May 18, 2005

Jim Haslett Interview Transcript: Coach talks to media at onset of coaching sessions

Q: Can you give us an update on Fakhir Brown?



A: "I talked to him today. He's got concerns. I really didn't get in depth, because I was coming out to the practice field, but we'll talk some more. You can't ask somebody to come to it. It's the off-season. They're voluntary. It's understood. I'm just glad we got the turnout that we do and that these guys are working here together."

Q: Will Brown be here soon?

A: "I have no idea."

Q: Can you discuss Dennis Erickson being a visitor at today's practice?

A: "It was nice. We invited Coach to come down and watch practice. He's going to come back in training camp and spend some time with us and just watch practice. I think his wife wants him out of the house too during that time."

Q: How does Dwight Smith look now that you are able to see him with the rest of the team?

A: "He's very athletic. That's the number one thing. He's got a great feel for the game. He loves the game. He loves being out here on the field, what he does best. He loves football. He's got great ball skills and he's a joy to be around."

Q: Is there anything that catches your eye at these coaching sessions?

A: "No, we got a pretty good tempo for our practices. This is the learning aspect of football. You learn. You work on your techniques. To me, that's the big thing. We got a lot of young guys out here, all our draft picks and some free agents we're trying to get up to par on what we're doing."

Q: What is your overall assessment of the draft picks and the amount of material that they have absorbed?

A: "The first round pick (Jamaal Brown), it's been a little bit of everything, but if he can figure when to go forwards on runs and when to go backwards on pass, he'll be alright. He's a heck of a talent and a great kid and he wants to be a great player. He spends a lot of time upstairs with the coaches. Josh Bullocks is a good athlete that can run and is smart. (Alfred) Fincher is the same. He's very instinctive. Jason Jefferson, I think he has a chance. He got hurt yesterday a little bit. I think he has a chance. He's just raw. He's a raw player, but he's got a pretty good chance to play in the league."

Q: Does Kliff Kingsbury have a legitimate chance at making this roster?

A: "Yes, I think so. Kliff when you get into game situations and running the offense, I think he does a great job doing that. That's the stuff you don't see just here throwing the ball. The guy's got a great presence about him."

Q: Are there things with Adrian McPherson that you see which you can't see on video tape?

A: "If you watch AFL film you can't see anything, but he's very athletic. He's raw. He's got a way to go. He's got a good future in the league if he just keeps working and stays on the straight and narrow, he'll be fine."

Q: Does Jon Stinchcomb have a legitimate chance to compete for a starting job?

A: "I think Jon has a chance. Jonathan will at least be the sixth (lineman) this year if not a starter. We're trying to groom him to be a starter at some point. I think he's made great steps this off-season with the strength. He's benching over 500 pounds right now. I think he'll push Wayne (Gandy) for a starting job."

Q: How different is a coach Sheppard offense as compared to a Mike McCarthy offense?

A: "The verbiage is cut down dramatically. The wording's different. The philosophy of what we are trying to do is totally different. We are trying to stay out of situations where it's second and long and third and long. I think the concepts on what we're trying to do, the philosophy is working out pretty well here."

Q: You didn't know what Darren Howard's status was completely before the draft. Are you glad it's all resolved and he's expected to be with the team this year?

A: "Darren's a heck of a football player. Darren had great communication throughout this whole process and I appreciate the way he came in and worked everyday with his teammates and to me, I think he's going to have a big year as long as he's healthy. He's the strongest he's ever been and I think he's excited about playing this year, so I look for bit things from Darren Howard."

Q: Are the offensive changes something that Aaron likes a lot?

A: "Everybody likes it. It's a little bit more learning on the players, but if you see one word instead of spelling out everybody's duties. It puts a little more on the players and takes a little bit off of the quarterback and the play calling. I think we can get out of the huddle a lot faster also."

Q: What is Johnathan Sullivan weighing right now?

A: "We won't weigh until minicamp. He's been here working out everyday. He hasn't done a lot of lifting because of his hand. He's going to do that pretty soon, but he is working hard. I think he has a commitment to try to turn it around and become a good player, but we're going to wait and see."

Q: Do you think the coaching sessions are a lot more laid back because they are voluntary?

A: "I think you have to ask that to the players to compare it to other places that they have been. I don't think it's laid back at all. I think you'd have to ask the players that."

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