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Chudzinski press conf. transcript - 8/31

Posted Aug 31, 2013

The transcript of Coach Rob Chudzinski's Saturday evening press conference.

Opening statement: “Good evening. Thank you for coming. I know that you all have received the e-mail list of our releases by now and the current status of our 53-man roster. A couple of key points I would like to go into before I start out. Number one, our roster is fluid at this point. We will continue to look at, evaluate and update the roster over the course of the next few days. This is our Aug. 31 roster, not necessarily our Sept. 8 roster. Secondly, our approach was to keep the best players at this particular time of this cut-down. We’ll address more specifics at each position in the next few days. An example of that would be kicker, and I’ll get into that in a little bit. As far as the players that we released, I’d like to again reiterate, as I’ve mentioned before, I appreciate all of the hard work that they’ve done and everything that they put into this. A lot of these are extremely tough decisions, close calls, close situations that came down to it. At the end of the day, we did what we felt was in the best interest of the team in building a team for sustainable success. As far as the team is concerned, we’ll have a light workout tomorrow and then on Monday we’ll have a practice, and that practice will be geared toward Miami. And then we will get into our normal work week from there. Again, I’m excited to get together and move on with the season and get ready for the opener. The injuries, I’ll give you an update on Wednesday.”

On the kicker position: “We gauged all the practices. We gauged the games, obviously, the preseason games, and weren’t completely satisfied. From a timing standpoint, keeping some other guys on the roster, and being flexible in that way, we felt like was the best move at this particular time. What we’ll do is we’ll continue to look at it. We haven’t closed the door completely on the kickers that we had. We have some possibilities. We may work some guys out in the next few days. We’ll have a kicker within the next few days.

“There’s a number of veterans out there and, again, we may work some of those guys out in the course of the next few days, then evaluate the situation overall and make a decision. We’ll have a kicker in the next few days. I’m not concerned.”

On whether having no kicker is unsettling: “It’ not. In places I’ve been before, and in situations I’ve been before, we’ve had different kickers over the course of a season. It’s probably the one position where a guy can come in. It’s unique in that way. There’s not a lot of interaction with teammates, and having to learn systems and those types of things. It’s pretty much an individualized skill. I’m not concerned about it. I feel like, between the pool that’s there and the guys that have been here, we’ll find the guy that we need.”

On whether P Spencer Lanning, an injury replacement Thursday night at Chicago, would also kick: “No, although he did a nice job the other night, it’s good to know that he’s a backup, a possible backup, but I would not expect that to be the case.”

On clarifying his comment on timing, related to the kicker: “The timing in terms of the roster, some other positions, able to keep some other positions, that it gives us some flexibility there, at other positions, while we over the course of the next few days get a chance to evaluate it and make some decisions at kicker.”

On the wide receivers, with Josh Gordon being placed on reserve/suspended by NFL: “All the positions right now, we’re evaluating as the waivers are coming out, looking at all the different positions. Like I said, the roster is fluid right now at all positions over the course of the next few days.”

On why the team was not willing to wait on David Nelson: “I think the biggest thing was the other guys and what they were able to do. You saw a guy like Josh Cooper, and a number of other guys there, that were making plays, and the production that they had.”

On whether David Nelson is healthy: “He looked healthy, and from all indications he said he was healthy. Obviously he got to play the other night, and got a lot of reps in the other night.”

On the running-back situation: “Again, we’ll look at them all. The flexibility that we have is to look at any position and have the ability to add, at any positions. That was one of the things that we wanted. We’re open to doing that over the course of the next couple of days, depending on who’s out there. And that’s really what it boils down to, is making evaluations of the guys that are available.”

On carrying 12 offensive linemen: “It’s a little heavy. As far as the O-line and the D-line, those are such important positions as you’re going into the course of the season. In my experience, those are the areas that when you have injuries can derail you the quickest. So, being a little bit heavy there isn’t a problem.”

On injured guards Jason Pinkston and Shawn Lauvao: “Those are guys we want to keep, for sure. You do have to have some answers in the mean time. That obviously played into it.

“I think that one of the things, with injuries, that comes out of that, is you find out you can be pretty resourceful. So a guy like Oniel Cousins, who normally wouldn’t play guard, is playing at guard and doing a good job. So, you never know how things come out. But I think the biggest thing is that guys will have the expectation that we’ll have an answer and that somebody needs to step up, will step up. That’s the expectation that we’ve created.

“They’re on track. I’ll give more of an update on Wednesday, on where everybody’s at.”

On whether Jamoris Slaughter is a candidate for the practice squad: “I think some of those decisions we’ll make, with the practice squad; there are plenty of guys that could be potentially on the practice squad. As far as Jamoris himself, he did miss a lot of time, and we had a lot of other guys that played well at that position as well.”

On Josh Aubrey coming out of nowhere: “Yeah, Josh, he really did come out of nowhere. Just thinking back to the spring, seeing how much progress he’s made since the spring, he’s really come a long way and done a nice job, and gotten to the point where we trust him. He’s gone into games in the preseason and shown very well.”

On whether the team needs more than four cornerbacks to play a game: “At this point, when you have guys, healthy guys -- the roster is in flux at all points during the season – so I think where we’re at, we have healthy guys. Again, we’ll keep an eye on what’s going on and be flexible to make moves if we want to.”

On Ricky Hazel and Eric Martin: “We like their pass-rushing ability as outside ‘backers. They have flexibility to play defensive end as well, in some of the sub situations. Again, up front, having the guys up front, is a starting point. Being a little heavy there is not a concern. Again, we’ll continue to monitor; we have some flexibility with different positions and we’ll monitor that. It’ll be a fluid situation there, too.”

On keeping three QBs over age 27, and carrying two QBs: “You can go with the two option. I’ve seen that. That can get a little bit dicey, if you have an injury especially. You’ve lost a lot of time, where a new guy coming in doesn’t have the time to be able to learn. So, I feel good about these three guys. I’ve mentioned before the progress that they’ve all made and getting to the point where I’m very comfortable with all of them. Making sure that you have multiple quarterbacks if you do encounter injuries and those types of things is critical.”

On keeping five undrafted free agents: “A tribute to the scouting department, yeah. I think it’s a tribute to them as well, their attitudes in making a team, not just being with a team and being happy. They’ve worked hard, and again, we wanted to have the type of environment where guys could earn it, and these guys showed that.”

On the 53-man roster as it stands: “I’m happy with what we’ve done and what we’ve been able to put together, with the direction that we’re going. Again, we’re building for sustainable success. That’s of process, of doing that. We’re excited about getting into the season now and getting a chance to go play some teams, and do this thing. And I know the team feels that way as well.”

On whether Trent Richardson’s workload will be greater than initially planned, given season-ending injuries to other RBs: “I think that remains to be seen. We want Trent to be able to play as much as possible. We still have confidence in the guys that are on the roster, with Obie (Chris Ogbonnaya) and with Brandon (Jackson), them being able to come in and play in different situations, and give Trent a break and give him a rest. That’s the biggest thing. It’s a long season, 16 games, and there’s a lot of carries to be had. So, it’s a matter of having a plan for that and keeping a running back, in this case Trent, and keeping him fresh and at his best.”

On his starting right cornerback: “Right now it would be Buster Skrine. Again, Chris Owens has done a really nice job in this camp, and we feel like we have two guys we can play, alternate. Obviously, as much as people are in sub-personnel right now, you need three anyhow. So, both those guys are going to be big parts of what we do.”