<span> <span style="">Q: Can you talk about what it is like to face a Gregg Williams defense in practice?</span>
A: Certainly they're trying to build a confidence and swagger. They're installing a lot of stuff. Guys are flying around. Certainly they're trying to prove to the new coach and everybody else that they deserve a significant role on the defense. For us as an offense, I think it's great. I think we're only going to make each other better. I think we have a lot of pride and confidence on offense. To compete against each other everyday in practice, we don't have the pads on, but you'd think it was a padded practice with the way guys are flying around. I think it's great competition. We're going back and forth and that's healthy.
Q: Are you impressed with the confidence that Robert Meachem showed out at practice?
A: Yes. I see Meach growing everyday from a confidence standpoint. Certainly now with Marques (Colston) and Lance (Moore) not participating, I think with Meachem, he senses that he's the number one guy here right now. I think that's great for his confidence to step in there and have a little bit of a swagger about him. When the ball comes, you see him jump up and make plays and that's great.
Q: How much different is the defensive scheme from past years?
A: Anytime you have a change at that coordinator position, certainly there's a big learning phase, but also he's (Gregg Williams) in a position where he's evaluating at all times. All these guys are coming in; they're having to learn on the fly to prove to a new coach that they can play a significant role on the defense. Certainly I think his style of football is one that breeds confidence and almost borderline arrogance out there that we're going to come after you and get you. I love that attitude. It's great for us to go up against as an offense every day.
Q: Do you think Robert Meachem struggled to find confidence in the past?
A: You gain confidence by repetition and by opportunities. Meachem's rookie year, he had zero opportunities. Last year, his role increased from week to week. Confidence continues to build when we increase his opportunities and role. Obviously as we go along here, he's going to be a big part of what we do.
Q: Do the principles of this defense seem different?
A: Yes, there's a few coverages that every team runs in the league. They might just try to disguise it a little bit different and so these last three days have been fun, because it's the first time I've gone up against our guys with this new scheme. Everyday's a new thing where we're looking at how certain coverages and pressures are going to look. It's a learning process for me, because from now until the end of training camp, I'm competing against our guys, game planning against our defense, knowing our personnel. That's a good thing for me.
Q: How much has your connection with Jeremy Shockey grown with an offseason to have with him?
A: We've made strides. Obviously the more time we have tougher on the field and in the classroom, film room and everything else, the better we're going to become together. I have a great relationship with so many guys on the team as to what we're able to do on the field together, them knowing where I'm going to be, where I'm expecting them to be. You just kind of understand it. You don't even have to speak it anymore, because it's almost muscle memory. I'm still getting to that point with Jeremy, but we'll be there by the time the season rolls around.