<span> <span> <span style="">Opening Statement:</span>
"For an injury update from today's practice, Jeff Charleston (rib) was full; Jason Kyle (ankle/knee) was full; Jahri Evans (toe) was full; Malcolm Jenkins (ankle) was limited; Jeremy Shockey (shoulder) was limited; Leigh Torrence (hamstring) was limited; Jonathan Casillas (hip) was limited; Thomas Morstead (ankle) was limited; Scott Fujita (calf) did not practice. Today was first and second down, our base installation."
How is Morstead?
"I think he's going to be alright. He punted today. He did more today than we thought he might be able to. We put him at limited, but he feels a lot better. I was encouraged with his progress."
Do you expect to see Fujita practicing this week?
"We'll see. We're hopeful; we're day to day. We'll see where Scott's at tomorrow with his calf. We held him today."
Did Morstead get hurt on a kickoff?
"It ended up being a tackle. But like I said, I was encouraged with his progress today."
With so many weapons on this offense, how important is it for Drew Brees to keep everyone involved?
"I think just in the nature of what we're trying to do offensively, we're trying to do a number of things and with his progression and who we get out in the pattern, all those things are important so you're not one-dimensional to one player. I think the other players understand that."
Were you considering any moves as the trade deadline came up yesterday?
"Not really. I think we're set and we feel good about this roster."
Have you ever considered running the Wildcat offense?
"I've been asked that a lot. I think there are a number of teams that dabble in that phase of offense and the team we're playing this week runs it and executes it at a much different level. When teams begin to look at or try to study and possibly emulate someone else, this is certainly one of the teams that you want to put the film on. They do a great job of it."
Has Jabari Greer been better than you anticipated when you signed him?
"We went after in Jabari in free agency to give us another quality cornerback. He's come in and he has competed well. He has good transitional speed, good ball skills, and he has done a real good job for us. We're encouraged with his play. Week to week he has been very consistent."
How has Remi Ayodele played and what did you see in him when you signed him last year?
"He's physical. He has done a good job getting his weight down and he has really found his niche at that nose position. We rotate a lot of guys in and out on the defensive line, but he's one of those guys that has gotten better since we acquired him last year. To his credit, he continues to work and continues to improve."
You said that last week Will Smith/Kendrick Clancy.aspx">Kendrick Clancy was a healthy inactive. Is Remi the starter at that position now?
"Right now we feel like we have two guys that are able to play at that position. Each week we have to de-activate 'X' number of players. Kendrick is finally getting back to where he's close to 100%. Last week he was probable for the game and yet we just couldn't get him up because of the numbers in regards to our game day activations."
What is the biggest impact that Gregg Williams has made? Is it in preparation or style of play?
"It's hard to point to one specific area. If you tried to statistically say what's different, we're taking the ball away and we have been able to minimize the big play opportunities that had plagued us. But I think more importantly than that, there's an environment and the way that we're playing, Gregg and his staff have done a real good job of fostering that and being very demanding and yet flexible enough to realize who we're playing each week and answering the challenge each week of slowing down the different offensive looks we get."
Do you sometimes have to tone him down a little during practice?
How important has the turnaround you've made in time of possession?
"I think it's important. It helps you play better defense. There are two statistics that go with that though – the third down conversion statistic, both offensively and defensively have a direct tie to time of possession and winning those third down battles, getting an offense off the field and staying on offensively allows you to run more plays. The turnovers allow you to run more plays and defend less plays. When you start doing those things well, I think the time of possession and all those things contribute to that statistic. Certainly it's an important number."
How important is it this week to hold on to the ball for more time?
"I think that you have to defend the run. They do a good job; they're first in the NFL in rushing the football, and that's really not by accident. They are right now running the ball better than any other team in the league. They're also a team that's in the top ten defending the run. Those numbers can relate right to time of possession and that's a big challenge for us."
Last week was the first time you had Mike Bell, Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush all healthy. Did you like the rotation you had with those three running backs?
"There's some flexibility in the course of a game. I thought we had pretty good rhythm and I thought the way those guys got their snaps worked out. Each week that can vary some though. There isn't an exact formula, but I thought they handled those roles pretty well."
Being an offensive guy, are you surprised with the success that the Dolphins have had with the Wildcat in the NFL?
"No, I think they're doing a great job with it. You have dangerous runners, talented runners that are involved in it and it's well coached. They're very thorough in their preparation so I'm not surprised."
What added dimension does Robert Meachem give you with his big play ability?
"He has really improved. A lot has been said about his health, but he's playing with a lot of confidence now. The one thing he does is that he's able to make plays above his shoulders so when those balls that are thrown up – we've seen this against Detroit and we saw it last weekend against New York, those proverbial jump-balls – he's able to high point and does a good job of coming down with those. He's fast; he's physical; and it's great to have him as one of the guys that we can locate each week in a plan and put in a plan. He's pretty good with the ball in his hands and we have to keep looking at ways to get him the football."
Are those things the things you saw in him when you drafted him?
"Yes. The one thing you saw on him on his tape at Tennessee was that he was very good after the catch. You saw a player that was very explosive when he caught a hitch or caught a screen, and he was able to turn a five-yard throw into a big play. To his credit, he has gotten better each year and has been able to incorporate new things into his skill set. He can run and he has become a lot better receiver rather than just a target. That has helped him a lot."
What are your impressions of Chad Henne?
"He's a talented player. He's a guy that we liked a lot when he was drafted. He has won a lot of games when you look in his past. He has a big arm; he has good size; he's smart; and you can see his location. I think he has a bright future. He's a talented player."
Brees always seems to find the open receiver. What makes him so good at that?
"I think his ability to decide quickly – from the time the ball is snapped, and obviously there's a lot of pre-snap that goes into the recognition of each defense and then his ability to set and deliver. He's someone that studies very hard. He has good feet and that's one of the things that helps him in regards to moving a little bit in the pocket. When you combine all of those things, you get what you have and that's a quarterback that makes good decisions very quickly."
You've opened the last few games with some hurry-up offense and no-huddle. Is that just you trying to dictate the pace of the game to the defense?
"We've tried throughout the course of the game to have a handful of plays that we're able to run at any given time right at the line of scrimmage. You're just always trying to change the pace if you can. We have done it so much that our players understand it. Oftentimes it's really nothing fancy in regards to the play design as it is just getting back up to the line of scrimmage and trying to get the next play off. It's something that we have done for a while and we've incorporated it really into any point in the game."
How much do you attribute the early success you're having to the scripted plays and being able to run through those during the week?
"We usually script those plays toward the end of the week, but when you do eight plays to start or ten plays or whatever it is we put together each week, it's hard to stay on that script because of down and distance. You want to pay attention to what's happening in the game, but it's really a credit to the players in starting that way. I've been involved in games where you have your first group of plays and then all of a sudden you're not having success. It really gets down to the execution. The purpose of those is really to get them to understand the night before here's how we want to start the game, and they're able to sink their teeth into the first eight or nine probable plays and it helps and gives them an early study of what to expect to come out. You can't go real long there but we try to put eight, ten, twelve plays down to start a game and review them Saturday at the hotel. By the time the week is over, you get an idea of what looks good and what we have done well. The other purpose is to maybe try to gather some information as to how they're going to play certain formations. There are a few things you're doing it for, but to their credit – talking about the offense – the execution is really what makes them successful."
Do you stick with the scripted plays no matter the situation?
"Generally. If you get to a third-and-one, you might get off of it to run a short-yardage play. Sometimes you get down in the red zone – we played Detroit and our first possession took place in an area of the field that really wasn't suited for some of the plays that were on that list. So it's not etched in stone."
Have you been around a team that has been hotter than this team before?
"Just looking back, when you end up on a team that gets into the postseason generally there's a stretch where you play good football and you stack together wins. You referenced the 2000 Giants team and that was the case there where we were able to stack wins together. Even in '03 with Bill (Parcells) in Dallas, after losing the first game we stacked some wins together. That's generally what happens when you look at a team that is in the postseason and winning double-digit games. I said after the game that it's good to start 5-0, and obviously we feel good about that record right now, yet we still understand that there's a lot of work ahead of us. It's real early in the season."
Do you have to have that conversation with your team every week or is it understood?
"I think it's understood. There are times when you bring out points of emphasis in regards to the next opponent and make sure the focus is shifted. You've heard me say before that in this league you get roughly 24 hours to digest a win or a loss and then you better get ready for the next game you're playing. That's something we have really worked hard at."