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What We Learned from Tuesday's Media Availability

Here are 12 takeaways from STs coach Dave Toub, OC Doug Pederson and DC Bob Sutton

Special Teams Coach Dave Toub

Toub says he's had plenty of opportunity to evaluate the two's and three's on special teams.

"We had a really good evaluation last game. We had a lot of different situations, we had a lot of punts, got a few kick returns with the two's and three's. Those were the guys we were really evaluating. It's unfortunate we haven't gotten any kick returns with the one's yet. We've been out there a couple times and everything has been touchbacks."

He's not concerned about De'Anthony Thomas' being ready to go when the season begins.

"I don't think that's concerning. We want to get to the first game with our guys healthy. We know with De'Anthony he can do it, it's not like we have to see him as a punt returner. The main thing for him is just getting him ready."

Toub said there hasn't been a decision made on the long-snapper competition

"Not yet. It's hard to believe but both of these guys are very good. They both made tackles in the game. It's amazing how the competition's been really good. I think both of those guys are NFL-quality guys. Really it's a good problem to have for us because we're going to get what we feel is the best guy."

Toub spoke about the evaluation process for guys playing special teams, having to coordinate with both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball in terms of roster spots.

"We evaluate players nightly. After every practice, we go in and talk about players. What you'd have to do as special teams coach is see where those guys are slotting in. We know the fourth and fifth or sixth receiver is going to be a special team's guy, and you can hear the way coaches evaluate these guys and where they fit in. We rank players every night. So you kind of get a heads up of where or who you're going to be playing with on Sundays. Now, in some occasions, if a guy is a real good special team's player—that will enhance the guy's ability to make the football team."

Offensive Coordinator Doug Pederson

On being able to evaluate the offensive line with the recent injuries.

"That's the hard part with the guys being hurt. It's hard to get a true evaluation of say your top five guys because not everybody is in there. But the guys that are in there played against a tremendous front last week. Did they get beat a few times? Yeah they did, but I thought they rebounded well, especially in that 14-play drive. We've sort of scaled things down and game-planned a little bit more. We should have good results and they focus in on the game plan and get all of the reps this week. That will be a good test this Friday."

He spoke about rookie receiver Chris Conley.

"He's a guy that with the length of injury that he had through camp, missed some time, is kind of getting his legs back last week. We wanted to get him back out there and get a couple of snaps. His play will increase this week and again, he's a guy that is in the mix and we've got to have a lot of reps on tape to evaluate him properly and see where he fits into our scheme."

*Pederson on Mitch Morse. *

"Mitch has really improved. Again, he went against a great front last week and see another good front this Friday night. There's no lack or shortness of talent that he's going against. He's working through the detailed part of his game and focusing on his skill and ability. Sometimes when you're working on technique, you're going to end up making a mental error or mistake. Yet he's a guy that is smart enough to correct that, overcome that and I think you'll see a better result this week."

Pederson spoke about Charles Tuaau, a former defensive lineman, switching the offensive side of the ball.

"He's big, physical and powerful. He fits your offensive line mold and right now he's learning so we just have to bring him along slowly and see what he can do once he gets in there in live action.

"It's a situation where you take guys and try to see what they can do on either side of the football. You take a receiver and make a DB, or a DB and you make a receiver. You're supposed to with practice squad players; we've done that in the past. Again, it's an evaluation process and we'll give you more as these days unfold."

Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton

Sutton spoke about the importance of learning the correct technique, but also how that translates to what is considered successful performances on the field

"In these games and practices, which to me are equally valuable, you have to develop this foundation that you can rely on throughout the course of the season. So when you're looking at first your individual players, you're saying, 'Are they getting better? Are they improving on these things? Last week we said we needed to do this, did we get better on that?'

"Then, it's a little more difficult as a unit because you've all heard everybody talk here, you have a lot of different people in there at different times and it's not as cohesive as it's going to be in the season. But you really want to see if you're starting to be able to function as a unit. Do we have the communication down? Do we have the awareness down?"

Sutton spoke about Dee Ford's progress.

"I think he's improving, we've been happy with the way he's attacked this camp and I think the better he can become as an all-around player, we all know he has some unique rush skills, but the better he becomes as an all-around player, the better off he's going to be. That's where he's really made some strides. He played the first and second down this past game I thought really well. He did a good job setting the edge in the run and as long as he keeps improving, that arrow is really pointing up for Dee."

Sutton spoke about the guys stepping in for Dontari Poe right now.

"I think Jaye Howard has come in and done a really good job in there, and Mike DeVito can play that spot as well. But I think Jaye has really stepped up, done a really good job of anchoring the middle of the defense and I think we're really happy with the way that's gone. We look forward to when we get Dontari back, whenever he comes back. But right now we think the guys that have gone in there and really taken the challenge on and I think demonstrated they can play really stout particularly against the run."

Sutton spoke about Mike DeVito's development as a pass rusher. "I just give the guy credit because one, when you're really a good player, you're never afraid to kind of attack your perceived weakness. Here's a veteran guy coming off an Achilles injury, and I'm sure you guys have seen. The one-on-one pass rush, he'd jump in there every play if he could. He's always sneaking in when he shouldn't be, getting ahead of somebody.

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