I spoke to the team today and we had – as I mentioned last night – we had challenged our team to constantly improve. What we are interested in is our team and our improvement and what we felt like after last week’s game – obviously coming out of Dallas – is that we needed to be able to stop the run and run the ball. And that is what started this week as we prepared and that is what we accomplished last night. I was pleased with that. In addition we had no turnovers. We got a turnover. And as soon as we got the turnover we put the ball in the end zone with a touchdown. We had five penalties. Really, I think that probably three of them could be eliminated easily. Not that they were bad calls. They were penalties that didn’t have to occur on our part. So those things we are constantly working on to try to improve upon.
Our time of possession was outstanding. You don’t see that very often – that kind of time of possession. And our defense’s ability to get the other guy out and to get them off the field, give the ball back to the offense. And then the offense hang onto the ball was very good. We did have better success in the green zone than we have been having. We are still not there yet. We did end the game with four plays from the five-yard line that we stopped. And then turned around and the last five minutes and 53 seconds, I think it was, of time, was utilized with the offense having the ball in their hands. There were some good things that came out of the game. We continue to challenge ourselves. And our theme, as always, will be, our team and the improvement of our team.
Q: You have proven that your team can run the ball and win, pass the ball and win. Whatever the defense gives you, can you dictate what you want to do on offense?
A: No, I think that what you are looking for is balance, like we always are. We want to be able to run the ball even against the eight-man fronts. We want to be able to stay with the running game knowing full well that we need to demonstrate the ability to effectively throw the ball versus that kind of front. So we want the balance. There is always going to be a theme, there is always going to be something in terms of a plan that allows us to play a certain way to effectively win games and sometimes those plans deal with circumstances, whatever. But as we study and as we try to come up with what our team needs to improve upon, what we think needs to be done against the opponent, how the game will go, how the game is played, how it is shaped around your current injury situation – all of those things will prevail in terms of a plan.
Q: What did William Beatty show you yesterday?
A: He played on both sides. He played right tackle, he played left tackle. He was in on the goal line team, he was in on one version of a short yardage team. He was in on the field goal team. So he has gradually gotten some play time. He continues to show the athleticism. He did a pretty good job assignment-wise yesterday. It is good to have him on the field and understand what the game is all about at this level. He got a little bit of physical taste. He came back from that and I thought responded pretty well.
Q: If Kareem McKenzie's knee were to keep him out, is Beatty ready to take a full game?
A: Well, we will certainly try to get him in that position. We do have some veteran players that have been around. Boothe has been in that position before – he’s someone who has played tackle and guard and center, which is a positive for us. So we will have some flexibility. We are hoping that Kareem comes right back and can practice.
Q: It’s just a sprain?
A: That is what they said.
Q: How about Richie Seubert and Chase Blackburn?
A: Chase has an ankle sprain and does think it can be controlled. The one thing – as with a lot of our guys – he will be in the training room for 24 hours until he gets to where he can control the swelling and that type of thing. They went and x-rayed and did all of that yesterday and he came back and played and finished the game. Rich has – it is a situation where his shoulder got knocked down early on. He will come right back this week and strengthen it and he will be ready to go.
Q: How did Tuck come out of the game?
A: Okay. He got, I think, eight snaps.That is all it was.They were all third down type things. So it was good that he was available and he contributed. They did some good things in terms of their rush on the side that he was on. So hopefully he will just continue to get better.
Q: Any expectations for Ross or Canty or Dockery?
A: We are going to try to get Ross and Dockery going. Hopefully they will be able to do some individual work to start with. We are going to kind of spoon feed them back in. But it is time.
Q: With the amount of guys banged up on defense, how surprised were you with the shutout?
A: I was really surprised – not surprised. I shouldn’t say that – that is your word. I was pleased with their energy, the way that they played, the way that they focused, their purpose, the fact that they really took the challenge and wanted to go and prove that – against a team that had rushed for 174 against Dallas – that we could stop the run. And I thought the approach was really good. The leadership was strong and the energy was strong. The hustle in and out from the sideline and in and out of the huddle – the energy that they showed from snap to snap – I thought all of that was good.
Q: It seemed like you guys got a lot of yards on the ground after contact. Any particular reason?
A: I thought Bradshaw did a nice job with that. He got hit, spun, got himself north again, and was able to do that on a number of occasions. Brandon did a nice job on some of the runs of just taking the pile and moving it. And you might call it first contact – but a lot of times it was two and three and four guys that he was able to move.
Q: Siragusa was saying that he was tip toeing, not running downhill hard enough. Did you see any of that?
A: No. Obviously the frustration of getting hit in the backfield on the goal line is – but that is not his fault. That was a jab or a misdirection. And they timed it up perfectly. But no, it is getting better. We are all getting better in the run.
Q: How significant was the tight ends’ blocking in helping the run game get going?
A: There is no doubt. When you talk about the offensive line you have to talk about the fullback, the tight ends, the kind of block that Steve Smith had – not yesterday but a game ago against Dallas. Everybody contributes in everything – whether it is the pass or the run. And that is why it is not easy just to zoom in on a few people. Everybody has to be included. The tight end certainly did a nice job – both Kevin and Darcy. Darcy had a pretty good game; solid game as a blocker. And you can see that as we get Travis Beckum in a little bit more he gets a little bit more comfortable. He had two or three really good plays on special teams this week, which was encouraging for us as well.
Q: Lawrence Tynes said he hasn't really felt right. We know he changed his technique a little in camp. Is there something you have noticed what might be wrong with him?
A: No, not really. I think sometimes what has to happen is as you practice then you have to carry it over into game day. Sometimes there is a little bit of an adjustment that – for whatever reason – is going on that you would like to just stick with what has been good for you and what you have practiced.
Q: Will you take a look at any other kickers this week?
Q: You guys are kind of flying under the radar. Do you like the fact it is kind of quiet around this team?
A: I have no idea what is quiet and what isn’t. We have our approach and the way we go about our business. And we take it week to week and one game at time, whether it is September or December or whatever. We are just trying to be as good as we can possibly be. And whatever else is going on is going on. We don’t have control over that. But what we do have control over is what is going on here. So that is where our focus is.
Q: How has Terrell Thomas done in these three games he has started?
A: Pretty darn good job yesterday. He had four tackles. He had an interception, he almost had another interception. On that quarterback scramble, he turned it back in and made the tackle on that, too. And that was in the open field. He has played well and he has benefitted from the fact that he has practiced and he has practiced continuously. And I thought Corey (Webster) played well, too.
Q: He was a good size coming out, are you surprised he had some problems tackling?
A: No, it didn’t have anything to do with size. I think it was body position – being able to come to balance at the proper spot, using the leverage of the defense, understanding where you were position-wise. Not allowing whatever the ball carrier would do to out flank you, you can’t allow that to happen. Yeah, that was a good correction.
Q: If Ross and Dockery are available, do you go back to a rotation?
A: I don’t know whether or not they will be available. We will have to wait and see.
Q: How did C.C. Brown and Aaron Rouse do filling in for Kenny Phillips?
A: C.C. Brown played well. There was just one fourth down that we didn’t think we necessarily had to give up under the circumstance that -- we just played a little bit loose. But he came down, he tackled well, he was at the line of scrimmage. Rouse got in just a little bit and when he did he performed his responsibilities. So that was encouraging as well.
Q: Is Gartrell Johnson playing on instinct?
A: No, he knows the plays that are called when he is in there – he knows those plays.
Q: Do you have a limited package for him?
A: Yes. But it is going to expand, obviously.
Q: When you saw him on film, what did you think?
A: He is a very good slash-type runner. He just looks a lot quicker, at least to me, than his time speed.
Q: Canty and Hixon?
A: We’ll see. They are encouraged by where they are. But the same thing goes for all of those guys. Even though they are coming back, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. This has been going on forever.