(With teams getting better at salary cap management, is it easier to make trades now?)
I don't know. I think there's always some trades this time of year. I know we do a lot of scouting other teams. I'm sure a lot of people scout us as well. You try to find happy marriages where you might have some strengths as opposed to your weaknesses and the other teams vice-versa. But I do think probably from a macro point of view, the question you asked, is people have done a little bit better job. It's not necessarily doing a better job it's understanding the whole salary cap implications and what happens.
(So you can take a player for a pick a lot easier now, and vice-versa?)
I don't know. I guess. It just depends, kind of where you are and what your plans are, going forward.
(Everyone knows about Brady Poppinga's work ethic, but is he more talented than some people think?)
I think Brady has been a really good solid player for us for some time. He can excel on special teams. He has the ability to be a very physical player as a linebacker. He loves to play, he loves to practice. As you've seen during this camp when we've only had a few guys, he and Aaron Kampman have taken millions of reps, and he's seized the opportunity so far.
(Can he make that job his even when you get Clay and Jeremy back?)
Oh sure. The good thing is I think at the end of this thing, I think we'll have a group of players that can play the game. I think the whole idea about moving people around and doing some different things, I think Dom's system leads to that. I think we'll use multiple different kinds of packages and personnel, and we'll probably try to use all our people if we have that sort of luxury.
(Has Tyrell Sutton exceeded what you thought when you first signed him?)
He has done a nice job. People seem to be kind of surprised. He was exactly the same player at Northwestern and Big Ten football is pretty intense football. He has done fine. I don't know that he has exceeded our expectations though; we thought he would be a pretty good player.
(Settling on an offensive line now, how much does that help?)
I think you kind of want to settle in and say OK, this is our group, but I think that is overplayed. In the real world we're going to need them all, just like we always do. We don't have any Larry McCarrens that play all of the games anymore. Actually, we do. So we're going to need everybody. I think we've got a good group and hopefully they'll continue to play well over the course of the next two preseason games.
(What are your thoughts on Jeremy Kapinos and the punting situation?)
I read in the paper that Jeremy had a really good day yesterday. You guys are keeping score. I like it. The punting situation is coming along. They are competing. Of course Durant is not going right now because of a little minor thing, but we'll get him going pretty soon. I think they have performed pretty well.
(There's a lot of excitement about this defense coming together. Is this a clear picture of where they are now, or do you need to see teams take a whole week to prepare for them?)
I think a little of both. I think the excitement and the energy that our players are showing is a good thing, is a positive. I think it means they are excited about playing and doing different things, and we ask them to do a lot of different things. At the same time, sure, I'm sure people aren't game-planning for us. We're doing I think what you have to do on defense. We're doing a pretty good job of stopping the run, we're creating pressure on the quarterback and we're getting turnovers. If you can do that, you're going to be pretty good. Now, it will be harder in the regular season.