What We Learned From Jamaal Charles and Tamba Hali on Tuesday

Head Athletic Trainer Rick Burkholder, Head Coach Andy Reid, RB Jamaal Charles and LB Tamba Hali spoke with the media on Tuesday

HEAD ATHLETIC TRAINER RICK BURKHOLDER

OPENING STATEMENT:"Alright, real quick, so you know what we did with some of the roster stuff. Justin Houston was placed on PUP today. He's right around the six-month mark, and so he needs a little bit more time and this is all part of the playing process. One thing that I can tell you, in four weeks when we go to a bye week, he's scheduled to see his physician – Dr. Andrews and we'll reassess the situation then. With Josh Mauga, Josh got hurt back in early August, and we went through a whole process with our docs and his docs, and he has a labral tear in his hip. He's going to have surgery. Right now, it's scheduled for the eighth of September, and that will put him down for the year because it's a long rehab process back. Then, Trey Millard we waived injured. Trey had his left knee that he injured in L.A. – he tore his ACL in L.A. He had that fixed by Dr. Andrews yesterday, and he's already started the process today – the rehab process – and he'll come back to us next week and go through the whole six to 12 month process of rehabilitation, so that's why we made those moves."

HEAD COACH ANDY REID

OPENING STATEMENT:"Alright, that's really the injuries. Everybody else will suit up and be ready to go. The young guys will get most of the work – start Tyler [Bray] off at the quarterback spot, and he'll go for a while, and then, [Aaron] Murray will go for a while, and then, [Kevin] Hogan will go for a while, and we'll just see how that works out. Again, all those young guys are going to play, and we'll get a good evaluation on them."

Q: You have one more roster cut to make?

REID:"Mitch Mathews was released this morning."

Q:Do you get a roster exemption for Eric Berry, you can have 76?REID:"Until the first Saturday before, right, but we didn't mention Mitch [Mathews], I don't think."

Q: The fourth preseason game, the starters may not play – if at all – what's the philosophy here?

REID: "I think it's a great game for the young guys to get in and have an opportunity to show. Obviously you're not going to be able to keep everybody. But it gives you an opportunity as a player to get yourself on tape. And then if you don't make it here, you have an opportunity to make it somewhere else. That's what this is all about. From an organizational standpoint – it gives you an opportunity to evaluate them and making sure you're keeping the guys that you feel are the best."

Q: Was there a recent examination of [Justin] Houston that led to the decision to put him on the PUP [Physically Unable to Perform] list?

REID:"I'd have to get back to you. They update me all the time on where he's at, but I can't tell you what kind of examination it was right now – but I can get you that."

Q: Rick [Burkholder] said he'd see Dr. Andrews late September, during the bye week?

REID: "Yeah."

Q: What have you seen so far from Tamba [Hali] and Jamaal [Charles]? How do they look?

REID: "It looks like every day they're getting a little bit better. They're moving around pretty good and they're getting a lot of work – which is important. And they're pushing themselves. We've kind of eased them into this point here and we'll keep giving them a little bit more as we go. Both of them – you don't have to worry about the work ethic – it's just a matter of knocking some of the rust off. For Jamaal it's getting trust in the leg and so every day he does a little bit more – his cuts are a little bit sharper. It's just a matter of time and we're okay with that."

Q: Do you feel pretty good about those guys being ready?

REID: "We'll see. I can't predict that – I would tell you that Tamba [Hali] is a little further along than where Jamaal [Charles] is right now. But both of them are making progress."

Q: Are you set on your starting quarterback for Thursday?

REID: "Yeah, Tyler Bray. All three of those young guys are going to play."

Q: How is [Phillip] Gaines after getting some practice in?

REID: "Again, he's another one – every day he gets a little better. He did get stepped on today, but he's doing good – he's feeling good and making progress. I thought he looked good the other day in the game – he didn't play a ton of snaps, but the snaps he was in on I thought he was fast and had good accurate feet."

Q:Has the situation with Colin Kaepernick created any discussions within your locker room?

REID: "No, not where I was involved with it, no. It hasn't."

**

RB JAMAAL CHARLES**

Q:How has this recovery process been? Is it more difficult than the previous one?CHARLES:"No. I'm just happy with where I'm at. It's different every time, especially after the first. I can't treat it like I did the first time -- I have to take a different approach."

Q:Did you think you would be back to 'full go' by this point?CHARLES:"I am 'full go' right now. I'm out here, I'm practicing and I can't be happier about where I'm at."

Q:How is the knee feeling after practice? Are you in the 'trust phase' still?CHARLES:"No. I work out before practices and do a lot with it. It's all going to come when it comes. It's just practice right now and I'm happy to be out here. I could be sitting on the couch watching TV, so like I said, I'm happy to be out here with my teammates."

Q:Is that the mindset you have to have to trust the process and don't try to push it too quickly?CHARLES:"Yes, absolutely. Worrying too much won't get you anywhere. By stepping with my faith, it will lead me in the right direction. If I worry about my knee being 'good', 'not good' or if it'll get better, it won't help anything. I can't worry about those types of things. I've got to get myself ready mentally and physically." 

Q:Touch on the experience you've had going through this before. CHARLES:"The first time was totally different. The first time I tore it in the second game, and this time I tore it in the fifth game. The doctor told me, 'When you have an ACL tear, don't treat it like you did the first one. It's totally different just like every knee is different.' I've just got to trust myself and where I'm at with it."

Q:Are you confident with your game speed?CHARLES:"Yes. When I step on the field, even just at practice, I'm able to work hard and be myself just to show everyone out here that I'm good to go. When we get into games, I'll do what it takes to get ready, but I won't do it to that extent. Before our own practices, I try to do so much and at a high level to get the knee stronger before I come out."

Q:Would you have preferred to have some sort of preseason action?CHARLES:"Not really. Every day is different. I just need to trust the process when I step on the field whether it's preseason or regular season."

Q:What has you in the best mental place you've been in?CHARLES:"I've learned a lot in my life; both in my past and where I'm at now. Being baptized, reading The Bible and understanding the word, I feel like I've learned and grown a lot in both my physical and spiritual life. That's holding me right now. If I didn't have all of that, I might be losing my mind at this point. I might be thinking, 'Oh man, why isn't my knee getting better? There's people in front of me.' But [my faith] is holding me. I'm being joyful, thankful and giving thanks in these times. Like I said before, I could be sitting on the couch watching TV.

"In addition, the funny thing with me is, I'm faster than normal people. I'm faster than all of you holding the cameras right now. I'm faster than some of my teammates. You may not see that directly, but I'm faster than some of the guys I'm going up against. I learned that a long time ago from one of my coaches when I was at Texas. My coach said, 'Jamaal, it's okay. Even though you have a limp and a bad ankle, you're still faster than the guys next to you.' I know I've received God-given talent. It's God's glory allowing me to come back from two ACL tears. I hope it inspires kids and others going through similar situations. It's going to make me better."

Q:What type of player can you be once you return? Can you give 20-25 carries like in years past? CHARLES:"I'm not sure. I'm ready for whatever the coaches ask. I'm ready, happy, and looking forward to getting on the field. When my time comes, it's going to come. It's not on my time, it's on God's time."

LB TAMBA HALI

Q:How close to being full go do you think you'll be come the San Diego game?

HALI:"Just working it day by day. I don't want to be ahead of myself, but each day I progress in my game, my take off, making contact with the guys. Right now Rick [Burkholder] and Coach [Reid] are the ones that are calling the shots."

Q:Has this been more of a process than you thought it was when you had the surgery?

HALI:"Yeah, at first I had surgery on this knee the year prior, and it healed two months later and I was up and running. This one took a little while, and I just had to be patient. It's still a process and I'll keep working at it."

Q:You haven't been able to practice much during the season over the last couple of years. Do you have any idea whether you'll be able to practice?

HALI:"I can only take it day by day. I love playing the game. I love practicing, but with all of the science that's come out and what we're doing with our team. How much I should practice and what they need me for I think that they've done a good job in monitoring when they need me on the field. I can't be mad at that. I can only do as they say."

Q:How'd you spend your days when the guys were away at camp? What were you doing to stay in shape? How did that go for you?

HALI:"A lot of rehab work and a lot of jiu jitsu. I did a lot of jiu jitsu this offseason to make sure I can keep my weight down and be able to work on my midsection and can help my knee area. A lot of jiu jitsu and rehab work."

Q:Do you feel pretty good about your weight?

HALI:"Yeah, sitting at 265, came in at 261. Before the season I was sitting at 285 in the spring, but I do it every year. I get big and then I lose it. It's almost like I love the challenge. Get big and get small again."

Q:Is that a little lighter than you have come in at in past years or right about the same?

HALI:"About the same."

Q:Was that jiu jitsu new for you?

HALI:"No I've done it for eight years. I've been working with Gracie's each summer I go up there and work with Rener and they're the masters of jiu jitsu, they're the best at it. I go up there and they put me through a brutal work out and put me on a good diet, The Gracie Diet. It's definitely paying off."

Q:Any ideas of getting in the octagon after you're done playing football?

HALI:"No. There is no way I'm going to get in the octagon and fight anyone. No [laughing]."

Q:How beneficial was it for you to rest the knee while still working out and staying in shape to not have to necessarily go through the grind of camp? Did that actually benefit you physically at this point in your career?

HALI:"I think so. I love playing the game so I'm kind of brainwashed from Penn State the way Coach Joe Paterno went about getting us mentally right to play this game. When I hit the field I go. Whether my knee's hurting or not hurting. As long as I'm on the field and can run I go. I think the coaches understand that and they've done a great job of making sure that 'well we know he's going to go. Let's just get him out there when we need him out there instead of just him messing up his knee or whatever the case may be."'

Q: Tamba, at this point in your career do you just take it year by year or do you have a goal for how many years you want to keep playing?

HALI: "Year by year, I love playing the game. It takes a huge toll on our body, but I still enjoy playing it, I still love being around the guys. The ultimate goal is to win a championship here, the Super Bowl, and that's my drive. I can't think further than just day by day for this season coming up."

Q: Do you feel any pain there, is there any swelling, is it okay?

HALI: "Yeah there's swelling, there's pain, it's part of it. I remember Jared Allen, he was balling out and he had some knee issues and then people thought he'd get eleven sacks and people would say, he's not doing well. You know one of the best pass rushers to ever do it. There's going to be pain in my knee. I can only work through it and get to the passer."

Q: To be fair, you've been doing that for a while right? You've been working through that for years.

HALI: "Yeah, I don't want to give my history but I've been working through some pain. I played through a lot of pain and it's just part of the game. Again I feel like brainwashed might sound like a bad term, but it's a good term in my eyes. The way I was bred at Penn State with Coach Larry Johnson and you know how to work through it. I remember I was playing nose tackle and had two high ankle sprains and he made them make a boot for me and I was playing nose tackle and he made me play. I thought it was torture but I had to understand it from another side. It's mental. If you can just fight through it mentally, physically you'll get it done. I think mentally I've been over prepared to play this game with any type of pain."

Q: When we talked to you last when you signed a new contract, you kind of talked a little about maybe a limited role this year. Maybe a pass rusher, than an every down guy. Is that kind of out the window, at least for now till Justin [Houston] gets back?

HALI: "It's all up to the coaches and Coach Reid. If he wants me in there more, then I'm in there more. If he wants me in there less, I kind of had a limited role last year a little bit but I put up a fight because I love playing and I wanted to be on the field. I can't put up a fight because this is for a greater cause. This isn't just for one game or five games or getting sacks. This is for getting to the Super Bowl healthy, and when you're healthy in January you see what that can do for you."

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