(on sick players returning to practice)
"They were a little sluggish today. But they're out here; they're going to be fine. It's just natural coming off being sick, but I think we'll be okay. Nobody else got sick today, all those guys are back so it's just a little puny."
(on naming new captains for the second half of the
"What we decided to do, we visited as coaches and we talked about it the decision we made is that we're going to go with the weekly captains for the next eight weeks. I think we're a team that's growing and I think we've got new guys stepping up every week and we're going to give players (a chance). (Defensive coordinator) Richard (Smith), (offensive coordinator) Troy (Calhoun) and (special teams coordinator) Joe (Marciano) will pick a captain from each area each week and just give them a chance to take on a different role every week and just see over the next eight weeks who steps up. I thought it was a great idea on behalf of the coaches to decide to go that way."
(on this week's team captains)
"I haven't made that decision; we'll make that decision tomorrow. We'll make that decision on Friday every week."
(on whose idea it was)
"The coaches, we talked about it last night and I told them we'd like to revote for captains at the halfway mark and they made a decision and said, ‘why don't we do it week to week and give these guys a chance to step up?'. I think it's a great idea."
(on why he likes that idea)
"We're finding out, we've got some new guys stepping up all the time and I think we need to get some guys an opportunity to step up for the football team. We're finding out a lot about each other. I think the more guys we have step up along the way the better future there is."
(on it being unusual to pick weekly team captains)
"They tell me that they may have done that here in the past a little bit. In Denver we did it; we picked our captains at the halfway mark, we repacked them again. The thing I see here is every week it seems like some new face pops up and does something more special and leads. I think we have some very young players on this team that our guys think a whole hell of a lot. A lot of times guys won't put a rookie in this spot or that spot just because of the nature of this league. But we're such a young team that I want to see (LB) DeMeco Ryans get a chance to be a captain one week, he deserves it. I want to see players like (TE) Owen Daniels. I think (in) our football team (if) we put those guys in those positions the quicker they'll grow up."
(on defense's confidence as they improve)
"That's what's happening. First of all, there's a very young player in a leadership position, our middle linebacker. He's quiet by nature to begin with. He's gotten more vocal and more confident in what he's doing and our older guys are wanting him to lead. That's been a growth process going on. (DE) Mario Williams getting better every week. Our back end is getting better since (CB) DeMarcus Faggins came back in; they've played very, very well. It's a young group and it knows it's got a chance to play together for a long, long time and that's special because in this league it's hard to keep a group of guys together for a while. It's a very young defensive football team that we should be able to hold intact for quite a while."
(on Jacksonville containing LB DeMeco Ryans)
"He's been a pretty consistent player. He's going to get a chance to play to be an influence in the game because this team is very committed to the run right now and have been over the past two or three weeks and this kid moves around and boots. If you're playing Mike linebacker on anybody's defense you're going to have a chance to have an impact on the game."
(on Bears' DE Mark Anderson deserving of midseason
rookie of the year awards)
"I can't talk about that kid because I really haven't stayed on Chicago this year. We haven't played them and they haven't been part of our process this year. But I understand he's a heck of a player. Those things work themselves out. When we start talking about them on week eight that's very premature it's kind of like the MVP in this league. What happens those last eight weeks of this season that's the difference maker week in and week out they'll play themselves out. If DeMeco keeps playing the way he's playing (and) Mario keeps growing the way he's growing I'm sure they'll have their opportunities for many awards."
(on a rookie being better than LB DeMeco Ryans)
"He's as good as I've been around. The thing about him is he's a worker, he hasn't missed a day, cares about what's going on and I think the type of person that he is has really helped him become a great player pretty quickly."
(on comparing Broncos LB Al Wilson to LB DeMeco Ryans)
"Well, Al (Wilson) was special coming out. I can't remember back then if he played right away. I couldn't recall, but he's a special player. I was telling somebody the other day that I'd love this offseason to have Al spend a few days with DeMeco and just talk football and stuff, talk defense because that is Al's passion. That's his life, and I'd love for them tow to get to hook up and meet each other and talk a little bit."
(on the status of the players that were ill Wednesday)
"Everybody seems fine. I think they're a little puny on our defensive line today, but they're okay. They'll be fine. They're alright."
(on whether he thinks Al Wilson and DeMeco Ryans will
meet in the offseason)
"I don't know. You brought it up, and I had the conversation the other day with somebody. So I don't know. Those guys that tend to play the same spot around this league, they tend to become friends or confidants in a lot of ways. That would be a great guy for him to talk a little ball with."