Good afternoon. Thanks for coming. I'll start this by saying like I always say this is the toughest couple of days in football. You spend all your offseason assembling a group of fellas, and then at some point you're mandated to release a bunch of them. So it's a tough time for everybody, and we're trying to work our way through it. I'll be glad to take any questions.
(Did you put a claim in on Thomas Gafford?)
We didn't put any claims in this year.
(What do you plan to do at long snapper?)
We're working on it. We don't have anything to announce yet.
(No one on roster you would be confident going into a game with?)
Probably not. We'll probably do something. Like I said, we're working on it.
(Would you consider one of the veteran quarterbacks available or are you confident with the three you have?)
I think it goes with any position, we consider a lot of different combinations. There are a bunch of ways to do different things. There's different numbers you can come up with and things like that. The quarterback is no different than any other position. If we think someone can come in and help us, we would consider that.
(Would you be comfortable going in with the three you have?)
Yes I am. I think Mike and I both are. We wish we had a little more seasoning, but we don't.
(Who is the backup quarterback in your eyes?)
It doesn't matter what my eyes say. Coach McCarthy and his staff decide that. In terms of second quarterback and things? I don't know.
(Would you have room for four quarterbacks on the roster?)
Well, yeah, you could make adjustments in your roster any way you see fit. If you think it's better for the team, sure you could.
(Could we classify that as unlikely?)
Well, I don't know. We've had some oddball roster numbers the last couple of years I think. One year we had four tight ends, last year we had two. It just kind of depends on what you think is best for the group.
(Speaking of odd numbers, do you have room for any more linebackers?)
No, that's a good group of linebackers, so we've got seven.
(What set Kregg Lumpkin apart from the other backs?)
It was a pretty good group of running backs this year too, as you guys know that came to practice a lot and watched the preseason. I thought Kregg was very steady. He was proficient in picking up in pass protection. He did a nice job on screens and getting out of the backfield. He obviously runs the ball hard. I thought he got yards after contact. I thought he had a very good training camp and preseason.
(Why bring DeShawn Wynn back to the practice squad?)
I ask why not? I'll say this again, I know DeShawn gets a lot of guff, and we're all a little bit disappointed he's been injured some, but he helped us win some games last year, and I think he's a talented back, and we're going to put him back out there and let him compete some more.
(Do you need another defensive tackle? Is three enough?)
I think we actually have some versatility there. We've been doing that all training camp. We moved Jason Hunter inside some, Mike Montgomery inside, obviously Cullen Jenkins has some history in there. So that's where we are. At all positions you wish you could have more, but that's where we are right now.
(Why didn't Daniel Muir make the roster?)
It was a close call. It was just one of those things where you weight that position or that player against other players, and that's the way it came out. It was a tough call. We had some, in my opinion, very difficult decisions to make this year.
(Did you feel he didn't make progress from last year?)
No, I thought he had a good offseason and I thought he had a good training camp. It was just kind of the decision we made there.
(Did any of the players you released get claimed by other teams?)
Yes. Daniel Muir. Indianapolis. I don't know if I'm supposed to be telling you guys this. But he did, and good for him.
(Did you put any claims in and not get anyone?)
No, we didn't claim anyone. No and no.
(The last three years you made moves there. Did you not see anything there that you were interested in?)
It's just where it was. I think our core group has progressed far enough along that barring some injuries or something, we felt pretty good about being able to pick and choose from our group. That's kind of the way it turned out. It wasn't that there weren't some people that we'd be interested in, it's just that, OK, well, you're interested in them, but you claim them, you have to cut somebody else, and we weren't really that eager to do that.
(How do you make a move at long snapper since the 53 is set?)
That's something we're still kind of working through. That's part of the process. You juggle things around, you take something from here, you add something here, and you just kind of have to figure it out as you go.
(How long would J.J. Jansen have been out for?)
The injury, specifically, I'm not going to get into it, but in his case it's a fair number of weeks and months and things like that.
(Had he not sustained the injury, were you happy with his performance?)
I was. I thought J.J. had a very good spring and training camp and I thought he snapped the ball very well, good in preseason. Yeah, I was happy with him. He had made our team.
(Do you hope to have a snapper in by tomorrow's practice?)
We're working on that, like I answered before. It's sort of an ongoing process, but we're working at it.
(Since you are dealing with specialists, does Mike Stock have more input than other position coaches?)
No, I think everybody is the same if it involves their position or they are the coordinator at a particular group, we ask for their advice. But special teams coaches in general have a little bit better feel for the individuals at those specialized positions just because they have got their hands on them leading up to the draft and at the combine and all of that. Special teams coaches in general have their own group that talk a lot. I would think they would probably have some more information, but we're pretty inclusive when we start talking about personnel upstairs.
(Did you work out snappers today or will you do that tomorrow?)
I'm not sure how I'll answer that. We never really comment on who we may or may not have in for a workout, but if we haven't worked somebody out already, we probably will. Is that vague enough?
(Is there a general thought process of when you would like to have your top draft picks contribute?)
No, I think you probably think about that leading up to the draft as this guy might be a year away or this guy might come in and play right away, but you never know. You're almost always fooled. Sometimes it takes people a little bit longer and some guys step in and play right away that kind of surprise you. I don't know if there is an exact formula for figuring that out either.
(Aside from your quarterbacks, is this roster better than it was a year ago?)
We don't know. We think we have a lot of good players on this team. We think it's a good group of people. We think they are accountable to each other. The team last year was 13-3 in the regular season. I think the final record was 14-4, so we've got some doing to get to that, so we'll see.
(Not knowing what you were going to be a year ago, do you feel like it is better?)
I don't know. It's like two children; which one do you like the most? You like them both. I like this team though. Like I said about last year's team, we don't make predictions, we don't talk a lot of trash, but we think week and week out we'll have a team that can compete and if we play well and do our job, we'll have a chance to win the game.
(Are you going to keep all of the guys you put on injured reserve for the year?)
I don't think I want to get into that. We'll see. We'll see how that goes.
(How do you evaluate a guy like Lumpkin, who was playing primarily against third- and fourth-string guys in the preseason games compared to guys like Noah Heron and Vernand Morency?)
We take it all into account. Obviously Noah and Vernand have done an outstanding job here. They are unbelievable professional football players. They are skilled at what they do. They know what they are doing at all times, so you can put them in at different roles. Those two were extremely difficult decisions to make. We just felt like with the makeup of our running back group and the fact that we wanted to carry a couple of fullbacks, that was the decision that we needed to make. It was a tough call.
(Is Brandon Jackson OK? He didn't play the other night.)
As far as I know. Again, injuries I'm going to stay away from now that the season has started. I think it was just he had been carrying a lot of water leading up to that.
(Brett Favre continues to take shots at you publicly. Does that disappoint you?)
No. I'll say this and we've said this before; we wish Brett the best and we are trying to get ready for the start of the season.
(Are you aware of what he said?)