Q. The big play runs haven’t seemed to be there this year. Is that mainly due to that second tier not being blocked as well, is that part of it?
A. I wish there was one thing because then it would be so easy and you could devote all your attention to correcting that. I think it is a combination of a lot of things. I think it’s occasionally we are not blocking it as well on the second level, which allows the back to get to the secondary. Often it is blocked well and the back is not making the right read, not breaking, getting tripped up at the line, which has happened a bunch. Sometimes it is not the right call against the front and the coverage. It is not one thing or another. The wideouts generally do a great job blocking down field, to be honest with you. When we get it to their block it is usually a pretty good thing. But, again, it sounds like I am being evasive, and I guess I am, but truthfully it is not one thing that you can single out and say ‘Hey, if we just correct this, if we run this a little differently, the running style adjusts a little bit or modify, or we block it a little bit better here…’ One time is this, one time is something else, so it is a combination of all.
Q. Has Danny Ware caught up enough to where he can be your third down back now?
A. We are hopeful. I think we are certainly going to try and see. See if he can do it. It was something we had aspired to have done at the beginning of the year. We thought it would make us a more complete team. He’s rusty and all of that stuff. I think physically he is healthy, it is just a matter of the speed of the game and do the things that you have to do first and foremost on third down, which is protect the quarterback and that is where the complexity of the blitzes are so much different and so much more complicated and can you do the things that you have to do to protect the quarterback. If you do, then I think he can give us a running dimension, I think he can give us a passing dimension out of the backfield and do some things that will enhance what we are trying to do on third down. There is no question, first things first, and you have to be a protector first. It is not that he won’t physically do it, it is just can you see the things at the speed that they are going to be happening. We ask a lot, we ask the back to do a lot of things. Often it isn’t just, ‘I have that defender.’ We put them into a scan mode on certain calls and he has got to see where the blitz is coming from, the overload and get himself in a position to help. Then, if not, we also ask him to be a chipper. To be able to do it sounds easy, it is not as easy as it seems because you have to take care of your responsibilities, you have to see where the secondary potential blitzer is and then still not move where you can’t help where we are asking you to help on that week, whether it’s the guard, the tackle, the center, whatever. We certainly are going to give him a chance to prove that. We’ve got our fingers crossed that he will.
Q. Jerald Ingram said last week that the absence of Ward and Ware maybe forced you to use Jacobs in roles that he is not as comfortable in. Do you agree with that?
A. I saw the comment, I asked Jerald what he meant by it, because I really didn’t know what he meant. Did we ask him to be the third down back more? Yes. But again, that was really more for protection purposes. The runs haven’t changed and some of his best runs have been from that personnel grouping. I just think he is running better. He has done a good job. He is being physical, he is being more confident, he is trusting himself a little bit more. I think I mentioned earlier on, I just thought he was trying so hard to be perfect that it was actually affecting him in a negative way. He is having a little success now. So you get into that cycle of success where you think ‘I feel good,’ and you trust your first initial read and bang it up there and maybe capitalize and take advantage of his greatest strengths, which are his speed, his power and his toughness. I think that more than anything else.
Q. When you did the self-scouting, did you notice that the wide receivers were having trouble getting off the line of scrimmage when they were pressed?
A. No, no more than usual.
Q. The Falcons have given up the most plays over twenty yards. Do you see things there that you can take advantage of?
A. I don’t think it is anything scheme. I think it is certain guys have gotten beat, on certain plays they have gone against some good receivers who have made some good plays on some good throws. Hopefully we will be able to do the same. I don’t see any inherent weakness in a coverage or in one player that is a bad football player. They look like a pretty good football team. I know their ranking isn’t as high as some of the teams we have faced. I think they are a pretty good team.