Tim Ruskell on the First Mini Camp

Tim Ruskell reflects on the progress made during the first mini-camp.

This was a good week of practice. The rookie portion went real well last weekend. It's always important to get those guys indoctrinated into the system. We did that and nobody disappointed us in any way.

You have to be careful not to set expectations too high for the rookies with just three days of work the week after the draft and knowing the media is going to be watching and asking them about everything. It takes longer than that. What you like to see is effort and they're into it mentally ... focused with glimpses of the ability that made us draft them in the first place. And we saw all of that.

For veterans, you just want your team to come together and have chemistry when this week is over. It's the camaraderie and the practices have to be sharp. There are a lot of the same faces, so the easy stuff should be down cold. And it should be just tweaking some things for the season. And the coaches were all happy about the way that went.

As Coach (Mike Holmgren) said, he was very happy with how all the new coaches got integrated and it went very smoothly. And they all did a good job of translating that to the new veterans we brought in this week too with very few glitches. That's what you want to hear and that's what you want to see. The coaches were all basically getting up to speed with what we do as opposed to changing everything we do. It's not that kind of situation.

Because the coaches were so good about preparing themselves for this camp, everything went smoothly with the new players and I had a sense the new players gave us a real jolt of energy this week. So that made it good all the way around.

The young receivers (Ben Obomanu, Logan Payne, Courtney Taylor and Jordan Kent) showed it wasn't too big for them running with the first team offense and getting so many reps. They all responded and had their special moments. It was encouraging for everybody. They had to do a lot more reps than they usually would with the injuries we had. We didn't bring in that many receivers to begin with, which we may have to rectify for the next camp. But we're very happy with where they're at and you can see that their confidence is better. They're not thinking so much. They're just doing it and that's when you really can see their ability to play football.

We feel good about that group. That doesn't mean we won't keep looking, we'll always keep looking, but there's nobody that disappointed. They took a step last year and it looks to all of us like they just kept growing this week.

So overall, this was a good week for everybody.

The June camp will be very similar to this one. You just want to keep going what we established in the first camp - lessen the mistakes and be even in sync tighter with the stuff that's already been integrated. It's just another chance to fine tune everything and get the group back together.

That's the final chance to set the pace, the tone and intensity for training camp. You want everybody to leave wanting more and we did a good job of starting that process this week with this group. We got a real good feeling about the direction we're going with this year's team, and it's up to the staff and the leadership to keep building on that right into the season.

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