What We Learned From Monday's Media Availability

Head Coach Andy Reid, C Mitch Morse, DL Jaye Howard and CB Ron Parker addressed the media Monday

HEAD COACH ANDY REID

Opening Statement:"Alright, just real quick. The guys that didn't practice today were the three main guys – [Jamaal] Charles, Tamba [Hali] and [Justin] Houston. Again, they're rehabbing and doing a good job. With that, it was good to get the guys back out there in pads. Traded back-and-forth, offense versus defense. We had a lot of team periods and got a lot of plays in today. Weather held and fans were good. We appreciate them coming out and supporting us during this time."

Q:What were your thoughts of getting to hit and the first day of pads?

REID: "I thought they came out and competed. They had a ton of reps.  I just thought they did very well. For the first day, I thought – for my time here – this is the best first day and this is something to build on. You got to keep that up – keep that level up to be a championship caliber team and challenge yourself. That's a challenge for all of us."

Q:Has Knile Davis improved in his receiving game?

REID: "When he first came here, that wasn't the strength of his game and he works like crazy. No one works harder than Knile [Davis]. He had a couple of real nice catches out here today."

Q:What qualities are you looking for in a running back?

REID: "What we try to do is look at their strengths and how they fit into our offense and then, utilize it from there – utilize their talents from there. Then, we're going to ask them to try and get better at things. Knile, would be that example. Knile [Davis] came in, and we were able to get some great games out of him from more of an I position, downhill runner. He did a beautiful job, and he has continued to work on his pass game. He's gotten better at it. So, now, we're putting him in in those situations – he does a good job with it. That's how we look at all of them. They're all different. They all got their strengths and weaknesses. We'll take care of their strengths and let them show them off, and let's get better on the weaknesses."

Q:What are some of the strengths you've seen from Justin March so far?

REID: "He's always around the ball, first of all. He's got a real knack. We saw that last year before he got hurt, and you saw it here today. He's constantly around the ball."

Q:Is that something that comes from experience or do you just have that?

REID: "There are some guys that have that natural instinct – they just get it. Other guys, they just learn it and become equally as good, but that's a good starting place if you've got that extra sense there."

Q:On young linebackers coming in and competing?

REID: "Yes, absolutely. It's great for them to learn, and it also gives Dave [Toub] some quality special teams players. Those special teams players – the safeties, the tight ends and the linebackers – those are important guys on your special teams – the fullbacks. Those are all important on your special teams. They learn angles there. They can develop. It gives them time to develop and then, learn the defense."

Q:What kind of boost does it give your offense when you see that potential from Tyler Bray of throwing the deep ball? 

REID: "I think that's one of his strengths. I know he enjoys doing it. He was good at that in college, and he's carried that on to this level. He's got a nice, feel and touch for it. He's got good guys he's throwing to. Tribute to [John] Dorsey and his crew for bringing guys in here."

Q:What kind of advantage is having Zach Sterup out there with his height on the line?

REID: "I actually had one at Missouri when I was coaching there – Russell Bus McCullough [Russell McCullough] who was 6'10. It's a different hemisphere. I had [Jon] Runyan and Tra Thomas at Philadelphia for all those years, and they were 6'8. They're big guys. It's a different world up there and leverage becomes an issue – you got to work that. The guys that've been around that are able to do that, and you know what, he did a nice job in the OTAs. He did some good things out here today. So, that'll be his challenge. When you're that tall, just being able to bend."

 Q:What are you looking for in Marcus Peters in his second season and who does he remind you of?

REID: "Marcus Peters – I'm not sure you can name somebody; I wouldn't even go there. I think he's going to do his own thing, put his own mark on it. Again, great instincts. He had a play yesterday where we had him dead in the water. He read the coverage, read the throw and then just peeled off on the guy he was covering deep, came back and made a play on it. Not a lot of guys in this league can do that; they don't have the instinct and skill to do that. Great hips. Great instinct."

Q: What have you seen from Chris Jones leading up to today that makes him fit in your defense?

REID: "He did some good things in the team period and again he's a big man that's got skill and he's long. So he's got great arm length and good athletic ability. Does he have to learn, does he have to continue to get stronger throughout the season? Yeah, that's how it works for the young guys."

Q: You have so little time in pads, how valuable are those opportunities for the offensive lineman to practice with tempo, rhythm, to pick up a twist, blitz protection?

REID: "Yeah sure, we're going to try to get as many reps as we can in the day. That's all we can do. So each one is a valuable rep, not only for the young guys, but also for the starters. The five there is a new group (offensive line). It's important that they come together as we go here and work in there. And Zach's (Fulton) a rotational guy in that group too; we consider him one of the five. So, as you see it's important that they're all dancing the same dance."

Q: From your experience, how long does it take a team to get used to the fatigue?

REID: "Listen, it today's world, year-round football they don't get a lot of time off. I think it's less than what it used to be. In the offseason they aren't doing as much football as they're doing (now), even though it's not in pads, you're still putting yourself in a position to make plays. And you do this and in a couple days you work through that soreness and heavy legs and you're rolling."

Q: Spencer Ware, he caught a ball and he said that's something he's wanted to prove he can do, in your opinion, where is he at this stage of his game?

REID: "Spencer was a great baseball player and he was a quarterback in high school. So you look at that and you go he's a pretty good athlete. I'm not telling you he's the fastest guy; he doesn't need to be the fastest guy. But he's got great vision and he's got good feet and he can catch. And so those things continue to work in our offense. He's got to continue to work on his pass block, that's his challenge he's just got to be able to do that and you see that with the young runners. That's something they got to just keep working and you'll see them improve on that as we go here."

C MITCH MORSE Q: Do you like practicing with the pads on at this time of the year?* MORSE:*

"Yeah I think for offensive and defensive linemen it's more realistic -- which for us is huge. It's also nice to be able to get the footwork down with an understanding of who to get. Then we work forward and put it together with man-on-man drills. This is what it's all about. It was a great first day, and we're excited for where we plan to be in the next few weeks."

Q:Do you feel like this time of the year is where you make big gains and improvements?* MORSE:*

"Absolutely. Improvement, mental, and physical toughness right now is huge as well. It's definitely a little taxing on the mind and the body but you come out of it much stronger than you came into it. In regards to the little nuances of the game on both the offense and defense, it's huge. Training camp is part of it all -- it's the nature of the beast."

Q:How does this group improve on last year to get last year's sack number down?* MORSE:*

"It's just knowing how to work with each other and learning each other's tendencies. We all have different techniques in how we play the position. Each of us does that a little differently. When we can learn each other's game and see how one another does this and that, the more cohesive we can be in the end. It's just repetitions from the same guys at this point and staying healthy. That way we're not worrying about playing different positions in different weeks and wondering who's going to be lined up next to us and effecting the game plan."

Q:Alex Smith mentioned on Saturday that he doesn't look at you as a "second-year player" with how far you've come at center. How do you see yourself? And what does it mean to have a player like Smith say that about you?MORSE: "It means everything. I look up to Alex as does this entire offensive line and offensive unit. He's an incredible competitor. I was very fortunate to have him as a rookie when I made mistakes or had a question. He was gracious with his time and the patience he had for me was uncanny. I will never forget that, and I'm forever grateful of that. For me individually this year, it's just working on getting better each day regardless of what that may be. I can't get 'destination disease.' It's never acceptable to stay where you are and for me, the great thing is I have so much to improve on. That's exciting for me and at the same time it's taxing physically."

Q:What does it mean for a guy like Jaye Howard to say that this offensive line is one of the best he's gone up against -- especially for it just being the first day in pads?MORSE: "I also have incredible respect for our defensive line. We've got a Top-5 defense and that all starts up front. Those guys are incredible competitors and Jaye is a very good athlete and defensive lineman. For him to say that, it means a lot. We're all just trying to push each other to be the best team we can be so when it comes to Sundays, we're ready to go out and compete."

DL JAYE HOWARD

Q:How competitive was it out there during the first day in pads?

HOWARD: "The O-line really gets after it coming off the rock. The D-line, I was talking to them after practice and was like this is probably the best group we've seen at the start of camp. They're really coming off working well together."

Q: Do you like the limited number of physical practices in pads now or would you prefer it were different?

HOWARD: "We go hard. So if we have time to get off to recover, we're going to take it. So I definitely like it."

Q: What's the difference between these types of practices in terms of recovery and how much it takes out of you versus the practices without (pads)?

HOWARD: "You definitely have to be pro-body, got to take care of your body. That's what comes with the play."

Q: What do you think the potential is with these guys?

HOWARD: "I think we'll be able to get to the quarterback. We have guys that are good edge rushers like Justin (Houston), Tamba (Hali), Dee Ford and Frank Zombo. Inside, me, (Dontari) Poe and (Allen) Bailey, you know we're going to get after it. I think we're going to be pretty good."

DB RON PARKER

Q:A lot of fresh faces, a lot of new guys and younger guys from last year too. Does it feel like you're still trying to figure things out?

PARKER:"No, not really. Since OTAs I think everybody in the group, the guys, did a good just coming in and putting in the time and effort. Watching film, studying and knowing what they have to do when they hit the field in training camp, so I think we have a really good sync and everybody's doing a good job of competing out there."

Q:We know Spencer Ware's a sledgehammer, and we know he'll run over you. What do you see in him as far as being a receiver?

PARKER:"I've seen a little bit of everything from Spencer Ware. He's been doing a job catching the ball at the backfield, running the ball downhill, he's a good power running back for us. I've been seeing a lot of good things from him since he started training camp, and it's a good thing to have him out there moving like that."

Q:What do you think of the combo of him, Charcandrick West, and Knile Davis?

PARKER:"It's a rare combo. I have never seen so much talent in the backfield, and those guys can do everything and anything. It's just good to have running backs that can do anything that you need those guys to do, and they do a good job of getting the job done."

Q:We know it's different when the quarterback has the yellow jersey on, but Alex this camp has shown his ability to extend plays, how hard does he make it on you guys?

PARKER:"Alex makes it tough. He's a really great quarterback. He does a good job of looking up the defense, and when he comes to the line of scrimmage he has everything down pat. He's sharp and he's skilled, and he makes us better as a defense when were out there going against him."* *

Q:A guy like Marcus Peters, can you evaluate him? What is the difference between him now and a year ago?

PARKER:"Ever since day one when he walked in last year, I never really looked at him as a rookie. He came in humble, quiet and he worked from day one. He always made plays from the first day he came in the building, and he has always carried himself like a veteran player. He never really carried himself like a rookie, and he's done a good job of just coming in and playing ball for us."

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