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Tim Ruskell on the First Preseason Game

Tim Ruskell talks about the first preseason game and everything leading up to it.

We had a lot of positive thoughts about the game in terms of player performance. The film review had more positives than negatives. The biggest negative continues to be people we have banged up and the injuries continued in the game.

We need to get those people back. If we can get through the Chicago game without any further injuries, I think we'll be OK. I felt the same way last week, with the caveat being that we don't get anymore. Well, we got some more at Minnesota. Guys are starting to come back, but we just can't keep adding to the number while that's happening or we're spinning our wheels and won't gain any traction.

Our plan was to improve the running game from what the results have been the last couple of years and we saw good things in good things in practice, scrimmage and the next step was seeing progress in the preseason games. We did see that at Minnesota and we want that to continue and get some momentum going into the regular season.

The (NFL) has been talking about taking two of the preseason games and making them regular season games for a long time, but there seems to be more support for it now than ever before. More people are talking about it. There are pros and cons for either side. It's already a long season. It will be an interesting debate. I haven't really made my mind up, nor have I heard how really serious this is just yet.

It will be a pretty dramatic change the way we've done business if that does happen. We'd be in trouble this year if that were the case because we'd be going into regular season games missing a lot of players. That's part of the debate ... what would that look like with an 18-game regular season?

Will it be a longer camp or a shorter camp? You'd see a situation where there would be a lot more rotation of players in the early (regular season) games than you see in early games now. People are still getting playing shape, getting healthy and it would have to be that way just to get through an 18-game schedule plus playoffs. We'd have to really emphasize rotations where we don't see them now, like offensive lines. You don't see that now because of the timing and the way an offense functions. It's a lot more flexible on defense.

So really, it's a dramatic change that would need to be thoroughly discussed and you'd have to look at everything, including roster size and you'd need more prep time for camp. I don't think you could just do it in a snap without all that getting analyzed. We don't know if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. There will be a burden on a lot of people.

But this week will be exciting because it's always that way when you come home and get in front of your fans for the first time like we will this week with the Bears at Qwest Field. We need that extra energy boost - especially for the players that haven't been here before - that's a neat thing for them to go through with that crowd.

This will be an extension of the first game. The battles in the first game will still be there in the second game. The players that played good - you want to see that consistently and make sure he's not just a one-hit wonder. You want to know what you're getting. You want to know that he's a real NFL player. This adds to the bulk of data we have on everybody. We're really looking for consistency, staying healthy, and we can tell that we're getting healthy and becoming the team we believe them to be.

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