Q: Is it really the dog days right now, now that you’re a week in?
BB: I think so. I think that’s something all of us need to go through – players, coaches – just grind through it and mentally just be ready to get up and go every day [and] start all over again. Try to get a good night’s rest and have a good day each day. That’s part of team building and working through it when you’re tired [and] you don’t feel good. It’s a long season. This is one of the many challenges we’ll face.
Q: What challenges exist for guys you drafted to play on the edge to make that transition from college?
BB: It’s a big transition for those players if they’re in coverage. They go from being essentially a 4-3 end to a 3-4 outside linebacker and going into coverage. That’s a huge transition because that’s something that they’re not used to doing. If they’re going from a defensive end to a defensive end then it’s just going into the National Football League. You’re playing against bigger players with a little bit of different scheme, but you’re just playing against a lot better players than you played against in college at the same position.
Q: Has the way the game is played now with the short passing game and the ball coming out so quickly changed the defensive end position or is it in the midst of a transformation because you have to get different kind of play out of that spot?
BB: I think the game is kind of ever-changing. It’s not the same now as it was five years ago. It wasn’t the same five years ago as it was five years before that. You can just keep right on going back. I don’t know about that. There is a lot of, you watch any college game, there has to be 12 to 15 tear screens in every game. You can’t throw it much quicker than that. There’s a lot of option football so obviously that’s a lot different for the end guys in college, playing the option – quarterback pitch, dive, however they’re playing it or some combination of those things. Obviously college teams have to work on that a lot because they see it from certain offenses ‘X’ number of times a year depending on what conference they’re playing in. That part of it is different because for the most part we don’t have to worry about that.
Q: How has it been working with Carl Banks?
BB: It was good to see Carl, yeah. He was here yesterday and on into today. We go back a long ways together – Giants, Cleveland. I’ve kept in touch with him through the years. It’s good to see Carl.
Q: What are some things that you hope an athlete like that coming back, whether it’s Troy Brown or Carl Banks, that he can teach the guys on the team now?
BB: Carl has a long relationship with myself and Pepper [Johnson]. Guys he’s talked to or whatever, but it’s a two day visit.
Q: During mini-camp you talked about
BB: I think Bobby picks up things well. He’s a smart guy with, as we talked about, a lot of experience doing those things. I’m sure most of the things we’ve asked him to do he’s done before. Maybe it was called differently or the terminology was different but in terms of the techniques and being able to apply what he’s learned or what he’s done somewhere else to what we’re asking him to do, I’m sure that they’re fairly closely related. He adjusts easily. I don’t think that’s going to be a problem with him.
Q: Can you comment on
BB: Again, we’re still pretty early into camp but Julian is in good condition. I thought he had a productive spring. He’s got good versatility for us, both in the return game, offensively and on some of the other special teams units as well. He does a number of different things. He’s a tough, competitive, dependable guy that has some versatility. We’ll see how all that plays out this year but those are certainly some of his strengths.
Q: Being in the stadium tonight, do you ever marvel at the fact that this is a franchise that had trouble drawing 20,000 fans for a regular season game –
BB: And now we get it for practice? Yeah. Of course, it’s like that in a number of places in the league too. The sport has exploded; pro football has exploded. But yeah, the transformation here from 1960 when the club was established; old Schaefer Stadium. [I] probably feel it more on game day, to tell you the truth.
Q: Even during training camp practice, the number of people out there cheering a drill, guys going against air.
Q: I get a kick out of it when the fans cheer the guys taking penalty laps.
BB: Yeah. That’s not what they’re doing it for.