Q: Now that you have more players have you went from worrying about getting guys too many snaps to not getting guys enough?
HALEY: “For sure. Now you get into the normal balance of training camp and a lot of what we do in our staff meetings of talking about who is and that’s a discussion between strength coaches and coaches alike and just trying to get the right balance. It’s a better situation than what we were in because we felt like in that 57 range or 61 range and especially in heat and things like that, you can get short pretty quick. Now we’re back at what guys are generally used to functioning with as far as coaches and just balancing the reps and making sure you’re getting guys the work they need and the work that we need to see in order to make good evaluations.”
Q: Bill Parcells said that for a 3-4 to really work you need at least 20 sacks between your outside linebackers. Do you agree with that and do you think that you have the personnel to accomplish that?
HALEY: “The key to our defense is number one, everybody do their job. If one person isn’t doing their job within our defense, you’re going to have a problem. Much like if you listen to a symphony and when everybody’s on the same page, it sounds very nice, but if you have one person that’s out of sync, it’s not going to sound very good. That’s how our defense works. That being said, stop the run first from a base philosophical approach. Then create pressure in passing situations, bringing as few players as possible. Like you saw last year and the year before if we don’t feel like we’re getting enough pressure in certain situations then out of a four-man rush so to speak. Whether it’s three lineman and a linebacker or two linebackers and two linemen or whatever that combination is, then we will bring additional players to try and create pressure. I talked a little earlier last week about, the thing I’m excited about and our coaches are excited about defensively is since we’ve been here, going back a couple of years, this is, I feel like we have more options as far as rush type players than we’ve had to date. Now it’s about developing those guys. There’s good competition that ought to amp up everybody’s performance a little bit. I feel good about where we are right now. The key is continuing to teach, develop and get everybody to understand what their role within the defense is. Again, it comes back to evaluation for us as coaches to get it right.”
HALEY: “He’s not but two pounds off of what he was last year. It might just be redistributed a little differently. He already has been a rotational player for us, and again, when you get into gameday roster numbers, that’s a very important factor. I don’t know that we can have just a pass rush guy, that that’s all he does. Obviously, they’re going to have to (play) a special teams role, if that were the case. Again, we went to games last year with five defensive linemen, and you’ve got to have some versatility in that. That’s why you would see Wallace Gilberry playing, and he’s continued to develop here since we’ve been here. I would expect him to continue to improve.”
Q: Are you OK with the depth at your defensive end spot?
HALEY: “Defensive line is a critical spot for our defense in general. Everybody says it, but that’s where you build the foundation of your defense and your offense, is up front. I don’t think you can ever have enough good defensive linemen. I think (it’s) a position that, throughout the time that we’ve all been here – Scott (Pioli), myself and our staff – we are always scouring and looking for defensive linemen that we think, No. 1 can play, but No. 2, who can come in here and fit with what we’re trying to do. That process, like every other position, will continue to go on. As far as Glenn (Dorsey) goes, I think a couple of days into camp, and that’s why I’m doing some of the things I’m doing as far as just taking baby steps, so to speak, as we get these guys… Try to get everybody onto the same level of fitness, conditioning, strength, which I think is critical for us before we can really let loose and start practicing the way everybody’s used to seeing, us included. I think the key thing for us as a defense is that this new infusion of talent that we do have there, and the guys that have been here developing – the
Q: Do you want your nose tackle to be more of a disrupter or a run-stopper?
HALEY: “He’s a two-gaper number one, which is stop the run, first and foremost. We’ll have some schemes where he is a penetrator, but as it is, the baseline defense, 3-4 defense, the way that we play it is that nose is a 2-gap nose that’s got to occupy, first and foremost. Again, across the board with all of our players, offense, defense, special teams, the name of the game for us, or not the name of the game, but what we try to do though is utilize each and every player’s talent as it fits to our defense. But understand we may have to adjust. And we’ve shown that we’ll do that in all areas when necessary.”
Q: Have you ever had a player so excited for the start of training camp that you’ve had to calm him down?
HALEY: “You’re referring to Le’Ron (McClain) I’m assuming? Again, I think that yesterday especially, everybody was excited. Some of these guys are coming from a different team. It’s their first time out there with new teammates, new training camp facility. Everything’s new. That gets me excited though. You can tell he and all those guys are passionate about football, because they were chomping at the bit to be out there with their teammates. But, it comes back to what I said earlier: We’ve got to really be good on a daily evaluation standpoint of our players and where they are physically as we go forward here for the next little while.”
Q: Is there an update on Baldwin’s status at all?
HALEY: “Now that we’ve got everybody on campus, I’ll get back to me, and we’ll talk about the guys that are out there practicing. We’ll see today what his status is once we get out there.”
Q: Is there anything extra expected from
HALEY: “I don’t have any idea. I guess we’ll all wait and see. What Justin needs to be focused on is that he’s here now. I’ve talked about the rookie learning curve, and he’s got his work cut out for him. And so do we, because we’ve got to give him a chance to succeed.”
Q: Do those guys start with a clean slate with you?
HALEY: “Absolutely. We had basically that talk, that we’ve got to get going, because as I say to all of them – I’m selfish, I want to win. That’s what I care about, and we’ve got to do everything as coaches to give us the best chance to win. And a bunch of those young guys, I would believe, are going to have to contribute for us to have a chance to continue to build this. Or like I said, start this year even though it’s a fresh year, but build on some of the good things that we’ve done as we encounter each challenge and opportunity.”