FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Quick hits from Nick Caserio’s news conference Friday, before the team’s final public training camp practice:
Jeff Demps chatter. On Florida running back/returner Jeff Demps, Caserio was asked for some scouting background on him and said, “Good with the ball, good speed, caught the ball OK, a little bit undersized. But they had some good offensive players – he and [Chris] Rainey split some time so they kind of used them in different ways.” On Demps and kickoff returning, Caserio said, “He had a little bit of production. How that translates over, the schemes are different. Any returner that comes into the NFL, whatever they did in college schematically is probably going to be a lot different than what we’re going to ask him to do.” Caserio said there was no official transaction to report, which makes sense since Demps hasn’t officially signed (a source said the sides have an agreement, but until it's signed, nothing is official.)
Schedule update. Caserio said players will be off Saturday, before returning Sunday.
Praise for Mankins. Caserio gave kudos to offensive lineman Logan Mankins for his rehab work after offseason surgery to repair a torn ACL. “He’s everything we stand for,” Caserio said in touting Mankins’ commitment to the beliefs and approach of the team.
Progress at camp. Caserio said the team is making progress, and that most of the installation from the team’s system is in place. The work over the next week will become more specific to the team’s opponent. Caserio called the team a “coachable group” that tries to do things the right way, and “that’s all you can really ask for.”
Practice shifts to game prep. Caserio said today’s practice will focus more on Monday night’s game against the Eagles.
Background on Mike Rivera. In the aftermath of Dane Fletcher’s season-ending knee injury, first-year linebacker Mike Rivera has seen increased repetitions. Caserio on Rivera: “Mike’s had a pretty good camp. He came in last year and was on our practice squad for most of the year and had a good offseason. He’s been able to get a few more snaps and take advantage of the opportunity he’s been presented. He’s a tough guy, he’s smart, he runs well, and he has good size. He’s shown up out there at different points. He’s doing some decent things.”