Justin Tuck, 11.24.09

RE: Inability to stop Atlanta's offense in second half

A. We can’t give up 31 points. We definitely need to improve. We didn’t like how we finished the fourth quarter. That is two games in a row for us where we didn’t finish the game the way we wanted to. I think that is the most glaring thing right now.

Q. Why do you think that happened?

A. I don’t know, maybe a little fatigue. They did a good job of changing things up to kind of combat some of the stuff that we had done. It happens like that sometimes, but obviously we could have played better. We had opportunities to get off the field but we just didn’t make the plays.

Q. How much better was it coming off a win this week, especially with a short week?

A. That win was tremendous for us from a conference standpoint and from a standings standpoint. Obviously you love to come in here and practice when you get a win rather than the weeks before that when you have to kind of look at that film and look at the things that you didn’t do to prepare yourself to get the win. Now this week is the complete opposite. You look at things that you did do that kind of put you over the top to get the win.

Q. What do you expect from this defense here down the stretch and how much better does it have to get?

A. We just need to continue to improve. I don’t know what the magic number is or anything like that. If we continue to improve every week, we will be okay.

Q. Is this short week a big deal to you?

A. Not really. Denver has to go through it, too. They have to go through the same thing we are going through. So I don’t make too big of a deal of it.

Q. What does it mean to have destiny essentially in your hands?

A. Right where we want to be. Everyone wants to talk about what Dallas, Washington or Philly did, but as long as we can control and worry about how we play, then we will be okay.

Q. What do you see in their running game?

A. The offensive line and tight end do a great job of zone blocking schemes and opening up gaps that might have not been there when the ball is originally handed off. So it’s all about how we adjust to what they do. You definitely need to attack this type of running game. You can’t sit back and read because their running backs have one read and one cut. When they see that cut, they are getting downhill and before you know it he might be hitting his head on the goal post. We just have to do a good job of filling our gaps and playing the schemes pretty well.

Q. What is it like being in the spotlight Thanksgiving night?

A. We are used to being in the spotlight, that isn’t an issue. This is my first time playing on Thanksgiving, so it will be kind of intriguing.

Q. When are you going to do your eating, when are you going to get your turkey?

A. I eat everyday. I am not worried about necessarily eating on Thanksgiving Day. Hopefully I get to eat some quarterbacks.

Q. When you watched the film does it look like Kyle Orton is limited at all?

A. It really didn’t, it looked like he came in and played pretty well. Obviously they were down by a lot of points at that time. There is something about being in the game that sometimes the adrenaline of the game takes away a little bit of the pain. I don’t know how he is playing now but in the game he played pretty decent.

RE: Denver’s urgency to get a win.

A. I mean we know how much they are going to try and come out and get this win, especially in front of their home crowd on Thanksgiving and they have lost, I think, four in a row. So I know how important this game is going to be for them and how hard they are going to come out and play.

Q. You guys struggled in the fourth quarter the other day. Is that fatigue or are there other factors?

A. I think it is other factors. Fatigue may have something to do with it, but I don’t think that is the sole reason. We didn’t make the plays in the fourth quarter against Atlanta that we did in the first three quarters for whatever reason. Give Atlanta credit. They adjusted and made plays, too. That’s two games in a row where we haven’t finished the game like we wanted to. So obviously that needs to be addressed.

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