As Brandon Staley's regular season head coaching debut gets closer and closer, a lot was said during Wednesday's press conference. Here are three takeaways from the first media availability:
Nasir Adderley going into Week 1 'is different, better'
One of the main points head coach Brandon Staley made during Wednesday's press conference was the development of safety Nasir Adderley. Adderley who started 14 games last season has a 'big opportunity' in the Bolts' defensive scheme this year. Staley detailed how his game is looking different in the safety's third season.
"I really like how he is every day, right now," Staley said. "He comes into the facility and there's an energy where you can tell that he's enjoying working at his game and I think that that's been fun for us is that he's a ball guy. When things don't go well he can respond quickly which is just so much of just being a competitor and being able to overcome things quickly and keep it moving."
The extra energy Adderley is bringing to practice each day isn't just noticed by Staley, fellow safety Derwin James likes what he's seeing as well.
"You could tell by his body structure, his confidence," James said with a smile on his face. "He's making calls before I can even get them out sometimes, so that's a good sign. Like I said man, I'm very excited for Nas. He works hard everyday, man."
Staley went on to explain that Adderley also leads the race in the kickoff returner role with wide receiver KJ Hill at the top spot as the punt returner.
Asante Samuel Jr. Wins Starting Job at Second Corner Spot
Staley gave Asante Samuel Jr. his blessing on Wednesday explaining that he's earned the right to start as the second corner on the field Sunday. James explained he's impressed with the development of the rookie's game, going from OTAs to where he is now.
"Asante's come a long way," James said. "He's always had the talent, he's always had the athleticism but now he's another guy that's communicating, he's alerting splits he's doing everything now. Just seeing guys like Nasir Adderley, Asante talking, everybody's talking more, communicating more, and it's only going to help our defense."
James who is stepping into a bigger leadership role, as one of the team' eight captains this season, talked about the nice blend of veteran and young talent on defense.
"Me and Chris [Harris Jr] are kind of the older guys," he said. "Having Nas and Asante and a lot of the younger guys, [CB Michael Davis] is an older guy too. But having us all together at one time, it's very exciting and I can't wait 'til Sunday."
Growing Relationship Between Herbert and Staley
Whether it's talking about the game plan, note taking, or just talking football, Staley said the relationship between him and quarterback Justin Herbert is just beginning, and the real test is soon to come.
"We'll know where our relationship is as the season goes on," Staley said. "Because once you start playing games and lot's at stake, that's when you really start to test your relationship. I know this, I couldn't ask more from a starting quarterback. As you guys know he was elected captain, and the way he works on a day-to-day basis really pushes you as a coach because you're trying to be your best for guys like that."
Herbert's attention to detail and precise note taking were brought up by Staley as well.
"I think notes are big because I like to go over my notes and if they're clean and they're neat I know exactly where everything is," Herbert said. "So I can look back and say for example if we are playing Washington later in the year I've got a notebook full of the stuff that we went through, the plays that we learned."
Herbert, like Staley, talked about their growing relationship on and off the field. From the moment Staley was hired, Herbert has noticed the effort his head coach makes to build each relationship.
"When coach Staley came in, he built a relationship immediately with all the players," he said. "And that's something that he really wanted to set up. I remember getting the call maybe 30 or 45 minutes after everyone found out [Staley was hired as head coach] and that meant a lot to me for him to reach out to me and let me know. He's done an incredible job."
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