Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Q: What did you think of the Sammy Watkins trade? A: Wild. You leave your office and everything kind of gets flipped upside down. It was exciting and he’s been awesome to have here.

Q: What do you think he can bring to the offense? A: He’s a guy we have to get the ball to a whole bunch. It’s funny because we talk about it in our room. Good players just naturally start getting the ball, whether you call a play for him or not. I think it just shows here in practice what we’ve been done. It might not necessarily be his number, but EJ just finds him. Throws it to him earlier, he goes up and catches it. It’s so exciting. Just even for practice, for me I’m like, ‘Ooh, what is he going to do next? What’s going to happen?’ It’s very exciting to have him on this football team.

Q: Does he come with a pretty big strike zone? A: Very big. We call it a catch radius and his catch radius is very impressive. It allows the quarterback to take a little breath and just kind of throw it anywhere he can in that region and know if we get it here he’ll be able to do something special with it.

Q: Has EJ given you any feedback on how he feels their chemistry is coming along? A: We’re going on only day three of practice and I think the tape, he always gives me one of those looks like, ‘Ooh,’ and he gets all excited. I think he’s got that feeling that it’s going to be fun, it’s going to be exciting and they’re going to have chemistry, but on just day three we still have a lot more work to do..

Q: In his college offense he ran a lot of screens and vertical routes. As an NFL receiver now, where would you view his ability as a route runner? A: I would say up to this point as a pro first and foremost he has been amazing. Just the way he’s kind of attacked this whole thing because he understands that he is a little bit behind from the route running standpoint. He’s done a great job working hard, just starting from the rookie minicamp and just really throwing himself in to the offense and the routes that we want him to run which are a lot of unique things and things that he has done in the past. It’s pretty. It’s funny because he’s doing what he’s doing now and you can tell that he’s thinking and I’m sitting here going, ‘Wow. Wait until he’s not thinking anymore’ and he’s just running and he’s just playing ball. He’s done a great job working to get there and he has a lot of work to do form his route standpoints as he knows.

Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Q: How have you settled in? A: It’s exciting to go back to work and it’s exciting to get on the field and be able put our hands on these players.. Each step along the way we’ve done a little bit more. Phase one the players just working out with some meetings, phase two we can work some individual drills and phase three you really start to put it together. We can see the progress from the guys. It’s nice, the weather is nicer and we’re able to get outside. I think we’re making some progress there.

Q: How much of an adjustment has it been going back to being a defensive coordinator? A: I’ve never strayed very far from defense even as a head coach. I’ve stayed in meetings and stayed in walkthroughs and calling plays. Being in the practice that way, so it’s not that much of an adjustment.

Q: How much of this stage in the process evaluation versus installation? A: The only thing we’re really evaluating now with players is their ability to grasp schemes and things like that. The stuff you’re seeing on the practice field, we’re not judging the players on finishing plays. It’s a non-competitive situation. We want to learn their role in the defense and we want to learn how everything fits together. They are being judged on that and their work ethic. The on the field stuff is all about technique right now. When we get to training camp you’ll start judging them more on wins and losses. Wins, whether it comes to a coverage or a pass rush or things like that. You have to be careful about judging too much stuff out there. It’s non-contact, it’s not football.

Q: Would it be fair to say there is a lot of experimentation in personnel? A: That’ll continue through training camp. One of our jobs as we go through training camp is to find out what our players strengths and weaknesses are. As coaches, our job is to put them in good position, accentuate the positives, try to minimize our weaknesses. There are 31 teams doing the same thing right now. Every team is going to have strengths and weaknesses and that is something that will be developed through the course of OTA’s and through the course of training camp and preseason games. Every year is a little bit different. Even though there has been a coaching change this year, my experience is that even if there isn’t a coaching change every year your personality is going to be a little bit different because your players are going to be a little bit different.

Q: What strengths and weaknesses do you see in your defense based on film and what you’ve seen in practice? A: We have talented players on all three levels of our defense. A lot was made of our Pro Bowl players up front, but you got a player like Kiko Alonso and even though Kiko hasn’t been out here full time and been out there just doing a little bit with some individual and some 7-on-7 here and there. He’s on the progression like a lot of other young guys. We added a really good young player in Preston brown and he’s done a really nice job through this. Probably the secondary is where I’ve been the most impressed. It’s one thing, you don’t really see those guys out there because e a lot of guys aren’t fully participating and just doing some individual here and there. I think we have some depth at corner, at nickel and we have a really good young player, we lost Jairus Byrd, but we were able to keep an exciting young player in Aaron Williams here. I’m excited with all three levels of the defense, but probably more so the secondary than anything else.

 

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