Q: A lot of the young defensive backs have talked about how
BB: Adrian has done a good job. He’s worked hard, very professional. He has a real good attitude; has a lot of experience. We’ll see how the rest of it plays out. But, I would imagine probably what they were referring to is just the way he carries himself, the way he goes about his job. Works hard, smart guy, he’s experienced. He’s really tried to learn and buy into our program and do everything he can to find a way to contribute. I think he’s very well respected.
Q: How much of the system or the playbook do you really install during this period of the offseason? Is there a percentage you could point to?
BB: No, but I’d say pretty significant, definitely over half, let’s put it that way. There are a lot of things we don’t do – a lot of situational things and situational plays and some adjustments and things like that. But it’s a foundation, it’s a base. Definitely everything we do from here will build on what we’ve done. I think that’s really the important thing, but it’s a pretty good chunk.
Q: How are some of the new receivers like
BB: I think the ones that are out there are making progress. Every day is important and we’ve gone through our regular passing, third down passing, red area, two-minute, all those things. We’ve handled a lot of blitz situations. We’ve covered a lot of information there, a lot of situations. The guys that have been out there have gotten a lot of reps and a lot of experience at it. Of course the guys that haven’t, have gotten the classroom work but not the on-field work, so they’re obviously behind but not as far behind as they would be if they weren’t getting all the classroom and film work.
Q: Is the chemistry between a quarterback and a receiver something that you usually see right away or is it more of a process?
BB: I’d say it’s a process. Certainly it is what it is to this point. But we’ll go through a lot of situations that we haven’t begun to approach yet – game situations and game conditions. We can’t simulate that yet.
Q: When a guy comes in for a minicamp tryout, what are you looking for in such a compressed amount of time?
BB: Most of the time when we bring players in for workouts, it’s one day workouts and it’s just maybe with one or two other players and coach. So you have a coach holding bags or you have, whatever the player’s position is, you have working out on air or against minimal resistance or minimal competition. In a practice session, you have a practice session and in minicamp, you have three sessions so it’s actually a much longer and better look at a player than you would have if you just took him out there on the field by himself and ran him around a bunch of cones and bags and stuff like that. It’s as good as we can do. It’s as good an evaluation as we can get. We’ll evaluate them relative to other players at their position, understanding that they’re new and they’re behind but just how they pick things up and how they do at the things that they are thrown into.
Q: How did
BB: I think everybody out there is pretty much in the same boat: just trying to get better day by day. Some guys are starting at different points; he’s obviously starting at a point different than where other players were. They’re all moving along. Guys that are out there are making progress. Guys that aren’t are doing what they can do and they’re falling behind.
Q: You did a lot of work on him coming out in the draft. Was the limited snapshot you saw yesterday consistent with your evaluation of him?
BB: I don’t think evaluating players on a couple plays is really a good practice. We’ll wait until we have a little bit more information and make our evaluations as a staff, talk about players after a chunk of time, after we’ve had a chance to see things. Any player you put out there, the first day is a learning experience. As you do it the second, third, fourth time, just like when we all do anything multiple times we get better at it hopefully, get more experience, get more comfortable and do it better. I don’t think that’s any different than any football player at any position.
Q: With a guy like Tim Tebow who has versatility and flexibility, would you want to try him at one position and then move him around and see what he can do, or would that vary from player to player?
BB: Each player is different.
Q: So there’s no formulaic way to start with him? You just say ‘We want you to learn this spot first and then after that, go from there.’
BB: You have to start somewhere. Where the starting point is, is what it is and then you grow to wherever you grow to.
Q: Historically you’ve been buttoned up with the media, what advantages does that give your team?
BB: You guys ask me a question and I try to answer it the best I can.
Q: We’ve seen a few high school and college coaches here, with Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly here yesterday. What’s your background with him?
BB: He’s a New England guy – St. John’s [Preparatory School]. Like several other college coaches from this area – [Penn State Head Coach] Billy O’Brien and so forth.
Q: When did that connection between you guys start?
BB: He’s been in coaching for awhile. Brian has been supportive. They had a great year out there at Notre Dame and he’s back in the area so it’s good to have him here.
Q: How do you feel about where your team is now versus where it was at the beginning of April when guys first came in?
BB: A lot further along; made a lot of progress since then. Now we have a long way to go.
Q: How would you break down the group work versus the individual work in a three-day session like this?
BB: Most everything we do is group work. There’s a short part of individual work but most of that will come in training camp when we really get a chance to execute the techniques and the positions will be able to work at full tempo or as full tempo as we can be in training camp with pads and all that. Without pads, there are some things we can do, but I think the benefit more is to team work and group work where we can get our communication and sort of get the total picture and get an understanding of the entire play and the specific techniques I know we’re behind in, but that’s something we’ll do in training camp. That’s what training camp is for: all your fundamental work which will hopefully carry you through the season. We hopefully will have a decent background and understanding of what we’re doing based on the spring.
Q: Have you been able to see anything in Tim Tebow’s mechanics or throwing that looks better or different?
BB: Like I said, we’re not going to get into a minute-by-minute evaluation of a player. I don’t think that’s the way to go, especially at this time of year.
Q: Obviously OTAs are voluntary, but what is your reaction when a player chooses to work out on his own away from the team?
BB: It is what it is. We all know what the rules and the guidelines are and that’s what they are.
Q: Can it affect a player’s position on the team if he chooses not to be here?
BB: It is what it is. We don’t make the rules.
Q: When you have rookies that are unable to participate in this part of the offseason, how difficult does it make the start of training camp for them? Are they behind?
BB: Definitely behind. Any player that’s not out there is behind. The fact that they’re not out there is the best thing for them because they need to get physically healthy and rehab whatever condition they have so that’s more important than being out there. But if they were healthy and they could be out there, they would gain more from being out there than not being out there. We do the best we can with each individual player and do what’s best for him. Guys that are out there are out there. The guys that can’t be out there are working hard and hopefully they’ll be out there as soon as they can. We have guys in different stages of that process. When they’re ready, they’re ready and when they’re not then they’re working to get ready.