Brett Veach Quotes: August 30

Brett Veach Quotes: August 30

OPENING STATEMENT: “As always, this time of year is (a) bittersweet time. We’re certainly excited for the start of the regular season next week especially coming off the Super Bowl victory. (We’re) excited to lower that Super Bowl championship banner in front of our home fans, should be an exciting night and certainly an amazing game. The Detroit Lions will certainly come here ready to play – (we have) all the respect in the world for them, so it’s going to be an exciting night next Thursday. We’re looking forward to that. On one end, we’re super excited to release our 53-man roster and we have some practice squad additions that we’ve made, and we’ll probably have a couple as the days go on to add to that list, but it’s always tough when you have to say goodbye to some players that have been here sometimes for years, sometimes since the spring. Overall, just can’t thank those players enough for their hard work during this offseason and training camp. (We) thank all the coaches for the great job they do, and certainly my staff for all the extra hours they put in, especially this time of year. It’s never easy and sometimes these roster compositions are tough deals. Our guys are the best at what they do, again, can’t thank them enough. With that I’ll open it up and take some questions.”

Q: What has your communication been like with Chris Jones recently? Do you expect him to be here in time to play against the Lions?

VEACH: “Listen, we’re certainly hopeful for that. We have been in communication, and actually just the last few days, we’ve been in more communication. We’re going to continue to press on and work hard. (There is) a lot of respect on both sides of this thing. It’s been obviously well stated how we feel about Chris (Jones), and he feels the same way. Again, we’re just going to keep working on this thing, and we’re looking forward to next Thursday and hopefully he’s in the lineup and he’s ready to go.”

Q: What did you like about the two new additions Neil Farrell Jr. and Darius Rush? Particularly with Neil Farrell Jr. do you see him being more than a first and second down guy?

VEACH: “Well we hope so, that’s always the goal and the plan for anytime you add someone on the defensive line that they can be a complete player. But right off the bat, just a bigger body, that was one of the things we put an emphasis on. He (Neil Farrell Jr.) is 6’ 4” and change. He’s just a bigger, longer body, and as you guys know, (Defensive Coordinator) Steve (Spagnuolo) like’s that prototype and we certainly do as well. (We) Liked him coming out of college, that thing (the trade) picked up late yesterday; (we) worked through it pretty quick actually because that was – you know every time you make cuts in your mind you have some roster management and games you want to play, then you are trying to project practice squads, who gets claimed, and who won’t. Going into this thing we were looking for a bigger, longer defensive end. We had one of those at the tackle, we were looking for an athletic corner that has size length and speed. Just in the last two days we were able to get two of those guys – a longer DT and an athletic corner that fits the measurables that we’re looking for. Certainly, liked both those players coming out and the tape was – it seems like we just watched the tape yesterday on (Darius) Rush and then the DT (Neil Farrell Jr.) just came out last year – he was a fourth-round pick last year. Again, two young guys we get to add to our roster along with the draft picks – I think all of them earned their way on the roster this year, as well as one undrafted free agent.”

Q: Are Kadarius Toney or L’Jarius Sneed candidates for the IR, if not will they be ready to play week one?

VEACH: “They will be on the 53 (man-roster). Again, I don’t want to speak for the coaches or for (Vice President of Sports Medicine and Performance) Rick (Burkholder), but they have a good chance to be where they need to be week one, we’ll see. I’ll let Rick make those decisions, him in conjunction with the players, they have a great relationship with all our players but especially those two (Kadarius Toney and L’Jarius Sneed). Credit to Kadarius (Toney) and (L’Jarius Sneed) LJ and (Tershawn) Turk Wharton – really all of the guys. You think about Kadarius and LJ and Turk Wharton right off the bat, (I) just give them so much credit and Rick and (Assistant Athletic Trainer) Julie (Frymyer) and (Assistant Athletic Trainer David) Glove (Glover) and (Assistant Athletic Trainer) Evan (Craft), (Assistant Athletic Trainer) Tiff (Tiffany Morton) the whole staff down there, those guys have worked their tail off around the clock to put themselves in a position to play Thursday. I think they certainly have a chance, and we’ll see how it goes.”

Q: How can you get value out of all seven receivers on the roster?

VEACH: “We have different types of receivers whether they are guys like Richie James that handle a bunch of stuff with the return game, then you have (Justyn) Ross who’s a size guy. We lost Jody (Fortson) that was someone (Head) Coach (Andy Reid) always had packages in for short yardage and red zone, but I don’t think there is ever a short coming in creativity with our coaches. We have a talented deep receiving core. They’re all different in their ways, and Coach just does a great job of trying to maximize what they can do and implementing packages for guys. We’ll have a core group of guys that can handle every package and be involved in every package. Then we’ll have a group of guys that are tailored and tweaked to what they can do and there’re going to highlight what they can do and their skillset. I think having those seven receivers gives us a variety of different ways to attack a defense. (I) Certainty trust our coaching staff to maximize their abilities as they’ve done in the past with different types of wide outs.”

Q: When you say there has been communication with Chris Jones is that progress towards an extension or just him reporting without an extension?

VEACH: “We’ve been in communication. I like to keep all those communications between us and them (Chris Jones and his agents) and the whole process in the hopes that we can work to get something done.”

Q: What led you to trade for Neil Farrell Jr. to add to your defensive line and does Tershawn Wharton’s progress make you more hopeful about that group without Chris Jones?

VEACH: “Well I think all that comes into play, so we’re working hard – our hopes are to get Chris (Jones) in here as soon as possible and we continue to work through that. There will be an acclimation phase for him. (Tershawn) Turk (Wharton) as I mentioned has busted his tail to get back here, he’s progressed, and it was great to see him come out of that last preseason game without any injuries. Those are still things you’re working through. Then you have a young guy in Keondre Coburn that got a chance to go out there and play and produce in some preseason games, but the reality of it is these rookies have played a game, if that, you figure a couple of quarters in three preseason games it adds up to like a game. Just wanted to get some depth from an injury standpoint, from a depth standpoint. Again, just from a body type – we were trying to get a little bigger too, so I think it fit a bunch of needs for us. That’s why when we had the opportunity, we ran with it yesterday.”

Q: What type of receivers do you foresee Justyn Ross being?

VEACH: “First, go back to credit to the kid and credit to our training staff. He came in here last year and had some injuries at Clemson and had another injury that progressively got worse here last year, but our doctors identified it right off the bat and shut him down. We really put our trust in the kid and our training staff to get him where he needs to be. Did that, came out here in OTA’s, it was a little bit of a feeling out process, and I think halfway through the OTA’s you could really see him get that confidence up and that belief up, he’s just progressively gotten better. These young guys – as all of you guys know there’s so much verbiage in this playbook and so much dialog and there’s so many tweaks to every assignment in regard to where they align and how they look at coverage and how they alter routes. It’s super complicated and these guys over time start to figure it out. I think we’ll see a big jump with Skyy (Moore) and I think what you’ll see from both Justyn Ross and Rashee (Rice) as the games goes on, you’ll see them probably have certain packages and that will bleed into – hopefully they continue to grow and progress and produce on the field. That will lead into more utilization within the offense and graduating from a package player to an every down receiver. The hopes with all these young guys is to gradually make that transition. I think we have a bunch of guys that are candidates to do that on this roster and I think in the meantime (Head) Coach (Andy Reid) does a great job in finding what they do and putting them in position to gain their confidence and to help us on game day. Like I said if they are able to do that and naturally progress over the volume they can handle for the course of a season.”

Q: With the one big cut, how different was it this year regarding making deals?

VEACH: “That’s a good question. Potentially (it was) a little harder, is my first gut reaction to that question just because – and I joked with the guys yesterday – I mean we usually are getting calls 2, 3, 4 days prior to the deadline or right after the second preseason game things start to heat up and there was kind of a huge silence period there. Really until Vegas called about the potential DT (Neil Farrell Jr.) I think that was the first call we heard all – basically all preseason camp. I think a lot of that had to do with there are so many guys that hadn’t been cut yet and a lot of teams, sometimes they try to hide players and not play guys that play good the first week. Teams know they can’t take them on their roster and I think teams are just waiting to see the actual list to see what was real and what was just kind of hearsay through social media. I think it probably made it a little bit harder to execute trades, (it) put a little bit more stress on our staff last night. I mean even though we picked 32nd on the waiver wire we were here till 12:30/1 o’clock in the morning just making sure if we did have a chance, we put in for players. It did work out for us, we got a corner that we liked so I just think that the communication was probably delayed and it potentially could have negated some maybe earlier trades, I don’t know. I just know from my end; I can’t speak for other teams, other than that Vegas call yesterday, (it) was really kind of quiet right through cut down.”

Q: Will you have to place any players on IR?

VEACH: “As we sit here, I think we’re good. All of this stuff can change and again, I don’t want to speak for (Vice President of Sports Medicine and Performance) Rick (Burkholder) or the coaches but I would say there’ll be no one that gets an injury designation within a day unless there’s a swap. I think these guys are good to go, doesn’t mean that they’re 100% and will be active gameday, but as we sit here, I think these guys will all be practicing this week. I think that’s probably a better way and it makes sense for you guys to hear that. These guys should be on the practice field.”

Q: On the QB room decision.

VEACH: “Yeah, that was a tough one and we’ve gone in different directions different years. We just – sometimes when you just try to keep some young guys too it’s difficult and you do try to project some guys that you can get on the practice squad. Keeping six linebackers was something that is a little bit of an oddity too in some regards but when you have these young guys that are likely to be gone, you want to see that through. I think sometimes you have to make tough decisions; you know obviously Shane (Buechele) is a good football player and we loved having him around, certainly going to miss him. It was just one of those things where at the end of the day – we always say this to all the guys, at the end of the day make our jobs (hard) and put it on tape and that is where Blaine (Gabbert) came out and won the job. So, it doesn’t make it any easier because I think there was a lot of trust and belief in Shane Buechele, and (I) love him as a player but it wasn’t an easy decision. I think just from a roster management standpoint and trying to navigate through the D-line and (Charles) Omenihu’s suspension and wanting some extra corners because they’re young, there’s just – sometimes roster decisions that you have to make and that was what we felt was best at the time.”

Q: Regarding trades, extensions, and deals, what factors are important in satisfying both sides?

VEACH: “I think it’s a business on one end. I think guys have to be in a place where they check boxes in regards to if it’s a free agency deal but then I think it comes down to winning and having the opportunity to play with a great coaching staff and playing in front of a great fan base. There’s a (Patrick) Pat Mahomes, Travis Kelce factor, I’m sure and a Chris Jones factor so I think that there’s – I mean that’s kind of a loaded question there’s so many things that go into all of these things: what other offers they have from a team trade standpoint, scheme fit, personality and cultural fit. I mean those things – that’s why these things take a lot of time to go through whether that be the draft process whether that be the trade process, whether that be the free agency process. There are layers and layers of factors that go into everything and if you are off in one of those categories with those factors, sometimes it doesn’t work out, and listen, these things are never an exact science and sometimes you get the short end of all of those things. I think that there is an unknown aspect to every trade, signing, draft pick, what have you. That is why you do as much work as you can on the person, and the fit to start. Then you just let the natural course of all of the other things that come to play – and there are so many of them and you just try to exhaust all the information you have.”

Q: On the wide receiver room and how hard it was to decide who to keep.

VEACH: “It was really tough because we had a bunch of young players, a bunch of talented players, and a bunch of players that provide different elements to the game for us. You talk about (Carolina Panthers WR) Ihmir (Smith-Marsette) and he was the guy who took advantage of every opportunity. It goes back to what coach always says you know, one – take the decision out of our hands and then two – this is also an audition for all (other) 31 teams. You know, Ihmir certainly made the most of that opportunity. We typically keep five or six wideouts and with the progressions of Justyn Ross and then having Ihmir Smith-Marsette come in here and answer the call and make plays every preseason game, credit to the kid. When I called to talk to him to tell him about the trade, I told him that he’s earned this and he has a chance to not have to worry and stress on that cut down day because when a team trades for you, you know you made a roster. Not only that, but I think he has a good chance to be active. There’s one element where these guys want to make an active roster, but then they want to be active on gameday. So, he put himself in a position, came in here with the right mindset and although the receiver room was very crowded and the odds were against him, he just went out and put the blinders on and took advantage of every opportunity he had. Made it tough on us but then also showcased his talent to those other teams and I’m sure there’s a few other teams that would’ve put in a claim for him, maybe they didn’t want to trade with us and then Carolina, credit to them for reaching out just to make sure they get him even though they were high on the claim. Now he has a chance to not only be on a 53-man roster but go out there and prove something on Sundays so certainly happy for him and wishing him nothing but the best.”