Minicamp Media Availability
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
How’d it go out there today?
“It was good. Minicamp is as close to training camp as you get just as far as the schedule of getting here early with the meeting time, getting on the field and putting together a little longer of a practice. Now we’re going back to meetings and going back through a walkthrough. It was just kind of a full day of all football. I thought today was good. We’re in our red zone installation, so (we’re) just kind of making our way through our installation both offensively and defensively. (The) defense is throwing a lot at us and offensively we’re trying to fine-tune some things. It’s competitive and fun watching these young guys develop as well.”
You’ve been through OTA’s so this isn’t foreign to you at this point, but the fans see you and Sean Payton back together going through the offense that you guys do. What is that like for you guys?
“He calls the plays and we execute them. That’s our job, but obviously it’s great to have him back out there. I know everybody wants to keep talking about that, but it’s kind of old hat for us. He’s back and here we go.”
Drew you’re seeing, I’m assuming, a lot less of Joe Vitt than maybe you did last year because he’s back in his element. Do you get the sense that he’s one of those elements that is back to normal?
“Well it’s funny because prior to last year, when obviously he was the interim head coach, you knew he was doing his stuff with the linebackers and just exclusively defense and I’d see him every now and then. But we kind of had our moments where he’d grab me and say ‘man I haven’t seen you in awhile’, and we’d kind of hug it out and talk for a little bit. Obviously, last year the roles were a little expanded and things were a little different. He’s been a ball coach for a long time. He loves the game. He brings a fire and a passion and we all love playing for him. Despite the circumstances that thrust him in that role, I think that being back to just Joe Vitt, linebacker coach and assistant head coach, it helps and everybody’s back into their role now.”
Are there any rookies on defense that have stood out to you so far?
“Kenny Vaccaro has been getting a lot of snaps and a lot of time. I think he can play a big role in this defense. Some of the young guys up front, I don’t really watch them as much. I pay more attention to what’s happening in the secondary. Just seeing guys like Martez Wilson, whom I know isn’t a rookie, but kind of finding a role. Some other guys are starting to stick out and you can see how they can fit into what we’re doing defensively and how we can utilize some of their strengths and it’s fun to see that.”
With Devery Henderson not around can you see a guy like Nick Toon being at that level of receiver?
“I think we’ve got a great group of young receivers that really all have a chance to make their mark and find a place in that group. You’ve got Marques Colston and Lance Moore, who are the two veteran guys left. Joe Morgan coming off what he did last season and now what we’ve seen this offseason, I see him continuing to improve. Beyond that I think it’s wide open in those spots left. Andy Tanner is a guy that’s been here for a while that continues to impress. Kenny Stills is showing a lot of promise. He’s a young, talented guy. All those guys understand that they are going to get some opportunities and they have to make the most of them and see how they can fit into this offense. At the end of the day we don’t know how it’s going to shake out but there’s a lot of time between now and cuts at the end of (training) camp. Whoever earns those spots will deserve it.”
Jimmy Graham looked to be in vintage form today. Do you think there’s room for him to improve this year?
“He was banged up quite a bit last year in his defense. He’s had an offseason now to recover and be on the mend. He feels a lot better. He’s juiced up and ready to go. It’s great to see. He’s like a kid out there a lot of times, running around and telling me to throw him the ball and he’ll go get it for me, which is great to hear from a big tight end.”
Drew who do you like in the NBA Finals?
“I don’t know, obviously the Spurs have had some time to rest now so that will help them out a little bit. I’m sure it gets to be a grind at the end of this thing and everyone’s just running off adrenaline. Miami was back and forth and finished strong in that series last night. They made it (to the finals) three times in a row now and maybe feel like it’s their last time to make it with that core group they have there. Although, you can say they have some pretty salty veterans on the other side, Tony Parker, (Tim) Duncan and (Manu) Ginóbili have been together for a long time now. I don’t know. It’s going to be a heck of a series. It’s going to be a fun series to watch, I don’t have a prediction.”
What are your early impressions of Ryan Griffin? How much does him having played in the same system at Tulane last year help him?
“I think it definitely puts him ahead of the curve, but still the nuances and some of the requirements at this level are a bit different than college, and you also are dealing with the speed of the game and what you’re seeing defensively. There are a lot of elements to it, but I think he’s done a great job picking up the system and doing some things that are beyond the years of just a rookie.”
When you guys talk on the field, is it just normal what you do for any quarterback?
“I just tell him to throw it to the open guy and make the play. We have a great dynamic amongst our quarterbacks. Everything we do, we do together, whether it’s in the weight room or on the field. There’s constant dialogue and communication in the meeting rooms. We’re all there to help and push one another.”
When it comes to the installs that you guys are putting in, how much of an evolution does this offense make from one year to the next?
“I wouldn’t say it’s a drastic evolution, there are certain things that you do that you do well and it’s second nature. You feel like within the framework of that concept we have answers for everything. It’s not necessarily the way you draw it up on the blackboard. I could show you a piece of paper showing you what the play looks like but I could show you ten different coverages where that play looks slightly different depending on what the coverage is, what I see, our guys see and how we react to it. Every offseason you find new little tweaks and wrinkles and not all of it sticks. Sometimes you try something and you say this isn’t us and other things you try and you say this can help us in the right situation and right gameplan.”
So it just depends of the creativity of what you want to do each year?
“Yes, there are at least a few things that we’ll go in with, run game, pass game and protections that are a bit different and there are some things that we practice and we do well and we say these things can be a part of what we do.”