View Full Version : Q/A Dick Vermeil OTA #12 6/15/05

06-15-2005, 04:18 PM
Jun 15, 2005, 3:12:10 PM

Q: You had number 80 (Az Hakim) suited up today.

DICK VERMEIL: “Yeah, but we didn’t have him do anything other than get broken in and attend meetings this morning, just to orientate him with the offense and to watch everyone else work.”

Q: Will he be taking part tomorrow in OTA’s?

VERMEIL: “Maybe a little bit, but we want to make sure he knows what he’s doing and gets back into it. It’ll take him a while but we’re not going to push him real hard these next few days. In fact, we won’t come on the field tomorrow afternoon. We’re going to weight train, do all the meetings and do running and training, drop the practice but come back on Friday.”

Q: How much stuff does he have to learn having been through the system before?

VERMEIL: “The foundation of the system is the same, but there are always little individual nuances within each scheme regardless of where they originated. They’ll do different things. Al (Saunders) runs the offense different than Mike (Martz) does in St. Louis. Yet, the basis and the foundation is the same.”

Q: Hakim and Trent Green have a pretty good relationship in that they played together right?

VERMEIL: “Yeah, they played together but only in a training camp. Remember Trent got hurt (St. Louis) and didn’t get to play the season. Az will be fine, but I’m anxious to get him going to see if he is what he used to be.”

Q: With the acquisition of Az do you see Dante Hall spending more time returning?

VERMEIL: “First, Az has to make the football team. He knows the situation. We’ve got a lot of good young receivers who are competing. He’s going to be very competitive; there’s no question about it. But we’re not giving him a position to play; he’s going to have to work like everybody else does.”

Q: You don’t sound real optimistic about him making the team.

VERMEIL: “If he plays like he used to play there’s no question, he’ll play and play a lot. I think we just play it low key and let him work his way in and compete and earn the position.”

Q: He’s been hurt the last three years in Detroit on and off: hip, knee. How do you manage that?

VERMEIL: “He’s full bore right now. He’s been training hard. He’s a little heavier now than when he plays. He’s about eight pounds over. We like rotating receivers through and if he can make the football team and make a contribution he’ll be rotating and maybe not be playing 65 snaps a game. It diminishes the opportunities to get hurt.”

Q: If there’s no practice tomorrow, is that any indication that you’re pretty happy with what you’ve accomplished so far?

VERMEIL: “I want to make sure that we finish strong. We’ve been going real well all through OTA’s and I haven’t come off the field once disappointed in their efforts. I think just give them a little crumb; give them a longer day’s rest because our practices in the mandatory mini-camp are a little longer. There’s more emphasis on the running game. I just thought to give them a break.”

Q: You planning any special for the public workout?

VERMEIL: “No, it will be the same kind of practice we would have if the practice was closed. Same exact practice: we’ll be introducing things, teaching things, coaching things.”

Q: Do you have plans to diminish Dante Hall’s role as a receiver to concentrate on his returns?

VERMEIL: “I know this: it’s hard for a guy to be a great punt returner and play 45 or 50 snaps of offense as well, especially if your defense is shutting them down and they’re punting a lot or they’re scoring and you’re returning a lot. We have no plans to diminish his role as a receiver.”

Q: How much will Will Shields and Willie Roaf do this mini-camp?

VERMEIL: “Roaf a little bit and Will Shields probably none because we started a process working on his arthritic knee a little bit.”

Q: Is it a serious thing?

VERMEIL: “No, it’s just a sore thing. Whenever you have an arthritic condition in the knee it bothers you. Our trainer and (team) Dr. Browne are taking the approach to help ease a little bit of the soreness and pain and get him ready for the season.”

Q: So he’s definitely going to be here?

VERMEIL: “I’m counting on him, you bet.”

Q: Are any of the guys who haven’t worked out like Boerigter, McCleon or Maz to participate in mini-camp?


Q: So you won’t see them until training camp?

VERMEIL: “I like the progress that Boerigter and Maz are making. Maz has been running full practices and running well. Boerigter doesn’t look injured any more. He’s running routes as if he never got hurt. That’s good.

“McCleon, I think, should go but the doctor who did the work in Atlanta doesn’t want him to go until training camp. But he’s ready to go. If we were playing a game Sunday he would play.”

Q: How’s Gonzalez?

VERMEIL: “He’s better, getting better. In fact, he just told me that as he came in.”

Q: Still on schedule, however, for the opening of camp?


Q: What does Hakim need to do to impress you to make this team?

VERMEIL: “If he is what he was he’ll make this football team and he’ll compete to start. But I just don’t want to put too much pressure on him and raise the expectation of everybody. Let him take care of it; let his performance on the practice field take care of it. I’m confident that it will.”

Q: And he understands that they’re no guarantees?

VERMEIL: “He understands that. It was his decision to come here. I’m glad we have him. I certainly didn’t try to run him off.”

Q: When you talk about the off-season as a whole, are you pretty happy with the progress you’ve made?

VERMEIL: “When you see a left tackle watching practice, you see your left guard is at home babysitting; your right guard is not practicing and your quarterback is not practicing and Tony Gonzalez is not practicing, I’d say a lot of your offense is not there. But the advantage is all the young kids got a lot of work, a lot of work. That really is a benefit.”

Q: What about the other side of the ball?

VERMEIL: “There’s no comparison. Right now I’m more concerned that our offense can compete at a level that we competed a year ago than I am that the defense can step up to a level that we need to be successful.”

Q: Is that the one thing that worries you going into the….

VERMEIL: “Everything worries me. I’m concerned about the offense right now matching the standards that they have set over the last three years. Right now, I’ve got five starters – all five of them Pro Bowl players – not practicing. That always creates an air of concern.

“Am I worried? Yeah, a little bit. We’ll have to play it out but I believe that they’ll relieve my concerns going into training camp.”

Q: Has the situation at linebacker resolved itself maybe even better than you had hoped?

VERMEIL: “I’ve never been on the field with this many talented linebackers. Anywhere. How long it’s going to take them to play football I don’t know but they look good in their pajamas.”

Q: Gunther Cunningham was talking when OTA’s started about a floating depth chart. Do you have an idea that Johnson will be on one side, Bell on the other and so on?

VERMEIL: “Yeah, but they’ll still work both sides. Johnson and Fox, but Fox has worked more sides than Johnson. But Johnson has done awfully well as a rookie in picking things up. He’s really done a good job. He made plays on the field this morning that many times rookies in situation-type football blow. He doesn’t. He’s going to be very competitive to start early.”

Q: Bell will stay where he is?


Q: What about Rich Scanlon? Obviously you thought highly of him. Did he play better in Europe than you guys had even anticipated?

VERMEIL: “Well, he played at least as good and maybe a little better. We didn’t get to see him play a lot. We knew he could run and we knew he could cover punts and kickoffs. He did a pretty good job in training camp but in training camp he was just learning. I knew that he did a very good job of servicing our offense when he was the opponent’s middle linebacker – just playing the defense off cards. He did it well. Obviously, he transferred that to the NFLEL and became the defensive player of the year.

“He’s a very, very bright guy, not only a good football player who can run. He’s a med student. He can operate on you more ways than one.”

Q: When you talk about your offense re-capturing last year’s form, is that because you’re that concerned about your offense or you have less concern about your defense?

VERMEIL: “I can see tremendous improvement on the defense and obviously when you have five of your 11 starters not practicing you’ve got to be a little concerned about your offense. If you don’t then you’re not really evaluating the situation as it exists.”

Q: Did you feel this way about your defense this time last year?

VERMEIL: “Not like I feel now. It’s glaring.”

Q: Have you ever felt this way since you’ve been here at least?

VERMEIL: “No. I don’t think I’ve ever had as much talent on defense as we have right now.”

Q: Ever or just here?

VERMEIL: “I don’t know where I’ve had better talent.”

06-15-2005, 04:33 PM

06-15-2005, 05:13 PM
Q: Do you have plans to diminish Dante Hall’s role as a receiver to concentrate on his returns?

VERMEIL: “I know this: it’s hard for a guy to be a great punt returner and play 45 or 50 snaps of offense as well, especially if your defense is shutting them down and they’re punting a lot or they’re scoring and you’re returning a lot. We have no plans to diminish his role as a receiver.”