Caldwell: Mental to Physical is 10-to-1

AP/Darron Cummings

Coach Jim Caldwell talked to the media Friday about preparing for Saturday's mock game, a visit from commissioner Roger Goodell and much more ...

On having Howard Mudd return to practice:

"He has obviously been here for such a long time, such a great person and certainly a great coach. He can light up a room. The guys love to be around him."

On how Offensive Line Coach Pete Metzelaars is doing in new role:

"I think very well. I spoke about it a little bit yesterday that you will see the transition is going to be very smooth. Pete worked with Howard for an extended period of time. We have not had any major schematic changes, so basically the same things he has been doing for quite a few years. Howard did a great job, I think, of bringing Pete along, giving him an opportunity to express himself during the course of the meetings and also (to) teach and instruct. Pete is a guy who has had a wealth of experience playing, 16 years in the pros. He's got a lot to offer and I think you will see him do a great job."

On Offensive Coordinator Clyde Christensen handling offense:

"Great. He's well organized, got things moving in the right direction. It's going well."

On the team's ability to rebound and stay focused:

"This is the time when you have the opportunity to put your team through a bit of a test. Last night was a good, solid practice and this morning getting them up and going, and then also we'll go again this afternoon in pads and then tomorrow morning we'll go as well. So it's a good stretch. You know I always say the mental to the physical is 10-to-1. So really what you do mentally counts more so than what you do physically, so we have to tie all those things together, and I think our team has responded well thus far so we have a little bit of test ahead of us."

On Jacques McClendon being possible backup for Jeff Saturday:

"He's learning. He's coming along. He has the tools obviously, he's strong, he's very smart and capable, moves his feet extremely well and has some agility. He's learning our system. Our system is not the easiest to learn, so it takes a little while particularly in the area in which he plays, but he is a great student of the game."

On Jacques McClendon's master's degree helping at center position:

"It certainly doesn't hurt, but you'll find that that position itself is a cerebral position. It's a position where you have to be able to adjust on the run, particularly within our scheme you have to be able to adjust in a nanosecond. Peyton may change a play and you have to be able to adjust accordingly. He may change it at the last second, so it does take some bright guys to play up front. But, the biggest thing is they have to get accustomed to working together and learning what to do verses a pro style rush and pro style defensive tackle. It will be interesting to see and progress."

On what Gary Brackett brings to the organization as a player and person:

"Gary is just a phenomenal leader, exceptional in terms of his work habits. He has a thorough understanding of our defense. He is like the quarterback of our defense. (He) does a great job of getting things set, can adjust some things on his own if need be, but he is also very effective in terms of making plays for our team via rushing the passer or getting a few sacks or a key interception. He has been very good coming up with good plays when we need it. He is one of those guys that sets a great example for all the young guys that are in this profession. He does things the right way. His heart is in the right place. He is involved in our community and does a great job with our team."

On NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's visit on Saturday:

"I am looking forward to seeing him. Obviously, it's not my first time seeing him. We are looking forward to him coming. He is going to have an opportunity to talk to our staff and players, so it will be a great day."

On advice he gives to guys trying to make the roster, in particular Devin Moore:

"I think to just make a professional football team you have to do something uniquely special. There's got to be something exceptional about you whatever that is. God has given each and every person his own abilities and what he has to do is utilize those. He's (Devin Moore) a guy that's tough, smart. He has speed, but the competition is stiff, and I think he is up for the challenge."

On the emphasis on running game:

"It is a point of emphasis. There is old coaching adage that goes like this that says, ‘You achieve what you emphasize.' That's one area that we are emphasizing. We need to get a little bit better in that area. That is something we've been working on for a couple years now. We are going to continue to progress."

On the importance of a simulated game:

"It's a mock game so we will actually come out and do warmups like we would prior to a game, get them accustomed to coming out of the locker room, etc. Then also it gives you a flow of the game- substitutions from the sideline, kicking game- just so they get a pretty good understanding of what they are going to have to do the following week. It's probably much more for some of the younger guys than the older guys. Older guys have a good sense of it, but we still have substitution issues and things to work though with our entire squad. Some of those are different, so it does give us a chance to experience a game-type atmosphere without the length of a game. We will cut it and make it rather competitive, if we possibly can."

On the scoring system of the mock game:

"It's not exactly the same, but it is indeed unique. (Laughs). As it goes every year, one side feels it handicaps them and vice versa, so we are going to see if we can make things a bit more equitable this year."

On feelings on Bob Sanders' return, energy and enthusiasm:

"We certainly have. He has been energetic all spring long. He's been back, he feels good about where he is, good about his body. He's doing a tremendous job not only out on the field but in the classroom as well."


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