(Where was Nick Barnett today?)
Nick's lower back tightened up on him. He was here for the job-thru at the beginning of practice and I sent him up for more rehab.
(Did Al Harris re-tweak his back?)
I think so. I haven't gotten a report on it yet but that's what it looked like.
(How happy are you with that second unit of linebackers?)
I thought they were productive as a group in the game. Bishop keeps getting better. I think Abdul Hodge has done some nice things. Havner has shown some flexibility. Rory, it was good to see him out there. Tracey White has had a very good camp, both at linebacker and special teams. Special teams will be the determining factor for that group.
(Are you confident those guys could step in if something happened to one of the starters?)
(A lot of guys on defense had wristbands during the no-huddle. Can you explain how that works?)
I don't want to get into the specifics of what we worked on today. We did some no-huddle. Those are one of the options that you can do. We're doing all situations for offense and defense to get ready for the season.
(Are there any restrictions on that in a game?)
Not that I'm aware of, no.
(Who's standing out in that second offensive line group?)
The second offensive line had a very good game against the Steelers. I was pleased with their practice yesterday. I thought they looked very good in their no-huddle series. I'm very pleased with the progress that the whole group has made. Tony Palmer wasn't there today but he's done some nice things. "Juice" Coston has been very flexible, playing a number of different positions. He needs to work on his footwork but he's done some nice things. Orrin Thompson improved at the left tackle. He's still out from the game. Barbre is getting better every day. That group as a whole has made a lot of progress, particularly in the last seven to 10 days.
(With Junius Coston, has his level of play risen?)
He continues to get better. He's competing for that sixth, seventh, eighth and possibly ninth spot on the offensive line. Flexibility is the key to those positions. He's demonstrated that he can do that.
(With the camp schedule, do you see a difference with players because of the rest time?)
I think so. We haven't had a lot of fatigue injuries. We haven't had a hamstring or any injuries related to fatigue. We had a couple lower backs tighten today. It might have been from bowling. We went bowling as a team and now I have two guys with lower back problems so I don't know how smart that was. It was a good team-building event. To answer your question, I think it helps.
(How did Marquand respond to the challenge of having Bigby work with the 1's yesterday?)
I think Marquand has played as good of football since he's been here. I think it was clearly evident that his injury affected him last year. He continues to move well. He's one of our better communicators. He does a really good job in the back end. He's had a really good camp. We're just trying to create as much competition across the board. Atari being one of them, and Charlie and Culver. We're trying to find out now. We don't want to wait until the third or fourth week of the season. I think he's handled it very well.
(Is that starting spot still up for grabs?)
No jobs have been won or lost today. We're competing. We have a lot of football left in the preseason. We'll continue to move forward.
(How much game-planning will you do for Seattle?)
We'll take a couple days and get ready for Seattle. We took two days last week to prepare for Pittsburgh and we'll do the same this week.
(Have you decided how long Favre will play against the Seahawks?)
We haven't done play time yet, no.
(In the preseason, do you focus more on what you want to get done than game-planning for the opponent?)
I think preseason is clearly different. You'd like to win the game but you have a bunch of other issues that you need to answer; it's different combinations of offense, defense and special teams. Health of your football team is a big factor in play time week in and week out. You even call plays differently. There are some plays that you might have high on your list in the preseason because you're trying to look at individuals, different combinations. Those are all factored in the preseason.
(Is it still the plan for Thompson to play quarterback the fourth quarter?)