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PRESS CONFERENCE: Head Coach Mike Smith – Aug 2nd, 2014

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 On the status of S Dwight Lowery:

“Dwight had an injury to his head and he is in the concussion protocol just like LB Pat Angerer. I don’t think it’s very serious but that’s where he is right now.”

On whether there is any extra concern about Lowery’s head injury:

“You’re concerned on the first one, just as much as the second or third. Dwight is a guy that’s played a long time in this league, and I think he knows his body pretty well. He’ll go through the League mandated protocol before he goes back out on the field.”

On whether he should add another body at safety:

“We have some guys on our roster right now that we can cross train, in terms of some of the corners, we’ll work with the safety position. When we start getting into our 53-man roster, we’ve got to do that anyways so we’ll work some of the corners inside. We would never discount making a roster move if there is someone that we feel can help us.”

On who has the cross training capability:

“If you saw today that CB Robert McClain and CB Ricardo Allen played some in there in today’s practice. We’re going to start cross training some of these guys actually earlier than we normally do, but when you put your 46-man roster you’ve got to have contingency plans of who can go inside and some of those safeties are going to have to line up and play some corner for us, in case we get down in that position as well.”

On his overall assessment of todays practice:

“Today’s practice was a non-padded practice. The guys worked hard last night. We didn’t get finished and back over here to the facility until after 11 p.m. I thought they came back and had a nice walkthrough this morning. I thought it was a spirited practice. Again, the effort has been outstanding. We’ve been putting a lot of work into our installation and we’ve got to get that refined. We’re continuing to have mental errors and mistakes, but that should be reduced as we go through the second time of our installation.”

On RB Devonta Freeman:

“Well I think RB Devonta Freeman is on a fast track [like a lot of our rookies] to be a contributor on our team. He’s understanding our pass protection, at least what our defense is presenting. It’s going to be fun to watch him against the [Tennessee] Titans on Monday and go against a little different defense. They’ll present some different rushes and blitzes, but he’s on a fast track to help us. We know what he can do with the ball in his hands, and in this League you’ve got to be able to protect the quarterback and the running backs are an instrumental part of that. We’ve seen RB Antone Smith last year with his limited touches. He was very productive so we feel like we need to get him more touches so it gives us an opportunity to give him the ball as well.”

On his first impression of DT Theo Agnew:

“He looks like he’s in good shape. He has kept working at it and waiting for an opportunity. This is an opportunity for him and I say this very often, ‘one man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity’, and he’s getting an opportunity now to come in and compete for some playing time. We’re going to have to bring him along slowly, conditioning wise, just to see where he’s at. Our goal is to have him prepared to be able to contribute and play some snaps in the game against Miami.”

On the next step for the offensive and defensive line:

“We’ve got to continue to work on our techniques, both against the run and the pass. I thought that we did some good things in the scrimmage last night in terms of in-line play. On the defensive side, we’ve got to work on attacking the quarterback. We’ve got to be able to apply pressure to the quarterback. On offense, we’ve got to keep our quarterback clean and keep a good strong solid pocket in front of him, especially between the guards.”

On the most impressive thing he has seen thus far:

“The players effort. They’re working their tails off and doing the things you have to do to be a successful player. You can see improvement from day to day. Sometimes it’s not as much as you’d like as a coach but you realize that these guys are being overloaded especially our young rookies. We’ve got a bunch of young guys that are in overload mode right now.”

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