HEAD COACH BILL O’BRIEN
“We got a lot of work done. It was very competitive, lot of energy. Got a lot of great film to teach off of, different situations that came up, a number of move-the-field-type drills. There was a lot of good work. Appreciate the players coming out here ready to go today.”
A couple days in a row that OLB Jadeveon Clowney and C Nick Martin were held out. Are they working through something?
“I think for cautionary reasons we’re just watching both those guys. It’s nothing that’s serious, but I think rest will help it.”
With San Francisco coming up this week, do you work on that game or do you just still work on the Texans?
“That’s a good question. We’re going out there to practice against them so we do have to be prepared for some of those things – obviously the tempo of their offense, things like that. But overall, we’re still in an installation-type part of camp. For instance, tomorrow we’ll come out, we’ll install some more situations, they’re off on Wednesday, then Thursday will be a big situational-type practice. We won’t game plan, so-to-speak, for San Francisco. We’ll just basically have a call sheet. Those are the plays that we’ll call in the game and we’ll go from there.”
Obviously you don’t want things to break down like they did in Richmond last year. Do you address the team about that?
“We don’t ever want that. Chip (Kelly) and I will talk to our teams. We’ve already spoken to each other about that. If you fight, you’re out of practice. We don’t want that. We don’t want that at all.”
You haven’t had much of that out here.
“No, we have not. It’s been good. These guys are practicing like pros.”
Do you have any idea what the quarterback reps will be for the first game?
“We have a pretty good idea of what we’ll do there. Obviously Brock (Osweiler) will get a decent amount of snaps in the first half. Whether it’s by quarter, or by the amount of snaps or maybe the series, we’ll have to kind of see how the game’s going, try to get him into a rhythm, which will be good. Then, if you feel good about the amount of time he’s played, you take him out and then you go from there with Tom (Savage) and Brandon (Weeden). We haven’t exactly mapped that out but we have a pretty good idea of how we want to approach that.”
How far ahead is QB Brandon Weeden today than if he had come here in the offseason?
“Yeah, those guys have put a lot of time in. Brandon has come a long way from when he first came here. It’s not easy to jump in the middle of the season and learn the offense. He’s really doing a good job out here. Both those guys, Tom (Savage) and Brandon, really spin the ball very well. They’re very good passers of the football – very good – and they’ve learned the offense pretty well.”
Have you been able to reflect on what he did when he came in here last year?
“No question. Tough spot. We’ve had a number of guys over the last two years be able to do that, to go in there and, because of injury or whatever, to have to go in there and lead us to victory. We’ve had a few guys do that, and he did a real nice job of that last year.”
How has DL Brandon Dunn been so far?
“Dunny’s done a really good job. He’s come in here, he’s a versatile guy. He can play the nose, he can play end, he helps us on kickoff return, he’s a very good teammate. Really good pickup for us last year when he was on the Bears practice squad and we were able to bring him in here. He’s really our type of guy.”
This is the third time you’ve done install with first-year guys. Is there anything you’ve learned the first two times that have helped you with QB Brock Osweiler?
“Definitely. I think the thing is, the offseason program is such a big part of that. Meaning, right away once he signs, you can send him the iPad. I think the first two years we probably did that, but I think this year we were more exact about what we wanted him to look at. Meaning, the basic information. Get the operation of our offense down first: how to call a play, the cadence, the formations, the motions. He is really good at that. With our offense, that is a big key. That’s a big key. Obviously you have to execute the play, but the whole operation of how we get the play call in, how we operate at the line of scrimmage is big. He’s been really good at that, so I credit that to how we’ve done a better job in the offseason program.”
QB BROCK OSWEILER
Do you think the offense played better as the day went along today?
“Yeah, I would agree with that. I think we came out offensively a little bit slow today. I think that’s a credit to our defense. They came out, they got after us in that first team period like you guys saw. But, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish and the offense did a tremendous job of rallying together, communicating, refocusing and finishing the practice on the right note.”
What is it like to play against ILB Benardrick McKinney?
“B-Mack is a special player. He’s physically imposing too. When you line up across from him on the field, you know where 55 is at. He’s extremely talented, very athletic. He can stop the run game, he can plug holes, he can shed blocks, but he can also cover backs out in space, so that makes him an extremely special football player.”
What do you think of WR Will Fuller V’s speed?
“One of those things that a coach can’t teach is speed and Will has a lot of speed, so really on that play that you guys saw at practice, everyone really made my job easy. The offensive line came off. They sold the run play like we were trying to do with the backs. Lamar (Miller) and I had a good fake and then, you know, Will just went and did what he does. He got on the cornerback’s toes, broke to the post and just ran. Will is an extremely special football player. Obviously, he has great speed. We all know that. It’s good to see some of that stuff finally come together.”
How are the younger players learning the offensive playbook?
“I think every offensive player here would say that this is not an easy offensive system to learn. There’s a lot that Coach (George) Godsey sends our way. There’s a lot that he challenges us with and to see those young players really retain all of that information on a day-to-day basis and come out here and practice at a high level is something that’s very exciting.”
What is it like playing with WR Jaelen Strong?
“Jaelen is a competitor and I love that kid. Obviously, he’s a tall, big, strong, athletic wide receiver that can make plays all over the field. I think one thing that Jaelen doesn’t probably get enough credit for is his run blocking. He runs in, he sticks his nose in there and he’ll hit linebackers, safeties. To make a great run game go, the receiver blocking portion of the whole deal is extremely important. Just to see Jaelen buy into that and then at the same time, make plays down field and in the red area. I don’t know if you guys saw, but he just caught that last touchdown to finish practice. That’s huge. Jaelen is a great football player.”
How fast is WR Wendall Williams?
“He’s pretty fast. I was over there doing a pass protection drill with our offensive line and then it was Tom’s (Savage) turn to hop in and I just kind of turned my head and saw Wendall taking a kickoff return, looked like he was going 100 miles per hour, so he’s very special when it comes to his speed.”
How much do you rely on WR Cecil Shorts III?
“You rely on him a lot. Cecil is Mr. Consistent. You know what you’re going to get out of Cecil every single day. He takes a pro approach every single day. He shows up. He knows his plays. He’s the same guy every day. He’ll make plays in the passing game. He runs great routes. He hits his depths. He’ll block in the run game. So Cecil Shorts is a tremendous football player and I’m glad we have him.”
How excited are you to see how far along you are when you play San Francisco?
“I can’t wait. It’s hard because you don’t want to look too far ahead. We have another practice tomorrow and then we go into an off day and then another practice before we fly out to San Francisco. Obviously, I know the game is approaching, I’m very excited to get out there and go finally play a football game and really see where we’re at.”
It’s been said you have a good relationship with QB Brandon Weeden, how important is it to have a good relationship in the QB room?
“Brandon (Weeden) and my relationship goes back to Scottsdale, Arizona right after we both finished our last college season. We both trained at API there in Arizona and, like you said, we went out to the combine and we went out to dinner one of those nights together. But not just Brandon (Weeden), Tom (Savage) as well, Pat O’Hara and coach (George) Godsey, our quarterback room is something that’s very unique and very special. Everyone in there—obviously we’re all competing, we’re all trying to get better, we’re all trying to push each other—but we’re all there to try and help each other, we all have a great relationship off the field. In the spring, we went golfing. In the summer those guys came up to Idaho with me. We have a very close room and I don’t think every room is like that in the National Football League.”
There could’ve been some guys that came in and didn’t want to play behind another guy.
“It’s just a good group of guys who really wants to see everyone do well and do their best. We’re all there to support each other and we’re all each other’s number one fan.”
Do you have any reaction to Broncos Executive Vice President of Football Ops and General Manager John Elway’s comments about your reaction to getting benched at the end of last season?
“The only thing I would say is what kind of competitor wouldn’t want to play in that situation? Outside of that, I think I’ve answered all of those questions, we’re now in August, we just had a great training camp practice and I’m excited to play the 49ers coming up.”
LB BRIAN PETERS
How does playing safety in college carry over to playing inside of the defense now?
“Yeah, it’s nice. I mean obviously in college I was a safety and I had to know from a coverage aspect what the linebackers were doing and that kind of thing. So far it’s been identifying runs and formations and my fits and all that kind of thing. I’ve progressed nicely through my time in Minnesota and down here and obviously every day you want to keep growing and growing and that’s something I need to work on.”
Does it feel natural to be back in coverage?
“Definitely. I definitely think that’s one of my strengths is my coverage. Obviously with a safety background, I’m used to covering receivers, tight ends and then now it’s a size down to running backs and tight ends so that’s where I’m comfortable and obviously you want to play to your strengths and then enhance your weaknesses and that’s what I’m going to keep doing.”
How excited are you to face another team in less than a week?
“It’s fun, it’s very exciting. You get a little salty after hitting the same guys a few times. It’s nice to see how you stack up against another team and another competition. You get other skillsets, other different size running backs and tight ends and guys that run routes differently so it’s good to see how you stack up across the league.”
How do you transition from little contact in practice and preseason to full contact in a game?
“It’s still a skill and a technique thing. Obviously we’re still adjusting to (Special Teams Coordinator Larry) Izzo’s new techniques and how he runs shop, but from that aspect you maintain your lane and leverage the ball and when you have a chance to make a play, you make a play. You can still do that anywhere from running 75 percent to 100 percent whether you’re live or its just thud (non-contact practice), you can still be in the right position at all times.”
How much do you like Special Teams Coordinator Larry Izzo up to this point?
“Love him, man. He’s a player’s coach, man. All the guys are gravitating towards him so far and special teams group is definitely going to improve with him.”
WR JAELEN STRONG
What have been a couple of keys that have helped you take a big step forward?
“Just staying down, just trying to improve day-by-day. Looking at the long-term thing it’s just improving day-by-day. I’m trying to take the coaching and buy in as quickly as possible.”
How much has the offseason training with QB Brock Osweiler and others out in Arizona carried over into camp?
“A lot because we already came into camp knowing each, we bonded pretty well out there, got to know each other pretty well out there and now we just hit the ground running.”
How much does staying indoors for practice help keep you fresher?
“I can’t even explain how much. It’s definitely a blessing when coach (Bill O’Brien) lets us come play in here.”
Do you already feel like a veteran within the WR group with all the young guys in there?
“Just because we have a young receiving core in general, you have to help as much as possible. Things I may not know, other guys help me. I try to keep everybody else on the same track in the film room. We all hold each other accountable.”
Can you explain to people how fast WR Wendall Williams is?
“Wendall Williams probably gets up to 28 miles per hour on a bad day.”
When did you first notice WR Wendall Williams was crazy fast?
“I knew he was fast before we practiced. I like to look to see the guys we get on our team and get to know them before I meet them. I saw he ran like a 4.19. When I saw that I was pretty excited to see him.”
Is WR Wendall Williams a football player or just a fast guy?
“He’s a football player.”