WEIS: “It’s interesting because they brought him in two weeks into training camp. You bring a guy in and he’s a little rusty and dropping some balls, running around pretty good, run routes pretty well, but you’re just saying here’s a guy that’s a candidate for the practice squad. Then as the year goes on, all of a sudden, every day he goes out there he’s getting better and better and better and better, to the point where now you’re starting to, hey maybe this guy can get on the field. Then all of a sudden he starts playing some special teams and they put him out there as a gunner and he’s out there making some plays, so now as you’re looking at your receiver corps, when you’re bringing a limited number of receivers to a game, he’s playing himself into a guy that not only got onto the team but now is a contributor on the field.”
Q: You tell guys all the time as coaches that the way onto the team for some guys is special teams. Some take that to heart, but others think that special teams is like climbing over a mountain or they’ve got no shot at it?
WEIS: “I think Todd’s philosophy has always been, and we all come from the same mentality, that the easiest way for a young guy to get on the team is through special teams. Really, here’s a case where he showed improvement as a receiver, but his improvement on special teams was really what got him on the field first. I think that anyone, whether you’re a draft choice or an undrafted rookie free agent, you have a chance of playing on the team as long as you can show up on special teams.”
Q: That being said, what did he show you to earn more playing time on offense?
WEIS: “Well, now all those nice routes he was running and the ball was on the ground because he was a little rusty weren’t on the ground anymore. All of a sudden he’s catching those balls and running good routes. He’s far from a polished product, but from where he was when he got here in training camp until now is night and day.”
Q: Todd says he’s got some unique abilities. What would those be?
WEIS: “He’s the boss. I like to talk more in the big picture things. I think that really the big picture with this kid right here is special teams helped get him on the team and on the field and he’s shown improvement every day as a receiver.”
Q: Do you feel like you’re getting your whole toolbox back for this game?
WEIS: “It’s getting close. We’ll see what happens but it’s getting close.”
Q: What have you seen on the tape from this Seattle defense?
WEIS: “Well, I’m familiar with their scheme, but it all starts with LB Lofa (Tatupu) inside. He really runs the show right there as far as controlling that defense and any time you have a veteran middle linebacker who kind of gets everyone. They’ve got pressure and they’ve got a bunch of other things and they’re very good against the run and when you’re going against a team that’s good against the run, when that’s our forte, it ends up going strength against strength so we’ve got our work cut out for us.”