On QB Matthew Stafford having more of a process this year with the new players: "There are some new pieces to fit in. We got a couple guys returning from injury, one guys done practicing, one guy is and he's out there doing some things, Nate Burleson. But getting a guy like Reggie Bush back in and just learning the offense and getting comfortable with everything. There's nothing that we'll do with him that he hasn't done before. But all the terminology is new and just the timing that goes along with the quarterback, but all the other players that's important, that's the reason that we're out here this time of year."
On S Louis Delmas and RB Mikel Leshoure rehabbing: "Mikel's just battling some stuff, he can do some individual and stuff like that, but he's not ready to do any team work right now. And Lou, we're in communication with Lou. He's not here right now going through this stuff, but there's nothing that he could get out of this because he can't physically do the stuff that we're doing right now. But, Lou's in a little bit different position than a guy like Reggie Bush, who we just talked about, because Reggie's in a position where he's learning everything for the first time even though he's done it all. We're using the same terminology on defense, running the same defensive system. The biggest thing with Lou is going to be his health. That's what he's working on right now."
On handling position battles this time of year, specifically linebackers: "We're alternating days with a lot of guys, but quite honestly we're really not in the player evaluation business right now. Any jobs that guys earn is going to be because of training camp and preseason games, not because of what they've done in OTAs. We're really not competing for jobs here. We're working on timing, we're working on technique, we're working on things like that. We're not judging these players based on the outcome of a play. It's just that's what it is this time of year and with the new CBA a few years ago, that changed. We're trying to get as much of our installation done, we're trying to work our timing, we're trying to do a lot of things, but when it comes time to compete for jobs and make evaluations on players, we'll make those evaluations in training camp. The thing we can evaluate now is the technique the guy played with, how well they're communicating, if they're in the right spot. But the physical nature of playing linebacker and some of the other positions that guys will compete for, that will come in training camp."
On WR Nate Burleson being healthy: "He's had a great rehab and we expected that from Nate. Over the course of his career he's been a fast healer. It's one of the reasons I don't like to put time tables on guys. Because whether he's ahead of schedule or if he was behind, it's up to the individual player and his body and how he's doing. That's the way we've judged Nate. We judged him individually on how he's doing not based on what other people have done with that same injury. But he's healed quickly, he's a very very tough guy and he's rehabbed very hard. He means a lot to our football team. It's important to have him out there for our offense for a lot of reasons. Number one he's a good player, he brings something to the equation that goes beyond what his playing ability is. He still probably isn't 100-percent, but a lot of guys aren't 100-percent right now, but he's able to do able to do what he can out there and it's a good time of year. Maybe if it was a full contact training camp practice, he might not be out there doing that stuff. But we don't have any contact and our practices are short. He's able to get some work done."
On if T Riley Reiff is a left tackle now: "Yeah, he has the ability that he can play all those. He could probably play center if we gave him a little time there. Last year because he was a rookie he played both right and left. We're probably going to let him settle in at one position this time. When we drafted him, the reason we drafted him is we thought he was a long term left tackle. Whether he can hold that position, whether he can be productive for us there, that will be determined, again, training camp and preseason games and things like that. That's where he's going to settle in."
On the importance of the veterans stepping up to fill leadership roles: "Yeah, I mean I think particularly a guy like Ndamukong Suh, that's something he's embraced. He's been working very hard and he's sort have been, I don't want to say waiting for that opportunity, but when he came in as a rookie, he came in to a group that had a lot of veteran players like you mentioned, guys like Corey Williams, Kyle Vanden Bosch and even Cliff Avril was a young veteran, guys that had a lot of experience in the league and he did a good job learning behind those guys. But now that he's a young veteran, it's time for him and a lot of other guys to start showing that leadership and that comes from this time of year, comes from training camp, it comes from the regular season. Yeah, it's time for guys like that to step up into some of those roles."
On DT Ndamukong Suh not being around in the offseason: "Well, I think the important thing is when we're on the field doing this stuff, he's been here now. He came in in great shape. A lot of guys choose to train other places, a lot of guys have other things that they're going to do and that's the nature of this business. I mean, this isn't a mandatory offseason. I think the important thing is when he came here, he was in great shape, which he always is. That said a lot also. He was able to work on his own, but he was able to come here in great shape and we're out doing the first couple OTAs and he's right here with everybody else. I mean, Reggie Bush missed a decent part of it. He was having a baby. There are a lot of things that come up that people go through. They all have a commitment to the team and they all answered that commitment."
On what DE Willie Young has to do to earn a starting spot: "We're a long way away from that stuff right now. Now, it's about technique, consistency and communication. Those are all things that Willie can improve on."
On what Young has to do to make the jump to the next level: "Technique, communication, consistency, you know, that kind of stuff. He's not going to be able to show all the things that he needs to show in an OTA. We don't do one-on-one pass rush. Nobody does. We don't have full contact. Those kinds of things, you need to wait and evaluate later on. The things he can work on in this stuff, like I said, technique, consistency, communications, things like that. Those are all things that can help him to be able to show what he can do once we get to training camp."
On DE Ezekiel Ansah's technique right now: "It's all new to him. We did talk about how Ziggy was an inexperienced player, but he was very instinctive, you know, playing things like screens, reverses, some trap blocks and draws and things like that that you would think an inexperienced player would struggle on. He did well on all those things. But our scheme is a lot different. It helped that we had him a week at the Senior Bowl. He got introduced to some of the techniques that we play, but all our rookies, their heads are spinning right now. A lot is being asked of them. They're in the weight room, they're in the classroom, they're going out on the field and trying to put it all together. They all thought they had it figured out last weekend for rookie camp, but then all of a sudden they realized they got that wakeup call to realize how far they are behind all the veteran players, the guys that have been doing this or had a full season or two or five or 10 years under their belt. They've got a lot of catching up to do and Ziggy's the same way."
On how far away Ansah is from being up to speed on technique: "You know, I do think that's a constant process. I think if you asked veteran players along our defensive line, they'd always say they're working on their technique. But, I mean, he doesn't have a lot of time. None of our rookies have a lot of time. They're not going to move our opener back because there's a rookie that's trying to get up to speed. When you're there, you're not graded on the curve. You're not graded on the rookie curve or the inexperienced player. The final score is the final score. So, there is urgency to get everything, but he's done a good job so far. We haven't done any team work. You guys were out there for the whole thing. We just did seven-on-seven, O-line, D-line. They're really, seriously, just working on technique right now and that will be a process that will continue. The next OTA we actually have some team work, but it's not that much. It sets the stage. Be ready for when training camp comes."
On Bears LB Brian Urlacher's retirement: "A great player in the NFL. You know, he was a really good competitor. He was a guy that you respected from a coaching standpoint because of what he could do on the field. I know he was respected by players and among his peers. Different kind of linebacker, you know? There are not many guys who are 6-4 playing middle linebacker. It's generally a position that shorter guys have had a lot more success, guys like Mike Singletary, who probably wasn't six-feet tall, Ray Lewis about the same way. But Urlacher, in a lot of ways, changed the position. His range at the middle linebacker position, the speed that he played with, he was super fast. The guy played free safety in college, had a long career, was a turnover machine. You were always worried about him and where he was on the field, the turnovers he could create, the way he could change a game. He was good for the NFL. He was good for the game of football and it's been a great career for him."