was (Defensive Coordinator) Vance (Joseph), (Offensive Coordinator) Clyde (Christensen) and myself getting together and saying, ‘Here’s what we’re going to work on in this particular period.’ This is like one of those weeks where you can really focus on the details of things like four-minute backed up, two-minute (drills). There was a little bit of red zone thrown in there and third down. We did a lot of situational work this week.”

(On whether the players are as far along as he thought they would be) – “They did a great job this week. When you got four days … They came out every day with a lot of energy. They focused on the day that we were working. They weren’t looking like (there was) light at the end of the tunnel (when) we’re almost done. They really did a great job as far as coming out, working every day and brought a great energy level.”

(On the 2015 draft class) – “I’ll say this, they got a lot of experience for young players. Anytime that you get game experience, that’s going to be valuable. The more we throw those guys out there – the more situations that we put them in – the quicker their development is going to be. We’re looking … I know we’ve been talking about this since the beginning, (but) we’re so young. We got a lot of guys with experience, but at the same time, it’s kind of a strange combination. The more we can get these situational (drills) in practice, that’s just going to help their development.”

(On the drawbacks of having a young team) – “I don’t know if there really is. It’s fun to be able to go out to practice. Basically, if a guy is not hurt, you’re not worried about really taking it easy on guys and watching how many reps that we have, because almost everybody is under 25 years old. They can run all day. Guys don’t get … They seem to recover a lot faster. That’s the positive. It really is … It’s helpful when you’re practicing, because you got numbers.”

(On WR Jarvis Landry as a leader despite going into his third year) – “Not just him, but I feel like almost every room is like that. But he has done a good job. With him, he is really a leader by example for the most part. Everything he does, you can tell how much he cares about what his job is. If he can help another guy – usually some of the young guys – he’ll lend a hand. But for the most part, right now, he’s trying to make sure he’s right on what he has to do. When you’re this early in our process, as far as before training camp, you’re trying to make sure you’re right before you can really start helping other people.”

(On whether WR Jarvis Landry has another playing level he can reach) – “I think he will go to another level once he really gets a great grasp of what we’re doing, because we got him going all over the place working inside, outside. There are a lot of things that we do with him. He’s really trying to focus on that right now, but I do think there’s going to be another level he can take it to once we hit training camp.”

(On WR Jarvis Landry being a leader for the wide receiver group) – “Besides him, you got Kenny (Stills) in that room as well. And I know he’s young, but he’s really taking a leadership-type role there with the offense as well, because he knows this offense inside and out. He spent a lot of time on this. He seems like the one guy that knows what you’re supposed to do. He does it right, a lot. He’s able to lend more of a hand, because his focus is a little smaller than what Jarvis’ is. I feel like we have two guys in that room that are really our leaders in that group – not only on the offense, but (in) that group as well.”

(On whether he noticed a difference in the player’s performance because Chairman of the Board/Managing General Partner Stephen Ross attended today’s practice) – “I didn’t notice a difference in how our players were. (Mr. Ross) has been back and forth since I’ve gotten here. Anytime he comes into town, we’re able to get together and talk and give the updates on what’s going on. There’s a lot of phone conversations that go on every week between Mr. Ross, (Executive Vice President of Football Operations) Mike (Tannenbaum), (General Manager) Chris (Grier), myself. There’s a lot of communication going on. He has a lot of stuff going on in New York, but he has been down here more often than what people probably realize. He spends a lot of time with us constantly being updated on what we’re doing.”

(On whether he has been given any indication that S Reshad Jones will attend mandatory minicamp) – “I haven’t.”

(On whether he knows if S Reshad Jones will attend mandatory minicamp next week) – “I don’t know. You’d have to ask him.”

(On the importance of practicing situational drills) – “For me, a lot of things that I learned were from (New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator) Josh McDaniels. Obviously, he was coming from New England at the time. I felt like that was very helpful in my development as a position coach. And then getting with Coach (Chicago Bears Head Coach John) Fox, we focused on something every day, whether it be something short or like a whole period. I guess being around two guys like that, that you learn from – and you go through those experiences – and then you’re able to come to a different place … Going to Chicago and getting around a guy like (Bears Defensive Coordinator) Vic Fangio, who was a great guy for me to talk to, because he was so smart (with) the way he thought about things and the ideas he brought to the table as far as, ‘Think about working on this and think about working on this.’ He would talk to me about a lot of stuff like that. That was something that I loved because it was things I never really thought of before. Coming here and being around (Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Darren) Rizzi and (Offensive Coordinator) Clyde (Christensen) and (Defensive Coordinator) Vance (Joseph) and (Linebackers Coach) Matt Burke, we talk a lot of situations. We keep saying, ‘What do we want to work on today?’ We’ll focus on something, and we try to make sure we educate the players, because you’d be surprised how many times you bring something up and somebody’ll say, ‘Wow, I didn’t know that,’ and you start assuming something and that’s the worst thing you can do, because a lot of these guys, they’ve never heard some of this stuff. When you hear it for the first time, you probably screw it up in practice and then you make the correction. You want to try to make it to where when those situations come up on Sunday, you’re not coming back Monday and being like, ‘Alright, we need to do this.’ Instead, you’re ahead of that, you make the right play and you get the right result.”

(On whether CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu suffered an injury setback) – “There wasn’t a setback. We’re just being careful with him. We want to make sure he feels as good as he can possibly feel going into camp. My thing is – and I keep telling him this – ‘You’ve already won.’ Everybody said he would never step on the field again. The fact that he participated in OTAs and practice, he won right there. Right now, he’s playing with house money. I think we’re going to see a guy that’s going to turn it loose in training camp. It is what it is. He was showing great signs. We were just being careful with him. We pulled him back the last couple weeks, and we want him to get ready for training camp.”

(On WR DeVante Parker’s foot has kept him out of practice) – “It’s not the foot.”

(On whether C/G Kraig Urbik’s experience works for him due to the team’s youth) – “I think it works for him. He has seen a lot of things. He has played a lot of different positions and roles on a team. Anytime you got a guy that’s flexible and he’s willing to learn … I feel like he’s really engaged. It’s something a little different than what he has done in the past. I think he’s enjoying the experience. We’re moving him all over the place. We’re giving him an opportunity, which there are a lot of guys we’re giving opportunities to right now. Really, it’s going to be about almost everybody in that group (asking), ‘What are you going to do with that opportunity? What are you going to do when you get the opportunity in the preseason and in training camp to show, put it on tape and see what your results are?’ We’ll figure out who the best five are going to be at the end of the day.”

(On how many positions have position battles going on such as CB Xavien Howard and CB Tony Lippett) – “You guys haven’t been out here every time, right? There has been select times where ‘X’ (Xavien Howard) has gone with the ones and gone against that first group and then ‘Lipp’ (Tony Lippett) will take turns. We’ve been moving those guys back and forth. We want to keep seeing those two guys going against different receivers. It’s a great evaluation, because our defensive staff is getting a good feel for our receivers. When those get those matchups, that helps the evaluation process. The longer that we’ve been going along with this, the better feel our defensive coaching staff is getting for, ‘He’s going against this guy. What does that mean?’ That evaluation process, it’s going to take time. The thing we’re excited for is those preseason games where we can see live game action where when you screw up, there’s nowhere to hide. In practice, it’s kind of like, ‘Oh, I got beat. No big deal.’ But in games, there’s nowhere to go. Everybody in the stadium is going to know you got beat.”

(On CB Tony Lippett’s transition from wide receiver to cornerback) – “He does a good job. Being a Michigan State guy, I’m always kind of giving him a hard time. I said a few things to him that bit me a little bit, and then he had two picks in a row, and he let me know about it. (laughter) But he has done a great job. That’s not an easy thing to be able to do. I love the fact that he’s so engaged in it. He’s competitive. He knows he has a fight on his hands. I don’t think he’s going to sit back and be like, ‘This guy was a second-round draft pick. You can have it.’ He’s fighting, because he wants to be on the field.”

(On when he would like to have starting positions established at a certain time) – “As long as we feel good about whatever we’re doing by the first game of the season, that’s all I really care about. You’d love it if you could walk into training camp and say, ‘Here are the 22 guys that are starting on both sides of the ball.’ I just don’t know how realistic that is. We’ll take that thing up to the first game if we have to. If something goes wrong during the season, we’ll make a change. But we’re going to find the best 11 on each side of the ball every week.”

Kiko Alonso – June 8, 2016 Download PDF version

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Linebacker Kiko Alonso

(On whether he feels more like himself after his knee injury) – “Yes, I feel great.”

(On his skillset) – “As you know, it’s a passing league, so you got to be able to play the run and play the pass.”

(On his ability to cover) – “Try(ing) to be in the right position so I can make a play on the ball is the biggest part.”

(On the linebacker corps) – “I think we got a lot of great players that bring a lot of different skillsets. I think the sky’s the limit in this group.”

(On whether he has previously played in a Wide 9 defense) – “Yes. It’s similar to (Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jim) Schwartz’s defense, which was my second year in Buffalo. Obviously, I missed that year, but I was able to be in that a little bit watching film, and I played a little bit before I got injured in OTAs.”

(On the pressure on inside linebackers defending the run) – “A lot of pressure, but it starts up front. We got some really good guys up front that can make the job a lot easier for us as linebackers.”

(On DE Dion Jordan) – “That guy is a freak athlete, so I think he can help any defense, because he (has) such a rare athleticism that can do all types of things.”

(On whether DE Dion Jordan is more of a pass rusher or a linebacker) – “I think – as you were saying – he’s very versatile. He can rush the passer, He can cover. He can play the run. I think that’s what makes him so special.”

(On DE Dion Jordan’s mindset) – “That’s a Dion question.”

(On what he likes about the defense) – “I like (that) the coaches are putting us in good positions to be successful. I think making the scheme around the players … I’ll leave it at that.”

(On whether Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph has given him any responsibilities that past coordinators have not) – “No.”

(On whether his goal is to return to his rookie year form) – “That is the goal. If not get that, then do better than that. I’m trying to keep improving and get back to myself.”

(On whether covering tight ends will be one of his responsibilities on defense) – “It really just depends. I’m sure if we’re in a Cover 1 or something, I don’t think I’ll be Cover 1 on a wide receiver. I’ll probably be on a tight end or running back.”

(On the importance of the defensive line to take on blockers) – “It’s not really their job to keep us clean. If they keep us clean, then we got to make the play. If we got an o-lineman in our face, then they got to make some plays, too. It just depends.”

(On what he has learned about himself in the last two years overcoming injuries) – “(You) got to have patience – a lot of patience.”

(On whether this offseason has gone better than he anticipated) – “Yes. I like how I feel. I feel like I feel really good. I like where I’m at.”

Chris Jones – June 8, 2016 Download PDF version

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Defensive Tackle Chris Jones

(On whether his calf or ankle derailed last season for him) – “First off, I feel great right now. There were things I had going on as far as injuries in the past. The thing is now, I feel really great. And while I’m out there, I feel good running.”

(On whether he was surprised that the Patriots released him) – “It’s a business. I didn’t really go in there with any expectations. I was coming back (and) rehabbing and expecting to be ready for anything.”

(On whether his time in New England made him a better player) – “I have a lot of respect for the staff up there. I feel like being prepared … (They) helped me prepare myself, whether it be (for) a game, practice or meetings. Just being around the whole organization as a whole helped me be prepared for this whole business in general as (far as) the NFL goes.”

(On the Dolphins’ defensive line) – “We got a lot of great guys – a lot of great players – guys that go out there and work really hard. We push each other. If you watch a practice, we’re the most electric group out there. We’re getting after it. We’re making everybody better. I like the guys we have here.”

(On DE Cameron Wake and DE Mario Williams) – “In them, you have great leaders. Like you said, they’ve been playing for a while, and it’s great to have guys like that because they’ve been through a lot. Like you said, they’ve played nine years each. They’ve been here. They’ve been in the league awhile and they know the ins and outs.”

(On whether DE Mario Williams is still in his prime) – “Mario (Williams) is amazing. I love watching him. He comes in every day and gets his work done, and he’s still moving around great.”

(On his first impressions of DT Jordan Phillips) – “Like I said with everybody, Jordan is included as well. He comes in every day with his work pants on, and he just gets going. He comes in; he works hard. He’s a great athlete. He brings a lot physically on the interior defensive line.”

(On what he brings to the defensive line) – “Just a little bit of versatility. Kind of through my whole career, I’ve been able to play different positions. I think my willingness to be able to do whatever the team wants me to do to win – that’s what I’m here for.”

(On whether he will exclusively play tackle) – “I’ve moved around a little bit. Right now, it’s not really solidified what I’m going to do. I’ve moved around and played all sorts of positions. That’s what we’re doing now. We’re getting a feel for the defense. That’s what we’re doing now in OTAs – focusing on playing hard and getting the defense down.”

(On whether he was happy to be claimed off waivers by the Dolphins) – “Yes. After getting released – with my family and everything – we were trying to figure out everything and get some solid ground. It was definitely a huge relief to get picked up here, because then it gives me a little bit of a solid ground to stand on. It was really awesome. I’m really fortunate that the team gave me a chance. I’m really appreciative of that, as well.”

(On whether he enjoys remaining in the AFC East with the Patriots) – “(I) get to see them two times a year, go up there and compete against some great guys that I know up there. I think it’s pretty cool.”

(On Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph) – “I was with Vance in Houston for a little bit. I was drafted in Houston. Right now, I think he’s great. He’s very straightforward with us as a defense, very realistic (with) what he has in store for us. I think what he expects out of us is (for) us to be great. That’s the thing you need in defensive coordinators. They need to have high expectations, and he has those. I think he does a great job of pushing us every day.”

(On whether playing alongside DT Ndamukong Suh can help someone get better) – “Absolutely. The type of player Suh is … Obviously, he’s one of the greatest. Guys are going to focus on him, I’m sure, because he just takes up so much space. He makes you take him. I can see it in practice, too.  He comes in, works hard (and) dominates every day.”

Leonte Carroo – June 8, 2016 Download PDF version

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Wide Receiver Leonte Carroo

(On the biggest difference going up against NFL cornerbacks) – “Everybody knows schemes. They fit what they have to do on defense well. They’re technically sound. They’re smart. They’re fast. Everybody is talented at this level. It’s just fun to go out there and compete against those guys.”

(On whether he was asked to read leverages and run option routes when he was in college) – “Yes. I ran a pro-style offense for four years so my coach last year had me do things like that. I got a pretty good understanding of being able to focus on defenses and pretty much run (my) route based on what they do.”

(On how much reading leverages is coming into play here) – “A lot. You have to know what the coverage is. You have to always have your eyes on the defense. They’re blitzing and you got to be able to know what route you have to run (based) on what the defense is bringing. You just have to make sure you’re on point and you’re focused.”

(On if anything has surprised him about life in the NFL) – “Guys have told me throughout this whole process that you just have to be a pro. Everything they’ve told me is true. You just have to do the little things that are going to allow you to stay in the NFL a long time. You have to take care of your body. You have to be smart. You have to play hard and you just have to be focused. You can’t do the same thing every day. You have to be different and just be consistent and do positive things in order to stay (here) long.”

(On if there is anybody in particular that he has leaned on for advice) – “My whole wide receiver corps. They’ve been great. All the older guys, they’ve been helping out whether it’s the playbook or whether it’s just life outside of football – they’ve been tremendous on helping us rookies out.”

(On the best piece of advice he has gotten so far) – “To take care of your body. In this league, it’s long. Practices are much harder. It’s a grind and you just got to go out there every single day and take care of your body (and) do the little things that are going to get you moving for the next day.”

(On if there is an area that the coaches have focused him on in terms of skill development) – “Not only me (but) every single receiver, we all could use a lot of help. That’s just sinking our weight at the top of our routes. (Wide Receivers) Coach (Shawn) Jefferson is big on that and chest over toes. It allows you to get in and out of breaks faster. That’s what we have been emphasizing on, day in and day out, and just trying to get better at it.”

(On how he would describe the team’s receiving corps) – “Very talented. We have a bunch of guys who are very fast, very strong (and a) very big receiving corps. I think what separates us is our catching ability. We have a lot of receivers on the team with really great hands that just take tremendous pride in catching the ball. Since I’ve been here, I just like the way we work. We grind every day and we take pride and we hold each other accountable as a receiving corps.”

(On if the drills the coaches have him doing in practice are new to him and are helping him get in and out of breaks) – “Yes. They’re very new. I’ve never done anything like that and it’s definitely been helping. (Wide Receivers) Coach (Shawn) Jefferson does a great job in our indy (individual) periods, making those drills that we do transition to team reps. It’s just been great going out there and learning from him and watching it translate on the field.”

(On if he senses that Wide Receivers Coach Shawn Jefferson makes the rookie wide receivers re-run a lot of routes) – “No, not at all. We’re rookies. We’re his class. We’re the class that he brought in and he just wants to get us better and break old habits that we may have. Right now we have a lot of habits that we ingrained in ourselves from college and he’s just trying to break those habits. The only way you break those habits is by getting a lot of reps.”

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