(Is this the healthiest you've been all season?)
I was just checking with Jeff to find out so I could act like I knew how to answer the question. We're extremely healthy, so that's the conclusion of our health Thursday conference, right? Am I done?
(How encouraging is that?)
Health is so important really for the full week, and we've talked about this time and time again in here. It really gives you the opportunity for your whole football team to improve. You've got every player on your roster throughout, practice squad included, everybody is playing the position they're supposed to be playing. I just think that helps so much because your look squads are better, and the players have the opportunity to continue to improve at their specific craft. To me that carries over to the games, and we're healthy, so we've had very good quality work so far this week. Today's practice, I think it's going to look very good. I hope it looks as good as it sounded. We had a lot of energy, a lot of execution today. Very pleased with so far how the week's gone.
(When you're dealing with guys who have been out 3-4 weeks, like Harris, Bigby, or Montgomery, how long is it before they start to look like the guy they were before?)
That's an excellent question. I don't have an exact time frame. I'll just say those particular players you've asked about, I thought Al played very well. He had really two weeks of practice, and you're always striving as a player once you're out of the action to get into what everybody refers to as football shape, and you can't really get into that type of shape until you're tugging, pushing, pulling on another player. How long that takes, a couple weeks would probably be accurate. Mike Montgomery played well in his time, and we felt Atari had a very, very solid game. I'm sure it will be ... hopefully by the end of this week they'll feel like they're back.
(Is that as good as you've ever seen Montgomery look?)
Well, I thought he played well. I think Mike's always ... really, the only problem Mike Montgomery has had for us has been his injuries. He's had an injury each year, and it's just kind of set him back. Mike always in my opinion has played well with his opportunities. His opportunities in the past have come in short spurts, and hopefully he can stay healthy and play well the rest of the season. He graded out very high in his performance in Tennessee.
(Do you find players prepare better mentally when they're not worried about injuries?)
I didn't play at this level, but I'll just echo what I've heard time and time again throughout my years in the NFL - anybody can play this game when you feel good. It's the ability to play through the aches and pains, injuries and so forth that occur to everybody throughout the season. I think that's probably a good way of looking at it.
(I assume the tempo was good because you were done with practice early.)
Correct. We were 13 minutes early.
(Did Rodgers do the same he did a week ago?)
This is the most he's practiced since his injury.
(Will you go with him on Friday?)
We'll find out tomorrow. I'll see how he feels. This is the most he's thrown.