How was practice combining rookies and veterans?
Jeff Fisher “Today was really good. We got everybody together Monday and did some work in the individual groups on their own. Tuesday we had our first OTA (organized team activity) with everybody and I thought it was good. The young guys took what we gave them home and came back a couple of weeks later and obviously they’ve been working. That was one point we got across to them is how far the veterans are ahead of them from a conditioning standpoint. Today they were much more relaxed and we were able to work many of them in.”
Did you inform the rookies they don’t have to try to prove themselves in the first couple of days?
Fisher “They are here for one reason -- that is to help us win. You set aside making the team and doing this and doing that, it is to help us win. Learn as best you can and the vets will help you.”
What do the younger guys have to get used to at OTAs?
Fisher “The younger guys, you see defensive lineman going on the ball rather than going on the hard count and keeping the pocket clean. It’s one thing to knock a ball down on the line of scrimmage; it’s another thing to knock a ball down in the pocket where you’ve got a quarterback following through. It’s about protecting each other and staying off the ground and those types of things.”
What is Winkler’s status and his progress as a player?
Fisher “We do not have an exemption for him; we are not one of those teams that will have a European exemption this year. He’s done a great job. He has earned the right to have a chance to compete at training camp.”
How is Chris Johnson’s speed against the veterans?
Fisher “We have seen several instances. We have seen a number of instances on Tuesday where it is obvious (his speed). He really didn’t get an opportunity today; he’s picking more offense up and most of the things he had to do today were in a short area.”
What is the importance of choosing a left guard in the first two weeks of camp?
Fisher “There is no rush there. Mike (offensive line coach Mike Munchak) does a good job; we are going to keep rotating guys. We’ve got guys, we feel, that can all play at that position, so we are in no rush to make a decision. I’m not in a hurry to make that decision. We are still in OTAs right now and we won’t have pads on for a couple of months, so we have plenty of time for that.”
How is Jason Jones’ progress and development?
Fisher “Again, they don’t have pads on. You have to be quick to judge, quick to react. When you don’t have pads on it’s a completely different game. He is athletic and he is no different than William (Hayes); they chase, they run, and they are very instinctive.”
What about the passes being batted down during Thursday’s OTAs?
Fisher “Deflections and batted balls in game situations are very, very good. You have to be realistic. Sometimes guys aren’t getting pass rush or there may be a double team. If there is a double team and a guy gets his hands up and blocks it, that’s great. Some guys have a knack for it and some guys don’t. There is always going to be an instance, regardless how good of a pass rusher you are, where you just may not get there. What that implies is that you’ve got a pocket presence, you’ve got a sense for timing, and you know when the ball is going to come out. If you are not in a position to make a play on the passer, then you can make a play on the ball. Out here at practice on offense we get frustrated with it, but it’s a good thing to be able to work on.”
What is Alge Crumpler’s influence on Vince Young?
Fisher “Alge knows exactly what to do, how to do it and can do it well. With that said, we have things that are specifically designed to go to the tight end; Vince is going to have a comfort level.”
What is Albert Haynesworth missing by not being at OTAs?
Fisher “It’s the day to day work. It’s the day to day change of direction, conditioning, and the workload. Like I said several weeks ago, I hope he is able to find and match the workload somewhere else, but it is very, very difficult to do.”