Wide Receivers Coach Kevin M. Gilbride
August 1, 2013
Re: Victor Cruz
A: To have him out there, he needs to work, we all need the work. To get him out there and have him go through the process, the reads, seeing the defense the way that he needs to see it in order to help us be successful on offense is important. No doubt you need to have that happen or else you wonít be ready for the season. So, to have him out here is tremendous, itís great.
Q: Tom said the other day, you can see heís still knocking off the rust. From your perspective, what is that rust?
A: Just what I just described, which is the recognition of the coverages. And then physically knocking off the rust in terms of his acceleration in and out of breaks, his body position when heís coming in and out of breaks. Those things need to be worked on with a defender against you in order to have a great feel for it. So those are the little things that come with practicing and preparation.
Q: It seems Rueben Randle has taken a big stride so far. Whatís it been? Why is he better?
A: Very similar to what we talked about as a group with you guys in the spring was his development and where it started in the meeting room. When he first got to this level he had a lot of improvements to make as far as his approach as a professional. Slowly, through the course of last season, he made some progress. By the end of last year, the progress that we made in the meeting room carried onto the field and it turned into big plays for us toward the homestretch of the season last year. He took and picked up right where he left off in the spring, didnít take a step back at all, and continued to progress. From that point, he ended up having a very good spring. So now we come to fall camp and heís picked up right where he left off at the end of the spring and now has continued to progress. It started in the meeting room and with his professionalism and understanding the game and our offense and things like that. The great thing with him, and it doesnít always happen in a lot of cases, is he can take what he learns in the meeting room and immediately apply it on the field and thatís where you see those dividends.
Q: You talked about the rust that Victor needs to knock off. Just looking at Hakeen, whoís in a similar situation, he talks about, ďIím a veteran, Iíve been in this offense a long time, I have the rapport with Eli.Ē Is it easier for him to knock off some of the rust that heís experienced from not being here in the spring.
A: I think he needs to practice. He knows it. He and I talk about it all the time and he knows it. In order for you to be ready for the season, you need to have done it and done it over and over and done it wrong, made the adjustment and then have it become part of what you do, the correct way to do it. Heís not there yet, he needs to continue to improve and he knows that. He understands that. In order for him to be ready to produce the way that he wants to produce and the way that we need him to produce, he needs to practice and get ready for that.
Q: I know Jerrel Jernigan missed some time in minicamp. What do you see so far from him in training camp and do you see improvement?
A: I do. I do see improvement. He needs to continue to improve as well. Mostly in his creating separation from defenders when theyíre trying to be physical with him. Now thatís the area that Iím seeing improvement on, which is great. Because thatís been the approach that he and I have been talking about over and over again, heís started to work through that. And thatís a great thing to see, but thereís very much that still needs to be done in order for him to be ready to be a consistent contributor.
Q: You brought back Ramses Barden for the summer, have you seen any kind of change or improvement in him from last year.
A: I have. You know, Ramses continues to work on his releases against press, which was an area that he needed to improve on. I have seen improvements with his techniques and also the way that heís playing physical with the defenders out there. Thatís a good thing to see moving forward.
Q: What have you seen from Louis Murphy so far?
A: Just, in general terms, great speed, great power, runs very sharp routes and is a tremendous professional. Heís studies our offense, he asks great questions, and so when you have a player like that who wants to learn it, who wants to put himself in a position to help the team and to put himself in the position to be successful, physically if he can do it, heís going to do it. Thatís what Iíve seen from him, heís giving himself every opportunity to make an impact through this season.
Q: Could you talk about the depth that Murphy brings at wide receiver? With Randle and him.
A: There is depth but what has to happen for us to be successful is those guys all still need to improve. If we had to play the season right now with how weíre playing, we might not be as successful as we could be. So the approach needs to continue what itís been which is, ďIím not ready to go yet, Iím not ready to play games yet, Iím not ready to go out there and compete against the best in the world, I need to continue to improve in order to do that.Ē
Q: Obviously you mentioned Randle before, you guys talked in the spring about his emergence and anyone who watched the first couple days of camp has seen his emergence. With Victor and Hakeem not here in the spring, now that they are here and they see Rueben first-hand out there, have you noticed almost like, I donít want to say a competition, but there was a lot of talk about what Rueben could be when those guys get back and now those guys are seeing it, is there any motivation to get to his level of performance at this point?
A: I think, at this point, everyoneís focused on themselves as far as their development. I think, overall, weíve had a very good approach in that room as far as the meetings and them comprehending the answers that I get to the questions that Iíve asked. Each guy right now is more focused on their development, understanding that theyíre not ready to go play this season yet. More so than the competition between the group. I donít think the competition between the group is a bad thing. I think itís a very good thing because it does, it promotes you to want to play your best at all times. I think each guy, right now, is focused on beating the defense. Focusing on the little things on how he can get himself open. More so than the competition between the group.
Q: We talked to Tom the other day and you were talking about you youíve spoken with Hakeem, is there any frustration that he hasnít been able to practice at all, that maybe he is being a bit too cautious? Because obviously he was hurt last year and had to struggle through.
A: I think the frustration is across the board and it starts with Hakeem. He is very frustrated. He is very frustrated that he canít practice. Like I said, he and I talk about it, he understands it, he needs to practice in order to be ready to play during the season, to be ready to beat the defenders that heís playing against. As coaches, thereís always frustration when there are guys who you want to help your team and they canít practice. But it starts with Hakeem, he is frustrated that he canít get out there.
Q: When was the last time that he was able to go full speed in practice?
A: I canít remember, to be honest with you. Now, there have been times where heís gone full speed, and then maybe had another nick or another injury. But the specific time and the specific date, I canít give you that.