When you talk about what you expected from the two drafted rookie offensive lineman in Andrew Tiller and Marcel Jones as well as Nick Toon and what you have seen from them so far?
“First of all regarding the offensive lineman, I would think, during this type of camp, its more about, assignment and technique than it is driving a guy off the ball, because they’re just taking a couple steps and letting up with the pace of this camp. So as far as receiving an evaluation of the linemen we are going to have to wait until we get pads on. but as far as Toon is concerned, it was a repeat of what he had been hearing at rookie camp, so he was into it. Today was a day where we threw a lot at them, but he’s picking it up well, playing a couple of different positions for us. Like I said before, he has good speed and excellent hands.”
Without Drew Brees it been the relative same with Chase Daniel and Sean Canfield, or do you have to tweak it at all.
“It’s going to be different until he (Brees) gets here, but as far as those two guys have done, these first 3 days have been real positive. The ball stayed off the ground, and for them it’s about assignment---are they making the right decisions with the ball, location? I would say all that’s been very positive, maybe a throw or two here missed that we’ve seen Drew make, but it’s been positive.”
How has Daniel done as far as his leadership, work in the classroom and film study?
“I think Chase has really taken it, since he’s had a chance to be here the past few years, and see how Drew does it, and those two are very competitive, outside the football world. So he’s very much like Drew in that aspect.”
How is he in pushing? Do you think he could push for a starting position at some point?
“He knows his role. He definitely is a guy who wants to become a starter in this league, but he knows this is Drew Brees’ team, and it’s going to be his team. But with him (Drew) not being here, it’s his (Daniel’s) team to run.”
Has that brought anything out that you normally don’t see?
“No. I think we knew he always had it in him, similar characteristics to Drew, but you see more of a leadership role from him right now, telling guys what to do in the huddle, having seen what Drew did the past few years, and doing that.”
Without pads on, how do you see the skills of Ben Grubbs fitting in on the offensive line?
“I do think it’s tough to evaluate, but here’s a guy who’s been in the league and is a veteran, so he knows the game of football. The terminology is a little different, but as far as his mental picking up the plays and his assignments, it’s been really positive.”
Going from Drew Brees, with what he means to your team and the league, what are your expectations of Chase Daniel and the fact that the bar is set so high?
“I think for Chase’s aspect, is coming in and doing the same things that Drew did as far as (we) expected. When Drew was preparing during the offseason and regular season, those guys were sitting there with them, so we expected the same approach as Drew would have taken.”
Is it difficult to not see #9 out there and how have you prepared yourself?
“We’re going to miss him until he gets here, but for now it’s an opportunity for those two young guys and it’s enjoyable to be out there working with them.”
What young guys have impressed you out there? How about Chris Givens?
“I think you hit the nail on the head. (Al) Toon has been very impressive. Givens has been really impressive. We were really happy with him (Givens) after rookie camp. He’s a guy that mentally it hasn’t been too big for him. He’s been in and out of the huddle, part of this tempo, that gets up and gets set without having to huddle, he’s played all 3 positions, and Coach (Henry) Ellard tells him, that he needs to play X, Z, or F, and he’s been able to pick it up and stand out.”
Charles Brown was out there a lot today and he started a little last year. Is there some competition on the offensive line or do you have a set group of ones?
“No, I think the guys that were with us last year, are the starting five for the preseason, but he’s a guy who we expect to compete, and we’ll see how it goes through training camp.”
What about Joe Morgan?
“Morgan’s been impressive in this camp. (With) his speed earlier in the week, we sent him on a deep pattern, and you just saw the rockets take off”
Were you disappointed when he showed so much potential last year in the preseason and got hurt?
“We were disappointed he got hurt last year, but he’s a guy we expect to step right in and fill a role on this team.”
Is it strange personally not to have Drew Brees and Sean Payton here?
“Yes, it’s obviously different, starting the offseason, the weight room (work), in the classroom ,and on the field. It’s something we have to get used to.”
How many years have you worked with Drew?
“Four years in San Diego, when I came in his second year, with year seven here, so the last ten years.”Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times