Sitting here outside the dorms at Lehigh as veterans report.
Some quick tidbits from Quintin Mikell, Chris Gocong and Hank Baskett:
** Of Jim Johnson, Gocong said he received some tough love from the defensive coordinator at times, but also saw the soft side. He emphasized what a big influence Johnson was on his life. Gocong heard of Johnson even before joining the Birds. "If you know football, you know his name," he said.
** Mikell said he used to be a "knucklehead" but Johnson kept giving him more chances and helped him along. He said he couldn't help but think of Johnson as he drove to camp, and added that he's still going through the mourning process.
** Mikell talked about Johnson's ability to put players in great positions to succeed. He discussed how Johnson first played him in only goal line situations and put him up in the box so he could use his strength against the run. Maximizing the potential of players was one of Johnson's great strengths, Mikell said.
** Mikell joked that Johnson designed the defense for safeties.
** When asked about who will step up as a leader, Mikell said he'd be one of the guys. He also mentioned Stewart Bradley. Mikell added that his teammates were not knuckleheads, and everybody wants to win. He said if someone acts out and he needs to say something, he will.
** Mikell had nothing but great things to say about Sean McDermott. That's been a running theme here.
** Baskett said Kendra has a kid on the way and it's changed the way he looks at life.
** He added that he always enters camp fighting for a job, and this year's no different
** When asked about his new celebrity status, Baskett said, "I'm not a celebrity. She's a celebrity. I'm a football player."
** Baskett said Kendra made him run during their honeymoon in St. Lucia.
** When asked if teammates tease him, Baskett said they do, but they never cross the line. He said Greg Lewis still texts him and ribs him.