Green Bay Packers
The Packers are making the switch to a 3-4 defensive alignment this year, so
head coach Mike McCarthy talked about how that impacts evaluating new talent for
their club in 2009.
"We'll probably pay more attention to certain body types more than we have
in the past. But once again, like I've stated throughout, the 3-4 defense is a
starting point for us, from a terminology and language standpoint, and we will
definitely have the ability to get into 4-3 schemes and even more so into our
sub-personnel groups," he said.
McCarthy also seemed to be excited about what the 3-4 defense would do for his
"I definitely think it helps our secondary," he said. "I think
our secondary does a very good job, particularly at the corner position, of
playing bump and run. But if you play something every single snap, obviously you
should be better at it than the other techniques that you play.
"I think it will definitely help our corners from a vision standpoint,
changing it up from not being in a press man-to-man situation as high as a
percentage as we have been in the past."
New York Jets
Rex Ryan made it clear from the start of Thursday's press conference that the
Jets were going to be a team with an attitude under his leadership.
When asked what he'll be up against this year as he looks at his opponents in
the AFC East, New York's new head coach replied, "I’d rather focus on
what they’re up against. We’re going to have a team
that’s going to be a physical football team. We’re not going to back down
from any challenge."
As far as the types of players he'll be seeking as he adds talent to his
team, Ryan said, " I’ve been doing this a long time, and I just want guys
that can represent our football team. 'Plays like a Jet'—that’s going to
mean something. Physical, tough, passionate-type people. That’s what we’re
"In the past, we’ve always tried to build our defense that way in
Baltimore. Now we’re going to try to build our team that way. That’s the
formula we had for success in Baltimore, and we’re going to look
for that with the Jets."
Brad Childress talked about his team's quarterback, and believes that
Tarvaris Jackson will continue to improve.
"I think he gave glimpses coming back in cold off the bench, doing some
of the things he did. Then, obviously, he’s got to eliminate some of those
turnovers. I’d like to see the touchdown-turnover ratio change,"
Childress said. "And then we need to put somebody in place that will push
him and compete with him."
The Vikings head coach also said that he expects that running back Adrian Peterson will be striving to put himself into a position where he'll be able to
do more for the team on third down. Childress noted that Peterson has made
changes to his offseason regimen that should help.
"That said, you have to be able to use all the tools in your
toolbox and I think Chester Taylor, I think the numbers speak for themselves in
terms of his third-down conversions and what he was able to accomplish,"
Kansas City Chiefs
New head coach Todd Haley was asked if he could coach a player like running back Larry Johnson, even though he's asked to be released or traded.
"With all situations, there are solutions," he said. "I haven't spoken specifically to Larry. As we move forward, I'll get a little better feel for what we have to do as a team.
I know what my policy is going to be—a clean slate. Everybody is going to have a fair opportunity to show what they are and what they want to be."
Haley also made it clear that he understands the situation the Chiefs are
facing as a team, and what his role will be in helping to fix it.
"You are what you are. Last year the Kansas City Chiefs won two games.
That's what they were last year. This year is a new year," he said.
"I'm going to be about trying to win games. Do everything possible to give
us a chance to win games.
"It's going to start with one. Right now, we haven't won a game here as the
Kansas City Chiefs, and that's going to be our goal, to figure out how to win
With star defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth ready to test unrestricted free
agency, Titans head coach Jeff Fisher said that the team hasn't given up on the
thought that Haynesworth will be wearing a Titans jersey this season..
"Anytime you have a player that enters free agency, and for whatever
reason you're unable to re-sign him, you have to have a plan," he said.
We've been discussing alternatives, but we're not there yet. I know that Mike [Reinfeldt]
and Chad [Speck] are going to continue to talk, so we're still hopeful that we
get things done."
But if another team comes along and makes an attractive offer to the
6-foot-6, 320-pound defensive tackle, Tennessee is hoping that Haynesworth will
give them an opportunity to match the deal.
"I believe that'd be the case, because I believe he really likes it there, and he's made a second home there, and he's got friends there," Fisher said. And it's hard to write songs
outside of Nashville.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features
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