(Will Wells, Jenkins, Clifton and Bigby practice tonight?)
Yes. The medical crew wants to start those guys one-a-days. That's what we discussed yesterday, so they will all practice tonight.
(Pretty spirited run drill today?)
It was a good run drill. I thought the practice as a whole, I thought the tempo was OK. I thought the start from the offense was very poor with the mental errors and the repeat of plays in the screens and deceptive period. Outside of that, the blitz period, I thought the defense had the advantage there. But a lot of good things to teach off of.
(How are Al Harris and Charles Woodson adjusting to the new scheme?)
I think they have handled it very well. The opportunity for our corners and really our whole secondary as a whole to play with a lot more vision, particularly on first and second down. I think the adjustment is good but it's also taken advantage of all of those guys back there. We're not lining up as much with our back turned to the quarterback as we have in the past, and I think it's going to be a real benefit for us.
(Normally the defense is ahead of the offense at this point of camp. Is that different this year?)
We have had two practices, we have had two installs. We have worked primarily first and second down. Your mental errors are never where you want them to be early in camp. We'll stay after the players about that aspect of it. I feel good about where we are after two practices. It's the quality of work. It's the teaching that we are able to teach off this film, the problems the defense creates the offense, shoot, just all of the different pressures. This is so valuable for us as a team preparing for training camp. So as far as who is ahead of who, I am pleased with the pace of both the offense and the defense and the special teams.
(Any update on B.J. Raji?)
Not this morning.
(Do you start to get concerned with his absence?)
It's the same as it was yesterday from my viewpoint. You never want any player, particularly young players, missing time. Training camp is here for a reason. It's an opportunity to break things down and spend the extra time on the individual. It's important for B.J. to be here, but this is a business situation, and we'll work our way through it.
(How do Jeremy Thompson and Clay Matthews look so far and how do you assess that competition?)
Once again, we're two practices into it. We're not ready to declare anything today as far as position battles and so forth. Jeremy and Clay are both young players, they have a lot of ability, and this is exactly what they need. They need this individual time.
(When Cullen Jenkins is healthy, how much of a difference can he make?)
Cullen Jenkins is a difference-maker. You could make a point or an argument that Cullen Jenkins may be the best or one of the best players on our football team. He's an impact player when he's in there. He's had some injuries that he's had to fight through. We're definitely a different defensive line, a different defense when he plays.
(How far ahead are the backup quarterbacks compared to last year?)
They're clearly way ahead of where they were a year ago, just from an experience standpoint and understanding as far as the huddle command, getting in and out of the plays properly, in a timely fashion. They're playing a lot faster. That's a normal progression for a young quarterback. Both Matt and Brian are clearly further ahead today than they were a year ago. That's to be expected. I think it's a good young tandem that has a very bright future, both of those guys.
(How was the punting period?)
Not very good. I thought the punting was inconsistent, and that's something we need to continue to work on.