On DE Willie Young: "This is a new year. Everybody put last year behind them, including Willie. I think that he has skills that fit what we need from that position. He's playing with another increase in understanding. He's a young veteran player now. He's not a young player anymore. The things that he has experienced in the past should make him a better player. His technique's a little bit better, his understanding is a little bit better. That's the way it is with every player."
On what Young needs to work on this year: "It depends on how well he does in preseason and how well he does in training camp and through the course of the regular season. Sky's the limit for a guy like Willie, but it's got to be performance. It's got to extend in to the regular season. It can't strictly be a preseason thing or a flash of hand. We're looking for good, consistent players over the course of time. That's the thing that Willie needs to improve."
On RB Reggie Bush's work ethic: "He's an experienced player. He knows what it takes. He's played a lot of football in the NFL. I think those guys know how much they need. They know what benefits them over the course of a long season. Another guy out there with him is Montell Owens, another guy that's a veteran player who has been through it all before. I've seen some players in the past that come off a hard, back-in-the-day, two-a-day practice and they would be running extra and you think they would be conserving their energy, but they say I know how much I got in practice today and how much extra I need. Those guys are body-aware. They know what it takes to make it through, and Reggie's no different than those guys. Plus it sets a good example for the other guys."
On LB Stephen Tulloch's difference from last season to this season: "I think the biggest thing is that he is healthy. He's a guy that will soldier through and play through just about anything. He's had to in the past. He's feeling good. I think that has shown in our off season. It's shown early in training camp right now. We have two veteran linebackers, Tulloch and DeAndre Levy, and we have good competition for that third spot coming from some of the other guys. Both of those guys, Levy and Tulloch, are good leaders in that group. Both of them are very assignment sound. Both of them are good leaders and role models for the other players."
On CB Ron Bartell's shoulder injury: "It was still sore today. We'll take it day by day. Hopefully it's not serious at all, but we'll see. Yesterday he thought he could continue, and then we just pulled him out since it was sore. A lot of times in training camp we don't want guys to have to fight through things. There are some times you have to fight through fatigue, fight through a lot of other things. You don't want to fight through nicks and things like that. Give it a couple of things and see how it goes. Right now he's still just day-to-day."
On the players' liberation in pads: "Not a whole lot. We still have a controlled tempo at practice. Other than the last six plays, those are the only plays that we went live in practice. The guys did a good job. They have a lot of respect for each other. Nobody's going to take a cheap shot when a guy is not looking or blow up a guy up in the passing game. You have to learn how to be able to practice, but also be able to practice with your pads and have some contact. We talked a lot of times of how you can't judge an offensive line without shoulder pads. The defensive linemen had a good pass rush period today doing that. You need to balance both. You need to have good crisp, contact. You need to have those kinds of practices, but also you still want to control the tempo and the pace and make sure the player safety is a key thought in the whole process."
On CB Jonte Green's hamstring: "His hamstring was a little tight early in practice. I thought he was practicing really well in the beginning. We'll see how that goes. It might have just been cramping up a little bit or it might be a little bit of a strain. It didn't look like it was any more than a day to day type thing. We try to be preemptive. We talked to the guys about trying to identify stuff early in practice. We've had some situations in the past where a guy will tweak something and won't tell anybody and try to push through it, and it makes it worse. One of the things that we talk to them all about this year was trying to alleviate that by identifying right away and talking to the trainers. That way we can make decisions like we did with Jonte today. Hopefully we can head it off in the past and it's a one day thing or a two day thing instead of a two-week thing."
On DE Ezekiel Ansah's resiliency: "A lot of young guys are like that. It's been the case through the first couple days of training camp. He will make a mistake, and we know guys will make mistakes. We want to make them full speed and we want them to put it in their rear view mirror. You can't let one bad play affect your next play and that comes from just having a good mental attitude and having a resiliency to not let the next one affect you. Ziggy is really good that way. He has a lot to learn, that's well-documented. We have talked about that for a long time, but he is eager, quick to learn and doesn't make the same mistake twice."
On any changes with WR Calvin Johnson: "You guys know what he is like. He is going to go get the ball, he is going to go out of bounds, he is going to toe tap and he is going to dive. It is a pleasure to watch a guy like that practice. I think that, like I said before, he is one of the best players in the National Football League. He always goes out here and works like he is trying to make the team."
On carrying a third quarterback: "That will be part of the decision making at the end. There will be some teams that do and some teams that don't. That decision will come at the end of training camp. We will have a lot of hard decisions, looking at where we are talent-wise. We have some great competition. We have more depth than we've had in other years, some good competition from veteran players. We are going to have some tough decisions at the end of training camp. How that works out with numbers, we generally don't go into training camp saying "x" number of wide receivers are going to make it. We have a certain number of players and once you get past that you want the best 53. You have figure out a way to get the best 53. It becomes more talent at that point than numbers at a position."
On being more aggressive with the new secondary: "If our corners can cover, for sure. I think Chris Houston has had a good start to camp. We have talked about (Darius) Slay, Bill Bentley. It doesn't end there. We have some guys that have good size and good cover ability. It does allow you to do a little bit more. How much is yet to be seen and that will be something that will develop through training camp and our preseason games and even something that will develop through the season."
On LB Tahir Whitehead: "Last year he was trying to learn how to play linebacker. Last year he knew how to play at the line of scrimmage, but we don't play at the line of scrimmage very much. It was a big change for him, but he has a year under his belt. He is a physically talented guy and he improved over the course of the season last year. We had some well-documented special teams rough spots early in the year. What happened with a guy like Tahir, he learned and improved over the course of the season. He continued that this offseason. There is going to be great competition with linebackers for playing time. Even if a guy doesn't earn a starting job, there are other opportunities within our defense. We have short-yardage packages, goal-line packages. Tahir has set himself to be a contributor for us so we can stay on the same path."
On his early impression of DE Devin Taylor: "You know it's interesting. I think anyone that watches our practices, first thing they will say is how big our defensive line is. Devin is one of those guys. You always see him in shorts, you never really see him in football pants and I know how much he weighs and how tall he is, but when he puts pads on, he was bigger today than he was yesterday. I don't know if that makes sense, but he got bigger somehow. He was real thick in the lower body. He affects the quarterback when he is in. He does a nice job rushing. He has a lot to learn but he has shown some good positives. He had a little slow start with our OTA's with the hamstring but he has done a good job making up ground."
On players getting used to knee and thigh pads: "Yesterday, I mean they're not the same knee and thigh pads that we wore. Ours weighed five pounds apiece and would get soaking wet and your pants didn't fit. It was really uncomfortable. There have been such advances in technology. They're light and have unbelievable movement. They move with their bodies. In all of our training camps we have always required thigh and knee pads, but not during the regular season. They have all been used to wearing them in practice. I think that is going to be much ado about nothing. Once the players put the pads on they will realize right away it doesn't slow them down. They really don't feel them."
On the linebacker battle: "I don't want to put a timetable on it, but we're going to look for consistency over a period of time. It is not going to be one we will decide tomorrow. We are not looking for flash plays. We are looking for players that can be reliable for long periods of time."