No Huddle: McDaniels on Salas, Brady, and Tennessee

No Huddle: McDaniels on Salas, Brady, and Tennessee
September 4, 2012, 7:45 pm
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In the six games his broken leg allowed him last year, Greg Salas played for Josh McDaniels.
Heads bobbed knowingly and turned toward the Patriots' on-again offensive coordinator when Salas was traded from St. Louis to New England last Saturday.
There was a connection between the two, no matter how little the receiver felt like talking about it.
"I was able to work with him last year and I'm able to work with him again this year."
No one's arguing that, kiddo.
McDaniels had a little more to say on his Tuesday conference call.
"Gregs a young player first of all and hes got plenty of room, I think, to grow and improve as a player. Last year, he had an opportunity to get in there and play a decent chunk of time in some games against some really good teams and kind of got his feet wet as a rookie.
"He catches the ball well, works hard and is a smart kid. Were going to put him in there and kind of see how he can fit in with our group.Salas had 27 catches for 264 yards in 2011. Where he'll line up for the Patriots is yet unknown."Greg played a lot inside in college, but that doesnt mean that he cant play multiple positions," said McDaniels. "For the most part we ask all of our skill players to learn multiple roles and I dont think that will be any different for Greg."
Here are a few highlights from the rest of the coordinator's call.
With the cuts that were made last week some people say that the Patriots are thin at wide receiver. Do you see it that way?JM: "We have plenty of players that can make a contribution on offense. We throw the ball to hopefully every skill player that plays in the game has an opportunity to make some plays for us: whether that be in the backfield or tight end or at the receivers position. So no, weve played with a lot of different variations, a lot of different numbers at certain positions over the course of time and the guys weve got now, we feel good about and are excited to use them on Sunday."Have you noticed anything different from Tom Brady at this stage of his career versus when you left in 2009 to go to Denver?JM: "I think Tom has gotten better every year. I wouldnt say its dramatically different for Tom in terms of the way he prepares. He studies and prepares so well for each team and puts in so much hard work and does a great job of demonstrating how to get ready for each game. I see the same things from him. Its a great example for our younger players to see how he goes about trying to prepare for this opening game. I see a guy thats determined, thats working extremely hard, that wants to play his best football and hes trying to do everything that he can to make sure that happens this year."
You should probably talk about the Titans.JM: "Theyre an aggressive team. Ive had a chance to coach against Jerry Grays defenses before and he always does a great job of having his group prepared. They have a front thats pretty disruptive. Theyve certainly added Kamerion Wimbley and the group that they have coming back from last year was a group that made quite a few negative plays upfront. There are definitely some things that youve got to be concerned with upfront. They do have some very interesting pressure packages that hes always planned for certain teams that were going to have to be ready for.
"Theyve got good players. I mean this is a group that has really good players at all levels of their defense and can apply pressure with their front four. Their linebackers get involved with the blitz game, I think Colin McCarthy has really kind of stood out to me and some of the things you see this guy do on film, hes a really disruptive pass defender for a Mike linebacker. Then their secondary is young, but very talented. Michael Griffin certainly made a lot plays over the course of his career; Jason McCourty. Theyve got some really good players at all three levels of their defense.
"I know hes going to have them prepared and we also know that were going to see some different things on opening day that you couldnt necessarily prepare for, as happens most years. Its a great challenge for us and a tough place to play and certainly a lot of excitement for opening day."