Q: There’s a report out there about Jeff Demps. Have you been in contact? Is that close?
NC: We don’t have anything to report. Being up here every day, Bill [Belichick] says something about the roster or I say something if we have any transactions. There’s nothing to report.
Q: How have you felt about the first 17 practices of camp?
NC: There’s a lot that’s happened. I think we’re making progress. A lot of the installation, just in terms of our system, I would say for the most part is in place. As we get to the games here a little bit more this week and next week it will start to become maybe a little bit more specific to the opponent. It’s training camp, you just have to push through it. There are some good days, there are some rough days and the most important thing is if we can learn each day and just gradually improve. We have a long way to go before we get to Tennessee because you want to make sure that you’re ready to go for the opening of this season. Right now, we’re focused on Philly and then next week will be a short week which will simulate some of the things that we’ll have to go through inevitably at some point during the season. You’re trying to jungle a number of different things but I think we’re moving in the right direction. The team has worked hard, the guys have been out there [and] they’ve worked really hard. They’re trying to get better. It’s a coachable group, they try to do things the right way and that’s all you can really ask for.
Q: How would you assess
NC: He’s been able to get a few more snaps; kind of started in the one-on-ones, he’s taken a few team snaps there yesterday. Logan has worked really, really hard to get to this point. There’s not more of a program guy than Logan Mankins, he’s everything that we stand for. It’s good to have him out there. He’s working through some things like everybody else. He’s missed a lot of time just in terms of his techniques and fundamentals but he’s played a lot of football. Hopefully each day he can gradually build on what he’s doing.
Q: Do you see his strength getting better and better?
NC: I think he’s improving each day. Each day he’s able to add a few things to what we’re asking him to do. Hopefully that will continue and we’ll see what kind of workload he can handle.
Q: Any update on
NC: No, no updates there.
Q: Any update on
NC: No update there. Those guys are day-to-day, really that’s the truth.
Q: How has
NC: Mike’s had a pretty good camp. He came in last year, was on our practice squad for most of the year [and] had a good offseason. He’s been able to get a few more snaps; been able to take advantage of the opportunities he’s been presented. He’s a tough guy, he’s smart, he runs well, he’s got good size. He’s shown up out there at some different points. He’s doing some decent things.
Q: When a guy like
NC: Really we’re always mixing and matching [to] see who can handle what. Some players can handle a little bit more than others so whatever they’re asked to do, if a player can handle it and do it, then we’ll give him an opportunity to do it. That’s just the way it goes here. You just manage those things [at] this time of the year. It’s not, OK, something happens and you go out and all the sudden you’re looking to bring somebody else in. You’re dealing with 90 guys and it’s not as easy as that, as simple as that.
Q: How good was it have
NC: I think he’s working back into it; just missed a couple days there. Anybody that misses, whether it’s a day or two days of practice, it just puts you a little bit behind and you have a little catching up to do. Hopefully those guys, whoever, when they come back on the field they can get back up to speed with what everybody else is doing.
Q: Did you scout Jeff Demps much?
NC: Yeah, every school that we go into we have our list of players, the players that are going to be eligible for the draft, and we evaluate those players.
Q: What did you like about him?
NC: Good with the ball, good speed, caught the ball OK, a little bit undersized. They had some good offensive players. He and [Chris] Rainey split some time so they kind of used them some different ways. I mean, Florida has had a track record of some pretty good football players that have come out of there. But any time we go into a school, we’ll look at everybody regardless of whatever their circumstance is.
Q: How did you assess him as a kick returner?
NC: He had a little bit of production. How that translates over – the schemes are different. Any returner that comes into the NFL, whatever they did in college schematically, it’s probably going to be a lot different than what we’re going to ask him to do.
Q: Is there a reason why he didn’t have to go through the draft process?
NC: You’d have to ask them about that. I don’t handle that; I don’t control that.
Q: Is he like a Percy Harvin-type player? How would you describe him? What kind of fit does he have in an offense?
NC: No, Percy was a receiver. He’s a bigger guy, had good size, real explosive, caught the ball well. He’s a running back I would say; he’s more of a running back.
Q: Have you ever challenged Josh McDaniels to the bucket drill?
NC: I had a bad experience with the bucket drill a few years ago. Mr. [Robert] Kraft was walking off the field and I almost laced him in the head. So I’ve stayed away from the bucket drill for a few years now. We haven’t had that challenge yet. It actually was more comical to watch in ’07, him and Billy [O’Brien] trying to run routes against each other and have them cover one another and me throw the ball to them. That was a little more comical than throwing a ball in a bucket.
Q: How was your competition with Josh McDaniels at John Carroll University?
NC: We were roommates on the road for that first year so there were three of us that roomed together on the road. We had a great relationship. They way it worked out, it was kind of out of my hands. It was good competition. He was a great teammate, I loved playing with him. I loved having him as a receiver, somebody who had played the position to play receiver that has a bigger picture understanding is one thing maybe that somebody else might not. We’ve had a long-standing relationship and friendship that goes back to ’95, ’96, so that’s continued. [I’m] glad he’s here.