Q: In the past few years, how has the experience of watching film changed the game?
A: You know, nothing has changed in that respect in terms of the film watching. I think that's been going on for my 22 years in this league and even when I was in college - you watched as much film as you could. I think the thing that has evolved and altered it a little bit is the internet. There are so many things now that you can just say, Okay, give me every first and ten on the left hash between the 40 and the minus 40. Before you couldn't do that, you had to do it by hand and it just slowed down the whole process. The accessibility of a lot of different, very specific information probably gives you some insight into...this is what they're going to do exactly, at least this is what their history has been exactly, in this situation. So, in that sense, that's probably what's changed. I don't know if the film watching has changed - obviously at one time it was film, now it's video and all of that other stuff, but in terms of watching games, we've always watched as many games as we can, so I don't know if that has changed but certainly the fact that you can just punch in and get something to show and say, alright I want to watch every second and one to three on the right hash and all the sudden you've got it. Before you didn't have access to that, so it's probably allowed you to be a little bit more responsive to what the information is showing you. When that situation occurs again, maybe you've zeroed in a little bit more exactly what you want to call in that situation.
Q: How has Mario Manningham matured and developed in the time he's been here?
A: I think that it's the natural maturation that comes from just growing up. As you get older, experience more of life and some of the good and some of the bad - and he's had to deal with it all - I think there's just naturally that growth and development that takes place, but I would also add that I think that his determination to be a special player has also forced him now to maybe bear down more than he had to in college, just because he was probably physically better than everybody. Here he's still physically very competitive with anybody, but now you have to win with technique and understanding. We ask him to do a lot of different things, which we ask of all of our receivers - I'm not sure that that was always the case when he was in college. The good thing is that he's very positive. He wants to be very good, he wants to be special, so his work ethic is excellent. There's a complete commitment by him to be an elite receiver, which is terrific.
Q: David Diehl is back at left tackle today?
A: Mm hmm.
Q: Why did you guys want to take a look at Shawn Andrews at left tackle yesterday?
A: Because that's where he's been working. He's still in the learning stages so if he was playing guard, then we would have left him at guard, but he was playing tackle, so all the sudden putting him at guard would have been an invitation to more mistakes than we wanted to have, so play him at tackle...he actually had maybe as good of a practice as he's had since he's been here, so it was very encouraging to see what...you know, you saw the athleticism that we all know he has - it was handicapped by not being sure what to do, so he looked good. It was encouraging to see. If we have to do that, I think we feel good about it.
Q: What is the effect of losing Madison Hedgecock and putting in Bear Pascoe - how does that affect the types of things that you're able to do?
A: It really doesn't change anything. It probably gives us a little more versatility in this sense - and that's not a disparagement of Madison, I don't mean that, but Madison is in and you're in a two back, that's what you are, so people defend you very...hey this is what they are in this formation, this personnel grouping, this is what they do, so they can really load up on certain things. With Bear, the nice thing is that you can do just about everything that you could do with Madison and the two backs, but now you can also line him up with the two tight ends, one on either side, and it much more resembles what we were like when we had Michael Matthews and we were doing some things like that. So, you lose a powerful, bruising, dominant type of blocker, but maybe you gain a little bit more versatility and hopefully that'll make us a little bit more difficult to defend.
Q: What are you hopes for Ahmad this week?
A: I just hope Ahmad is feeling good enough. He's been playing great football for us, so hopefully he'll be feeling good enough that he can go out and perform the way he has.
Q: What difference does Cushing make?
A: Well, he's a good player. Any time you add another good player to the mix, it just complicates your life on the offensive side, so yeah, he's just a very good football player. It adds one more good football player to a team that already has more than we wish they had.
Q: So you feel like your game plan isn't affected by the uncertainty of who is actually going to play?
A: Not really. I mean, if you didn't think that certain guys could go in and step in then I think we'd be more concerned, but we'd feel good if we had to play Shawn, we could do so. I think we feel good - Bear has kind of shown that he can play the fullback position. You always wish you had all your starters. You wish Shaun O'Hara was back and all of those other things, but I think that we feel that if we have to work certain guys in that we feel confident that they'll do a good job for us.