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Chudzinski press conf. transcript - 9/6

Posted Sep 6, 2013

The transcript of Coach Rob Chudzinski's Friday afternoon press conference.

Opening statement: “We have [DL Ahtyba Rubin] listed as questionable.  (CB) Buster Skrine had a shoulder injury.  We held him out.  We’ll do the same with him.  We’ll treat him in the next 48 hours.  He’s questionable, and we’ll see how he responds for the game.

“I thought we had a very good week of preparation.  We’re all excited to get to the game finally, and it is finally here.  I feel our guys are ready for this game, ready for the challenge that Miami presents.  We’re excited about this game being at home and getting a chance to get out there with the fans in FirstEnergy Stadium.  We’re looking forward to the atmosphere that we know will be out there.  It’ll be an exciting time.

“We had our team vote for team captains.  It’s very important. It was very important to me, as well as the guys on the team, that we would be able to vote for and have captains who represent us, both on the field and off the field, what we’re trying to do in terms of creating the culture and the identity that we want here.  My plan was to have a captain from each phase.  We have a captain from offense, that’s (OL) Joe Thomas; our captain on defense is (LB) D’Qwell Jackson; and our special-teams captain is (LB) Quentin Groves.  Those guys were voted on by the team.  I am very pleased with who they picked.  I also will pick on a weekly basis one other guy to be a captain for that particular game that will be somebody else on the team.  For this week, it will be (WR) Davone Bess as the fourth captain.”

On rookie LB Barkevious Mingo’s status: “We’ve been evaluating and testing him on a daily basis.  The doctors have been constantly doing that in that process.  We’ll hold him out.  He’s not ready to go yet for this week.”

On if Mingo will be ready next week: “We’ll see next week.”

More on Mingo’s status: “He’s made progress every day.  He’s running more and doing more things.  It’s just a matter of him not having practice this week at full speed.  We’ll hold him out.”

On if DB Buster Skrine sustained his injury yesterday: “Yes, it was yesterday.”

On potential roster moves due to Skrine’s status: “That’s always a possibility, but we feel like we have three safeties that can play corner as well.  We’re comfortable with doing that.”

On adding a cornerback: “We have three corners that we have on the roster on the practice squad.”

On who will return kicks: “We have a pool of guys.  I’m going to keep that to myself for the time being, but we have a pool of guys that I’m comfortable with and that we’ve been getting reps with.”

On if DL Ahtyba Rubin’s calf injury is to the same leg as last season: “I’m not sure about that, but it’s a completely different injury though.”

On his emotions entering his first game as a Head Coach: “There’s a lot of them.  The biggest one is excitement and anticipation.  It’s been a long wait.  You just look back to the first day I came as head coach on the job.  All of the things that have happened, it seems like a long time ago, and it’s finally here.  This game is finally here.  This is why we do all of these things.  This is why we work so hard.  The team has prepared, as well.  I can’t ask any more from them and what they’ve done.  It’s going to be an exciting day for us, and I’m looking forward to it.”

On head-coaching responsibilities he may have wanted to practice more during the preseason, including challenging a play: “I practiced throwing the [challenge] flag out of my pocket so I’m not worried about that [laughter].  As those things come up, I thought we were on top of that pretty well in the preseason.  There were potential times where we were looking at things and it just didn’t come that it was the right decision at the right time.  I feel like the process is there and obviously we’re finding out for real here.”

On filtering out distractions before the game: “It’s part of preparing.  You have to weed out the things that are important.  I think the approach that we have instilled with the players is focusing on this week and the things that are important to this game and to winning this game and preparing to put ourselves in the best position to win this game.  That’s what you focus on and then all of the other things become secondary to that.”

On confidence in reserve defensive linemen if Rubin cannot play: “I feel good.  I feel that the defensive line is one of the positions that we had depth.  We made sure we kept enough guys and extra guys on the front on both sides of the ball.”

On DL Billy Winn: “Billy is very versatile.  I’m completely confident and comfortable with him in there, as well as (DL Ishmaa’ily Kitchen) Kitch and (DL) Armonty (Bryant) if Rube isn’t available.”

On if DB Johnson Bademosi took repetitions at cornerback this week: “We roll a lot of guys through practice.  There’s lot of practice squad reps, as well, that we can work some of the safeties and they get to work on some of their techniques, and some of their base coverages are the same.”

On Panthers WR Steve Smith’s comments: “I’ve been focusing on Miami, and anything else, I’m not worried about.”

 

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