"The hay's in the barn. We've got to go earn it and get this thing started. I'm anxious to watch us play. I really am. I want to see where exactly we are. You can only practice so much. I think we've had outstanding preparation for one ball game. The guys are tired of practicing. They're ready to go to, ready to get on with it."
Are you more optimistic this season?
"I don't know. I think I'm always optimistic about the season starting, personally. I love the season when it starts. We don't get enough of these. We only get 12 Saturdays. We spend all this time doing everything else. The reason you coach is to be able to compete. You only get 12 opportunities. You get to find out the result quickly from all your hard work. I'm excited. I like this team. I love this staff. We've got good chemistry, great leadership. We've got some great players. I don't see a reason to be more excited."
"I’m definitely more excited to see a healthy Andre Ellington. Regardless of the plays it’s about the guys running the plays, and Andre Ellington is a franchise kind of guy. We could be running the triple option for all I care; as long as we have #23 we have a chance to be successful."
How was practice the past few days?
“They look good, they’re tired of practicing. I think yesterday defensively they looked really sharp, not quite as sharp offensively, but today I think both sides came in with great focus and again now we’re at the point where they can sense it's coming and they’re just ready to play."
Do you like a certain routine?
"It comes down to blocking, tackling, throwing and catching. I am a big fan of routine, I think that’s one of the great things about what we do, we have a lot of structure. That’s why today, as the first Thursday, you sit them down and there’s a lot to cover because there’s a lot of things that they haven’t done yet. Things like how they’re supposed to dress, when can they put their warm ups on, what shirts do they wear, how do we handle ourselves at meals, just a lot of things that you have to cover from a business standpoint."
What is the final message to the team?
"Relax and go play. You’re prepared, have confidence in your preparation and stay focused on what we’ve talked about. We’ve prepared with purpose, that’s a big part of our formula, now just go play with great effort and commitment, and the fun’s in the winning. You only get 12 of these, I tell them all of the time that it’s a sprint not a marathon, they can’t pace themselves, they’ve got to come right out of the gates and give it all they got. This is our first goal, to win the opener, and this is an opportunity to achieve the first goal, that’s all we’re focused on."