Three questions with OC Jeremy Bates

Throughout the last two weeks, each assistant coach has been answering a trio of rapid-fire questions regarding his position group in light of the two recent minicamps and the additions through the draft. Here’s offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates discussing the offensive line:

How did first-round draft pick Russell Okung impress you in his first minicamp?

He came in and was extremely focused. He’s on a mission — he wants to be as good as he can be as fast as he can be. He came in and all he wanted to do was work. He wasn’t into the spotlight of being a first-round draft pick or any of that. He’s focused on learning the offense and understanding the technique and fundamentals and hopefully he can dominate in the future. He’s got some time to go before he learns the offense but we’re excited for him.

How important is veteran guard Ben Hamilton for the growth of Okung and the rest of the line?

He’s an extremely intelligent football player. He was in the same situation in Denver in 2008 with Ryan Clady so it’s good to have someone on your side for Russell who knows the offense inside and out and can help him. It’s good for Ben, it’s good for Russell, and I look forward to watching them in concert on Sundays.

The additions of Okung and Hamilton have sort of overshadowed the right side of the line. Can you talk about what you’ve been seeing there this spring?

The right side has been looking great. Max [Unger] has been looking strong and is doing everything we heard he could do. He’s really into the game and loves football and wants to max out. Every day, he’s very consistent. And Sean [Locklear] is back to his natural position at right tackle, which he has played extremely well in the past. He looks natural there. Watching him is great to see because he looks so strong. And then Chris Spencer at center is the captain of the line. He’s working hard, has all the calls down and he’s going to be running this line and leading them to exciting levels this season.

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