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Coordinators Press Conferences 9/18

Dave Toub, Doug Pederson and Bob Sutton speak with the media before practice.



Q:** How's your kicker (Cairo Santos) look this week? How worried are you?

TOUB:"He looks good. We just keep going back and remember the body of work he showed us during training camp and the exhibition games. I said this to somebody, 'if we brought five kickers in from the street right now and he was one of them - he'd still be the best kicker out of that group.' We still believe in Cairo, he had a real good day at practice yesterday and we are going to kick him again today. I think he's going to be fine, he just needs confidence. He needs to get some kicks under his belt and get into a groove and I think he'll be fine."

Q: With Knile Davis taking on a larger role with offense, how is it going to affect how you tackle the returner position?

TOUB:"You saw in the game when Jamaal went down we took him off kick return. We had a couple returns where we threw Frankie (Hammond Jr.) in there and Frankie did a good job. We have Frankie, we can throw him in there. Another guy if Jamaal is down, Joe McKnight, he's another option for us. He was down in the game because he was inactive but we have options there."

Q: Albert Wilson fit in your special teams plans?

TOUB:"He does, it's just numbers. Right now he's the odd man out, we have six wide receivers so one guy is going to be down and right now he's that guy. If there was a week where a guy got hurt and he would be up, we would definitely work him in that week."

Q: Is what you're going through with Cairo anything unusual for a rookie kicker?

TOUB:"When Robbie Gould was a rookie and we picked him up, he was on the street, he was one of the five guys we brought in. The story, I think everybody knows it but he made kicks early and his confidence built. We kept them short and he made kicks and then his confidence built and he was the guy. I think that's going to be the same thing with Cairo. We just have to be patient, he's a rookie and stick with him and show him support. I think everybody is behind him, team, coaches, and everybody is still behind him."

Q: How hard is it to be patient with Cairo right now?

TOUB:"Well you know the NFL, you're going to be patient to a point. He knows there's a sense of urgency. He understands that. We're going to keep being patient at this point."

Q: Kickers are a different breed right though? Kind of fragile?

TOUB:"It's such a mental, if you've ever played golf and you stand over that put with any shadow of doubt that you'll miss – you're going to miss it. You can't have that in your head. He's got to revert back and remember all the kicks that he's made. He earned a job, I mean he beat a good player out. He's a good kicker and he's going to be kicking in this league, hopefully it's still with us."

Q: You can't really yell at kickers though right?

TOUB:"I don't know, I yell at him sometimes."

Q: Who's the best you've been around in regards to mental toughness?

TOUB:"Robbie Gould."

Q: More than even Succop?


Q: What was it about him?

TOUB:"He had an edge about him. If I got in his face a little bit he would come back at me and I knew he was fine. I would rather see a guy who's says, 'I'm going to make this next kick.' Than to have a guy who's like, 'hey, yeah ok coach.' You want the guy to have a football player mentality. Robbie Gould had that, and I think Cairo is still developing that."

Q: Do you have a couch in your office for kickers to lay down on?

TOUB:"Yeah, you almost have to be a psychologist sometimes."



Q:** Is there a benefit to building the game plan around Knile Davis and him having the first team snaps in practice as opposed to last week?

PEDERSON: "Bottom line, yeah, it is a benefit to Knile because he is getting all of the reps. Offensively you would love to have everybody and you'd love to have 2-5 (Jamaal Charles) and all that getting him the reps as well. But yeah, it is a benefit to Knile. He's a guy as we saw last week in the football game when 2-5 went down, came in and had an outstanding game. He's understanding his role and that's a big part of what he does."

Q: How tough is it to have a young player learn his role when he is not the featured guy?

PEDERSON: "It's hard. As a quarterback myself and being in that position, you just have to – it's a lot of off-the-field work. Obviously study the tape, go back and review when you have downtime with the game plan and sort of put yourself in the position of being that starter or being that backup role player. And we've got a lot of guys that are in that situation obviously. Injuries are part of the game, next guy steps up. I know it's cliché but that's what you have to do and it's important that those guys understand their job and their assignments on the field."

Q: Have you ever seen Knile Davis play with that much enthusiasm on the field?

PEDERSON: "Yeah, there were signs of it last year of him coming in there and making a nice run or picking up a blitz. You kind of see that from him. He's the silent, quiet type. But to see him kind of jazzed up and juiced up was exciting to see."

Q: Do you think Eric Bieniemy is rubbing off on him a bit?

PEDERSON:"Could be, could be. Eric's done a great job with those guys."

Q: The knock on Knile Davis was he had fumbling issues coming out of college. What have you done to help him? He's done a good job of hanging on.

PEDERSON:"It's a conscious thing. We haven't really – something we just don't spend a lot of time over preaching it or over teaching it. It's a mindset. We talk with all our skill players and backs are included in that and tight ends, but ball security is a big part of what we do and in order to score points, you need the football in your hands. And he's done a nice job with that and he's very conscious of it in practice."

Q: How much has Knile's vision and blocking improved since you drafted him?

PEDERSON:"It's gotten a lot better. He's allowing the blocks to take place, and he's being patient as a runner, and that's a big part of it, and he's seeing things really well and he's watching that kind of movie screen move in front of him and he's making those cuts. So credit to him, he spends a lot of time watching tape and Coach Bieniemy does a good job with those guys and obviously doing it in here in practice helps him."

Q: What are some of the things you are looking for out of De'Anthony Thomas?

PEDERSON:"He's explosive as we know and get the ball in his hands and you try to create ways each week to get him in space much like we did last year with Dexter (McCluster). He's a guy that you give him a handful of plays each week, and you focus on these along with the special team aspects so we continue to grow with that."

Q: How good is his ability to read blocks on stretch plays and accelerate through?

PEDERSON:"He did a lot of that at Oregon from the backfield so we've just got to keep him rolling that way and keep him exposed to it."

Q: What is De'Anthony Thomas? A running back or a wide receiver?

PEDERSON:"Yes. Yes. I mean, he's a hybrid guy much like we had with Dexter. You can line him up in the backfield, use him as a runner, you can motion him out or line him up as a receiver and he gives you that versatility that way."

Q: This is your second straight week with the same offensive line now, correct? Any changes in your offensive line this week?

PEDERSON:"No, they did an outstanding job."

Q: You had a nice 10 minute drive and good time of possession, but you didn't get as many points as you wanted. Where does your offensive line factor into that?

PEDERSON:"No, but we talked last week too about that offensive line kind of coming together and gelling having that cohesiveness and they did that in this game. They were a physical group, they kind of took the punch to Denver on Sunday. That's something they can go into this week and the next couple of weeks just having that confidence as a group. The communication level is good and they just keep building on that."

Q: For being on the road, they were pretty penalty free.

PEDERSON:"They were. And to work the silent cadence that we did and really with the entire game – whether we were under center or in the shotgun – they did a nice job. And that's just paying attention to detail, we rep it in practice so we're not tricking anybody when we get to Sunday. And again, they did a nice job."

Q: John Fox seemed concerned about your silent count?

PEDERSON:"Hey, everybody in the National Football League has one. Alex (Smith) is good at different cadence rhythms with our silent as opposed to maybe sometimes being a vocal cadence guy. Again, our guys did a great job with that."

Q: If it's a silent count, what is the cadence?

PEDERSON:"Can't tell you that."


Q:Can you give us a little scouting report on Ryan Tennehill?

SUTTON: "Ryan is a real good athlete and as most of you know he was a wide receiver all the way until his junior year at (Texas) A&M. He's a really good athlete. He's a big guy. He would probably be a little bit like (Jake) Locker, you know what I mean? That kind of guy. He's not as quite as thick as Jake is, but he has that kind of movement skills, has a very live arm and I think as an ascending quarterback, this is only year four or five of actually playing the position, he brings a lot to the table and having gone against him before, he can hurt you on his feet both in extending a play and then just flat taking off. He's got that and like I said, he's functioned I think pretty good, he's done good job against pressure throwing the ball. I think he's playing pretty well for them right now."

Q: Do you see any Alex Smith in him?

SUTTON: "Yeah, I think he has that kind of thing and my sense is he's trying to be a pocket quarterback as much as he can, but anytime those guys have those innate skills, they kind of veer their ugly head in our perspective, but he can move in there. I think he's trying to become a quarterback in there and he does have, which Alex does a fabulous job of, extending plays and some of the plays that go unnoticed for those guys that do this just the ability to get the ball away, throw the ball away instead of taking a sack, whatever. They do a great job of that and Alex does that fabulously well."

Q: Has Vance Walker been a disappointment to you?

SUTTON: "No. He went in and played a little bit last week and will probably play a little bit more this week. The hard part for Vance, there's two. It's hard to get a lot of reps right now but two; we've asked Vance to really play all three of those positions and that's a hard task to be the three, the nose, to be able to back up at the five technique. I think that he is going to come along and we thought he did some good things there against Denver."

Q: Is he a little less versatile than you thought?

SUTTON: "No I don't think so. Our original thought was he'd be the inside piece, one of those two positions and obviously through some injuries he's had to go out and learn the other position and we kind of got him exposure to that during camp just in case something would happen and now he's just the guy we're asking to wear a lot of hats really."

Q: Two games and you haven't taken a ball away. That's got to be aggravating.

SUTTON: "It's sad. I mean, we talk to our players all the time about you just have to stay the course and just keep going. Those things happen. I'm not sure why and when they happen but you've got to keep flying to the ball and when your opportunity comes you want to be there whether the ball is tipped, the ball is on the ground. Like we always say, numbers will favor us. We have a lot of people around the football whether it's up in the air or on the ground our chances are enhanced by that. That's the big emphasis is getting people to the ball and its one of those things you just have to trust players, coaches, everybody. We keep doing this, we keep pressing hard out there on these things, and eventually these things will come back. A year ago, we didn't really have many caused fumbles. We recovered almost every fumble that we had. One of our emphasis going into the year was to try to cause more fumbles to get the ball on the ground. The more times the ball is on the ground, the better our opportunities go up. We've got to keep working on that and we're working on that part in practice every day trying to get the ball out and I think like anything, if you stay the course with it, hopefully those things will start working in your favor."

Q: How similar is Miami to what Philly did?

SUTTON: "Obviously (Bill Lazor) who runs it so he brought that concept from Philly. I think he's put his own kind of finger prints on the system how he wants it done but the core running plays are very similar to what they did in Philly. That we are familiar with and he maybe has a little different style in the passing game, big picture passing than what Philly did."

Q: When Berry got hurt you put in (Ron) Parker. What did you see out of Parker and the opportunity to play?

SUTTON: "I think he did a real good job. His original position coming out was a safety and then he was converted to corner and we had actually been working him some at safety because you get into all these things not only injuries, but travel and who's up and all that. So, you know, you have to find a player that has a little versatility. It helps you make some of those game week decisions and who's going to be available. I think Ron went in and did a really good job. He'd been splitting time between corner and safety and we were really considering all the plays he had to play in there and did an excellent job. He's got an opportunity if he keeps working, he'd be a pretty good safety."

Q: Do you get the sense that the experience he had in college helps him to be able to see what's happening in front of him faster?

SUTTON: "Yeah, I think that and ever since we've had him he's kind of had a natural ability to make plays whether we use him as a blitzer or whatever he's just always had that knack. I think he feels comfortable back there. There's just a lot to learn, a lot of little things to learn and that's only going to come by playing back there, by practicing back there and playing because you can't just learn the assignment, but how to play the assignment out based on all the other factors that happen on one particular play only comes from playing back there, but so far I'd say yeah. He has a little bit of a natural skill set back there."

Q: Does he have the ability to kind of track the balls in the air? SUTTON: "Definitely that's one of the things that he can do at corner. He could travel with the ball and some guys play the ball better when they're running better than others, but he's even been able to do that down low going back and I think when you get back there that's even more natural. You're more like a center fielder in baseball, when it comes off the bat you can go get it. He's showing those skills. The things that are going to help him is the more comfortable he gets back there, the more familiar his break time, that's what's going to increase. There's no substitute for being back there to do that."

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