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Mike Pettine Press Conference - August 22

On getting some of the injured players back:

"It's helpful, it's nice. We'll see how many of them go tomorrow. We've had some of the injured guys in the walk through but not sure the list that will get back out there tomorrow when we're at it full speed in pads. When you talk about your team on paper, preseason there comes a time where you have to put that unit out there together in practice and practice together and feel that shared experience of learning the system on the field, there's no substitute for that. It will be good to get those guys back and we'll be much closer to the lineup that we're going to trout out there opening day."

On what will determine if WR Dwayne Bowe will practice tomorrow:

"Everyone's on an individual plan with the trainer, it might be he's back but he's only going to take x number- he'll give us a pitch count number or yardage number. We'll shut him down after he reached a certain threshold but everybody is different."

On the plan for the next few practices:

For the next couple of day it will be. We'll be off Tuesday- we're off Tuesday because we're breaking camp. Coming out of the off day we might do another- we're going to meet tonight as coordinators and Coach Ricci (strength and conditioning coach Paul Ricci) to just figure out the plan of what we have for the rest of the week as far as the logistics of it. Still want to get some good work done in pads, still feel there's stuff left to do. You start training camp with an inventory, checklist of these are all the things we want to get done in pads. We'll review that tonight and make sure either everything's been done or will get done in the next couple days."

On if he scaled back on length of practice because of injuries early in camp:

"I think that just happens naturally because when you start out you're scripting repetitions for a third group. When the injuries push everybody out then you lose that ability to have a third group. You want to go threes, now guys are going to have to double up that are going with the twos. Then you just reach a point when it's just not feasible anymore to do it so it ends up being twos and key subs, throwing guy's in. that to me just eliminating those rep naturally will shorten practice."

On how important it is to see RB Duke Johnson Jr.s performance in the third preseason game:

"It's important. He looked really good for us when we were in shorts throughout the spring. He needs some live reps. That's asking a lot of a rookie to put him out there week one with minimal full speed, full contact reps with the particular units. This is a big week, these next two weeks are big for Duke."

On if missing key players hurts the ability to install 'non-vanilla' plays:

"We can still install it but a lot of the non-vanilla stuff we do here at night when we walk through away from prying eyes and people that like to report everything. Because it's your job, I know."

On if that includes two point conversion practice:


On if Johnson's football IQ is further ahead than most rookies due to time spent at Miami:

"It is and that's why we're not panicky yet about Duke not being in there. From a mental standpoint, he's far ahead of most rookie backs that I've been around."

On an update on WR Terrelle Pryor:

"As I've said before, he's not guaranteed a spot. He's got to play and that window narrows every day he's not out there."

On if he knows when Pryor may return:

"I know he's getting close but until he's out there taking those reps- the good thing about it he's been very engaged mentally, he knows what to do. That's just part of it he's got to show it, physically."

On if DB Johnson Bademosi struggles at the cornerback position:

"I wouldn't say it's a struggle. It's a position – he is a little bit out of position, probably more natural at safety but just from a necessity standpoint I think Bade's (DB Johnson Bademosi) done an excellent job, eating some of those reps up and in the preseason game. We all know what he is when the regular season starts, that he's going to be a core specialist for us and be the heart and soul of our special teams, he and (WR) Marlon (Moore). At the same time for him now to work at safety last year in the system and at corner having that experience up and the ability to cross over. We get late in the game or something happens where we have to put a guy in, having that position flexibility is a big advantage for us."

On an update on QB Connor Shaw's surgery (thumb):

"I don't have the details I just know it went well. We're still working through the decision of just how to handle the transaction. Whether it's- there are a couple different ways to do it and part of that is waiting to see how long, post-surgery when they re-evaluate it what they think that windows going to be. When can we get him back realistically? Or is it an IR situation? We're weighing all of those options now."

On if it was a ligament or bone injury:


On if personnel decisions are going to need to be sped up due to General Manager Ray Farmer's suspension at the beginning of the season:

"We haven't come to that yet. We have had one meeting just to discuss it. A lot of the decisions will be made – that would have happen normally before he is out of the building. That hasn't really affected anything day-to-day to this point."

On what he likes about DL Xavier Cooper's performances so far:

"The thing that we noticed on the college tape was he had the most explosive get-off of any of the d-lineman that we evaluated. As far as the ball moving to him moving. I would put him up against anybody else in the draft class. He has a great knack and a feel for that first step and that get-off. To me, he is really good with his hands and I think he has a good understanding of what offenses are trying to do. Guys that gather pre-snap information – he has shown a knack for being able to hedge his bet a little bit knowing whether it was going to be run or a pass or know whether the run was going to him or away from him. With that get-off comes disruptiveness that is difficult on an offense when your offensive lineman are slow and basically chasing a guy and getting bubbled back into the backfield."

On how TE E.J. Bibbs is coming along:

"He is doing well. It is a lot for him to learn because the unfortunate things for him was that it wasn't just tight end. He had to essentially learn some fullback from the tight end spot when (FB) Malcom (Johnson) went down. That is a lot to ask any player, let alone an undrafted rookie. He has proven that he has an NFL skillset. We'll see how it plays out with him."

On who are special teams coordinator Chris Tabor core special teams players:

"It is hard to say because (WR) Marlon (Moore) I know will be more involved with the offense this year. He has proven that he can take some reps off of guys, as being whether it is the fourth or fifth wide out up in however many we have up in a game. Then you look at other guys. You have (LB) Tank (Carder) who won't see the field much defensively, but that is not because of a lack of ability. I think Tank could play for a lot of teams. We are trying to find ways to get Tank out there for us. How we job share with (LB Chris) Kirksey and (LB) Craig (Robertson) – those guys end up being core teamers and essentially splitting a lot of the linebackers reps. Tabes (special teams coordinator Chris Tabor), I think he feels pretty good about the group of specialists that we have."

On if WR Dwayne Bowe needs to see live reps to get on the same page with the QB:

"Yes. You answered the question in the question. You are right because it is a different quarterback and a new system. A lot of the concepts stuff he has done before but you have to go out there and execute it full speed with the guys you are going to be out there with. Otherwise there will be a learning curve during the season and you don't want that."

On whether the team has decided if they prefer OL Cameron Erving at guard or tackle:

"I think guard will ultimately be his natural spot. Cam has done some nice things, but it is just a matter of consistency, just making sure play in and play out – I think going against some of those guys up in (Rochester) opened his eyes a little bit to the size and speed and explosiveness of some NFL defensive lineman. I think he is on track. Cam is going to be a good player for us."

On why OL Ryan Seymour is listed as the backup center even though he will miss the first four games of the season:

"We've repped whether it is guys going at walk-thru or in practice we will have in our top six lineman we will have three centers. It is hard, you don't want them to go with – whether it is (OL John) Greco or Cam. You don't want Greco to double dip. Before it is all said and done, all three of those guys between (OL Alex) Mack, Greco and Cam will get work at center. That is a nice luxury to have – three centers in your top six. A lot of times that is the position where you hold your breath a little bit especially if you only have two."

On if that was a concerted effort to build depth at the center position:

"I think the concerted effort was to improve the depth of the offensive line based on what happened last year."

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